When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. (Matthew 7:28–29, NIV 1984).
My Musings – And so concludes the Sermon on the Mount. The people of the day were used to hearing “thus saith the LORD.” Here was this itinerant preacher from backwater Nazareth (“does anything good come from Nazareth?“) saying, “but I tell you.” Not with braggadocio, but “as one who had authority.” No footnote or annotation of a cited authority. None was necessary. His Word was all the authority needed. The “teachers of the law” could not handle it, but the “crowds were amazed at His teaching.”
And why not? The religious leaders’ teaching came from the written law handed down through Moses. Jesus’ authority came directly from the lawgiver. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18–20, NIV 1984).
My Advice – Feeling intimidated by a world that is pushing back on the teachings of Jesus? We need not be. “Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.’ ” (John 20:21–22, NIV 1984). Stand firm against the push back. Go, with the power of the Holy Spirit and with the full authority of the One who is sending you.
Inspired by Pastor Kevin Rutledge’s sermon on October, 17, 2021.