Last post I looked at Jesus’ words recorded in John 7. The religious establishment asked how this Galilean could possibly have received such perfect understanding. Where did he get it all? Of course, you know where it came from.
“My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.”
His teaching was not his at all. He had no input of his own. No initiative. No imaginative content. Nothing from the Son of Man. His teaching was one hundred percent from the One who had sent him—his Father.
This has enormous implications for us all.
Are you a teacher? So where does your teaching come from? From God, or does it come from another source, for example, from yourself, or your denomination, or what you learned from respected teachers, or your wisdom or your own private interpretation of the scriptures? Or from your smorgasbord of selections from well known preachers?
It’s pretty risky to see yourself as a teacher, don’t you think? James in his letter warns that teachers will be judged more critically. Have a look. Maybe you should quit.
Jesus told us “call no one Rabbi for One is your Teacher and you are all brothers”. So how can we go on thinking of ourselves as teachers of people who “sit under my ministry” or who follow our blog posts, people who must be protected because there are so many false teachers out there. Maybe you are even in competition with others—your teaching is wiser, more biblical, more accurate than his or hers.
But even Jesus did not see himself as an original teacher but as reproducing the Father’s. Yet millions seek not God, the One who is The Teacher, but selected persons and invest all their listening in these human teachers.
You still want to be a teacher? Why? To win respect? Get praise? Receive glory? Entertain? Be applauded?
He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but he who is seeking the glory of the one who sent him, he is true, and there is no unrighteousness in him. John 7:17–18
Aren’t we supposed to be living in a new covenant where no longer does “each one instruct his brother”? but in which “all know me—from the least to the greatest”? by which the Holy Spirit is freely given to all disciples to guide us into all truth and remind us of what Jesus taught? in which we all “have an anointing from the Holy One”.
The Holy Spirit is greatly under-employed.
Maybe you need to work yourself out of this job by encouraging everyone who hears you to be “teachers” themselves as it says in the letter to the Hebrews, instead of you spoon feeding them. Seek only the glory of the One who sends you.
Of course, most preachers insist their stuff comes “from the Bible”. But that’s also what the purveyors of the most weird anti-christian stuff say too. Scary.
Would you agree that if the Lord Jesus had no original teaching himself but everything came from the one who sent him, that you must follow Jesus and copy him and “be as he was in the world” and be of no reputation?
Do you have any authority to go beyond that? To teach anything different? Moses was forbidden to vary anything in building the tabernacle after the heavenly pattern. We have the pattern for working in the new covenant—it is Jesus. We must imitate him. Humble ourselves. Reckon ourselves having died to our own wills and ambitions.
You must not seek your own glory but God’s glory alone. For you have died and your life is now hid in Christ with God– remember?
You must not speak from yourself—the true teacher from God must not bring anything beyond what God has said in his son Jesus Christ.
Is that not so?