by Pastor Reid Matthias
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Jesus answered, ‘My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me’ (John 7:16).
Read John 7:14–36
In our reading today, the Jews are confounded by Jesus, who shows up late – halfway through the festival – and begins to teach in the temple court.
Imagine being one of those listening. In front of that glorious building dedicated to praising God, Jesus, the Son of God, stands unrecognisable, speaking amazing words with such deep and profound meaning. The crowd murmurs, ‘Where does he get this stuff? Who has he been listening to?’
Occasionally, I listen to podcasts on various issues. Sometimes I am astounded by viewpoints that differ from mine, but especially by how they came to see them. These people have similar characteristics: humility, tempered pace, and an ability to ask questions to understand. Generally, they are well-read and well-travelled. The opposite holds true, also. Those who annoy me the most are the ones who like to stir the pot when it doesn’t need to be. They like to hear the sound of their own voice; they have gone nowhere other than the most recent social media feed to repeat something that echoes their own opinions.
This is one of the many reasons why I truly enjoy Jesus’ teaching skills. He is humble and gentle, even with those who vex him; he responds with reason, not of his own, but from the one who sent him; he understands human nature and draws people into the discussion. Jesus reveals a mirror for people to see themselves.
As you read this section of Scripture, what do you see in yourself in the mirror Jesus holds?
It’s fascinating how Jesus holds so many things in tension – his heritage and culture with his understanding of citizenship in heaven; his ability to change creation, heal people and work miracles with perspective and how things of faith need to be heard rather than seen.
These are the things Jesus can teach us as we continue on our journey of ‘working out salvation with fear and trembling, [to understand] it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose’ (Philippians 2:12,13).
These are the things we can know about him.
Dear Jesus, thank you for opening your life, mind and heart to me so I can know you even more. Amen.
Reid Matthias is the school pastor at St Andrews Lutheran College in Tallebudgera, Queensland. Reid is married to Christine, who is part of the Grow Ministries team. Together, they have raised three incredible daughters, Elsa, Josephine and Greta. Dedicated to the written word, Reid has recently published his fourth novel, Blank Spaces, maintains the blog ireid.blogspot.com and regularly contributes to The Lutheran magazine.