1 Chronicles 13-15 John 7:1-27
“When the feast was about half over, Jesus went to the Temple and began to teach. The people were amazed and said, ‘This man has never studied in school. How did he learn so much?’ Jesus answered, ‘The things I teach are not my own, but they come from him who sent me.’” (John 7:14-16 NCV)
After enduring the taunting from His brothers about going to the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus ended up going. Who, what, and where Jesus was, became a recurring topic of discussion on the streets during the celebration. Then, in the middle of the Feast, Jesus made His appearance. He showed up at the Temple and began teaching in the Temple courts. This ignited a frenzy that included questions about His academic credentials. They wondered about His schooling, which, according to the customs meant the rabbi He studied under, just as His disciples learned from Him. Jesus schooled them by noting that His education came from God the Father. It became a discussion on those seeking to kill Jesus and healings on the Sabbath. The crowd had split opinions on the nature of Jesus before He taught, and His teachings seemed to confirm the bias that each person had before they started listening to Jesus.
I love education. I had a long career as a teacher – mostly to middle school kids. I earned a Master’s Degree. My wife is currently doing doctoral studies. Education is wonderful. It’s too easy, though, to lean on credentials and the letters you can list after your name than on a relationship with God. When the people asked Jesus about His studies, He let them know that His wisdom came from His time with God. Martin Luther noted that a plowboy with the Scriptures is mightier than the greatest Pope without them. Jesus spent His time not listening to others talk about God, but with the Father, learning from Him. That doesn’t mean that we glory in ignorance. I’ve seen preachers proudly proclaim that they don’t have a seminary degree and that all they learned, they learned from God. Then, when I heard them preach, I cringed and thought to myself, “Please don’t blame God for what you’re doing now.” We should study to learn all we can. We should get the degrees we’re able to get. Studying should sharpen our minds. An education is a great thing to have, but we must always remember that there’s no greater education than walking daily with God.
Oh Lord, help me to spend time with You and learn from You. May all my decisions, all my work, all my thoughts, and all my words show others that I’ve been spending time with You. Let all of those things inspire others to seek you.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.