Friday, April 28, 2017

The Teacher

UV 2264/10000 The Teacher
Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
Psalm 27 v 11

We can learn any subject from a domain expert of that field: mathematics from a math teacher, music from a music teacher and so on. But in order to learn how best to live, one can learn it only from the author of life. Life is a most complex and difficult subject both to learn and to live. Only the Lord can teach us how to live, how to live well and how to live forever. He does not speak to us in riddles and puzzles but He makes known His ways plain to us through His Son Jesus, through the Word and by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. But we need to have a teachable attitude. We need to humble ourselves and realize how messed up, how broken and how incomplete we are in the absence of the Lord teaching us His way. For the twelve disciples, Jesus was first their Teacher as they called Him, “Rabbi” and then, their God and Saviour. They moved from doubt to faith. For us who believe today without having seen Him, He is first our God and Saviour and then, our Teacher. We move from faith to learning. The time the disciples spent at the feet of Jesus and accompanying Him everywhere over three years of His public ministry had a decisive and transformational effect on their lives. Likewise, the time we spend at the feet of Jesus and in His company has a transformational effect on our lives as nothing else or no one else has.

The Lord teaches us to live in a blameless way. He teaches us to live fearlessly. He teaches us the secrets of powerful living. He teaches us how to overcome our enemies, foes, our challenges. One of our foremost enemies is we ourselves, our inner weaknesses and vulnerabilities. He teaches us how to overcome these by His grace. He is never done with teaching us. With other teachers, we can reach a point where we can say that we have learnt enough or that we have nothing more to learn from them. But with Jesus, our learning is lifelong. He teaches day by day, moment by moment. With other teachers, there is only a very limited period of “hand holding” but Jesus holds our hands all through and beyond. Other teachers may be par excellence at best while Jesus is par perfection. Other earthly teachers teach as they profit in some way from the taught while Jesus alone taught and still teaches without any demands on us. Jesus said, “Ask and you will receive.” Yes, we will receive answers to all our questions as He alone knows these answers. He is the only teacher who not only knows all the answers but He is our practical life coach and guide.

His way being always higher than our ways, His thoughts being higher than our thoughts, we need grace and discernment to understand His ways. The Holy Spirit is the bridge in the God-man gap in understanding, wisdom and knowledge. He also bridges the God-man gap in power and self discipline to do that which we have been taught. Jesus is a patient teacher. He waits for us to grasp and do what He has taught us. The words of other teachers only penetrate the mind of the pupil but the words of Jesus penetrate our hearts and transform our lives. Other teachers leave their students after teaching them while Jesus remains with us and He is a participant and helper to live out our lives. He enables us to walk the path that He Himself walked. He never leads us to any place where He Himself had not walked. He leads by example and His actions match His words while they outstrip our greatest expectations.

Prateep V Philip

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