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Gathered in Instruction

We are always learning, aren't we? I often told my kids that they should learn something new every day. I still tell them, even now as adults, “You know it’s a good day when you’ve learned something new.”

I know I’m certainly learning. (And thankfully so!) I’m having to relearn how to do Bible class. I’m slowly figuring out that you can’t lead a Bible study online the same way you do in a classroom. (But I still have a long way to go!)

We are all learning how to do life in a pandemic! We’re having to relearn the simplest tasks.

A good teacher God has provided for a lifetime of learning is the Bible. Like any good father, God teaches His children.

Each genre of literature in holy writ has its own unique lessons. From its poetry and prayer we learn theology. The proverbs teach us godly wisdom—because we certainly can’t rely on our own understanding! Human’s tend to confuse the definitions of good and evil. Therefore, wisdom begins with the Lord. And to live a good life is to live in accordance with His wisdom.

Those are just some teaching genres in the Bible. There are valuable lessons to be learned from all of them. In our Tuesday Live gathering I covered those gleaned from the law, the torah, the historical narratives, the parables of Jesus, and discipleship.

One purpose for God's gatherings was that of instruction.

God told Moses, “Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children” (Deuteronomy 4:10).

And His people have been gathered around His Word for centuries. The Bible is a primary instrument He uses for teaching us. In his letter to Timothy, Paul wrote, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tm 3:16).

Absolutely paramount to Jesus ministry was His teaching. As Jesus journeyed to the Cross, He taught.

Jesus established Himself unequivocally as Teacher. He even said so Himself (check out John 13:13 for one example).

Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees referred to him as teacher. Unfortunately, that’s all they thought He was—as do many today.

The Gospels attest that people were amazed by His teaching because he taught with such authority (Mt 7:28-29; Mk 1:22, 27; Mt 22:33; Lk 4:32).

His teachings are timeless . . . relevant . . . and applicable—despite popular opinion. Because they seem counter-intuitive and against the natural inclinations of man.

The teachings of Jesus shapes our worldview—a necessity in today's secular age.

His teachings inform the mind . . . informs faith . . . and transforms lives.

Jesus taught through both the sermons He preached and the things He did. Through the Beatitudes of His Sermon on the Mount and washing His disciple’s feet. His actions were often His loudest sermon.

Warren Wiersbe estimates that one-third of the recorded teachings of Jesus are in parabolic form.

Parables are a brilliant combination of teaching and storytelling, using comparison of common items familiar to His audiencewhich made for easy recall and retelling.

His parables teach about the kingdom of God, its values, and His mission. They teach us about being mindful of the lost, wealth, and the future.

Jesus packed a powerful punch in His parables because they were intended to move the hearer to respond. And for those parables that commanded “Do likewise,” they were meant to move the hearer toward repentance. I know I have certainly been convicted by many of them.

The parables of Jesus are a veritable treasure-house of teaching that make the reader think. And further help to realign perspectives and values—from the worldly to eternal.

The Gospels not only contain the Good News of our Savior and His teachings, they also contain a call and a pattern for discipleship.

Jesus discipled men . . . to disciple men. He was teaching and training men, so that they, in turn, would teach and train other men, to teach and train more men.

We are mentored and discipled to mentor and disciple.

In The Master Plan of Evangelism, Robert E. Coleman wrote this about the teaching methods of Jesus: “Having called his men, Jesus made a practice of being with them…All Jesus did to teach these men his way was to draw them close to himself…Knowledge was not communicated by the Master in terms of laws and dogmas, but in the living personality of One who walked among them…It was by virtue of this fellowship tha the disciples were permitted to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God (Lk 8:10).”

They did life together.

We are also commanded to teach (see Matthew 28:20).

So as God, the Father, taught; and Jesus, His Son; so too are His people to teach.

Older women are to mentor younger women (Titus 2:3-5). And parents are to train up their children in the ways of the Lord (Deuteronomy 6).

The life of those in Christ is one of learning—which is why we are called disciples. But we don’t learn for the sake of piling up knowledge, rather, to gain and exercise godly wisdom. It is more about shaping character and behavior than increasing intellect.

It not about learning information . . . but transformation.

As we immerse ourselves in the Word, God works on making us more and more like Christ (2 Corinthians 6:18).

God gathered His people together for purpose. One of them being instruction.

They were gathered before a mountain,

or in the desert.

They were gathered before Jesus on a hillside or synagogue,

in the temple courts, the Upper Room, and an olive grove.

He’s gathering still—

in our homes, churches, and coffee shops. . .

and now on Facebook and Zoom!

Let's pray the gatherings grow . . . and grow—in size and geography.


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