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Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Greatest Teacher

They called Him "Rabbi", "Teacher" and "Master", names which seem to adequately fit one of the roles Jesus performed while on earth. But how did He, the Son of God, come to be called by these names?

Luke's gospel gives us a view into the life of Jesus when He was a child. While He and his parents were in Jerusalem for the passover feast, they missed Him and later found Him in the temple "sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions" (2:46).

This scene set the stage for Jesus' ministry. The Bible gives accounts of a lot of miracles that He performed, but most of the time we see Him teaching. Mark 12:35 and Luke 19:47 show Him teaching daily in the temple. In John 7:14 He is teaching during the feast of tabernacles.

However the temple was not His only classroom. The streets, a fishing boat, people's homes, the shores of Galillee and the famous Mount of Olives all became His platform. And He taught not only in the day, but in the night as well. Remember Nicodemus? A ruler of the Jews? He came to Jesus by night, and Jesus didn't turn him away(John 3:2).

He taught them the three Rs.

He taught them how to read the Scriptures. "What is written in the law? how readest thou?(Matthew 10:26). "Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him,(12:3) And He read the Scriptures to them often. "And He came to Nazareth where he had been brought up: and as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read(Luke 4:16).

He taught them the right things. "Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself"(Matthew 20:19). "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them:for this is the law and the prophets"(5:46).

And, yes, he taught them 'rithmetic. "For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?" (Luke 14:28). "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?(Matthew 16:26).

Jesus' teachings were different from those taught in schools, however they never grew redundant or obsolete. They are relevant now as they were two thousand years ago. If we would only follow them, we would gain a diploma that would put us in good stead not only in this life, but in the life to come.
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