Today’s post, like all those on Monday mornings, are excerpts from books that I recommend to you. Any book that I quote from would be good to have on your personal library shelf. Today’s excerpt comes from the book A Theology For Christian Education by James Estep.
Today’s excerpt is a pointed one. The author reminds the reader that Jesus teaching flowed out of who he was. What a great lesson for us today! The teaching we bring to our group members should be the very best we can provide, but who we are must also line up with that teaching. Here, for instance, is the lesson we should learn as we guide the Bible study of our group members today:
Jesus’ teachings flowed out of who he was, not from his lesson plan for the day. In essence Jesus was the lesson plan. If he wanted his disciples to learn a lesson on humble servanthood, he simply took off his outer garment and washed his disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17). When he wanted them to learn how to trust God for protection, he took them out oon the lake in a storm and calmed the violent seas (Matt. 8:23-27). Jesus taught his disciples to love their enemies(Matt. 5:43-48), and some of his last words from the cross were about forgiveness for his persecutors (Luke 23:24). Jesus’ personal integrity was not lost on his detractors. The Pharisees and Herodians said, “Teacher…we know you are a man of integrity…You aren’t swayed by men, but because you pay no attention to who they are (Matt. 22:16). This was profound testimony of Jesus’ consistent lifestyle when even his enemies confessed his personal integrity…Jesus’ lifestyle of integrity went a long way toward reinforcing his message.”
And there you have it. A reminder and a challenge that those of us who represent Jesus as teachers of His Word must also live lives that are consistent with our message. Inconsistency is one of the quickest ways to lose your ministry, so be careful how you live, because people are watching. And they do notice.
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