Most cultures have a tradition of teaching by someone lecturing in a classroom and auditorium setting. Children learn more by writing and verbal activities. In both age categories, we are dependent on another human being to explain what we should know. Most churches teach by sermons or lecture type training.
Even Paul exhorted Timothy to take “what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). The idea of teaching others is all through the fabric of Scripture.
But there is another emphasis in the Bible – being taught by God. This was prophetically spoken of as to Jesus in Isaiah 50; “The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught” (50:4). Again, “All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children” (54:13).
In writing to the Thessalonian church, Paul says of them, “Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another” (1 Thessalonians 4:9). This gives us a clue as to why their witness was so effective.
While we value the teachers God has given to the church, and we should learn from them, our greater ambition must be that God teaches us through His Word and the Holy Spirit. We will address the role of the Spirit more tomorrow.
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