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I Say to You

I SAY TO YOU (Mt 5:22)

While the prophets and Scribes started their quotes from God with the phrase, “Thus says the LORD” or “There is a teaching that,” Jesus started his statements with the phrase, “I say to you” as an authoritative teacher. While prophets were spokespersons of God, Jesus was God, and he spoke with authority. His listeners noticed it and were amazed at such speech. The report on the Sermon on the Mount concludes thus: “When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their Scribes” (Mt 7:28-29).

Unlike the Scribes and the prophets of the pre-Christian era, Jesus was speaking with authority, amazing his listeners (Mt 9:8). Jesus, the Son of God, has the authority to teach by himself rather than by quoting from another source. Whatever he taught was also from the Father, because he said, “What I say, I say as the Father told me” (Jn 10:50). “The Father and I are one” (Jn 10:30). As disciples of Jesus, we also must be one with Jesus and must teach what we learn from him.

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