Yeshua’s students said to him:
Who are you to say these things?

Yeshua replied: Do you not know me from what I say?
Or have you become like the Judeans?

For they love the tree, but hate its fruit,
or love the fruit but hate the tree.

(Mark 6:2,3; Matthew 7:15-20; Matthew 12:33)

Why do I need some external authority to verify the truth I hear in the words of Yeshua?

Yeshua seems to suggest that his truth should be self-authenticating in the hearts of his students. He asks, “Do you not know me from what I say?” His words are words of truth. When my heart is open and I hear words of truth spoken, or read words of truth written, I know they are true no matter the messenger. I do not need to turn to some other authority figure, or book, or institutional structure to confirm to me what my heart knows to be true.

The problem with all external authority is that it is inevitably fickle and agenda-driven. When I seek verification for the truth from outside myself I become

like the Judeans
If they love the tree, they hate its fruit.
But if they love the fruit, they hate the tree.

I am driven by hidden unacknowledged agendas and biases. I make up my version of the truth to conform to the external voice to which I have given away my responsibility to know what is true in my heart. These voices of authority will inevitably change according to the dominant agenda driving their interests. So my convictions and my faith become unstable and changeable. I am enslaved to the authority to which I have surrendered responsibility for my inner life.

This is why Jesus said,

you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah.
(Matthew 23:8-10)

My instructor is “the Messiah” who sent his Spirit to live in my heart and guide me into all truth.  (John 14:26)


Today I will seek to face honestly those external authorities to which I have given away responsibility for my spiritual life and will listen for the deep truth of the inner wisdom that lives in my heart.