"They were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority" ( Luke 4:31).
1 Thes 5:1-6. 9-11; Luke 4:31-37
Years ago, after a talk I had given, a woman who had been in the audience shared something I have never forgotten. She first said the talk was good, but that it was evident that some of my ideas were from books and others were from my own experience, and these were the most authentic and compelling.
When Jesus addressed the crowds, he seldom sounded like a scholar or theologian, offering concepts or abstract ideas. He spoke from his experience and observations of people. His preaching was mostly stories describing ordinary life, the labor of farmers, fishermen, housewives and businesspeople. His lessons hit home because they drew from the source of common experience.
But there was also a deeper dimension to his words. Jesus was in touch with the very source of truth, the Author of life. When he spoke of God, he was sharing Someone he knew personally, and he stirred the hearts of his audiences with the truth that they, too, could approach and know their God, because God loved them and knew them.
God sees each of us, knows us and loves us. If this were not so, we would cease to exist, for God’s love initiates and sustains us in time, guiding and correcting us toward the day when we will know God face to face. Jesus lived out his short human life securely fixed in this sustaining love. He began each day praying: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God is the Only God. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all you strength.” From that source and starting point, he therefore walked and talked from the authority, or source, or everything -- his heavenly Father, and ours. Let us do the same.
Reprinted from 2015