To put it simply, Jesus Christ is different from other teachers. He is different from the established religion that is taught in many churches or synagogues. He has authority. He has the ability to work miracles. Immediately upon beginning to teach, people recognized He was no ordinary teacher. That is because during His earthly ministry, Jesus was God in the flesh come to dwell among us. (We should take note that He did choose to come to the synagogue on Sabbath to teach, thus demonstrating His support of God’s instructions laid out for His people in the Old Testament.)
21They went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach. 22They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24saying, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” 25And Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” 26Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him. 27They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” 28Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee.
Jesus still has power and authority that others do not. Those who follow Him should teach boldly and with authority as well, though with a certain amount of humility. There is only one way and Jesus is it. We should expect the fellowship of true believers to reflect their leader. When congregations or communities lift up Jesus as their leader we should be able to see that they are different than other communities in the world. We should expect them to NOT conform to the cultural norms but to God’s word.
Many false prophets will try to fake miracles and try to teach as if they have authority, even though they teach false doctrine. We must study the scriptures ourselves daily and test teachers (you should test me also!) against scripture. We are only to follow those who teach the truth about Jesus Christ, consistent with what scripture teaches. Do not follow teachers just because they have a lot of people in their building every week or a lot of followers on Facebook.
As we look for whom we should follow, let us make sure it is Jesus and not a “celebrity” pastor. We should follow the example of Jesus and study scripture. We should seek truth and live by it even when it is in conflict with what an established church may teach. We should help pastors by holding them accountable to God’s word, even when it is unpopular. Of course we can study and learn from many different pastors, but none should be looked upon as the source of knowledge and all must be recognized to be capable of error. Let us do these things respectfully and with grace and humility.
Jesus is most definitely different from the world. So, too, we should expect our church fellowship to be different as well. Let us choose wisely our church family and teachers. Let us seek many counselors and teachers and test everything against the word of God. Let us humbly seek God’s help in prayer for this important matter.
Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.