14Not until halfway through the Feast did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. 15The Jews were amazed and asked, "How did this man get such learning without having studied?" 16Jesus answered, "My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. 17If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. 18He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.
For all you college basketball fans its March Madness, and with that comes all manner of what’s commonly known as “trash talking.” From the players, to the coaches, to the fans, there will be talk. Talk about whose team is better, whose fans are louder, and which team plays more effective defense. But it is on the court where the talking ceases and a team’s reputation is bolstered or crushed and the talk is exposed for what it really is; just talk or an announcement of the real thing.
In v14 we find Jesus in the temple doing, guess what? Talking. His teaching was and is revelatory and life-changing. The level of Jesus’ teaching was impressive to those Jews who heard it, but it prompted them to ask, “How does He know so much without being schooled?” (The Message) Based on what they knew about his background the $64,000 question was where did he get His skills? He wasn’t an alumna of a Division 1 Rabbinical school. And He wasn’t a graduate of the EFGH Holy Scripture Summer Camp. Who taught Him all that stuff? Just who was the fantastic teacher that produced such a brilliant student?
Jesus told those assembled at the temple courts that day to, “Stop judging by mere appearance, and make a right judgment.” It takes spiritual discipline to be able to sit and receive knowledge, wisdom, and understanding from someone we believe has absolutely nothing to teach us, from someone we perceive is not on our level intellectually, spiritually, and/or socially. But hear the voice of Jesus, “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.” As we draw nearer to Jesus during this time of fasting and sacrifice, ask God for the discernment necessary to recognize in the Sprit those teachers who don’t always look the part, but carry a teaching just for us that is not their own…It comes from the One who sent them.
Let’s Pray: Thank you in advance Lord for the spiritual insight, patience, and strength to hear and receive your Word from your chosen teachers. AMEN.