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The Source of Wisdom

John 7:14-19
Not until halfway through the Feast did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. 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 honour for himself, but he who works for the honour 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?" (NIV)

Jesus arrived in Jerusalem half way through the Feast. But instead of hiding and keeping His identity concealed, He went to the Temple courts and began teaching publically. The religious leaders could not stone Him there, or arrest Him for fear of the crowds. 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. 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. 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.

When we feel that God is not speaking to us, it is essential to ask, "Have I obeyed what God has told me previously?" When we obey, 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 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 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.

Prayer 
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 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

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