The Continually Astonished Rabbi

Last week during our Tuesday night Bible Study on Luke we read the following passage:
All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” (Luke 4:36) The Message Bible translates the passage(s) in the following manner: That set everyone back on their heels, whispering and wondering, “What’s going on here? Someone whose words make things happen? Someone who orders demonic spirits to get out and they go?” [Yeshua] Jesus was the talk of the town.” (Luke 4:36-37) Mark comments on this incident by saying: “The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.” (Mark 1:22)”What was the cause of the astonishment [amazement] of the crowds?  Was it due to the fact that Jesus spoke as an apostolic prophet or as a messianic figure, or did he appear as a brash young man speaking on his own authority, or was it for another reason?”

It was customary that when a person explained the meaning of a pasuk (Biblical passage) he would employ the following method:  “The crowds were used to the type of preaching which characterized the Scribes-Pharisees.  Their procedure was to teach the Oral Law by citing the authorities from whom the speaker received the traditions being transmitted. Failure to do so was considered not only a display of arrogance but destructive of the system, breaking the continuum of the process.  This is emphasized in the statement “Anyone who says a thing in the name of one who said it brings deliverance to the world, as it is said, And Esther told it in the name of Mordecai (Esther 2.22).”   Jesus’ presentation appeared strange to the people, who were accustomed to hearing the citations together with the tradition taught. Jesus appealed to no such authority in his teaching, neither by name nor by inference.

Yeshua’s words had authority and power because He spoke the words of His Heavenly Abba (Father).

“For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say” (Yochanan /John 12:49-50).

That is why His words had and continue to have such an impact on people. When I first read the words of Yeshua I was astonished by the way they “grabbed hold of my heart”. His words caused me to realize that He had to be the Messiah – the Holy One of Yisrael (Israel) because as the Temple guards who came to arrest Him said, ” No one ever spoke the way this man does” (Yochanan/John 7:46).

It has been 40 years since I first read the words of Yeshua and they continue to have a powerful impact on my life. May His words continue to impact your life as well!

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