When I was in medical school, I attended a wonderful Bible-believing church in Honolulu, Hawaii. The pastor was a charismatic man with a kind heart and gentle demeanor. Before he became a Christian, he was a nightclub singer. Because of his musical background, he and I shared a kindred spirit. I spent many hours in fellowship with him, being discipled by him. One afternoon, he shared a startling revelation.
“You know, brother,” he began, with a measured tone, “A lot of people are suspicious of me!”
I was shocked. “What are you talking about? Who would think that?” I demanded to know.
He smiled and calmed me down. “There are some in the Christian community, pastors, teachers, who view me with suspicion. I am divorced. I am a former nightclub singer. I didn’t attend seminary. Through the years, some have tried to bring me down or have questioned my credentials.”
“And what did you do?”
“God is my teacher. I am only accountable only to Him. Everything I do is based upon God’s Word.”
I understood. One of the reasons I chose to become a member of that church was the sincerity and humility of the Pastor. He taught the entire truth of the Bible and didn’t sugarcoat or gloss over sin. We all need to confess and repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Although my pastor did not attend seminary, he was a gifted teacher and preacher and I am grateful for the years of teaching and fellowship I shared with him.
And the Jews marveled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?”
John 7:15 (NKJV)
Jesus Christ was viewed with suspicion and disdain by His fellow Jews. In addition to questioning His credentials as a rabbi, they made snide comments about His seemingly illegitimate birth, instead of recognizing and believing in the truth of His virgin birth through the Holy Spirit. They chose to ignore the miracles that He did by the power of God. They turned a deaf ear to His teaching of God’s Word. All they chose to see was an illegitimate child of a carpenter and his unfaithful wife, who taught as if He was formally trained, and allegedly performed miracles by the power of Satan.
They judged Him based upon their criteria of success and ignored the words He spoke and the lives that were changed.
Formal training is important, but it is just the beginning. Good character, humility, and honesty before God is what has eternal significance.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.