“And in the end, I realized I received more than I gave…” — John Ruskin

Hebrews 5:11-14
2 Corinthians 13:5-6
James 1:19-25 (esp. 22-24)

I played on a team that had much talent but was thwarted by little coaching and even less heart. One of the team’s self-appointed leaders often complained about the coach.

“He’s never played football. How can he teach us anything? I won’t try to teach someone the violin if I’ve never played it. He’s supposed to teach us about this game?”

His analysis, though logically flawed, held some truth. The teacher must first have knowledge to effectively impart it. A great coach need not have played the game, but he must possess a thorough understanding to teach those who play.

Jesus said, “Make disciples of all the nations.” He said we should pass his teachings to all the world. This admonition presupposes that we’ve learned it first. That presupposition, though fundamental to instruction, often gets brushed aside in the race to teach others. We forget to teach ourselves. Continually.

The best teachers always remained students. Their posture of learning gave them a greater understanding of learners. Their quest for greater insight carried them along new paths where they could then guide others.

Those hoping to instruct others in the ways of Jesus should take heed. How can we teach anyone Jesus’ commands if we ourselves won’t or don’t know them from experience? Can we speak of the consequences, good and bad, of such obedience? Can we speak of and sympathize with the cost of such choices? Can we tell another of the great rewards and new understandings that come from hearing and doing Jesus’ teachings?

If we plan to teach others what Jesus has taught us, we need to learn it. To make disciples of Jesus’ teachings, we must have learned it. John Stuart Mill, in one of his attacks on faith in Jesus, said, “If it were true, I suppose I would’ve seen it at least attempted.”

Do you attempt it? Or do you simply tell others about it?

Do you hope to teach others the words of Jesus you’ve read?
How do you remain a student of Jesus?
Do you place emphasis on “knowing enough” material, or on hearing and obeying Jesus’ teachings?


© Revolworks 2006