Summary: Jesus went to the temple & called people to make serious, studied judgments, & not simply snap decisions based on surface appearance. He points out if anyone is really earnest he can know whether Jesus’ teaching is of divine origin or not, by commiting t
JOHN 7: 14-18
HOW TO BECOME WISE
Have you ever heard of the great con-man Frank Abagnale? His story has been told on the movie screen by Leanardo Caprio and Tom Hanks in the movie “Catch me if you can.” Catch Me if You Can was inspired by the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr., the youngest person ever put on the F.B.I.s most wanted list. Abagnale was an expert forgeror and made away with over a million dollars before the age of 18.
In real life Frank impersonated a variety of characters like starting with a substitute teacher when he was 16, then moving on to impersonate an Airline Pilot (passing checks on Pan AM for over 2.5 million dollars and jetting across the world free as a dead heading off duty pilot), a Doctor (a pediatrician in a hospital for 11 months), an Attorney (He actually passed the bar exam), and a professor in a university. And he did this between the ages of 16 and 21 years in the mid 1960’s
Once he posed as a security guard and standing outside a night deposit drop box he collected $60,000 in cash. Then when the bag was too heavy some state policemen helped him load it in his car. Another time he was caught and sent to state prison. He convinced the prison guards that he was an undercover agent and got them to let him out of jail.
Eventually he was caught and put in Federal Prison by the FBI. Today Frank Abagnale is a consultant for the FBI and he speaks as an expert on security to commercial firms and government agencies all around the country.
Here was a man who was good at passing himself off as almost anybody else. What made him effective was the presentation.
Once Frank took 8 young ladies on a world wide tour (at Pan AM’s expense) as part of an airline promotion. All of this was a cover for a scam in which he cashed checks for over $300,000 dollars in countries throughout Europe.
The ladies were simply the window dressing that turned the eyes of the bankers and made his story believable. The women thought they were in the running to win a contest to become airline stewardesses (In 1960 that was a high prestige job for you young lady!) He said, “It’s all in the presentation.”
Jesus is different. Jesus is the reality. Frank Abagnale looked like the reality but was a fake. Jesus Christ was almost exactly the opposite. Jesus was not handsome and didn’t look the part - but He claimed to be and was the son of God. Here is the God-man who looks like a peasant, works like a carpenter, teaches like a learned rabbi, preaches like a prophet, does miracles like a God. Here is the man who claimed to be God - and is not a fake. He’s the real deal.
Jesus came out of seclusion and went to the feast when it was at its height. He went to the temple and called people to make serious, studied judgments, and not simply snap decisions based on surface appearance. He points out if anyone is really earnest he can know whether Jesus’ teaching is of divine origin or not, by doing them.
I. THE WISE TEACHER, 14-16.
II. THE WILLING LEARNER, 17-18.
Jesus was the reality that looked, at least to many, like a fake. In John 7:14 we see the reality. But when it was now the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and began to teach.
Jesus’ absence during the first half of the feast allowed the curiosity about Him to continue to build. After He arrives in Jerusalem He heads directly to the temple and teaches in the outer court. John does not record what He taught (unfortunately).
Verse 15 relays that Jesus was an amazing teacher. The Jews then were astonished, saying, “How has this man become learned, having never been educated?”
As the people, including the temple authorities and religious leaders, listened to Jesus’ teaching they were amazed. His knowledge and mastery of the Scriptures and His wise and authoritative exposition were undeniable. How could an uneducated man know more than the great rabbinical teachers of the day? He had not sat at the feet of these gifted, studied, and accomplished teachers, yet He surpassed them in knowledge and understanding. How could He be so wise?
In verse16 Jesus tells them the source of His amazing wisdom. So Jesus answered them and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.
Jesus declares that the reason His teaching was so amazing was because it did not originate with Him. His wisdom, message, and power came from His Father. He gave all the glory back to the One who had sent Him.