Scripture: About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning then he has never studied?”
So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 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 one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.” John 7:14-18
Observation: Speaking in the fear of God or speaking from confidence in a particular agenda? There is a difference in humble fear and self-confidence. Where is the heart in all of this?
Analysis: I cannot help but try to find myself in the Scriptures. The Word of God is a mysterious thing: It can be soothing, a balm to the soul. It can also be a steady, heart-rattling mirror of the heart. It is not either/or; it is both at the same time.
Because the Word of the Lord is eternal and I am not, there are times I cannot experience the “balm” and the “rattle” at the same time; I must seek one at times over the other.
Why does the Word have an effect in me? Because of the goodness of the Holy Spirit who sees my need and opens my heart and mind to His whisper.
Speculating on the attitude of the Jews in this passage, Jesus points out the two conflicting views: I have an Agenda, and, I have a desire for the will of God.
For me, these are important distinctions. One draws me to my feet to speak about what I see and the other drops me to my knees waiting to be sent.
It is confusing to say the least about it. In me it results in what I think is doublemindedness and keeps me unstable. Go or don’t go? Speak or keep silent? Be loud or be soft spoken?
What it does do for sure is keep me seeking God.
There is a good possibility that the “good” Jews of Jesus’ time spoke about “good” stuff, righteousness and morally upstanding stuff. Many do that today. But speaking and doing good and moral stuff isn’t instantly related to Godliness. In fact, doing good without fearing God, could be broadly considered works of the serpent. I must think about that some more: Good without God is evil?
Hammer point: Jesus continually hammers the Proverb: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” Prov 9:10
Prayer: Lord, I hope these candid words honor you. You see my fearful and quaking heart today. Help me O Lord.
I pray for my brothers and sisters in the church that they may find solace in the Fear of the Lord today. AMEN