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Where Did You Hear That?

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. ~ Matthew 7:28-29

Jesus spoke with authority. The teachers of His day would sit around and discuss the scriptures, and sprinkle in some of the writings of earlier generations, what is known as the Talmud, and pose ideas or objections and observations.

Talmud
A complete set of the Babylonian Talmud - Photo Credit: Reuvenk, Source: Wikipedia
  • Moses says…
  • David says …
  • Hillel says …
  • Charlie says…

Jesus comes along and completely breaks this pattern. Rather than telling the crowds what generations of historians and philosophers have said across the ages, Jesus brings clarity.

For instance, back in Chapter 5 Jesus said:

You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ ~ Matthew 5:21

The thinkers who came before Jesus suggested that the natural end of this command was for the murderer to answer to a court of man, the government.

But Jesus applies it to their own hearts. He teaches us that the Word of God was not given so we could find the faults of others and know how to punish them. It was intended as a mirror. When we see the root of anger, or even the hint of careless insults, we should judge ourselves, and guard our hearts with diligence.

This is what was amazing.

And it is still amazing today.

So much of preaching today is men either pointing fingers at someone or parroting what they have read. Sadly I am guilty often, when pressed to preach or teach, to run quickly to find something someone said and borrow some fruit to put on the table, rather than to run to the secret place and come out with my heart crying:

A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken! Who can but prophesy? ~ Amos 3:8

I am not saying we throw out our history, and the wisdom that has been handed down to us. I believe in reading, and hearing what others say. It checks us, and keeps us from going of the deep end, it inspires us and pushes us deeper.

But there is a desperate need today for the voice of the Lord from the mouth of the preacher. Oh, and just because you don’t stand in the pulpit on Sunday morning, does not mean you should use these words to judge your least favorite preacher. I am talking to you.

If Jesus is in you, He has a divine itinerary for you. [Tweet This] There are people who will only ever hear the voice of Jesus through your actions, and your words. Maybe it’s your kids and their friends, or maybe it’s a co-worker who will never darken the doors of your church.

You can amaze them when you speak with authority into their darkness and bring the light of the world into focus for them.

BenHey, thanks for taking time to read today.

See you again soon.

Ben

 

0 thoughts on “Where Did You Hear That?

  1. Caddo-Jael

    Wow, there's a lot here today--or maybe it's just that some mud/debris have cleared and I can see/hear... The first thing I got was "Jesus brings clarity"--YES! And yesterday afternoon He brought me some, so I was ecstatic (still need more, but I'm grateful for a "serving").

    2nd--"guarding our hearts with diligence"; someone else gave me this word/verse recently, and I like the sound of it--but wonder if you might expound on it a bit, in a future class (if it's too much for a comment reply); I'm not sure I understand the meaning correctly.

    3rd--"need for the voice of the Lord from the mouth of the preacher"--Joseph Prince talked recently about how we need to be listening to a "preacher", and not just depending on our ability to hear from God "inside us"; that of course, God can and does speak to us directly via the Holy Spirit--but we also need to be sitting under good teaching.

    I am blessed to have plenty of good teaching, so I'm good there--but, reading your last part, the idea that maybe I have a voice of authority through my actions/words--I dunno. Occasionally, I'll get a blog comment that suggests I've said something meaningful (from the Lord), but I suspect I fail mightily in my real-life community of unbelievers. Okay, I've used up enough space--and I don't want to bum myself out before 10 a.m. (I'm going to try to move furniture, which is probably really Dumb). God bless you Big--love, sis Caddo

    Reply
  2. Ben Nelson

    Wow - I am going to come back to this later this evening when i have a few minutes - Love your comments and questions. Check back this evening. K?

    Reply
      1. Ben Nelson

        Hey Caddo,

        So, finally got a chance to sit down and go back to your comments/questions from the other day. Sorry, I over promised when I said I would get back to you that day. This has been a week of craziness. I seem to be a bit over committed at the moment, and work just got busy, so I need to let some of my yeses run out and hand out a couple of no’s (I am sure that apostrophe does not belong there, but I could not figure out how to do a plural form of no – unless it is nose – hmmm – I defer to the English prof)

        First – “guard your heart” is for sure worth posting about sometime. As I am sure you know it comes from Proverbs 4 and it is right in the middle of a wonderful piece about the why and the how of guarding your heart.

        My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their whole body.
        Watch over (guard) your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.
        Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put devious lips far from you.
        Let your eyes look directly ahead, And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.
        Watch the path of your feet, And all your ways will be established.
        Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil. ~ Proverbs 4:20-27

        So just to restate (not that you can’t read, but you did ask and I am standing right here at the black board)
        The priority here is to receive the Word of God, tend to it, plant it deep in soil of your heart because it is life and health.

        Once it is planted in the tended soil of your life, guard it. A heart with the Word soundly implanted is a fountain of life, a river of life, flowing from the inner most being of the one who has been grafted into the vine. (sorry – mixing my metephores)

        But how? How do I guard it?

        First, keep what is true on your lips – do not speak deceitfully. That included not only telling others lies, but speaking them of yourself (aka – I am such an idiot – I am a failure at the Christian life – I can’t understand… what ever – you get it I’m sure) That is the stuff that is really devious.
        Next, careful what you look at – our eyes get us in big trouble, whether through greed and jealousy, or through comparing our selves with other to our advantage or to our self scorn.

        Next, watch where you let your feet carry you. Follow Jesus.

        These three can keep us or drive us away – mouth, eye and foot.

        The other thing – voice of the preacher – don’t get all hung up here. My point was that we need to get to know the voice of the Lord, and we need to be willing to become the voice of the Lord to others. Not doing it 24x7? SHAME ON YOU NOT – It is Gods job to set up the divine opportunities, and ours to step in. There are times when we are just doing life, and it’s all good. I know from your grocery store stories that you take Jesus with you all the time. Don’t let the condemnation get you.

        So – there – that’s what I have for you – I hope it helps, and sorry it took so long to get back to you.

        Bless you with a God sized shovel this weekend.

        Ben

        Reply
        1. Caddo-Jael

          Hi Ben! I sure didn't mean to put any pressure on you--I know you're a busy man--so I debated whether to indicate that I was still waiting for your reply. Ultimately, I put that I was "checking" back--so that you'd know I was ever the conscientious student!! Not because I was chomping at the bit for your answer. Thank you for your in-depth reply--I LOVE picturing you at the chalkboard! I especially liked the part about the power of the tongue--what we say to ourselves, as much as to others. As you know, I get on thin ice sometimes--feeling tired or down, and the devil starts in with his unlovely statements, and I start agreeing with him--and then I'm in real trouble, crumpled in a ditch, needing to be pulled out with a winch!

          I hope you're doing okay--with work and your other commitments; you do strike me as someone who'd have trouble saying "no" (which is another reason I try not to overwhelm you with emails). Anyway, I'm lifting you up in prayer--that you also will have a shovel-blessed weekend (and rest).

          Speaking of grocery store stories, I have a new one (not a witnessing one, but it is funny)--not sure whether I'll try to turn it into a blog post, or just share it in an email--but it'll keep!

          Thanks again, Prof--Cj

          Reply
          1. Ben Nelson

            no pressure felt - I needed to process all that - and will probably turn the proverbs 4 piece around in writing to be able to hear it, if you know what i mean. I will probably use it in a post at some point. The whole thing about self talk was fresh last night as I was processing the how to of guarding our hearts - I know I can be my own worst enemy when it comes to believing the worst about myself.

            Blessings
            Ben

            Reply
  3. Debbie

    Thank you,Mr. Ben, for challenging us to speak the words He has given us, to those He puts in our paths. You make me pray .. which is good! 😀 God bless you!

    Reply

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