Thursday, July 24, 2008

Teaching Scripture in the Gospels...Word of God part 2

Here is something I have taken some time to research a bit so as to avoid putting erroneous info out there. There should be more to come.

My idea of the Holy Spirit being the lone being to teach us the meaning, application and heart of Biblical text raised a question in the mind of my lovely wife, Brook. Basically the issue, or question she had regarding such thoughts had to do with the "gift of teaching" as it is outlined in scripture (Romans 12:7). I think that is a great much so that I had to address it for myself and here it what I have found.

In the new testament there are many examples of the word "teaching". The Gospels are full of references...give or take 43 to be exact. In 40 of the 43 examples in the Gospels, Jesus is the one teaching. I think that is cool because it substantiates my thoughts on God, via His Spirit, teaching us still. Remember the words of Jesus, "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father". In the 3 verses that don't directly point to Jesus as "teacher", we are really talking about 2 examples because Mark 7:7 is a parallel verse to Matthew 15:9. These verses are actually Jesus quoting Isaiah in saying that the teachings:
"you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: " 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules."

I was excited about that verse too...and yes, I admit that I was looking for verses that could possibly be understood in a new way that may better present the idea of the Word of God being powerful when taught by God alone and when God transforms people with it.
I think one of the precise problems with humans instructing other humans is that it is so easy to, purposefully or otherwise, remove the heart from the analyzing and dissecting and end up teaching or learning "merely human rules". Especially that could be true in the case of what Jesus was upset about...forsaking the Word of God for the sake of tradition...enough said.

The other verse in the Gospels not dealing directly with Jesus teaching is Matthew 16:12:
"Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. "
AMEN! Preach it Jesus!
I want to deal with the other aspects of teaching scripture or even teaching doctrine that is found in the rest of the New Testament...but time requires me to end for today. So far though, I must say that when it comes to "teaching" scripture or laws or morals or what not in the Gospels, it seems best if we leave it up to Jesus. First of all, God is capable of teaching anyone who is seeking exactly what He wants them to know and anyway, Jesus wasn't pleased with what others were was diluted in the areas of transformation yet very concentrated in the ways of control and behavioral modification. Boooooo! Bad Pharisees! Bad teachers of the law!
I can't wait to have a bit more time to deal with some Pauline Epistles. Until then...

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