Matthew 28:19-20- “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
For me, teaching has become my life. I have been teaching elementary school for the past 14 years, and I have been teaching in the church since I was a teenager in our Methodist Church. As a matter of fact, my greatest joy in life comes from teaching the word of God.
Of course, Jesus spent most of His ministry teaching the people. He taught in the synagogue, He taught on the mountaintop, He taught in the city, and in the fields; and anywhere else He had an audience. So I am honored to do the same ministry as my Savior.
In the above verse Jesus is speaking, and He said “teach all nations”. Why teaching? Years ago I did a Sunday School teachers’ training session on the purpose of the teaching ministry of the church. I called these trainings, professional development because I saw myself developing my team to become the best they could become as teachers.
During this particular session we discussed the power of teaching. When teaching is just about giving information, it doesn’t stick. Not in my elementary classroom, and not in a church. However, in the school room the highest level of learning is about application (put something into action; applying knowledge) But in the church, effective teachers, teach for transformation (a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance).
Jesus wanted people to be taught all over the world how to observe all things that was commanded of them. Another way to say it is, how to obey Him. No one is born in the world with the ability to just obey. They are taught to obey. When people are born in the kingdom, they have to be taught to obey, that their lives will be transformed.
Now, don’t go thinking I am talking about a rules and consequence gospel. No! But I am talking about the fact that if you are born again, it’s only your spirit that is born again. The will, the emotions, your soulish realm has to be taught how to react to the world around you and even to the God you have surrendered to as He commanded.
When I was a young child and a believer, I would read the word but I didn’t know that I had to study the word. I actually could quote 2 Timothy 2:15. Learned it in VBS. But I didn’t realize that reading the Bible and studying the Bible was not the same. I had to be taught that. It transformed my life.
I didn’t know about tithing. I had to be taught from the word of God that I should tithe. Once I was shown in the word the reason I should tithe, I jumped right on it. It transformed my life. Some ministers like to use scare tactics to get people to live biblical lives, but if we teach new converts and old pew warmers what the word really says, they will be transformed by the power of His word.
Paul said it like this, “be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” News flash! The renewing of your mind comes from being taught the word of God. As you are taught the word of God and are receptive to what it teaches you about life, transformation is inevitable.
I was a believer. I loved Jesus. But it wasn’t until I was taught about the baptism in the Holy Spirit that I understood it and desired that experience! Oh but when I found out! You guessed it, it transformed my life!
You see, Jesus wasn’t interested then, in just us having experiences in Him for He knew that without the understanding of what was happening we couldn’t maintain what He was giving to us. Remember the proverb, “You can give the man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, you can teach the man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime”? That’s transformation!! The man went from a beggar to a provider as a result of teaching!
So Jesus said to “teach them to be disciples” because just getting them saved isn’t enough. They need to know what it means to be a disciple and what it looks like. They will only get this through teaching and once they get it, transformation will take place.
Teaching is about action. So when something is not lining up with the kingdom of God, just know that you need to get some teaching on the matter. And as you understand it, you will be renewed in your mind and on the way to transformation. Don’t just get any teaching, get teaching that comes from the word of God through an anointed teacher of the word of God. Allow God the pleasure of taking the life you are living and transforming it into the Life He is giving! Go get some teaching!! Wonderful Jesus!