About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?” So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. If anyone’s will is to do God‘s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.
(John 7:14-18 ESV)
The authority of a true teacher does not come from the teacher but from God. Jesus even applied this all important principle to Himself. He said that His teaching was from our Father. And then he turned the tables on the questioners. “If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God,” He said. Ouch! In other words, true discernment can only come from some one who is truly seeking God’s will. Double ouch.
I think we worry too much about who is teaching/preaching, how they are teaching, the gender of the teacher, the length of the sermon and relative minutia such as these and we forget to listen for the Word of God in what is being taught. Seriously. Whose fault is it, then if we don’t “feel fed” afterward?
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. Imagine some one is dolling out stew. Everyone is lining up to get some and when you (or I) get right up to the pot the server says, “Hold out your bowl.” Oops. Did you forget to bring one? How do you expect to eat if you don’t bring a bowl?
Did that seem silly? But that’s what we do right? We show up to church or Sunday School and expect to be spoon fed or something. But how can we possibly know if the food that is offered is any good when we show up so ill prepared for the banquet? Is that Jesus’ fault? Not at all! And the same goes for any other teacher or preacher. You can’t judge their message by how the teacher looks. You need to be prepared by praying and being in the Word everyday so that it may light your way. The Truth must be in you if it is to resonate with the Truth without.
God Bless you,
- Another Look at Communion (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)