“The Jews were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having studied?” Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?” “You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?” Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all astonished. Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a child on the Sabbath. Now if a child can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing the whole man on the Sabbath? Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.” At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? ” (John 7:15–25, NIV)When we encounter something amazing, something that is outside of our normal experience, we begin to look for an explanation. This was the case as Jesus began teaching in Jerusalem.
He purposefully delayed his arrival to the feast so as not to create a scene, and at the time God determined, he began to quietly teach among the people. Over time, more and more gathered to listen to Jesus and they were “amazed”.
“There must be an explanation. How did Jesus come to know the truths he spoke so clearly and with such authority? What Rabbinical school did He attend?”
This is a logical question. Every Rabbi (Jewish Teacher) was educated by a certain school. Not unlike today, they were often assessed by the “school” they attended.
“Oh, he graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary or Masters or (insert your favorite seminary here).”
Where you went to school gave you the necessary credibility to teach among the people. But here’s the problem: Jesus didn’t go to school. He was uneducated. The truth He taught was not passed to Him from other people.
“Well, then he must be a prodigy. He was self taught and learned all that he knows from endless hours of studying with exceptional devotion. Jesus must be a genius.”
No…Jesus was not self taught. If he was, the attention would be directed away from His father and would be centered on the child prodigy. The goal of Jesus was to honor His Father, not Himself.
What Jesus proclaims is that He was “God taught”. The truth He teaches did not originate with Him or with other men. What He taught originated with the Father. The words of Jesus were the words of God. No wonder they were “amazing”!
But the Jews could not allow themselves to believe what they could not explain. They had no room for faith. They had an explanation for everything and they had developed a habit of trusting in themselves to the point that they were unwilling to accept the testimony of Jesus and the truth He spoke as directed by God.
In a similar way, we too can miss the truth of God when we develop the habit of judging what we believe based on a certain school of thought. We can work hard to have an explanation for everything that we deem spiritually important and any suggestion outside of our box of understanding becomes “demon possessed” and unworthy of consideration. The result is that we too leave no room for faith and are at equal risk of missing the truth of God.
Look at the life of Jesus. Listen to what He taught. Follow the truth of His message. In Him is the truth of God and our only hope is trusting in Him.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. ” (Proverbs 3:5–7, NIV)