Saturday, October 8, 2011

Jesus, Our Teacher

The word 'disciple' in Greek means a learner, a student. In order to be a disciple one has to have a teacher. As Christians we understand we are disciples of Jesus Christ. Therefore, Jesus is our teacher.

Let us look back upon the days we were students. We went to school, received instruction, studied and made our grades. If we did not listen to our teachers or behaved in class, there were consequences such as low grades and the unwanted correction from our teachers. Is it any different being a student of Jesus Christ? To say we are students of Jesus Christ means we have to listen to His teachings and accept His correction. But Jesus is no ordinary human teacher. After His death and resurrection, He ascended to His Father in Heaven. He has poured into us His Holy Spirit. Wherever we are, He is there also. Which means wherever we are, Jesus is teaching us something.

The story of the sisters, Mary and Martha, illustrates how Jesus will teach us something even if we think we know the answer. Jesus enters a village and Martha invites Him into her home. This was a common practice in accordance with middle-eastern hospitality. In other words, Martha did the right thing. She was busy fulfilling what she thought was expected of her so much so she expected her sister to help out in the kitchen. Jesus teaches her saying, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”  Mary had chosen stillness and being at the feat of Jesus. Martha learned something about herself, she is anxious and troubled and she learned what Jesus expected of her, to sit and learn.  (Lk. 10:38-42) If Jesus did not love Martha he would not have bothered to teach her anything. In fact Jesus loved Martha so much that when He heard the news of her brother’s illness, Jesus made a point of staying where He was two days longer! I am not being sarcastic. The text actually says that! So Jesus comes to Bethany after Lazarus has died. It is Martha who greets Him. There Martha learns from Christ, Himself, that He is the Resurrection and the Life! Mary runs to greet Him and like her sister, assumes Jesus is late. But she gets to see Lazarus raised from the dead. Jesus is such a great teacher, that one can be assured, Mary, Martha and Lazarus knew without doubt, death has been conquered in Jesus. But they still experienced their natural emotions of loss, grief and despair. Their classroom was their life. Their teacher was their Lord. (John 11:1-44)

And it is the same with us. Our life is our classroom. Things may not go our way. But they always go God’s way, like Jesus waiting two days to see His friend, Lazarus.

“...He saw a great crowd and He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And He began to teach them many things.” (Mk. 6:34)