Out of the Heart#4. “Telling on Yourself.”

Out of the Heart#4. “Telling on Yourself.”

Laurence Olivier was a master performer on stage and screen. I would challenge anyone to find his film portrayal of Hamlet as anything other than gripping. And, I have wondered, though a great fan of David Niven, if the film, Wuthering Heights, might have lacked all its depth and emotion without Olivier. Such men learn the art of engaging an audience; it is indeed hard to ignore their presence.

When Jesus spoke, people reacted in a manner far beyond any response to that of a good performance. In John 18, those who came with Judas to arrest Jesus literally drew back and fell to the ground when Jesus told them who he was. This was no bravado. This was fear in the presence of divine authority.

Throughout Jesus’ ministry, the crowds instantly saw the contrast between Jesus’ teaching and that of their religious leaders. Jesus spoke with authority (Mt.7:29), but they out of envy (Mt.27:18), and a lust for power and money (Lk.16:14).

On one occasion, other officers were sent to arrest Jesus by the chief priests and Pharisees returned empty-handed. “Why did you not bring him?” they demanded. The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!” (John 7:45-46).

Jesus, the carpenter’s son, turned rabbi, did not speak like the Jewish teachers of the Law. It was obvious to all that he did not graduate from their university. Thus, they couldn’t help but ask, “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?” (Jn.7:15).

The answer to this question was salvation to those who accepted it but blaspheme to those who did not. So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority” (Jn.7:16-17).

Jesus mouth spoke that which filled his heart – the teachings of the Father.

“For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks“ (Luke 6:45).

John Staiger


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