They were amazed at His teaching, for His message was with authority.
—Luke 4:32

This week we are learning how to live our life’s purpose by looking at the example of Jesus. In Luke 4:31, we see that Jesus’s life was marked by authoritative teaching. After Jesus left Nazareth, “He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and He was teaching them on the Sabbath.” Jesus taught people on the Sabbath. The verb tense in Greek indicates that this was something He did regularly.

The power to transform people’s lives does not come from your words; it comes from God’s Word. If you are going to have a life that really counts, then you will instill God’s Word into the lives of others.

Luke 4:32 says, “They were amazed at His teaching, for His message was with authority.” What is it that gave Jesus’s message authority? It wasn’t His natural charisma. It wasn’t His booming voice. That’s not what gave His words authority. As I look at this passage of Scripture, I find three characteristics of Jesus’s teaching that gave Him true authority.

Number one: Jesus’s teaching was rooted in God’s Word. Mark’s account says, “He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Mark 1:22). When the scribes taught in the synagogue, they just quoted one expert after another, one opinion after another, and one tradition after another. But Jesus spoke with the authority of God Himself.

Number two: Jesus’s teaching was filled with application. In far too many churches today, the teacher unloads knowledge without any application–and the people go away unchanged. God gave us His Word not to make us smarter sinners but to make us obedient followers of Christ. Any teaching or preaching that lacks application isn’t from God. Look at what Jesus did: whether He was teaching through the Sermon on the Mount or through parables or through His discourse on the end times, He always included what we are supposed to do in light of that truth.

Number three: Jesus’s teaching was lived out in integrity. The word “integrity” means “undivided” or “whole.” A person who has integrity is a person whose life is in balance. There is no dichotomy between what he says and how he lives. However, that wasn’t true of the Pharisees. People knew the Pharisees weren’t living out what they professed to be true. If you are a teacher of God’s Word and you are not living out what you proclaim, then you have no authority. But Jesus lived out His message with integrity.

That’s why when Jesus taught, people sensed something was different. His teaching was rooted in the authority of God’s Word, He used practical application, and He lived it out in integrity.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “24” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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