There is a radical difference between practicing religion and sharing a word directly from the Lord.
And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them
as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Jesus was not the first person to teach the Scriptures to a group of disciples. The people in Jesus’ day had heard other teachers of the Scriptures. What set Jesus apart was that He taught with authority. To many of the scribes, the Scriptures were meaningless, dry collections of theological speculation, but Jesus taught them as the living words of God. John the Baptist claimed that a man could only receive that which had been given to him by God (John 3:27). When the religious leaders searched the Scriptures, they came away empty-handed. When Jesus read the same Scriptures, the Father gave Him a full measure of His wisdom and His authority.
There is a radical difference between practicing religion and sharing a word directly from the Lord. There is a significant difference between worldly reasoning and counsel that comes straight from the living word of God. Is it possible to teach a message from the Bible but not from the Lord? Yes! The scribes and Pharisees did this regularly and left their listeners spiritually destitute. Is it possible to counsel someone with advice that seems appropriate and reasonable and yet is contrary to God’s word? Of course!
Whenever you teach, counsel, or share a word of encouragement, be very careful that the words you share are indeed from the Lord and are not just your own thinking. Otherwise, you could become a false prophet (Deut. 18:20-22). God promises to stand by every word He has ever spoken (Isa. 55:10-11). When you share a word that has come from God, you can do so with utmost confidence!
Excerpts republished with permission from Experiencing God Day-by-Day by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby c. 1997 B&H Publishing Group