Jesus’ command of Scripture proves he was the incarnate Word
As we put his life in context, we see that he lived a life of disadvantages. In one of the darkest corners of world, and a land occupied by Roman troops, Jesus was born, grew up and eventually died.
At 12 he was able to stir wonder among the teachers of the law when he lingered to study with and question them after his parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover and started home thinking he was with the Nazareth families. Throughout his ministry his teaching was filled with quotations from the Torah, the prophets and the Psalms.
I have puzzled over that fact for years. Since he had been with Yahweh from the beginning, he knew those inspired writings from their original appearance. Was Jesus born with all the knowledge he has shared with his father from the beginning? Or did he have to rediscover those texts as a student in synagogue school? The answer to this problem has never become clear to me.
Jesus, talking with a group of doubting Jews in John 12, asserts: “I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just the Father told me to say” (emphasis mine).
So it appears that all Jesus taught was directed by God.
Jesus is clever and inventive as a teacher — as evidenced by parables and his abilities to confound the Pharisees and leaders of the Jews with his questions or interpretation of situations.
When his disciples are walking through a field of grain and take handfuls of the grain, mash them up and eat them in Matthew 12, Jesus is confronted by the Pharisees for violating the Sabbath (or at least permitting it with his disciples). He answers by recounting an obscure story in 1 Samuel about how David and his men were hungry and went into the house of God and ate the consecrated bread that was intended only for the priests as ordained in Leviticus 24:5 and 19.
He then looks at how the ministry of the priest required that they violate the commands about the Sabbath in Numbers 28:9-10. Finally, he quotes Hosea and Micah with “I desire mercy, not sacrifice,” suggesting that if they had understood this, they would not condemn him and his disciples.
According to Matthew, Jesus uses that quotation when he is asked about eating with tax collectors (in Matthew’s house after his call) and sinners. Jesus explains that it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but those who are sick — the tax collectors and sinners. Then he quotes Micah and Hosea’s statement that God desires mercy, not sacrifices. That principle becomes the center of many teachings by Jesus.
When Jesus goes to the desert after his baptism, he fasts and prays for 40 days. Then Satan begins creating tempting situations for Jesus. To each temptation, Jesus responds with quotations from Deuteronomy. He is armed with knowledge of Scripture. When he gives the beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-17, Luke 6:20-23), Jesus blends statements from Isaiah and Psalms 9, 17 and 24.
He also connects the story of Jonah in the fish’s belly to his own time in the grave before he returns to life as one of the important signs of his identity and the source of his power.
When Jesus tells the parable of the sower whose grain fell on different soils, his disciples afterward ask him why he speaks in parables. He replies, “The knowledge of the secret of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you and not to them.” He quotes Deuteronomy, Jeremiah and Ezekiel: “Though seeing they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.” He concludes with the prophecy from Isaiah: “For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise, they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.”
Jesus was indeed the embodiment of God’s will and word, for the past and for today. In him alone is salvation.
FeedbackOutstanding article. Keep up the good writing brother McBride. The one thing
you did not mention specifically that I remembered as I read the article is that Jesus knows the word of God because He is the Word of God, Jn.1:1ff.Billy Ray HarperChurch of ChristDallas, TX
USAOctober, 22 2009