Updated: Aug 23
Word during a time of prayer- August 15th, 2022
The role of the teacher.
We see in the following passage:
EPH 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
In James 3:1
Not many [of you] should become teachers [serving in an official teaching capacity], my brothers and sisters, for you know that we [who are teachers] will be judged by a higher standard [because we have assumed greater accountability and more condemnation if we teach incorrectly]. AMP
Jesus also said: John 13:12-14 So when He had washed their feet and put on His [outer] robe and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you understand what I have done for you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you are right in doing so, for that is who I am. 14 So if I, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet as well.
This is what the Lord revealed:
The student is not above his teacher Matt 10:24 A student is not greater than his teacher. A servant is not above his master. 25 The student shares his teacher’s fate.
Now look at this: Luke 6:39 Jesus also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher’.
The role of a teacher is an extremely important one within the body and thus is often the most esteemed, along with the role of the Pastor. Often the two roles are joined or have become assimilated. Now here lies a problem. Both are gifting to the body and are among the five ministries of the Spirit that edify and equip the saints.
Please note: ‘ they are for the edifying of the saints.’
All of these ministries operate or are meant to operate in a servant capacity. However, some roles, having been given status by the assembly, are more often served, also in some capacity. We can see this acutely in those who hold positions or ascribe ownership of a teaching or evangelistic ministry. We need to look to only a few names who have been at the forefront of such ministries for decades.
It also seems that there are many who seek such high profiles among the brethren. We see that such importance, whether given or aspired to, is of the Pharisaical spirit. This spirit seeks to dominate and show off. It is peacock-like, parading and proud. It inspires others to seek prominence and position upon the people it is supposed to serve. It prides itself on self-certification and on the knowledge it has required and even more demonstratively asks the people to give beyond what even God requires. Remember how Jesus spoke to the Pharisees, in Luke 16:14, declaring that they were lovers of money, and later in 2 Timothy 3:2.
Those who hold office roles must remember that they are giving out roles and are ‘for’ or toward the people. It is not ‘to’ toward the ministry.
The increase of ministry in size and status is an aberrant pursuit as is, fundamentally, the level of authority given to a Pastor.
The pastor and teacher are two separate roles. However, by God’s grace, some are given the joint role. It would be wrong to assume that one is also the other and that a good pastor is also a good teacher and vice versa.
Jesus in the passages above relates to us a great difference in the roles that the world perceives and what is Kingdom perceived.
What He reveals to us is the difference between ‘Revelation and Dictation’.
The student is not higher than his teacher, or the disciple is not higher than his ‘discipler’.
In the world, these rules can be overturned. A student, through further academic study, and having obtained the necessary qualifications, can exceed the status of his teachers. So we see that this rule of teaching by Jesus does not relate to a world system. What we do see in fact, is that the student and disciple are one with the teacher. The teacher is like a branch on a tree and the student, though a younger branch, is still connected to the tree. As the student grows, so does the teacher.
The Lord impressed this: there is a teaching that is employed by man - this is the ‘common way’ the teacher speaks (dictates) and the student learns.
There is a teaching that is unique to the Spirit. This is the ‘exalted way’. The Spirit speaks ( brings revelation) the student responds. Faith is imparted and thus obedience to God’s word is maintained. This in essence is the ‘Shema’.
The goal of learning through the Spirit is to equip so that the disciple can 'do'.
Those who have not been disciplined enough, will not respond to the purpose, and this response will ultimately fall upon the teacher. That is why teachers are held accountable.
A disciple must emulate his teacher; He looks up to the branch above him. A teacher who sees his students still sitting in the classroom at the end of their education has failed his task.
Now, we bring into alignment two outcomes. When the sheep are held or constrained in the pen, we see the hand of the heavy shepherd. He wants to keep the sheep restrained and dependent on him. The same rule applies to the teacher. Heavy teaching seeks to maintain the link that keeps the student forever learning.
Some teachers do the latter unknowingly and can be forced by the class to keep teaching them, just as believers can force a pastor shepherd to keep guiding them when they no longer need that level of guidance. There is a point when those who have been taught must also teach and those who have been pastored must also pastor. This is the level of maturity Paul refers to in Hebrews.
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers [because of the time you have had to learn these truths], you actually need someone to teach you again the elementary principles of God’s word [from the beginning], and you have come to be continually in need of milk, not solid food. 13 For everyone who lives on milk is [doctrinally inexperienced and] unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a spiritual infant. 14 But solid food is for the [spiritually] mature, whose senses are trained by practice to distinguish between what is morally good and what is evil.
As the disciple in Christ, seeks to emulate his teacher, he also seeks to reflect the image of Christ and thus reveal the nature of the greatest teacher to all. He does not seek to gain status or to develop a construct of ministry. He looks outward to what he can share because of what he has been given. Thus, he serves the body and not himself or any institution.
The constrictions of the covid pandemic have had a sublime effect and have used crafty design to restrain the body. Many of the brethren now meet predominantly through established digital platforms. The relational contact of human with humans has been greatly impacted. Physical Church attendance has been reduced and less effort is employed by congregants now to engage in a much longer physical journey to meet in a place of worship.
The ministry of God by the people demands physical movement. It demands physical acts like baptism and the laying on of hands. This is why God calls the Sabbath day a day to gather. He also wants His people to gather at the feasts. We must at this point, remember that the Sabbath Day is an appointed time too.
The problem we have now, in this more sedentary world, is that people are becoming less prepared for the occasion, especially for the appointed times of God. The response to gather for the banquet in the parable in Luke 14:15-24, highlights how easy it is to come up with an excuse not to attend the gatherings of the Lord.
Of course, we should know that such responses come from the enemy of our souls who seeks that the worship of God is minimized or not take place at all.
It should be a priority for believers to set aside within the calendar such times for gathering for God’s appointed feasts. Of course, we understand that unplanned events can happen. In these times we seek to support one another when journeys are delayed or impossible to make. Nevertheless, excuses should not become the norm.
The coming together of the assembly are times that Paul refers to as our obligation.
Romans 12: 1
Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. AMP.
The calendar of God’s appointed times gives us enough warning to respond to His invitation and to make preparation. If we remain sedentary then the plan of Ha’satan has succeeded.
When we look at Israel, during her long journey in the wilderness, we see that the people moved and remained still, when the fire cloud did the same. When they saw it move, they knew God was moving. This was not just a time to begin to pack and move out; it was an appointed time.
If we seek to reveal the power of the Holy Spirit of our Most High God in this world and the love of our Messiah to others, we must strive to make every effort to meet one another. We must reconcile ourselves to no longer being sedentary and comfortable. People are waiting to be healed and saved. This demands that we must reach out and break out from the trap that has been so cunningly set.