Christ's Authority and the Way to Ascertain it
John 7:17
If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

It was very natural for a Jerusalem audience to say with respect to Jesus, "Why should we listen to this Man?"

1. It is very natural that any one making special claims should be regarded with special caution. Jesus knew quite well that he would not be readily received on his own valuation. Thanks are owing to those who opposed and criticized him in the days of his flesh. Their very way of talking to him, the true Teacher, showed how little the instruction of other teachers had done for them.

2. Jesus had not been brought up among the people who were recognized as having the right to send forth teachers. As we should say, Jesus bad not been to Oxford or Cambridge. He would not speak like an educated Jew of Jerusalem, but like the son of a working man from far off Galilee. So Jesus had to explain the marvel how he seemed to know the Law and the Prophets at least as well as those whose whole lives had been spent in acquiring the knowledge.

I. LOOK AT THE CLASS WHO ARE SPECIALLY INTERESTED IN THIS VERSE. Those who wanted to know something certain about the authority and doctrine of Christ. These people in Jerusalem had all sorts of thoughts about Jesus. Some said he was a good man; others, a deceiver of the people. It was once said of him that he cast out demons by Beelzebub, the prince of the demons. Some thought he was Elijah; some Jeremiah, or, at all events, one of the prophets. There was no certainty about him in the minds of many. And in the minds of many the same uncertainty still prevails. Learned men spend years examining the Gospels, and they have nothing indubitable to report in the end. Yet be sure Jesus wants effectually to help all that are in real perplexity about him. Did he not say, "Blessed is he whosoever is not offended in me"?

II. HOW THIS CLASS IS TO BE HELPED. This class will always find a stumbling block in Jesus till it grows through a great inward change. Those who have no will to do the will of God will never find out the truth as it is in Jesus. Our own self-will and self-conceit form the greatest stumbling block. Self-willed people find it very uncomfortable the more they come to close quarters with Jesus. He never speaks without contradicting some dear desire of the unrenewed heart. Jesus was ever on the look out for people who wanted to do the will of God - people who felt they had come into the world to do the will of him who made them and the world into which they had come. God has his wishes just as much as any of us. A conscientious and loving servant, who is far away from his master, will ever have the thought of the master's wish before him; and when oftentimes he sees not quite clearly what the master would have him to do, he will be on the look out for every source of instruction. If, then, at such a moment a messenger should come from the master, meanly clad, and with a message written on a scrap of the commonest paper, he will not think less of the message if it tells him just what he wants to know. When John Williams the missionary was building his chapel in Rarotonga, he had occasion one day to send to his wife for something he had forgotten, so he scribbled the necessary message on a chip with a bit of charcoal. He took the materials at hand, but the message was none the less valid, none the less understood. And so the greatest of all messages, from the infinite and eternal God, is none the less his message because it came through One who was born in the lowliest surroundings and brought up in the home of a Galilaean working man. If we are resolutely on the side of God, God will help us into all truth, security, peace, and blessedness. - Y.

Parallel Verses
KJV: If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

WEB: If anyone desires to do his will, he will know about the teaching, whether it is from God, or if I am speaking from myself.

An Obedient Spirit the Key of Truth
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