“And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” Matthew 7:28,29
The scribes verified their beliefs according to what other men had spoken. Thus, other men’s opinion was their source of authority.
Jesus spoke on His own authority in as much as He is “the Word of God, who had become flesh,” and who the apostle John testified, “and we beheld His glory….glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1, 14)
In John’s Gospel, in chapter 7, the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to arrest Jesus because of the mighty works which He had done. Upon their return, though, the officers respond to those religious leaders when asked why they had not brought Him, “No man ever spoke like this Man!”
Jesus was not about to meet those deceivers somewhere in the middle. There was no compromise in Jesus’ words. He spoke with authority and certainty because He is the Creator. His Word is truth and all things will be measured only in accordance with His Word.
Like the scribes of Jesus’ day, there are some modern evangelicals who are willing to give some kind of vocal assent to the truth of the Bible, but who in practical application deny its authority and supremacy. And by so doing, they act as though the Scripture only is like any other opinion that men may want to generate.
There are those of us who hold that the Word of God is infallible. We believe that it is not just some other idea that can be tossed into the public arena and accepted or declined as one cares to personally judge. The Bible demands to be received as the only source of truth to the exclusion of all other opinions.
The battle that the church is facing today is that the world demands that we downplay Scriptural authority. Our duty is clear: “Do you not know that friendship with this world is enmity with God.” (James 4:4)
We are expected to accept the opinions of scientists, doctors, builders and designers as authoritative with little or no questions asked. Yet in the same breath we are told not to expect God’s Word as being authoritative.
Is there room for compromise here? No. The lines of distinction have been drawn. The Word of God has been written for our instruction. Therein, the Bible’s truth must be spoken with authority and not set before hearers as a plausible alternative point of view.