I love the differentiation of Jesus here from their “teachers of the law”. Jesus clearly did teach them many things, but He did it with a new authority, not only as someone who knew God’s word but who Himself is the original Word (John 1:1). When we stop at just seeing Jesus as a wise teacher, we might take some of his instructions but miss out on the safety and fulfilling life that comes from submitting to His authority. The word “authority” can sometimes be something we resist or that makes us feel out of control, however when we submit to Jesus’ authority we acknowledge Him as one with and equal to God — the Alpha and the Omega, Creator and Sustainer of all things. Even though our natural tendency can be to rebel and rely on our own authority, there is nowhere better for us to be than under Jesus’ covering. As we wrap up the Sermon on the Mount, not only should we take heed of Jesus’ instructions, but we also submit to His authority above all things, trusting that He will save and sustain us through this life and into eternity.
“When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.”