14About the middle of the festival Jesus went up into the temple and began to teach. 15The Jews were astonished at it, saying, "How does this man have such learning, when he has never been taught?" 16Then Jesus answered them, "My teaching is not mine but his who sent me. 17Anyone who resolves to do the will of God will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own. 18Those who speak on their own seek their own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and there is nothing false in him.
19"Did not Moses give you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why are you looking for an opportunity to kill me?" 20The crowd answered, "You have a demon! Who is trying to kill you?" 21Jesus answered them, "I performed one work, and all of you are astonished. 22Moses gave you circumcision (it is, of course, not from Moses, but from the patriarchs), and you circumcise a man on the sabbath. 23If a man receives circumcision on the sabbath in order that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because I healed a man's whole body on the sabbath? 24Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment."
25Now some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, "Is not this the man whom they are trying to kill? 26And here he is, speaking openly, but they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Messiah? 27Yet we know where this man is from; but when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.' 28Then Jesus cried out as he was teaching in the temple, "You know me, and you know where I am from. I have not come on my own. But the one who sent me is true, and you do not know him. 29I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me." 30Then they tried to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31Yet many in the crowd believed in him and were saying, "When the Messiah comes, will he do more signs than this man has done?"
32The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering such things about him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent temple police to arrest him. 33Jesus then said, "I will be with you a little while longer, and then I am going to him who sent me. 34You will search for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come." 35The Jews said to one another, "Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? 36What does he mean by saying, 'You will search for me and you will not find me' and 'Where I am, you cannot come'?"
Jesus did not go to seminary to get his Master of Divinity. He did not take classes in biblical theology, preaching, or world missions. Jesus was taught by no professor because he did not sit under anyone's feet to learn about God, for God the Father and God the Son were always in intimate fellowship. Jesus' classroom was an eternal one which had no beginning. And out of this "classroom," Jesus taught about God the Father and the nature of the Kingdom of God.
In the time of Jesus, Jewish men received an impressive education in their faith. Every young boy was taught Scripture in the local synagogue and daily conversations in the home and on the streets were filled with teachings from the Bible. To know God and God's ways were the supreme objectives in life.
That Jesus taught without having been tutored by someone else bewildered many and offended the teachers of the Law who were stymied in their theological arguments with Jesus. Had those who heard Jesus believed Jesus when he said that his teaching came directly from the Father their bewilderment and offense would have evaporated.
Jesus taught truth because he knew truth. Jesus taught with authority because he had authority. In fact, we might say Jesus is Truth and Jesus is Authority.
For Jesus' disciples, including all of us, we need to sit at someone's feet to learn about God and God's ways. That someone is Jesus. Jesus uses pastors and teachers and others to teach about God and God's ways. We don't need to argue about that. But we need to remind ourselves that the Teacher behind the human teacher is Christ. May we learn to sit at the Lord's feet to receive the truth and revelation we need to grow in God and God's ways.
Let's pray: We confess that you are our Teacher, Lord Jesus. Help us to come under you to learn from you, through your Word and in the place of prayer. Our minds need the transformation that only you can give. Our hearts need the sanctifying love that only you can offer. May the Holy Spirit become more and more the Spirit of Truth in our lives as we submit ourselves happily under your tutelage. In your name, amen.