Halfway through the Feast of Tabernacles, our Lord began teaching at the temple. Jesus Christ taught with mastery and authority (see Matthew 7:28-29). He asserted the heavenly origin of His authority. He did not receive his teaching from other men, as did the rabbis of His day. Nor did His teachings come from Himself, as though concocted by a mere man's imagination. Rather, His teaching and authority came from heaven, from God the Father (see also John 8:26-29, 40; 12:44-50).
In this passage, our Lord also asserted the self-authenticating nature of His teaching. He said, "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself" (John 7:17). The willing, obedient heart will know that Christ is the representative of God on earth, actually God the Son -- in the flesh. Doing God's will is knowing God's will. Obeying the truth leads to more truth. On the other hand, the rebellious heart that is always demanding more convincing proofs will never be convinced.
Thirdly, our Lord asserted the God-glorifying aim of His teaching. His whole life on earth was a laying aside of His glory in order to bring glory to His Father. This is a good test of any ministry. A truly biblical ministry will not seek to bring glory to any mere man or organization, but rather, solely seek to bring glory to God. As John the Baptist said regarding himself in light of God the Son; "He must increase, but I must decrease."
Dr. Hamp Edward Linehan is Pastor of Reformed Baptist Church of Ft. Worth, Texas, where he has preached since 1999. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Texas, his Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and...