The Teacher

Rabbi, we know that Thou art a teacher come from God (John 3:2).

Master, we know that Thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth (Matthew 22:16).

It is written in the prophets, and they shall be all taught of God (John 6:45).

When Jesus had ended these words, the people were astonished at His doctrine: For He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes (Matthew 7:28-29).

Universally, mankind stands in need of being taught. We all derive the greater part of our knowledge from those who have preceded us. Ninety-nine per cent of what we know has been derived from our predecessors. Man's first teacher was the Creator Himself, and humanity has never wholly lost sight of this fact. The mind is a wonderful witness to divine workmanship and requires to be instructed by its Maker. The Prophet Isaiah speaks of God as "thy Maker," and later in the same chapter states, "and all of thy sons shall be taught of the Lord" (Isaiah 54:5, 13). Wherefore in the New Testament, we are reminded that Christ is the Maker of all things (John 1:3), and He affirmed He was Teacher by stating, "And they shall be all taught of God" (John 6:45). Christ is man's highest source of wisdom and knowledge. "In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3). Long after King David's coronation he gratefully remembered his Instructor, "O God, Thou hast taught me from my youth.... Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not" (Psalm 71:16-18). Let us recall that the words "teach, taught, teacher, and teaching" are used two hundred and forty times in the Bible, which gives the subject a place of great prominence and importance.

In this capacity, as in all vocations of value and virtue, Christ excels all other qualified teachers, whether they come from the ranks of the philosophers or physicists; scientists, specialists, or sages; legislators, logicians, or teachers; moralists, magnates, or mathematicians. The dignified abilities of Christ are exceptional and supernatural. His methods and material when teaching are eloquently distinguished, while His words of wisdom are unprecedented. He taught the truth of God plainly yet profoundly, simply yet sublimely, He Himself personifying the Truth He taught. Besides this being so, His message was magnified by His marvelous works, and verified by the Father's witness from Heaven. His life was in full harmony with His labor and these two combined to demonstrate divine loving-kindness.

When we examine the striking qualities of His sayings, the searching questions He submitted to the rulers, and the startling application He made of quotations from the Old Testament in defense of His claims, we must admit He is wholly incomparable. His teaching covered a widespread variety of subjects and was accompanied by a wholesome veracity and wondrous vitality. He avowed His sayings were spirit and life (John 6:63). He also affirmed that He had used similitudes in His discourses recorded by the Apostle John, "These things have I spoken to you in similitudes" (John 16:25).

Man is incapable of producing, in his finest woven fabric, a texture as delicately perfect as God makes in the petal of a fragrant flower. Likewise the profoundest teaching of which man is capable, can in nowise compare with the immortal words of the Son of Man. he is the Alpha of thought and truth, his lightest word outweighs the weightiest ever spoken by man. His very thoughts outsoar the starry sky. He Himself is the author of faith and love, the anchor of hope and holiness, the arbiter of justice and mercy, and the Amen of all confirmation and certitude. His authority is authentic, absolute, and abiding; all He taught was in keeping with His sublime claim (Matthew 28:18). He taught them as one having authority (Matthew 7:29).

Never at anytime in His teaching did the slightest indication appear of inability or imperfection such as is apparent with all other instructors. No trace of uncertainty or taint of unreality is ever found in His speech. In the light of His presence the greatest, wisest, and cleverest of human teachers, however illustrious, must step aside. Christ as teacher stands alone in personal splendor; He has neither rival nor equal. He set forth the most precious elements of knowledge, He unlocked the door to the highest privileges of heritage, and He opened the highway that directs humanity to the greatest advantage of all history, namely, access to the Father of Glory. John records that He made reference to the Father over one hundred times.

In real fact and resplendent truth Christ is God manifest. Only God in person could teach what He taught. Maps of the world were not in vogue in His day, yet He declared the gospel would be preached throughout the whole world. He was perfectly familiar with the beginning of creation and taught that time itself would terminate at the last day, an expression He used seven times in John's record.

Our beloved Lord made it quite clear that, as Son of Man, He was inescapable, for, said He, "All that are in the graves shall hear My voice and shall come forth, they that have done good unto the resurrection of life and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of judgment" (John 5:28). He plainly taught the truth concerning a life that was immune from the consuming and destructive laws of this world, and also demonstrated on the Mount of Transfiguration, that names and personalities that are known here, are continued beyond the veil. He likewise affirmed that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are living entities in the world unseen (Matthew 22:32).

When dealing with life's occupation's possessions, and relations in Luke 14, our Lord taught that in connection with these divinely bestowed associations, there was one supreme possession, one superior occupation, and one sublime relationship that concerned all mankind. His knowledge was full and complete, any reference He made to creation, history, prophecy, or destiny is perfectly accurate. With al the advance that has been made in learning during the more recent centuries, not one thing He taught concerning God, Heaven, angels, man, or the infernal realm needs to be amended or withdrawn. Who but He could have told us in detail of the conditions that would exist nationally and universally at the end of this age? Who knew as He did that national conflict, racial cleavage, class clash, creed controversy, and sex contention would ultimately cease, and a remaking of all things new would transpire? Or that death, the enemy's great master power would be destroyed? He taught us the divine design and deepest meaning of the Passover, that the judgment that fell on homes, where the blood of a slain lamb was not sprinkled on the doorposts, was not directed against behavior, but against birth. Space forbids more on this topic, wherefore in summing up we would say, how descriptive His references to the characteristics of His Kingdom! (Matthew 6:9; 7:21; 18:4)

How predictive His foreview of world conditions of violence and corruption at the close of the age! (Matthew 24:27-29; Luke 21:25-26)

How appreciative His kindly words of approval for companionship in the days of adversity! (Luke 22:28-29)

How positive His pledges of assurance and assistance to those who loyally serve Him! (Luke 12:32; Matthew 16:25)

How selective His choice when calling men of various occupations to serve Him! (John 6:70; 13:18; 15:16; Luke 6:13)

How instructive His clear-sighted presentation when commenting on unseen realities! (John 14:2-3; 17:24)

How comprehensive His teaching on the chief features of the law pertaining to God and man! (Matthew 22:37-40)

How distinctive His ministry of healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, and casting out demons! (Matthew 8:2-3, 7, 16)

How attractive His winsome appeals when offering rest of mind and contentment of heart! (Matthew 11:28; John 7:35, 39)

How inclusive His fervent prayer for the preservation of His people in an unsympathetic world! (John 17:9, 17)

How extensive His range of administration in every realm of dominion and right of resource! (Matthew 10:1; 24:30)

How conclusive His final verdict either of commendation or condemnation! (Matthew 25:34, 41)

How attentive His attitude toward all who come to Him seeking mercy! (John 6:37; 7:37)

How impressive His claim to all authority of every kind in every realm! (Matthew 28:18-19)

We can never overestimate the standards quality and value set forth by Christ as Teacher. His wisdom, knowledge, and discernment, combined with a complete understanding of all things in every realm—past, present, and future—determine perfect ability. Not a single thing He taught needs amending or qualifying to this very day. He never made a single misstatement and never minimized or misrepresented one syllable of truth. Mary of Bethany recognized the profound superiority of His character and sat at His feet and heard His word (Luke 10:39). She took time to let Him teach her, took heed to what He said, and took pains to let Him praise her devotion (Mark 14:9). Let us learn a lesson from her life. She loved Him, she listened to Him, she learned of Him. The result was she had a deeper, fuller appreciation of His message and mission than anyone else of her day.