“How has this man become learned, not having been educated?”
John 7:1-30 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
After these things Jesus was walking in Galilee, for He was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him. 2 Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near. 3 So His brothers said to Him, “Move on from here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing. 4 For no one does anything in secret when he himself is striving to be known publicly. If You are doing these things, show Yourself to the world.” 5 For not even His brothers believed in Him. 6 So Jesus said to them, “My time is not yet here, but your time is always ready. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify about it, that its deeds are evil. 8 Go up to the feast yourselves; I am not going up to this feast, because My time has not yet fully arrived.” 9 Now having said these things to them, He stayed in Galilee.
10 But when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as though in secret. 11 So the Jews were looking for Him at the feast and saying, “Where is He?” 12 And there was a great deal of talk about Him in secret among the crowds: some were saying, “He is a good man”; others were saying, “No, on the contrary, He is misleading the people.” 13 However, no one was speaking openly about Him, for fear of the Jews.
14 But when it was now the middle of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple area, and began to teach. 15 The Jews then were astonished, saying, “How has this man become learned, not having been educated?” 16 So Jesus answered them and said, “My teaching is not My own, but His who sent Me. 17 If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know about the teaching, whether it is of God, or I am speaking from Myself. 18 The one 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.
19 “Did Moses not give you the Law, and yet none of you carries out the Law? Why are you seeking to kill Me?” 20 The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who is seeking to kill You?” 21 Jesus answered them, “I did one deed, and you all are astonished. 22 For this reason Moses has given you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and even on a Sabbath you circumcise a man. 23 If a man receives circumcision on a Sabbath so that the Law of Moses will not be broken, are you angry at Me because I made an entire man well on a Sabbath? 24 Do not judge by the outward appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
25 So some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Is this man not the one whom they are seeking to kill? 26 And yet look, He is speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to Him. The rulers do not really know that this is the Christ, do they? 27 However, we know where this man is from; but when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from.” 28 Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, “You both know Me and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. 29 I do know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me.” 30 So they were seeking to arrest Him; and yet no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.
In today’s text it says: When it was now the middle of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple area, and began to teach. The Jews then were astonished, saying, “How has this man become learned, not having been educated?” So Jesus answered them and said, “My teaching is not My own, but His who sent Me. If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know about the teaching, whether it is of God, or I am speaking from Myself. The one 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.” Jesus needed no formal education because He was the Word made flesh. He was and is the revelation of God’s will. Education is good, but human knowledge does not assure that the teaching will be of God. Even among Biblical scholars, there are many different doctrines and interpretations of scripture. Some are merely different sides of the truth, while others which stray from God’s will, are false and deceiving. 1 Corinthians 2:7-16 says: We speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written: “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the human heart, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among people knows the thoughts of a person except the spirit of the person that is in him? So also the thoughts of God no one knows, except the Spirit of God. Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God. We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. But the one who is spiritual discerns all things, yet he himself is discerned by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. Those who rely on human wisdom do not accept and cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God, they are foolishness to them. The one who relies on the Spirit has the mind of Christ. In John 14:26 Jesus says: The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. If the Holy Spirit is to bring to our remembrance the things that Jesus said, it is necessary that we have heard or read what He said. There are thousands of books that are written about what Jesus said, but it is important that we read the one book that says what He said and allow the Holy Spirit to teach us.
In the text, Jesus said to His brothers: The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify about it, that its deeds are evil. In John 15:18-25 Jesus says: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you as well; if they followed My word, they will follow yours also. But all these things they will do to you on account of My name, because they do not know the One who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. The one who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. But this has happened so that the word that is written in their Law will be fulfilled: ‘They hated Me for no reason.’” If we have the mind of Christ, if we are aligned with His words and His will, if we testify, like Him that the deeds of our culture are evil, people will not only think we are foolish, but they will hate us. Hebrews 4:12 says: The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. In Matthew 10:34-36 Jesus says: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’” There are many things that divide us in our culture and society and there are many people who seek to fan the flames of division around politics, race, gender, wealth, education and any other thing that is different about us. As believers though, if we are divided, if we are hated by the world, may it be for the cause of Christ and His word.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ, precious Holy Spirit, teach me Your will and Your way. Give me understanding, give me the mind of Christ that I would be aligned with You. Amen.