No One Ever Spoke Like This Man
It is one of the marks of the majesty of the Scriptures and the divinity of Jesus Christ that the words we read from them and hear from him are so unequivocally unique, that what we read there we never read any place else. Oh, there are wonderful books in the world. God has given to men and women remarkable literary gifts, which I regard as one of the most wonderful of talents. Still, nothing man has written holds a candle to Scripture, nothing anyone has said compares to the words of our Savior. The unbeliever may see this from afar, but the Spirit bearing witness within the believer says, “These are the very words of God.”
We see again that the people simply do not know what to make of Jesus. “He’s a prophet.” “He’s the Christ.” “No wait, the Christ doesn’t come from Galilee.” “But, no one knows where the Christ comes from.” “Yes we do, from Bethlehem.” And so on the people go from one theory to another. The Bible does say that many of the people believed in him (7:31), but I don’t know that it means that they did so with saving faith. There is no question that they were extremely impressed with Jesus, but they were also confused. What may have impressed them even more was that the chief priests and Pharisees seemed to fear him – which they did. And by the way, the opinion of these religious leaders to the people is eloquently expressed when they said, “But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.” Woe to God’s shepherds who ever adopt such a contemptuous attitude towards the people God entrusts to their care.
But we return to the account. The chief priests and Pharisees send officers to arrest Jesus. They return without him. The leaders demand of them, “Why did you not bring him?” And then these officers pronounce the verdict, a verdict coming even from their unbelieving lips: “No one ever spoke like this man!” Which leads us back to where we began – the divinity of Jesus Christ and the majesty of the word of God inscribed in the Holy Scriptures. No one ever spoke like this man. Of course not. He is the word of God in the flesh, the word who is God and with God in the beginning (John 1:1-3, 14). He is the word before ever a word was spoken by a man or woman. And no one can contradict what he says, no one oppose, no one appeal. One is only free to accept or reject, to obey or walk away. His word stands as a mountain, full of all its truth, its reality, its glory. Many will hear and stand amazed; most will hear and be provoked; but a few will hear and respond in faith (Matthew 22:14). No one ever spoke like this man! Indeed.