John 7: 14-24 Knowledge

14 About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. 15 The Jews therefore marvelled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?” 16 So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. 18 The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?” 20 The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who is seeking to kill you?” 21 Jesus answered them, “I did one work, and you all marvel at it. 22 Moses gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man’s whole body well? 24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgement.”

Knowledge

According to The Seven Laws of Teaching by Milton Gregory, the first law of teaching is that the teacher knows the content.  If the content is Theology, who knows the content better than Jesus.  Jesus has skipped out on formal training somehow, but he still knows the content.  He knows more than the experts and he knows more than the lay people around him.  He knows the source.

God the Father is the object of our learning.  Al knowledge is revealed by him and all knowledge points to him.  He speaks through the skies, and the mountains tremble at his name.  He speaks through scripture, and the scriptures speak of his Son.  The Son, Jesus, has uncommon insight and we should listen to him.

For us knowledge is received by faith from the pages of scripture.  We also grow in knowledge and depth of insight as we know Jesus.  We will sometimes seem mad to those around us, but the truth of God transcends the incomplete and erroneous truths that people who don’t know Jesus live by.

Prayer

May special and general revelation be illuminated by your Holy Spirit.  may we see clearly what we are to learn from the world around and the scriptures that we have received.  Then, even if they call us mad, let us be witnesses to the truth.

Questions

  1. Whose teaching does Jesus teach?
  2. How does Jesus know his content (think about how he grew (Luke 2))?
  3. How does Jesus know people want to kill him?
  4. How do most teachers today train?  Is God central?
  5. How does knowing God make a difference to gaining knowledge?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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23 Responses to John 7: 14-24 Knowledge

  1. Kathleen says:

    Jesus says his teaching is from the one who sent him, God. Jesus knows the content because he is God. Today teachers train by going to college. In the United States, we do not train by following another person. We might have role models we look up to, such as professors, but we do not follow the same system of learning as in Bible times. The training I am receiving at Moody keeps God central. Knowing God allows me to look at the world through a biblical perspective. Developing a biblical worldview affects every area of my life.

    • Plymothian says:

      This is very affirming. As you know I have been struggling to find my way physically this last month or so. The spiritual encouragement that I receive when reading how a student gets what we are trying to do encourages me to keep depending on God and moving forward.

  2. Jenna says:

    1. Jesus teaches God’s teaching.
    2. Jesus would have learned the law just like all other Jewish boys, but He, as the Son of God, has insights into who God is that we can’t even comprehend.
    3. Jesus knew that the pharisees were wanting to kill Him, because He’s God!
    4. Today, we train by increasing our knowledge of God’s Word through colleges, missionary training, seminaries, etc. While knowing about God is always central, knowing God in relationship sadly always isn’t.
    5. As a teacher, I can amass knowledge of God, but none of it will effect my inmost thoughts, feelings, or my behavior unless I am also cultivating my relationship with God – they’re two sides of the same coin!

  3. Ashley says:

    1. Jesus teaches what the Father has sent him to teach.
    2. He knows his content because he is God.
    3. Jesus is all knowing, and therefore knows what people are thinking about him.
    4. Most teachers today rely on teaching methods, science, and the spirit of the age instead of God.
    5. Without knowledge of God, we don’t have any true knowledge. Knowing God is the basis to knowing ourselves, other people, and all other things. If we have a skewed vision of God, we have a wrong view of everything.

  4. Ed says:

    Hi,

    Between all of you I think we have it down. The relationship with god is key and learning what happened in history helps the Spirit remind us when something has happened we missed or something that will happen and we do Gods work.

    You guys rock.

  5. How does knowing God make a difference to gaining knowledge? “With the Holy Spirit, we can discern truth from deceit. Through researching, studying, reading, traveling, and communicating we always have the Helper with us to sort through what God would have us teach as truth, in accordance with His word. Thus, when we grow in knowledge we do so with the help of God’s Holy Spirit illumining our way.

  6. Janice Lee says:

    1. Jesus teaches God the Father’s teaching.
    2. Jesus knows the content because He knows the Father.
    3. Jesus knew people wanted to kill Him because He is God.
    4. Most teachers today train by learning best practice methods. No, unless they are believers, God is not central to their training.
    5. Knowing God connects us to the source of all knowledge, knowledge is gained directly through Him. Because God is the Truth, He enables us understand knowledge holistically and makes it meaningful.

  7. Stephanie Luck says:

    1. Whose teaching does Jesus teach?
    Jesus is teaching God the Father’s teaching
    2. How does Jesus know his content (think about how he grew (Luke 2))?
    Jesus knows the content because He is God and He is in fellowship with the Father
    3. How does Jesus know people want to kill him?
    He knows the hearts and thoughts of men
    4. How do most teachers today train? Is God central?
    Teachers train in college utilizing methods, programs, and curriculum. God is certainly not central, even for many Christian teachers. It is easy to box God in on Sundays.
    5. How does knowing God make a difference to gaining knowledge?
    First off, it will change the type of knowledge that’s worth of gaining. It will also change our purpose for gaining knowledge: we learn and teach because we want to glorify God and make Him known.

  8. Karas says:

    I love that Jesus knew the content because He knew the source. I think as students studying theology, we need to remember that we want to not just know about God, but really know Him. Sometimes having such a busy schedule and so many assignments makes it challenging to remember that and to transfer the knowledge about God to a greater relationship with God. I need to keep God central to my learning, and then to my teaching. This is something I really feel is important, and as I prepare for student teaching I’ve been thinking about it a decent amount. I don’t think I could teach without referring to God.

  9. Sara Cavitt says:

    1) Jesus teaches His Father’s teaching.
    2) Jesus knows His content because He is God, and because when He was growing up, He spent much time in the temple learning and asking questions about God.
    3) Jesus knows because He is all-knowing.
    4) Today, most teachers train and learn how to teach through various methods, but they exclude God. I’m so thankful to be learning here at Moody, because God is central in every class.
    5) Knowing God is true knowledge. To not know Him is to gain knowledge that is distorted.

  10. Beth Coale says:

    Wow, I never thought about how Jesus’ knowledge was a testament to His identity before.
    1. His Fathers (& the Israelite people’s fathers too)
    2. His divine nature knew everything, yet His human nature meant maybe He also had to learn as He grew too
    3. His divine nature knew people’s hearts (like we saw demonstrated in passages before) and is omniscient
    4. Most teachers say things and hope their students will remember. But I think, more and more, hands-on activities are being used. But most teachers see their material as separate from God and by not showing how God is present in the material, are teaching something about God by omission.
    5. I think it makes gaining knowledge have more of a purpose. It is a means to an ends, not the ends itself. If I didn’t have the goal of getting a degree so that i could be better equipped to serve the Lord, I don’t know whether I would have stuck with school or not.

  11. Amy McCashen says:

    1. God the Father.
    2. Jesus studied the Scriptures, of course being God he knew the truth and who he was in relation to God the Father, but he still had to learn and grow just like any other child.
    3. Jesus knows people want to kill him because he knows why he is on earth-to die for the sins of man. Also, he may have overheard some of the people talking because he came to the feast in secret.
    4. Most teachers train without God. They learn best practices and teach with a variety of effective methods, but they do not teach God as central. I am so glad to be studying at Moody where I am being taught with God at the center.
    5. God is the source to all knowledge. James 1- “if anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all men freely and without reproach.” If we know God, He reveals more about Him and the world he created.

  12. Austin Brose says:

    Jesus teaches His Fathers teachings. Jesus, being full of the Spirit, studied the scriptures when He was younger. He did have training, for he studied the Scriptures his whole childhood and more! Jesus knows people want to kill him because he knows that it is his inevitable fate, to die by the hands of the people he is teaching to. Most teachers today train by their own power, thinking they can do it by themselves, without God. Knowing God is the only way to true wisdom and knowledge, He grants us the discernment and right attitude in order to learn.

  13. Rachel says:

    Jesus teaches his own teaching, the teaching of the Trinity. His content is himself; He is the way. Most teachers train to communicate content while neglecting the Truth and meaning of life. Knowing God is the beginning of all wisdom and knowledge! Unless I communicate Christ, I have nothing.

  14. Bethany says:

    4. The worldview of most teachers today is worldly. They concentrate on the skills they need to get their kids to meet and what the world demands of them. This is an individualistic worldview, rather than one that is founded in Christ.
    5. Knowing God is what gives gaining knowledge purpose and gives the one gaining the knowledge drive to keep going.

  15. Mary says:

    Jesus states that what he teaches is the Father’s will and he does so on the authority of his Father who sent him. The Jews question Jesus because of his eloquence, authority with which he speaks, and his knowedge of the Scriptures since he has not received any formal training (like they have; I assume these are the Pharisees once again). There are a few reasons why Jesus knew what he was talking about and was able to do it with authority: 1) Jesus’ parents knew the Scriptures and followed the Jewish customs (Lk. 2:39, 41-42), so they most likely taught it to Jesus as the Scriptures instruct them to do so Deut. 6:4-9; 11:18-21); 2) Jesus sat among the teachers in the temple and asked questions (Lk. 2:46); and most importantly 3) Jesus had a relationship with the Father and thus he had understanding of the Father’s will, giving him wisdom in spiritual things (Lk. 2:47, 49, 52).

  16. Sarah Deurbrouck says:

    I love the first half of this passage. As you wrote, Jesus did not have to learn because he is one with the Father. He is one with the content of such knowledge. Yet the second half of this passage, what does it mean? Is Jesus showing that they truly do not know God?

  17. nataliaria says:

    As Mr. Worrall referenced above, the words that Jesus preaches are unique because they are the very words of God. Jesus, as God’s incarnate Word, communicates and reveals God to us in a personal, intimate, honest way. It has been mentioned before that Jesus’ teaching was unique because, as a Rabbi, He did not teach on another’s authority, but on His own authority as God. Additionally, I believe that Jesus was exceptionally unique because He is the only one who did not preach another way to Heaven, but Himself as The Way.

    I believe that Jesus knew the content of His message experientially and personally, as He was God. Additionally, and in reference to the way He “grew in wisdom” I wonder if the human element of Jesus’ incarnation grew in ability to express and share the truth that He knew in His heart to be true.

    While Jesus knew people wanted to kill Him because He is God and has insight into the hearts of men, I imagine that He was also reading (perceptively) into their body language, tone, and insinuations as they interacted with Him and His message.

    Teachers today are trained in theory and methods. There is a practical element to their instruction as well, including creating lesson plans and doing practicums, etc. I have not experienced much teacher training outside of Moody, but I would venture a guess that Moody’s focus on God, and the intentionality with which our professors keep Him as central, is somewhat unique to Moody. Knowing God, apart from the pursuit of knowledge, and also as an integral part of the pursuit of knowledge, shapes everything about that pursuit. Knowing God provides a life-changing relationship through which new knowledge is filtered and applied. And, in the inevitable moment when learning and academic achievement are not enough to bring joy, purpose, and contentment in life, knowing God brings all of those things, and more.

  18. Nick says:

    It’s sad because most teachers today teach with a worldview that is not biblical. God is definitely not central and as a result, the students receive an education that is centered on the world and not on God. We need to equip out students with a correct biblical worldview, so that from an early age they can start seeing the world through a biblical lens.

  19. Rebekah Thompson (Bekah) says:

    1. God the Father’s teaching
    2. Because he is the thing he is talking about
    3. He is all knowing
    4. They teach by studying the BIble more so in a textbook kind of manner. I would say for the majority of the time yes…but there are always times when human nature kicks in.
    5. It says this very thing in the Bible the more you learn about God the more you grow in wisdom and stature

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