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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Case for Christianity

Don Stewart :: Jesus' View of His Own Teachings

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Chapter 12 – Jesus’ View of His Own Teachings

They Were Absolutely Authoritative

This chapter establishes what Jesus thought about His own words. We discover that He considered them to be absolutely authoritative on every subject in which He spoke about. He had no doubts that His words were to be listened to and obeyed. We give eleven different reasons why this is so. The obvious conclusion is that Jesus expects us to heed His teachings and to obey everything which He said.

We have seen that Jesus viewed the Old Testament as the authoritative Word of God. He trusted everything that was written in it. Indeed, He confirmed many of the accounts including some of the most disputed ones. Now we consider how He looked at His own teachings. How did He consider His own words? Did He consider them as authoritative?

Jesus Considered His Words Aas Authoritative

From the New Testament, we find that Jesus also considered His own words as binding. When He spoke, He spoke as the voice of authority. Jesus claimed complete truth for all His teaching. The evidence is as follows.

His Words Would Never Pass Away

Jesus said that His words would remain eternally. Matthew records Jesus saying the following:

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

Jesus said that His words would exist eternally; they would never pass away. Now we note that this prediction has been literally fulfilled.

He Contrasted His Words with Those of Others

Jesus made certain statements where 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 from the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus said,

“You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the high council. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.” (Matthew 5:21, 22 NLT)

Here Jesus contrasts His words with those written earlier.

Jesus’ Statements Were Prefaced by “Truly, Truly”

Jesus made solemn statements prefaced by the phrase “truly, truly.” John recorded Jesus saying,

“Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.” (John 3:3 NRSV)

The words of Jesus were meant to be heeded, not ignored.

Wise People Listened to His Words

Jesus compared those who obeyed His words to wise men or wise people. He said that those who did not pay attention to His teachings were to be compared to foolish men or foolish people. He concluded the Sermon on the Mount with the following words:

“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.” (Matthew 7:24-26 HCSB)

Notice the contrast. The wise people listened to Jesus while the foolish did not.

He Will Be Ashamed of Those Who Are Ashamed of Him

Jesus words were of such high value that those who were ashamed of them, He Himself would be ashamed of these people. Mark records Jesus saying,

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

Jesus will be ashamed of those who are ashamed of Him.

Those Who Understand Jesus’ Teaching Bear Spiritual Fruit

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

“And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” (Matthew 13:23 NASB)

The ones who understand the teachings of Jesus will bear spiritual fruit.

The Apostle Paul later explained what the fruit of the Spirit consisted of:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 TNIV)

The disciples of Jesus will produce these qualities.

They Were Blessed to See and Hear Jesus

Jesus told His disciples that their eyes were blessed to see Him and their ears were blessed to hear His words. He said,

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

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

His Words Are True

Jesus considered His words were true. Matthew records Jesus saying the following:

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these things from wise and intelligent people and revealing them to little children. Yes, Father, this is what pleased you. My Father has turned everything over to me. Only the Father knows the Son. And no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son is willing to reveal him.” (Matthew 11:25-27 God’s Word)

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

All Authority Has Been Given unto Him

The last thing that Matthew records Jesus commanding His disciples is that they should go and preach His message. Jesus claimed that all authority had been given over to Him. He said,

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit...” (Matthew 28:19 NKJV)

His authority is over everything. This is a fantastic claim!

Eternal Life Is Dependent upon Believing His Words

Jesus also made the monumental statement that eternal life depended upon believing His words. He said,

“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life. Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.” (John 5:24, 25 NRSV)

Where we spend eternity will be determined by how we view Jesus’ words.

His Teaching Had Its Origination from Above

According to Jesus, His teaching originated from heaven. We read the following in John’s gospel:

The Jewish leaders were surprised when they heard him. “How does he know so much when he hasn’t studied everything we’ve studied?” they asked. So Jesus told them, “I’m not teaching my own ideas, but those of God who sent me. Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own.” (John 7:15-17 NLT)

Jesus’ teaching was heavenly in origin, not earthly.

Conclusion to Jesus’ View of His Own Teachings

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:

  1. His words would never pass away.
  2. He made certain authoritative statements where He contrasted His words with those of others.
  3. Jesus made solemn statements prefaced by, “Truly, truly.”
  4. Wise men listened to His words, foolish men did not.
  5. Jesus will be ashamed of those who are ashamed of Him.
  6. The ones who understand the teachings of Jesus bear fruit.
  7. The eyes of Jesus’ disciples were blessed to see Him and their ears were blessed to hear His words.
  8. Jesus believed His words were true.
  9. He claimed that all authority had been given to Him.
  10. He said eternal life depended upon how one responded to His words.
  11. He said His teaching originated from heaven.

Now that we know how Jesus viewed His own teachings, the next section looks at what Christ had to say with respect to the New Testament.

Jesus' View of the Old Testament ← Prior Section
Jesus' View of the New Testament Next Section →
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