16.My doctrine is not mine. Christ shows that this circumstance, which was an offense to the Jews, was rather a ladder by which they ought to have risen higher to perceive the glory of God; as if he had said, “ you see a teacher not trained in the school of men, know that I have been taught by God.” For the reason why the Heavenly Father determined that his Son should go out of a mechanic’ workshop, rather than from the schools of the scribes, was, that the origin of the Gospel might be more manifest, that none might think that it had been fabricated on the earth, or imagine that any human being was the author of it. Thus also Christ chose ignorant and uneducated men to be his apostles, and permitted them to remain three years in gross ignorance, that, having instructed them in a single instant, he might bring them forward as new men, and even as angels who had just come down from heaven.
But that of him who sent me. Meanwhile, Christ shows whence we ought to derive the authority of spiritual doctrine, from God alone. And when he asserts that the doctrine of his Father is not his, he looks to the capacity of the hearers, who had no higher opinion of him than that he was a man. By way of concession, therefore, he allows himself to be reckoned different from his Father, but so as to bring forward nothing but what the Father had enjoined. The amount of what is stated is, that what he teaches in the name of his Father is not a doctrine of men, and did not proceed from men, so as to be capable of being despised with impunity. We see by what method he procures authority for his doctrine. It is by referring it to God as its Author. We see also on what ground, and for what reason, he demands that he shall be heard. It is, because the Father sent him to teach. Both of these things ought to be possessed by every man who takes upon himself the office of a teacher, and wishes that he should be believed.