Today we look at Paul’s time in Ephesus, where he had an effective ministry. This is true despite the fact that the city was full of demonic activity and there was serious opposition.
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14 About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. 15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?” 16 So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.
The religious leaders marveled at the teaching of Jesus. He never went to an elite Yeshivah. Nonetheless, his learning was evident. How did he get it? Jesus lets them know.
“My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.” In other words, he got it straight from his Father.
For the average pastor or Bible teacher, studying under others is a good thing. There are insights we are probably not going to gain by a little extra prayer or reading of the text. In a best-case scenario, that which we learn and learn well will still take longer.
In the case of Christ, who would be able to teach him? The rabbis were not always right, as their frequent arguments with Jesus indicate. They were not always wrong either, but what good would that have done Jesus in the end?
When God the Son came to earth, one of the biggest, silliest things that kept happening is that people repeatedly wanted to argue with him on topics of religion. They got angry when he didn’t see things their way. What they should have done is listened.
Let’s not imagine that we know more than Jesus. We are never going to teach him. When he disagrees with us, we can count on the fact that we ought to change our perspective. He knows best. We don’t. We will always do well to come to him with a receptive frame of mind, ears open and a heart ready to learn.
Dear God, holy Trinity, Father Son and Holy Spirit,
We believe that Jesus Christ is truly God and truly human, both at the same time.
We also acknowledge that, as God, Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth.
Please help us to be diligent students of your word so that we will believe rightly to the best of our ability.
We trust that right beliefs about you will lead to a better understanding of you.
Let this also lead to more complete obedience, better worship and a fuller appreciation for who you are and what you have done.
And prevent us from all forms of hypocrisy.