“…the crowds were amazed at his teaching…”
It is fascinating to listen to people talk. Some people do not really know how much they are saying when they speak. For example when someone criticises another person for wasteful spending they may be displaying a covetous spirit that would love to have money to throw around.
I recall one situation where a parent bitterly criticised the youth pastor for not doing a good job with the church’s youth. The sad fact was the parent, by all accounts, had done a poor job of raising their own children.
Sometimes when we speak we say too much unintentionally. A mother I knew many years ago was always on to her daughter about finding a “kindred spirit” of a friend. The daughter was well adjusted and happy with the friends she had. She did not understand why her mom continually urged her to find a special friend. The sad truth was that the mom did not have any close friends and was projecting her own anxieties onto her child.
So when we listen to what people say, and how they said it, we may be learning about their secret issues in life. Obviously by listening to people talk we learn more than their problems. We can learn about their knowledge on subjects, their interests, and so on.
When Jesus walked this earth He certainly had a lot of people listening to Him speak. He also had a very attentive audience. He amazed people on various occasions with His teaching. (Matthew 7:28; 13:54; 22:33). Jesus seemed to have a unique authority and was regarded as unusually wise and learned.
At times Jesus put His teaching on a par with the Jewish Scriptures, the Torah, or the Old Testament. Several times in Matthew 5 Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said (meaning the Old Testament)…but I, I say to you…”. Jesus used the emphatic “I” on these occasions to stress the origin of His teaching as being Himself.
On another occasion Jesus was in a place and the friends of a lame man tried to bring him to Jesus but the crowd stopped them. So they went up on the roof, dug up a portion of it and lowered the paralytic down to the feet of Jesus.
Jesus told the man his sins were forgiven. Some of the religious leaders thought to themselves, that Jesus uttered blasphemy as only God can forgive sins. They thought Jesus was pretending He was God. However, they were half right and half wrong. They were right in that only God can forgive sins. That is clear in the Old Testament.
However, they were wrong to think that Jesus was not God. Jesus spoke about forgiving sins because He was God and could forgive sins. He sought to demonstrate to the people His divine authority. Jesus, knowing they were thinking He was pretending to be God and thus committing blasphemy asked them a question.
“Which is easier,” Jesus said, “to heal the man or forgive him his sins?” Well, obviously both were equally hard. The doctors of the time could not heal the man so it would take more than a man to heal him. Jesus then told the man to get up and walk. The man did.
Jesus thus said He was God and no one could disprove His claim. Do you have a relationship with the One who said He was God when here on earth? He proved He was God by using supernatural powers to heal the sick, raise the dead, and by coming back from the dead Himself. Do you see that you can trust such an amazing person? He offers all of us the forgiveness of sins. He alone can do it because He is God. Come to Him and come today.