Monday, July 07, 2008

Luke #58 – More Than a Good Teacher

Luke #58 – More Than a Good Teacher

“And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, ‘What a word is this! For with authority and power He commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.’ And the fame of Him went out into every place of the country round about” (Luke 4:36-37 – King James Version).

It was a funny scene…let me tell you about it. I am 5’10” and weigh 297 pounds. Needless to say, I am a big ol’ boy! There is a lot of me packed between that first and seventieth inch. I was having an after church discussion with some of the young women and young men of my youth group about cheerleading and gymnastics. Brittany Brown, a talented cheerleader and athlete in her own right, had performed several gymnastic moves and we were discussing the difficulty of said moves. She did a thing called a toe touch. That involves holding one’s hands straight out, palms up, and jumping up and touching the toe of one’s shoes to the palms of one’s hands. I said, “I can do that.” Several of the youth laughed, especially one young man. Well, I’ll let you know that I did it, not once, but THREE times in a row. The young doubter tried several times without any success. I used that little experience to teach them not to judge a book by its cover, nor to take people at what they say only, but to understand their commitment and ability by what they can and will do.

When Jesus taught in the synagogue in Capernaum the people there were “astonished at His doctrine” (verse 32). He was a teacher of no comparison; those people had never heard a person teach with such power and knowledge. Now they were amazed in a whole new way. Not only did Jesus teach in an amazing way, but He had POWER in His words. With little effort, Christ spoke and by His words the demons were forced to leave from the man. The people basically said, “What kind of word is this?” because they were amazed that Jesus’ words didn’t only make sounds but caused action. Clearly He was more than a man. Clearly Jesus was more than a good teacher. I think this account of Jesus casting the evil spirits from this man is one of the places we can firmly establish that Jesus is God.

There is another lesson in here for us today. There is the lesson of living what you say. I am wearied of people who know all the Christian talk but display little of the Christian walk. We know how to give all the Christian answers and to say all the right church phrases and repeat all the Sunday School answers, but there HAS to be more! God desires that we produce spiritual fruit, not that we sit around naming them! Don’t get me wrong; knowing all the Christian facts and the lingo in which to express them is not a bad thing. What I am saying is that if there is not some action to match those words, well, we had better check ourselves. There are too many people that are all talk and no action!

Jesus would have earned fame with His teaching alone. It was different and He was different. His teaching was more than reminding people of rules; He taught them how to apply God’s word and how to live it. He did not do that alone. He did miracles and lived in a way that showed there was more to God’s word than knowing it and being able to talk about it.

Do you want to be known near and far? More importantly, do you want fame before the Lord? Here’s how to get it…don’t just talk “God stuff”, but live it. Jesus was more than a good teacher…He was the word come to life. I believe He desires the same from us. I don’t think that my youth would have been satisfied by me simply saying I could do a toe touch, but they were very satisfied when what I did matched what I said I could do. I think the same applies to our Christian lives. We must do what we talk!

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