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"Never Man So Spake"

The officers had been sent to arrest the Lord Jesus and now they had returned - without Him (John 7:45-52). Inevitably they were going to be asked why they had failed to bring Him. How were they going to explain the situation? What were they going to say to those who had sent them? The only answer they could give was to state that which had impressed them so deeply, so they simply said, "Never man so spake." What they had heard had a most profound effect upon them. Perhaps they experienced something of what the two disciples felt, as they walked in conversation with the risen Lord on the way to Emmaus. They later said of that experience, "Was not our heart burning within us as He spake to us in the way, while He opened to us the Scriptures?" (Luke 24:32).

The officers' answer was not very well received by the rulers who had sent them. One of them however, Nicodemus, viewed the matter more sympathetically. He himself had heard things spoken of by the Lord that he would never forget (John 3). He must have realized that the words of the Lord Jesus were vastly different from those of other men.

Imagine the scene in the synagogue at Nazareth when the Lord stood up to read from Isaiah 61. After hearing Him "the eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on Him," and when He began to unfold the meaning of the words He had read "all bare Him witness, and wondered at the words of grace which proceeded out of His mouth" (Luke 4:16-22). However, as is so often the case, when the true interpretation was brought home to them, their attitude toward the Lord changed, and He was soon surrounded by a hostile crowd, intent on destroying Him, but majestically "passing through the midst of them," He went His way (Luke 4:30).

Later, at Capernaum as the Lord taught in the synagogue on the Sabbath day, "The were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority" (Luke 4:32). The Lord Himself said to His disciples "The words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, and are life" (John 6:63). Who but the very Son of God could have said such words as are recorded for us in John 5:24, "He that heareth My word, and believeth Him that sent Me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgement, but hath passed out of death into life?"

Small wonder that Peter, speaking for the rest of the Lord's faithful few said, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life" (John 6:68). The Lord is still speaking to us through His own living word. What effect does this word have on us? Do we realize that He speaks with authority? May we as we hear Him speak to us, give heed, for truly, "Never man so spake." "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom" (Col. 3:16).