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The Teacher from Heaven

(John 7:14-18)

I. Introduction.
Education is one of the more important things
We pursue in the world today.
Its been said that knowledge is power and its true!
The more you study, the more you know,
The more power, the more influence you can have.

But what kind of knowledge is the most valuable?


What kind should you be pursuing?
Is it what Dale Carnegie believed
That which will help you win friends and influence people?
Is it what you need to become successful in your particular vocation?
What will give you the ability to make more money?
Or what will make you famous?

As Christians, you know theres something far more important


The knowledge of Gods kingdom:
How you can enter into it,
How you are to live in it,
And how you can become great in it.

You can have many friends;

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Be able to influence a lot of people;
Be the best at what you do;
Become rich and famous;
But you know when that Day comes
When God will judge all men,
None of these things are going to matter
The only thing that will
Is whether you will enter Gods kingdom,
And how great your reward will be.

If thats the case,


What can you do to learn more about it?
Theres really only one way
And that is through Christ.

The best way to learn anything


Is to be taught by someone who knows that subject well.
God has given us the best possible teacher:
He sent His Son into the world
That we might know His truth,
And by His grace, enter into heaven.

This morning, I want us to consider two things:


1. God has given us the best possible teacher in Jesus.
2. But the only way you can know He is, is if you are willing to submit to Him.

II. Sermon.
A. First, lets consider that God has given us the best possible teacher in Jesus.
1. We saw earlier in this chapter
That Jesus wasnt willing to go to Jerusalem
Because it wasnt yet His time.
He didnt mean He wasnt going up at all
Since not to have gone would have been sin:
This was a required feast
But that He wasnt going to go with them.
If He had gone up with them
In a public way, rather than secret
He likely would have been ambushed on the way
Outside the city, away from the people,
He would have been far more vulnerable.

Living the Christian life can be dangerous.


It wont make you popular in the eyes of the world.
Youll more likely make many enemies, as your Lord did.
But remember,
Jesus never commands you to put your life at risk unnecessarily
You dont have to put yourself in harms way
As many of the early Christians did
When they turned themselves over to the Romans for execution
Like Charles Wesley, you can hide yourself

Until the danger passes by.


Like Jesus, you can take a less conspicuous route
To go to where God would have you serve.

Jesus knew they had already reached the point


Where they wanted to kill Him,
Because He had healed a man on the Sabbath.
But the time He would lay down His life for His people
That He would lay down His life for you, if you have trusted Him
Had not yet come,
And so He wasnt willing to give Himself over into their hands.
He went up secretly.

2. Notice secondly, that this didnt mean that Jesus was a coward.
Even though He knew they wanted to kill Him,
He was still willing to do something very dangerous:
To teach His people publicly.
John writes in verse 14, But when it was now the midst of the feast Jesus went
up into the temple, and began to teach.

There are times when you can avoid danger,


But there are also times when you cant
When to do so would be to deny Jesus,
When doing Gods will is going to put you at risk.
When Stephen stood before the Sanhedrin

To answer the false charges laid at his feet,


He didnt hide his commitment to Christ to save his life
He boldly confessed Jesus as the Messiah
And denounced the sins of the Jewish Council
Knowing that to do so would likely mean his death (Acts 7).

There are times when you need to be willing


To face even death in serving your Lord.
But dont forget
When the Lord calls you to greater sacrifice,
He will not only give you the courage you need,
He will also give you a greater reward.

3. Third, notice the caliber of Jesus teaching:


Those who heard Him were amazed.
John writes in verse 15, The Jews then were astonished, saying, How has this
man become learned, having never been educated?
They couldnt believe
That someone who hadnt been educated in their schools,
Could know that much of Gods truth.

You dont have to go to colleges or theological schools


To learn what the Bible says
God has other ways He can teach you.

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How did Jesus know so much?
We might be tempted to think
It was because He is God in human flesh.
Thats true, but lets not forget
That as a man, Jesus had the limitations of a man:
He didnt have full access to His divine knowledge.
If He had, He would have known the day and hour
Of His coming in judgment against Jerusalem (Matt. 24:36).

We might also be tempted to think


That this knowledge came solely from the Holy Spirit.
That certainly had much to do with it.
John writes, For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives
the Spirit without measure (3:34).
The Spirit gave Jesus both knowledge
And the power to communicate that knowledge.

But lets also not forget that Jesus learned


In the same way you and I do.
We read earlier in Luke 2:40, The Child continued to grow and become strong,
increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him,
And in verse 52, And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor
with God and men.
Jesus had the greatest love and regard for His Fathers Word.
When His parents taught Him, He listened;
When He went to the synagogue, He paid attention;

When He went to the Temple, He asked questions;


Because He wanted to learn what His Father said.

If you want to learn the Bible,


You need to do the same.
You dont need to take a degree in Bible
Though some college/seminary training can be useful
But you do need teachers
Thats why God gave them
And you need to listen to those teachers
To those who teach in your home,
And to those who teach in the church.
You also need Gods Spirit.
Without Him, youll never have the regard for His Word you must have,
If you are to give Him the kind of attention you need to learn.

Jesus not only had a great deal of knowledge,


He also knew how to communicate it.
These Jews were astonished,
Not only by the depth of His knowledge,
But also by His ability to teach it.
At the end of this feast,
When the chief priests and Pharisees will send officers to take Him,
And they return empty handed,

They will ask them, Why did you not bring Him?
They will respond, Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks (John
7:45-46).

The Father has not only give us a Teacher,


He has given us the best of teachers:
One who knows His subject well,
Who can communicate it well,
And who does so from the heart,
By the power of the Spirit.
You and I would do well to listen
To what He has to tell us.

Let me just note in passing,


That if you want to teach well
Whether youre a teacher by profession,
Or a parent charged with teaching your children,
Or a believer who wants effectively to share your faith
Then follow this example:
Know your subject,
Learn to communicate it well,
And do so with the power
That can only come from a heart
That is in love with your subject.

Let me just note in passing


That Jesus didnt take any of the credit for this,
But gave all the glory to His Father.
His response to their astonishment was,
My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me (v. 16).
He again expresses His role as a Servant:
That He didnt come to glorify Himself, but His Father.
Since this bears on the point well be looking at this evening,
I wont say anything more about it here,
Except to say that when the Lord
Gives you the opportunity to teach,
You need to teach His truth
And give Him the glory/credit for it,
Not yourself.

The Father has given us the best


And the humblest
Teacher in Jesus.

B. Second, how can you know He really was sent from the Father?
That what He teaches really is Gods truth?
The only way you can, is if you are willing to submit to Him.
Jesus continues, If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching,
whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself (v. 17).

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If you are willing to do what He says,


You can know that what He says is from God.

1. Now Jesus isnt saying that what He teaches


Isnt equally as much His as the Fathers.
He is the Logos, the Word of God.
It was His Spirit that inspired the prophets of the Old Testament,
The same Spirit by which He spoke,
And the Spirit by which He would direct the writers of the New Testament.

He is speaking here as a man from His human nature


As One who came in the role of a servant,
As One who has limited knowledge and wisdom,
But who is declaring the boundless knowledge and wisdom
Which He possesses in His divine nature,
That which He learned,
And that which was communicated to Him by the Spirit,
As we saw before.

2. The question is: How can you know that what He says
Is Gods truth and not merely that of a man?
You can only know if you are willing to do His will.
What does He mean?

a. He means first that you can find out

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By testing it for yourself.


Believe it; submit to it; do it;
And you will see that its true.
David writes, O taste and see that the Lord is good (Ps. 34:8).
How can you know God is good?
You must come to Him and find out for yourself.

If you dont know whether Jesus is who He says He is


If youre not fully convinced that what He says is from God
Then come to Him and find out.
Repent and trust Him,
And see if He doesnt prove Himself to you.

b. But there is another sense in which


Your willingness to submit to His will
Will show you that He speaks Gods truth:
And that is through the witness of the Spirit.

How is it that anyone ultimately is willing to do Gods will?


Its only by the work of His Spirit.

We were born dead in sin,


Completely unable to do what God commands,
Because we were unwilling.

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Paul writes, The mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not
subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so (Rom.
8:7).

But the Spirit changed this when He saved us.


You were dead, and He made you alive (Eph. 2:4-6).
And when He raised you, He gave you the desire to obey.
Paul writes, For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good
works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them
(Eph. 2:10).

If you are willing to obey, you have His Spirit,


And if you have His Spirit, you also have His witness
That what He teaches is from God.
Thats what the two men learned
Who were traveling with Jesus on the road to Emmaus,
Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the
road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us? (Luke 24:32).
That burning of conviction
Was the witness of the Spirit
That what Jesus said was from God.

Do you have this witness of the Spirit?


You do, if you have His Spirit.
You do, if you have the desire to submit to Him.

If you dont, then come to Jesus


And ask Him for His Spirit.

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He is the only One who can give Him to you,


He is the only One who can save you.

This evening, well consider what Jesus has to tell us


In the final verse of this passage with regard to false prophets. Amen.
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