Friday, January 11, 2013

A+ Jesus

Jesus Teaches at the Feast

John 7:14-24

14Not until halfway through the Feast did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. 15The Jews were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having studied?”
16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not My own. It comes from Him Who sent Me.
17If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether My teaching comes from God or whether I speak on My own. 18He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but He Who works for the honor of the One Who sent Him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about Him. 19Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill Me?”
20 “You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”
21Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all astonished. 22Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a child on the Sabbath. 23Now if a child can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the Law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with Me for healing the whole man on the Sabbath? 24Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.”

Verses 15-16 provides today’s topic: How much did Jesus get education?

Other than the descriptive statement in Luke 2:52 that Jesus advanced in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God, the Bible has no other details about His learning.  The common belief among Christians is that Jesus simply lived in Nazareth during that time span between Jesus’ childhood and the beginning of His public ministry.

Knowing from the gospel accounts, Joseph would have taught Jesus to work with wood as a village carpenter. This involved no education other than manual skills.

Education in the 1st Century AD in Palestine was very different than it is today. His was a family of moderate to lesser income from Joseph’s job as a ‘handyman'’of sorts, and a strong religious upbringing that taught all children the ‘Law of God’ and a ‘righteous’ way of life.

The community probably had 2-3 languages(Aramaic – Hebrew of Jesus’ time, Hellenistic Greek, Latin – language of Roman Empire) being used daily and the sponge-like minds of the children would have learned them all to aide in their family business, therefore their survival.

Besides their nurturing mother teaching the children God’s way of living, their father would have taught them the Scripture directly, as well as the family business where math skills were necessary. In fact, it was not unusual for people of their means to ‘hire’ (barter) for tutors to teach reading and basic writing/measures to the children.

Indeed, as the Temple experience when Jesus was 12 years of age reflects, the most learned men would have been in awe at Jesus’ knowledge and understanding of the Scripture. Surely people throughout His lifetime would have wanted to join in discussion/reading/debate with Him.

In Luke 4, we read of the beginning of Jesus’ ministry when He was invited to read from Isaiah 61. He did so without a flaw and with authority. Other stories tell of the learned Pharisees attempting to ‘trap’ Him in His understanding of the Law - they simply could not. Many reflected upon His wisdom that can only come from God’s word revealed in mankind.

Yet the Gospels are only about 10% about Jesus and 90% about the Father and His Coming Kingdom of God. Jesus was full of God's Holy Spirit and all things were revealed to Him in order for Him to fully complete His mission.

No school or university could have prepared Him to so perfectly complete this great task. He was wiser than Solomon and more faithful than Abraham. A better shepherd than Moses and a more righteous King than David.

Jesus Christ is the Greatest Man that ever lived and will return as King of kings to rule over the Kingdom of God He established. If this is your measure of ‘education,’ than He surely gets an A+.


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