The Way DAY 16 - The Teacher

Day 16: The Teacher

Luke 5:1-4

If Jesus’ death saves us, why should we care about what he did or said before that? Why did the Gospels give any space to his teachings?

Luke 5 gives us a big clue. Look at what Jesus does in this story: he teaches. Jesus gets Simon to push off from shore, putting a little water between Jesus and the audience. V.3, “Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.”

What does Jesus teach people about? God! Let’s get more specific. Jesus teaches about the kingdom of God. In Luke 4:43, Jesus said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God…because that is why I was sent.” What is the kingdom of God? God’s kingdom is any place where God gets what God wants. Wherever people yield to God’s loving leadership, that’s the kingdom. Jesus teaches people how to live under God’s loving leadership. He teaches people how to make God’s way of doing things a reality in their lives. He teaches people how to thrive, not just survive. That’s what Jesus knows how to do.

Do you know what that means? It means Jesus values formation over a finish line. A lot of people focus all their attention on the cross, on the death of Jesus. Jesus’ death on the cross does saves us from the punishment for sin. That drives some Christians to focus on getting people to trust what Jesus did for them on the cross. They focus on getting people to make a decision for Christ. They think, “If we can just get people across that finish line, then they’ll be saved!”

Friends, we should help people see the beauty in Jesus’ ugly death. We should help them trust Jesus to save them. But ask yourself: if the only thing we need from Jesus is his death, why didn’t he just die? Why did he live? Why did he teach? He teaches because he cares about formation, reshaping you into someone better. The fact that he spent so much time teaching proves that Jesus wants lifelong learners, not one-time decisions. Your decision to trust Jesus to save you is the starting line, not the finish line.

What word or picture best captures how you often think of Jesus? Examples: Savior, lord, king, teacher, God, shepherd, friend, etc. What draws you to that word?

Teach me, Jesus. Teach me how to live under God’s loving leadership. Amen.