Jesus aimed some of His harshest words at the Scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 23). These guys were called teachers. Jesus called them hypocrites and blind guides. James warned that not everyone should become a teacher because of the greater expectations. In the Bible, God presents instruction, illustrations, and models, for Bible teachers to follow. The challenge is to know those expectations and seek to fulfill them.
I recently heard a very moving story from a young lady who lost her father in a traffic accident when she was a young child and was also neglected by her mom. At four years of age she was placed in foster care. She described her feelings of insecurity and the resulting negative behavior that stemmed from a desire to be loved. She was eventually adopted by a family that gave her the love she so desperately longed for and needed. Now this young lady has a ministry that seeks to help orphans who have been placed in foster care.
Unfortunately, the thing we need to do most as Bible teachers is the thing we tend to do the least. Pray. Oh we like to talk about it and teach about it. The question is, do we pray and how do we pray? Bible teachers should note that Jesus prayed for those He taught. We should also note what He prayed.
The story of Jesus feeding the 5000 is found in all four gospels. (See Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17, John 6:1-14)* This story seems to begin on a somber note. Three of the four gospels report the beheading of John the Baptist prior to telling the story of the feeding of the five thousand. Mark and Luke explain that Jesus had recently sent twelve disciples out to preach repentance and on their return they attempted to get away for some much needed rest. There is a problem. The crowds saw them leaving and followed.
The story of Jesus walking on water, in the midst of a storm and in the wee hours of the morning, is one of my favorites. This story is rich in spiritual truth, but I want to zero in on one question. Why did Jesus get in the boat?
Can you imagine never again lusting after stuff or sex? No fear driven insecurities. No false humility. No greed. No weapons. No hate. No lies. No secrets. No hurting the ones we love. Forever. No expiration.
In his book, Disciplines of a Godly Man, R. Kent Hughes said, “none of us naturally seeks after God, none is inherently religious, none instinctively does good” (Rom. 3.9-18). Therefore as children of grace, our spiritual discipline is everything – everything. The apostle Paul instructed Timothy in 1 Timothy 4.7 to “train yourself to be godly.