“When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law”. Matthew 7:28,29 NLT
In order to truly understand the premise of these two verses of scripture, one must read the entire chapter—just to keep things in context.
What things had Jesus just finished saying? Jesus was teaching about being judged by the same standards we judge, hypocrites, fruit producing after its kind, where to build a house, asking and receiving, how parents should treat children, the broad and narrow way, the wolf in sheep’s clothing, judgment day exposures—don’t even think about getting in here! And then He admonishes the crowd—those who hear and obey are wise; those who refuse to hear and obey are foolish and will receive a fool’s reward (my thoughts).
And then we come to the crowd’s amazement because He taught with “real” authority, not like those who were just posturing at being religious (Do I sound a little cynical?).
Anyone speaking God’s truth today and not their own, has the propensity to amaze folks because people are so gullible when they believe all those who are posturing—in positions of leadership in was is supposed to be God’s church—not theirs.
Here’s a clue if you don’t know which one you’re attending. In God’s church—it’s all about Him; in their church—it’s all about them. There is a remarkable difference in the messages heard and the behavior exhibited towards others.
In their church (and anyone reading this probably knows exactly what I’m talking about), the leadership expounds on what they want the people to do to make them look good. They bombard people with attempts to denigrate if the people are not giving what they think they should give (financially), they emasculate men who are not doing what they do (when men are in leadership) because they think they have the right to set the standard for how everyone should live. They insinuate that many of the parents are not good parents and put down their children, while ignoring what their own are doing (it’s not pretty). They preach messages out of emotions and observations rather than teaching the word. In doing so, they manipulate and mangle The Word, twisting scriptures out of context in order to get a point across and in the process, prove to anyone who is knowledgeable in The Word that they are not. The leadership in these churches seek people-pleasers so they can keep them in line with false promises and empty friendships. They appoint others into qualified positions who are not qualified and then wonder—what happened when things fall apart. They are very selective about who they want sitting in their precious pews and when stragglers come in off the street, they’re ready to escort you with an armed deacon or whoever. The only relationship they’re concerned with is the one with them—based upon their need of you and your money. If you don’t have money, they don’t have time for you and you can discern this by their reaction to your offering envelope.