Lord Jesus, You are our Great Teacher.
You have spoken through the Scriptures and Your word is alive!
Help us to have eyes to see all You have provided and ears to hear Your teachings.
May we have understanding as we seek to follow You!
Series: “Eyes to See and Ears to Hear”
Where did the time go? This is something I catch myself thinking at the turn of each new year. I reflect upon my successes, along with my shortcomings, from the year that has passed. Taking all I have gleaned, I establish new goals, dream new dreams and walk confidently into the coming year. But so often, the confidence I begin the year with fades with that first failed attempt at something new. I start to question my ability to set a goal, let alone reach it. I am entering this new decade with a different perspective – one that is long lasting. A view that does not follow the conditions of man, but those of the Creator.
How could our lives look if our goal setting came from an eternal perspective? Instead of measuring success or failure by worldly standards here on Earth, let’s allow Jesus to set our goals, lay our path and teach us His way. How different would our ambitions, our intentions or our objectives be? What more could we learn about ourselves and others if we truly let ourselves surrender our way for HIS? After all, He is the greatest instructor we have. All through scripture, He is called Teacher.
‘Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” (John 3:1-2)
When Jesus walked on the earth He had a goal. That goal was for us to know the One true God, to love God, to serve God and to receive eternal life with God. This was His mission and nothing would deter Him. Jesus went many places throughout the land of Israel teaching the people. His style of teaching was different from the scribes of the time. He used what are called parables.
Parables are stories using common terminology, but they have a divine or spiritual meaning. Not everyone understood what Jesus taught. As time went on in His ministry we find Jesus explaining the meaning of these stories to those who were His disciples. Those who rejected Him would be left without understanding.
“His disciples came and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?”
He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not.
To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge.
But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.
That is why I use these parables, For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.” (Matthew 13:10-13)
The same holds true today. Jesus promised before He ascended into Heaven that He would send an Advocate to be with the disciples and as we trust in Him as our Lord and Savior we shall also receive the gift of the Advocate, called the Holy Spirit. He, the Holy Spirit, provides understanding to us and teaches us in the way of all truth. We read from John 14:15-17:
“If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.
He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him.
But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.”
Jesus never stopped teaching. He never lost sight of His purpose or His goal. How gracious of Him – we were His focus! Our eternal salvation was why He came down from Heaven. If we can follow the way Jesus taught, we can also set eternal goals. We can choose to love others, forgive others and obey His commands. We can show others who Jesus is and tell of His mighty acts. If our life helps lead others to Jesus, now that is a goal set for eternity!
As we walk through this new series, let us hold fast to the Teacher. His parables are lessons to help us navigate our life while we are on earth, to teach us about the character of our mighty God and above all else to encourage us to come closer and lean more deeply upon the wisdom given by His Holy Spirit.
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard.
He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’ (John 16:13-15)
Let us be ready to have our eyes opened to the light of truth and our ears to the sweet words of eternal life. Hallelujah!
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: John 3:1-2; Matthew 13:10-13; John 14:15-17; John 16:13-17