Luke and the Lost
If we teach Sunday School or in a small group because no one else will volunteer, or teach because we think we know it all, or teach without being a student, a learner of the Word ourselves, then resign. Immediately. For it is easy to fall into a trap of MEnistry versus ministry.
Before you quit reading, we need to examine our motives. We can only take those under our care as far as we have been ourselves. We are arrogant to think we can do more. We must be learners to be leaders. In God’s church, it would be better to have a few, called of God, students of the Word to teach than many who are not called and feel imposed upon to do the job. It is not good to just fill gaps. God’s church (people who want Truth) suffer as this is less helpful in their journeys to God and all He has for them.
Jesus poses a question to the arrogant religious scholars, provoking them to think deeper about what the Law says, to learn from Him, and to understand Who the Law is about. This is part of fulfilling the Law, not abolishing it, that Jesus was/is trying to get readers to understand. God’s Word is about Him first, then it is about us in relationship with Him as we love and live out the Word, glorying HIM. But the scholars were fixed, cemented and stood only on what they thought they knew best…the rules…the “shalt nots” which did not include a personal, coming back to God, in relationship with Him heart, mind and soul. In other words, they knew the words but did not possess a relationship.
Luke 20, The Message
41-44 Then he put a question to them: “How is it that they say that the Messiah is David’s son? In the Book of Psalms, David clearly says,
God said to my Master,
“Sit here at my right hand
until I put your enemies under your feet.”
“David here designates the Messiah as ‘my Master’—so how can the Messiah also be his ‘son’?”
45-47 With everybody listening, Jesus spoke to his disciples. “Watch out for the religion scholars. They love to walk around in academic gowns, preen in the radiance of public flattery, bask in prominent positions, sit at the head table at every church function. And all the time they are exploiting the weak and helpless. The longer their prayers, the worse they get. But they’ll pay for it in the end.”
Teachers, bow down before the Father, study the Word, let it penetrate your own heart first, pray repentance for yourself, pray for the students you will teach, then ask God to give You the wisdom, insight and understanding for the words that will be of most help to them. This is the ministry of teaching. Be alert! James 3:1 even reminds us that teachers of the Word will be judged more harshly because of the lives we affect.
“Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.”
So, before we quit, reexamine our motives. God doesn’t need us to get His work accomplished but He does invite us to join Him in HIS work to grow us, to teach and nurture us. Are we called? Invited? Then GROW FOR IT! Otherwise wait, He might be teaching you in the wait. And that, too, is included in the “calling”.
Dear Heavenly Father, Help us to grow and learn from Your Word every time we read and meditate on these precious words from You. We love You back. We believe what You say. We repent of those things You bring to our attention as not pleasing to You. We are guided by Your Holy Spirit’s direction. Help us to help others in the most excellent ways, by Your will, in Your Spirit.
In Jesus Name, Amen