Read John 7:11-18
How do I know Christ is really who he says he is?
A question that comes to every serious student of Christ—one which has its answers in the Scripture. The crowd is asking that here; interestingly, one of the evidences is given by his enemies. They ask how this man could possibly have learned so much. It seems his learning is beyond his education.
Could he possibly be a fraud? If so, he is Satan himself. A lunatic? If so, he sets the record. It is absurd.
But a more common question can be answered here: how do I know that my teacher is really giving me the true word of God?
The pure heart—the instrument to see God
In the Beatitudes Christ assures us that the pure in heart shall see God. The pure heart, therefore, is the proper instrument for viewing God. Why?
· Because God instructs the righteous. In his instruction you will know his way, no matter your teacher.
· Because God will not mislead the pure in heart, showing himself to be pure to the pure. The evil see him as shrewd—as he brings them to their downfall.
Test of true teaching: who does it honor?
Permit me some practical tests:
· How does the teacher handle the Word? Does he teach it with reverence, or is it a light thing?
· Does he seek the praise of men, or the reward of God?
As Solomon tells us, "It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to seek one's own honor."
Christ as true teacher
We can take these tests and apply them to Jesus. Look at his teaching. For those who are instructed in righteousness, it is a light dawning. So much is explained in the wisdom and revelation of this man! The pure in heart see him as their model.
See, too, how he handles the Scripture. Frequently quoting it, he always takes it with reverence as God's own speech. "Have you not heard," or "Is it not written," are his frequent ways of introducing the Scripture. And whose honor does he seek? Not his own, but that of his Father.
The duty of the Christian is the imitation of Christ. So I ask you: how do you handle the Scripture? Whose honor do you seek? Whose praise?