FOCUS: Meditate on the passage and write down your thoughts and observations OR do a S.O.A.P. study and select one verse to focus upon.
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Scripture: "And they were astonished at [Jesus'] teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes." —Mark 1:22 (ESV) [FULL CONTEXT (v. 22)]
Observation: Back in Jesus' time, when Rabbis and scribes would teach God's Law in the synagogues, they would add a lot of personal opinion and interpretation that was not always aligned with what the Scriptures actually said. They would sometimes use the opinions and interpretations of historically well-known teachers in an effort to bolster their credibility. But Jesus taught in such a way that implied to the people that He was THE authority on Scripture.
Those listening sensed this and were absolutely taken aback. No one had ever taught with such authority before, as though this teacher knew the Scripture as well as He knew His own writing. Little did they know at the time that this man was God incarnate, walking and talking in their presence!
We know from John 1:1 that Jesus is literally "the Word." He is definitely the authority on Scripture. He was there when the events of the Old Testament happened, witnessing and participating from God's point of view. He was there when the scribes originally wrote the Scriptures, and He knew exactly what God intended by what He said.
Application: Jesus deferred to Scripture as the absolute truth—without adding opinions or alternate interpretations from humans. He gave no credit to past rabbis, teachers, or scribes. He IS the Word—literally—so we can truth that what Jesus trusts, we can trust. What was written before is approved by Jesus and what He taught Himself is 100% trustworthy.
We should take Jesus' teachings as Truth over any human opinion, interpretation, or speculation. As human beings, we should handle the truth carefully so as not to add unbiblical opinions, interpretations, or speculations of our own (2 Timothy 2:15). Any teaching from a human source should be examined through the lens of Scripture for credibility. We should not allow the opinions of others to distract or contradict from what we already know to be true in God's Word, but rather measure all other human teachings against the Bible (1 Timothy 3:16).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word of truth. Please protect me from unbiblical influences and keep me from the confusion of unbiblical opinions that might lead me astray. Convict me with Your truth when I hear things that contradict Your Word. Amen.