When Jesus spoke, people were blown away. From the beginnings of His public ministry, when He taught in the Capernaum synagogue on the Sabbath, those who heard Him “were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes” (Mark 1:22).
One time, when He preached in His “home church” in Nazareth, those who listened were amazed at His words, saying, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenters son? . . . Where then did this Man get all these things?” (Matt 13:54-56). And this morning, I’m reading that when Jesus taught at the temple during the Feast of Tabernacles the Jews marveled, saying, “How is it that this Man has learning, when He has never studied?” (John 7:15).
The question on the minds of those who heard Jesus was simply, “Where does He come up with this stuff?”
“My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” ~ Jesus (John 7:16 ESV)
Jesus spoke not just as a man, but as the Son of Man. He spoke as the promised Messiah, the One of whom Isaiah would prophesy, “And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD” (Isa. 11:2). Jesus didn’t need to “make it up” as He went. The teaching was sourced from heaven itself. From the Father . . . through the Spirit . . . spoken by the Son . . . marveled at by the people.
The complexities of the Trinity and the interwoven dynamics of Immanuel, God in flesh, both come into play here. I’m not sure that my mind can really wrap itself around it. But what I do know is that Jesus spoke the way He spoke, taught the way He taught, impacted people the way He impacted people because He was quoting the Father.
The material didn’t originate with the man Jesus, but had been drafted from before the foundations of the earth by the Three-in-One God of eternity. His words weren’t original to Him, in a sense, but they were the very words of God Himself. Jesus didn’t speak on His own, but spoke the words taught to Him by the Father (John 8:28). The Father directed the Son as to what to say and how to say it (John 12:49). No wonder it blew people away. He was speaking a word that was, quite literally, from out of this world. His was the voice of God Himself . . . because Jesus is God Himself.
What would it have been like to hear Him teach? Talk about your powerful sermon!
When Jesus spoke no one was falling asleep in the back row. When Jesus taught the impact was tangible, even if their understanding was yet clouded. His was always a powerful message. The delivery always with a Spirit empowered unction. When Jesus opened the Scriptures it ignited the hearts of those who had ears to hear (Luke 24:32). “No man ever spoke like this Man” (John 7:46).
And I reminded that there is a dynamic by which I too can hear Him . . . and the Father’s words through Him. No, it isn’t a podcast I can download. I can’t go pull an mp3 or video off of His website. But I have the God-breathed Scriptures before me and the God-placed Spirit inside me. And with that combo, His words–those divinely penned and placed words of the Father–can be as fresh and powerful today as when they were first delivered.
When I hear Jesus quote the Father, my heart can burn within me. As I take in these thoughts sourced in heaven, my inner man can be stirred to awe and wonder. When I meditate on principles and precepts from another world, I can be moved to respond with worship and obedience.
“If anyone’s will is to do Gods will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on My own authority.” ~ Jesus (John 7:17 ESV)
Speak Lord, your servant is listening.
Because of His grace . . . all for His glory.