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The Source of Wisdom

John 7:14-19
Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. The Jews there were amazed and asked, ‘How did this man get such learning without having been taught?’ Jesus answered, ‘My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory 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?’ (NIVUK)

Jesus arrived in Jerusalem half-way through the Festival.  He did not want to travel with his half-brothers lest He be ambushed on the road (John 7:6-9).  But once in Jerusalem, instead of hiding and keeping His identity concealed, He went to the Temple courts and began teaching publicly.  The religious leaders could not stone Him there or arrest Him for fear of the crowds (Matthew 21:46).  Instead, they all listened and were amazed by His teaching from the Law of Moses.  It had such a ring of truth.  But how could He have so much knowledge as He was only a carpenter who had never been to any Rabbinic school?

They should have asked the question, ‘Where does the truth come from?’  Truth does not come from human invention but by revelation from God (Luke 10:21).  Although there are many clues to truth, which human beings can piece together and share with others (that is the art of science), the whole truth can only come from the One who knows everything.  Although He was the Son of God, Jesus did not claim to be independent from Father God; He said that He had submitted to the Father, and gave Him the glory for all the teaching (John 12:49).  Of course, there is more to godly teaching than merely transmitting information; it has to be acted upon.  People who want to obey God will also realise that it is God who is speaking to them.

There are others who claim to speak the truth, but the information they give out does not have God’s authority nor do the speakers want to give God the glory.  They use their human skills to project their own thoughts so that they will be considered great.  Their hearers will not hear the voice of God, and will be manipulated into thinking that what appeals to them is right; whereas they will be led in darkness by blind guides to destruction (Luke 6:39).

When we feel that God is not speaking to us, it is essential to ask, ‘Have I obeyed what God has told me previously?’  And, ‘Whose voice have I been listening to?’  When we obey the Lord, we also develop a hunger to hear more, and we grow in a deeper love for the Lord.  When we disobey and do not repent, our spiritual appetite is depressed as we gravitate to blind guides who teach us to love other things and people more than loving Him.  The ultimate blasphemy is to claim to honour God's Word and yet want the Son of God out of our lives.  The religious leaders of Jesus’ day made that mistake: we must not copy them.  So, ask the Lord to remind you of something He has already told you, but you have not yet obeyed.  As you choose to obey, your relationship with the Lord will become clear once again.

God of truth. Thank You that Jesus never claimed to be independent from You, but always pointed people to Your supreme authority and the need to submit to You. I am sorry for the times I have listened to the darkness, invented my own righteousness and despised what You have already revealed. Please help me to take Your Word seriously so that I choose to obey it and grow in my relationship with You. Please show me one area of disobedience which I need to address by doing what You say. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams