Matthew 7:29 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 7:29, NIV: because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

Matthew 7:29, ESV: for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.

Matthew 7:29, KJV: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Matthew 7:29, NASB: for He was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.

Matthew 7:29, NLT: for he taught with real authority--quite unlike their teachers of religious law.

Matthew 7:29, CSB: because he was teaching them like one who had authority, and not like their scribes.

What does Matthew 7:29 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus has concluded what we now call the Sermon on the Mount, found in chapters 5—7 of the gospel of Matthew. Matthew has reported that those who heard Christ in person were "astonished" at His teaching (Matthew 5:28). That description uses a Greek word that literally means being "struck." At least part of their surprise is the way Jesus fully explained the purpose of God's law and commandments (Matthew 5:17), mostly by condemning hypocrisy and shallow, performance-based religion (Matthew 5:20).

Now Matthew adds another reason why Jesus' original audience was so shocked by His words. Since the crowd was mostly made up of Jewish people who participated in Israel's religious system, they had heard a lot of teaching in their lives from many different local Rabbis and teachers. Jewish scholars often taught the Scriptures by presenting multiple viewpoints of any given subject. They might point to different Rabbis, with different views, and leave it to the listener to decide which was closer to the truth. This was not Jesus' approach.

Jesus Christ taught with authority. He stated clearly, even bluntly, what was true and what was false. He called out sin and falsehood and even Israel's religious leaders themselves. He didn't build His arguments on the basis of other people or rely on their reputations. He spoke as One with first-hand, personal, absolute knowledge of the truth (John 3:13).

That's not a surprising approach, given that Jesus is the Son of God. As God incarnate, He knew exactly what God intended in every passage of Scripture and exactly what God wanted from His people. Jesus spoke with authority because all authority—even declaring who will or will not enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 7:23)—belongs to Him (Matthew 28:18; Philippians 2:10).