Vol. 7, No. 11
~ Page 6 ~
At the time of Christ, the scribes and rabbis did most of the teaching of the Scriptures. The rabbis and scribes never ventured to say anything without giving the authority of some earlier rabbi. They did not like to give judgments based on their own thinking, but on the thinking of others who had lived before.
It was looked upon badly among themselves to give any hint or suspicion that they were giving their own decision on any matter. No address of any rabbi had any value without the superstitious addition of something like, "Thus say the wise."
It is told of Hillel, the great rabbi, that on one occasion, he discoursed on a certain matter all day long, but the people refused to receive his teaching until he added, "So I heard from Shemaia and Abtalion."
Jesus did not teach like this. He many times taught using the phrase, "I say." In Matthew 5-7, Christ gave the lesson known as the Sermon on the Mount. You can read those chapters and see that several times Jesus used the phrase, " I say." Jesus could use this phrase because he was the Son of God. He was God. He spoke the very words of God.
In Matthew 7:28-29, we come to the close of the sermon. We read that the people were astonished at his doctrine because he did not teach like the scribes. Jesus taught as one having authority. Since he was neither a rabbi nor a scribe, this was even more impressive. He was willing to go against peer pressure and teach the truth without worrying about what the scribes and rabbis would think.
I am thankful that Jesus was willing to come to earth for us. I am thankful that he was willing to stand up and teach the truth. I am thankful that he was willing to withstand peer pressure. I am thankful that he loved us enough to die for us.
Keep studying your Bible. Learn all you can from the One who was willing and able to say, "I say." And if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.
In 2 Corinthians 5: 14-15, we read, "For the love of God constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead. And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again." The word "constraineth" is from the Greek word sunecho. It means to press hard or to restrict. Thus, the verse above says that the love of God presses us hard and restricts us. What does that mean?
If we love God, we will not live any way which we choose. We cannot go on sinning and say that we love God. We cannot be liars and cheats. We cannot be drunkards. We cannot disobey our parents. We must live like God wants us to live.
Our love for God is shown by our obedience. We must love God so much that we are willing to die for him (Revelation 2:10). We cannot be anything less than fully committed to him. Our wants and desires must be limited by his commandments and regulations for our lives.
I am glad that God gave us the Bible so that we can know how to restrict ourselves. His will is that we obey him. He desires us to enjoy this life while serving him. By doing this, we will live with him eternally in heaven.
Keep reading and studying your Bible. And if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.