Teaching with Authority

In John 7, John the Apostle writes about how Jesus secretly went up to Jerusalem to attend the Feast of Booths (a very happy feast in Jewish tradition, which is actually still practiced today). The Jews looked for Him but did not find Him, because He traveled there privately. In the middle of the feast, John records, Jesus walked up into the temple and began teaching. The Jews were amazed at how He taught, and asked each other how Jesus learned what He spoke of, if He was never taught. 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 7:16-18 ESV).

While this is undoubtedly telling about the identity of Jesus as the Son of God, it is also encouraging to us as believers. Jesus had the Holy Spirit – the same One we have – and spoke confidently and authoritatively. Continue reading “Teaching with Authority”

So That Nothing Worse May Happen

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. … Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” (John 5:1-9,14)

We’ve all heard the story of the invalid man whom Jesus heals on the Sabbath. What is important is what few really look hard at – Jesus’ intent behind his words in the last sentence.  Continue reading “So That Nothing Worse May Happen”

Following

As I was reading the first chapter of John yesterday morning, I came upon a section of text which I had not previously understood the full context of – when Jesus calls His first disciples. John 1:35-39 goes like this:

The next day again John [the Baptist] was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.

Continue reading “Following”

Rest

It’s a curious word, rest. It means a lot of things. Sleep, relaxation, entertainment, Sabbath, zoning out the way a college student does in his dorm after a day of classes, you know. But I’ve found that while a lot of people know what rest looks like in the dictionary, few actually know what it is in its essentials.

Growing up in church, I heard the term “rest” quite a bit. Going to a Christian university, even more so. It wasn’t until I was 20, spending a year at camp working on who I am, that I actually understood what it is. And it wasn’t until a year later that I really understood how it’s done. That’s appalling. Because to spend that much time at church and learning, but not learning this core thing, is not good at all. Continue reading “Rest”