Modern Christian scholarship has busied itself very much, in these days, with studying Jewish literature, so far as it is available, in order to ascertain how far it formed the teaching or mind of Jesus.  There is a likeness, but the likeness only serves to make the unlikeness more conspicuous.  And I, for my part, venture to assert that, while the form of our Lord’s teaching may largely be traced to the influences under which He was brought up, and while the substance of some parts of it may have been anticipated by earlier rabbis of His nation, the crowd that listened to Him on the mountaintop had laid their fingers upon the more important fact when they “wondered at His teaching” and found the characteristic difference between it and that of the men to whom they had listened in the note of authority with which He spoke.  Jesus never argues.  He asserts.  He claims.  And, in lieu of all arguments, He gives you His own “Truly, truly, I say to you.” – Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910), from a meditation on John 8.48.

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