One of my favorite passages in the Bible is the closing of chapter 7 of the Gospel of Matthew. As the final words concluding Jesus’s sermon on the Mount. What Matthew captures for us is the feeling of the people as they reflect on Jesus’s teaching to them.
28 and when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.Matthew 7:28-29 ESV
What was it about Jesus’s teaching that was so different from that of the scribes? On the surface, it is difficult to say exactly what it was. But I would guess that Jesus’s willingness to speak about difficult things with confidence and without hesitation was one of the clearest differences the people could notice. We know that because Jesus is God he spoke with the authority that only God can have. But the people at the time would not have known that. So what they saw had to of been something anyone could have seen.
The power of Jesus’s words can still be felt today. One of the principal reasons is because of the way Jesus’s words cut through to the heart of the topic under discussion. On more than one occasion Jesus was told that his sayings were difficult to accept. Not that they were difficult to understand. It was precisely because the people understood what Jesus was asking that made the sayings so hard.
This is one of the key attributes of faithful teaching. It is something we should look for in those to whom we submit for instruction. Good teaching is not about growing in the quantity of information we can accumulate. Good teaching produces in the listener the desire to be transformed into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. This is how we know if we are growing. That when we hear teaching that calls us to a deeper obedience to Christ and a more consistent faithfulness to God we accept the challenge offered by such a teaching.
Over the course of the last few weeks, we have strived to speak to a variety of topics that may be taken for granted. Where we do not think to consider them as we could. God can oftentimes be most easily missed in the simple and ordinary moments of life. This is why we need times like the season of Lent to slow us down and see we can look again with fresh eyes where God may be active in our lives.
Over the next few days, we will continue our journey towards Easter morning. I would encourage you to maybe take a look at some of the previous devotional thoughts and think again about what it would look like to become more aware of that particular subject.
You can find all the Series Posts by clicking on the link below.