Teachers prepare young minds to take on new trades. Disciples prepare themselves to be like the Master. If you have ever wondered why we aren’t successful in “teaching” the Bible, it’s largely because no one wants to know the Bible as a profession. God sent His Son, not to share facts, but to define love and point to the Father. If we are His disciples, what is our job? Hermeneutics? Theology? Exegesis?
We can answer this by quoting Jesus in ‘the great commission’. “Go into all the world and make”…. Teachers? Scholars? Friends?… No. “Disciples”. Followers of Jesus. And how did Jesus teach us this? By example. Go into the world and be like Jesus because He came into this world to be our sacrifice after showing us how to live first. Teachers are great at giving knowledge. Disciples enlighten with every decision of every day. Every choice, each breath, and all the words spoken will show the world who we point to.
When we point to the Bible first and foremost, its like insisting that bakers understand how to shape fondant before they know how to mix batter. We want them to be able to whip up amazingly detailed and beautiful cake architecture that is appealing to the eyes… but we forgot to show them how to craft the foundation that holds up the masterpiece we insist they create.
How would you build your cake? Start with sprinkles? Watch YouTube videos on piping frosting? Purchase the best fork? That sounds silly doesn’t it? As amazing, powerful, and wonderful as the Bible is, it wasn’t designed to be the first point of contact for the world to meet Jesus.
Try opening it up and reading it like a normal book (which is what normal people will do). After a few interesting chapters we start getting into genealogies, lineages, timelines, geography… and to be quite honest… it doesn’t pick back up for a few hundred pages. What if you went to see the next big summer blockbuster movie and after a few explosions they started detailing new tax laws and math equations?
The firm foundation we build our cake on is Jesus. That personal relationship with Him is everything. With that established, the words penned in the Bible can be life changing. But shouting commands and referencing parables to people who haven’t yet seen the Master will be just as crazy as trying to put a cake topper on before the frosting. We have to show them the Master.
When Jesus wanted to teach us about being servants, He knelt down and washed feet. When He wanted to explain how to love, He ate with sinners and tax collectors. When the Son of God decided it was time to show what a sacrifice meant… He yielded to His accusers and faced the cross alone.
We don’t become like Jesus by quoting scripture. We become like Jesus (Christ-like… aka, Christians) by acting like Him in every aspect of our lives. He came to us and pointed to the Father. How can we be that to the world?