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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: Is the Bible the Authoritative Word of God?

Don Stewart :: How Did Jesus View His Own Teaching?

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How Did Jesus View His Own Teaching?

Is the Bible the Authoritative Word of God – Question 19

Jesus viewed the Old Testament as the authoritative Word of God. He believed that it was true in all that it said. But what did Jesus think about His own teaching? How did He view the things that He said? Did He believe that His teaching carried divine authority?

Jesus Considered His Words to Be Absolutely Authoritative

It is clear from Scripture that Jesus considered His words as binding. When He spoke, He spoke as the voice of authority. Jesus claimed complete truth for all His teaching. We can make the following observations about what He said:

1. His Words Would Never Pass Away

Jesus said that His words would remain eternally. We read the following claim of Jesus that is recorded by Matthew:

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. (Matthew 24:35 ESV)

This statement reveals the authority Jesus believed He had; His words had eternal duration and value.

2. Jesus Contrasted His Words to Others in the Past

Jesus made certain statements in which He contrasted His words with those previously written and spoken by others. He put His own words on an entirely new level. We find many such statements like the following in the Sermon on the Mount. He said:

“You have heard that it was said to an older generation, ‘Do not murder,’ and ‘whoever murders will be subjected to judgment.’ But I say to you that anyone who is angry with a brother will be subjected to judgment. And whoever insults a brother will be brought before the council, and whoever says ‘Fool’ will be sent to fiery hell.” (Matthew 5:21-22 NET)

Time and time again Jesus contrasted His words with those of others. He believed His words carried ultimate authority.

3. Jesus Prefaced Certain Statements by the Solemn Words “Truly, Truly”

Jesus made solemn statements prefaced by the phrase “truly, truly” or “I tell you the truth.” He said the following to the religious leader Nicodemus:

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 ESV)

These solemn words used by Jesus shows that He considered His words to have the utmost value and authority.

4. Wise Men Listened to His Words; Foolish Ones Did Not

Jesus compared those who obeyed His words to wise men. He said those who did not pay attention to His teachings were to be compared to foolish men. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said the following to the crowd:

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. (Matthew 7:24-26 TNIV)

The acceptance or rejection of the words of Jesus divide humanity into two groups; wise or foolish.

5. He Will Be Ashamed of Those Who Are Ashamed of Him and His Words

Jesus’ words were of the highest value. Those who were ashamed of His words would find Jesus ashamed of them. Mark’s gospel records Jesus saying the following:

For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels. (Mark 8:38 NKJV)

Jesus assumed that those who did not accept Him and His teachings would be ashamed on the Day of Judgment.

6. Those Who Understand Jesus’ Teaching Bear Fruit

In the parable of the sower, those who are the fruit bearers are the ones who understand Jesus’ teaching. Jesus said:

But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Matthew 13:23 NKJV)

Understanding the words of Jesus caused people to bear mature spiritual fruit.

7. The People Were Highly Blessed to See Jesus and Hear Him Teach

Jesus told His disciples that their eyes were blessed to see Him and that their ears were blessed to hear His words. Matthew records Jesus saying the following:

But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. (Matthew 13:16-17 ESV)

According to Jesus, many prophets, kings and righteous people had desired to hear the things His own disciples heard. Yet they had not heard them because Jesus did not appear at their time in history.

8. His Words Are True

Jesus considered that His words were true. Matthew records Jesus praying to God the Father:

At that time Jesus answered and said, “I praise you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you did hide these things from the wise and intelligent and did reveal them to babes. Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in your sight. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal him.” (Matthew 11:25-27 NET)

His true words are revealed to the humble, not to the arrogant.

9. All Authority Has Been Given Unto Him

The last thing that Matthew records in his gospel is Jesus commanding His disciples that they should go and preach His message. Jesus claimed that all authority had been given over to Him. Matthew writes:

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 TNIV)

His message of the forgiveness of sins needs to be brought to everybody.

10. Eternal Life Is Dependent upon Believing His Words

Jesus also made the monumental statement that eternal life depended upon believing His words. John records Jesus saying:

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. (John 5:24-25 RSV)

Humanity is divided into two groups: those who accept His teaching for what it claims to be, and those who do not.

11. His Teaching Had Its Origination from Above

According to Jesus, His teaching originated from heaven. We read about this in John’s gospel. It says:

The Jews therefore were marveling, saying, “How has this man become learned, having never been educated?” Jesus therefore answered them, and said, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. If any one is willing to do his will, they shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from myself.” (John 7:15-17 NET)

The teachings of Jesus were not from this world system. They were the teachings of God Himself. Jesus emphasized that God the Father, the One who sent Him, was truthful. We read the following in John’s gospel:

As Jesus was teaching in the temple, he shouted, “Do you really think you know me and where I came from? I didn’t come on my own! The one who sent me is truthful, and you don’t know him.” (John 7:28 CEV)

On another occasion, we read the following conversation between Jesus and the religious leaders. This episode is also recorded in the gospel of John:

“Who are you?” they asked Jesus. Jesus answered, “I am exactly who I told you at the beginning. There is a lot more I could say to condemn you. But the one who sent me is truthful, and I tell the people of this world only what I have heard from him.” (John 8:26 CEV)

Jesus claimed that His teaching was from God the Father. Since God the Father is always truthful, and since Jesus faithfully taught what God the Father taught Him, then His teaching is always true. We read in John’s gospel:

He testifies to what He has seen and heard, yet no one accepts His testimony. The one who has accepted His testimony has affirmed that God is true. For God sent Him, and He speaks God’s words, since He gives the Spirit without measure. (John 3:32-34 HCSB)

Therefore, we find Jesus claiming absolute authority in the things that He taught and the things that He did; He believed that He was Lord of all.

Summary – Question 19
How Did Jesus View His Own Teaching?

From the biblical evidence, we discover that Jesus considered His teaching to be authoritative on whatever subject He dealt with. When He spoke, He expected people to listen and obey because His words were the words of God.

We learn the following about Jesus’ view of His own words. His words would never pass away. He made certain authoritative statements where He contrasted His words with those of others. Jesus made solemn statements prefaced by, “Truly, truly.”

Wise men listened to His words; foolish men did not. Jesus said that He will be ashamed of those who are ashamed of Him. The ones who understand the teachings of Jesus bear spiritual fruit; those who do not understand will not.

The eyes of Jesus’ disciples were blessed to see Him, and their ears were blessed to hear His words. Jesus believed His words were true. He claimed that all authority had been given to Him. He said eternal life depended upon how one responded to His words.

He also said that His teaching originated from heaven. Consequently, we see that Jesus viewed His teaching as absolutely authoritative on every matter in which He spoke about.

How Did the New Testament Writers, Apart from the Four Gospels, View the Old Testament? ← Prior Section
What Was Jesus’ View of the New Testament? Next Section →
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