There is a narrative arch from this passage to 9:8 that develops the nature of Jesus’ authority. This arch should cause us to consider that Jesus’ teaching authority flowed not from his own divinity, but from his reliance on the Father. His teaching authority was a feature of his humanity, albeit given by God. This then has clear implications for the teaching authority we exercise.
- Response: astonishment
- Trigger: teaching authority
- Response: fear and glorifying God
- Trigger: God’s authority given to man
To investigate: How did the scribes teach?
Two crucial pieces come to mind regarding our practice of teaching authority. First, such authority flows from a relationship of trust in and love for the Father. It is nothing we do, just as Jesus said about himself in John 8, “…I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me…” This means that alongside study of and immersion in the Scriptures, teachers must practice living a life of trust. This involves spending ample, INTENTIONAL time with the Father. It means following close behind Jesus and staying dusty (Arol McF’s great phrase from junior winter camp). It means learning to rely on the Spirit rather than the self. Second, such authority is always practiced with boldness and humility. This authority carries a dual recognition. God GAVE the authority for us to exercise, so we must do it boldly. GOD gave the authority for us to exercise, so we must do it humbly.
God, teach me to practice this trust-based authority and help me model and teach this to my students.
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“Unless otherwise noted Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.” http://www.esv.org/