The words “amazed and immediately” appear many times throughout the book of Mark. This is one of the unique things about his gospel. The scribes in this story quoted authorities and rode on their backs to appear authoritative. But Jesus spoke from his own inherent authority and this amazed those who listened to Him.
I must not blame the scribes too much, I quote others all the time. This is a common practice of speakers. But Jesus authority was different, it was inherent in who He was. Jesus’ authority did not come out of His formal training, He didn’t have any. His authority came from who He was.
An author/speaker with original thought who quotes himself is different than someone who quotes the same author/speaker.
My authority flows out of my character and interior life, more than it does from my education. We say one is “an authority in his field.” This means the person has studied a subject thoroughly (books, lectures, hands-on investigation, etc.) and from this discipline draws his authority. Jesus need only draw from Himself, He quoted his own book… so to speak.
Occasionally I am amazed with a speaker or author. I’m not sure if anyone has ever been amazed with me as a speaker. Maybe pleased, maybe rated me “good”, found me helpful, but I doubt amazed.
Where does my “authority” come from when I speak?
First, the Bible. Second, my character and depth of soul. But even this is ultimately from God. True, I must open myself up to Him but it is His virtue and authority flowing from Him that is deposited in me. Like a student who must show up for class and participate in order to have the subject deposited into his mind, I must show up and participate in order for Jesus’ authority (the only real authority) to be deposited in me.
Any authority I have is borrowed not inherent, therefore there is no room for boasting or self congratulations. Any authority, “amazement-ability” I have when speaking comes from Him… not me.
Therefore my focus must be on the word of God and the attempt to align my life to it coupled with time alone with Him for the nurture of my interior life. And although I believe God is not anti-intellectual, so don’t burn your books just yet, I must not rely on books, education, or the accumulation of as they say, “head-knowledge.”
You can be an amazing speaker. Let Jesus amaze them through you.