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Amazed by His Teaching

A popular website allows students to rate their college professors. The evaluations rate the professor by overall quality and level of difficulty. Students can also include comments about their experience. How would Jesus have scored on such a site? According to Matthew 7:28, His students were “amazed” by His teaching.

One of Jesus’ most notable features was His authority. The teachers of the law in Jesus’ day often quoted those under whom they had studied or other widely recognized teachers as the authority for what they said. Jesus appealed directly to Scripture and to His own authority. Another reason Jesus’ teaching left people “amazed” is that He often included provocative statements and parables.

But not everyone who heard Jesus was “amazed” in a good way. Jesus was no entertainer and wasn’t trying to earn a good rating from those who listened. Even His own followers were sometimes alarmed by what He said (Matt. 15:12). Jesus’ teaching could be disturbing and even mystifying. What He said was not always simple, nor was it always easy to accept. Some people portray Jesus as a homespun philosopher who taught people using simple stories. In today’s lesson about the wise and foolish builders, the message was hard hitting. Jesus’ teaching astonished His friends and outraged His enemies, angering them so much that they wanted to kill Him.

We need to pay careful attention to the warning Jesus gives (vv. 26–27). We must build our lives on a solid foundation. Jesus’ assessment of those who reject His teaching is characteristically blunt. Whoever ignores the teaching of Jesus is a fool.

>> If you are struggling with Christ’s teaching today, ask God to give you understanding and a heart filled with faith. What Jesus teaches is not common sense. It is revelation from God. Because of this, we need the help of God’s Spirit both to understand and accept what Jesus has to say.

BY Dr. John Koessler

Dr. John Koessler, who retired as professor emeritus from Moody Bible Institute, formerly served in the division of applied theology and church ministry. John and his wife Jane enjoy living in a lakeside town in Michigan. A prolific writer, John’s books include The Radical Pursuit of Rest (InterVarsity), The Surprising Grace of Disappointment (Moody), and True Discipleship (Moody). John is a contributing editor and columnist for Today in the Word.

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