Tag Archives: Teach

Swayed By the Crowd

February 12, 2014

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"Give us Barabbas" Illustrations from volume 9 of The Bible and its Story Taught by One Thousand Picture Lessons, edited by Charles F. Horne and Julius A. Bewer, published in 1910.

“Give us Barabbas”
Illustrations from volume 9 of The Bible and its Story Taught by One Thousand Picture Lessons, edited by Charles F. Horne and Julius A. Bewer, published in 1910.

What is it about a crowd that makes it persuasive? Why are individuals of a certain opinion willing to change it based on what the crowd tells them it should be?

  • The crowd forced Aaron into making the golden calf
  • The crowd was ready to hand David’s kingdom over to Absalom
  • The crowd chose Barabbas

We can look throughout history to see how leaders were able to use the crowd to get their way. Just like the Jewish leadership convinced the crowd to crucify Jesus, (Matthew 27:15-23) change of any kind can be made by winning enough buy-in.

I’ve written before about the need for Christians stop being silent on social issues. If we use our voices, we can reverse some of the momentum they have achieved.

The power of the crowd works in both directions. Just like it was used to erode moral values, it can be used to teach (and in many cases – re-teach) the majority what is good and right in the site of God.

The “safety in numbers” that we usually feel is more often than not, a false sense of security.


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No Longer Silent

January 14, 2014

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Calling of the Apostles - 1481 - Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449–1494)

Calling of the Apostles – 1481 – Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449–1494)

In Matthew 10, Christ gives a complete set of instructions to the newly empowered apostles to carry out their first and limited commission. They were to only go to the Jews (Matthew 10:5-6) and were sent despite the personal danger that they were about to walk into.

I believe they concentrated on the Israelites as a way to counter the influence of the Sadducees and Pharisees, who were doing their best to discredit Jesus and lead the Jews away from notion that this was the Messiah. They could no longer remain silent against them.

Even though this was a special instruction meant only for the twelve, there is still a lot of application for us. The world is certainly doing its part to discredit Jesus these days, and this is something we have been given to work against.

In just a few verses, we can see what we should be doing:

  • Matthew 28:18-20 – The full commission to go into all the world, teaching and baptizing is given
  • 2 Timothy 2:2 – Follow the apostles example and teach others
  • Philippians 4:9 – Follow the example of Paul
  • Hebrews 2:1 – Don’t be neglectful of the word
  • 1 Peter 1:6-7 – Keep going even when it is challenging

If we remain silent, the noise of the world obscures Christ from honest seekers. This sample of instructions gives us the same responsibility against the world as the twelve had against the Jews.

I’m sure we all know someone that is receptive to the idea of Christ. What can we do to light their way to him?

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Why We Are Bible Teachers

October 30, 2013

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Previously we considered the great responsibility of Bible teachers and the powerful position they are in. Depending on their words, they can set the course of another person’s salvation.

Although James 3:1 starts the chapter with a warning to teachers, James 3:18 ends it with the wonderful result of a Bible teachers work: “a harvest of righteousness sown in peace.” Many of us who were raised in the church can remember our Sunday school teachers. I can even remember where I was when I learned some of my Old Testament History: the walls of Jericho, Samson and Delilah, David and Goliath ….apple book

It is the work of those teachers that helped get me where I am now.

It is very challenging to be a teacher, but the greatest challenge may be maintaining a proper attitude. A combination of things from the mood of the class to the ultimate goals of the teacher have an impact on the students. If you read and study James 3:13-18, you see exactly what I mean.

Wisdom born from jealousy and ambition leads down the false path. James spent a lot of time in chapter 3 showing us how powerful the tongue is. Misusing it bears the fruit of disorder and other vile things.

Wisdom born from meekness is “from above” and is demonstrated in good works. Those works look like the seven or eight things listed in James 3:17. Topping that list is purity and peace. Jesus said that the peacemakers will be called the sons of God. (Matthew 5:9)

That, fellow Bible teachers, is why we do it. Despite the warning of stricter judgment, teachers of God’s word are in the highest office offered in this lifetime – they are the peacemakers and therefore the candidates to be God’s children! The next time you have the opportunity to teach a Bible class, take it on knowing the church depends on your work.

Daily Bible reading for October 30

Psalm 90
1 Kings 22:1-40
Zechariah 3
James 3:13-18

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Motes and Beams

September 13, 2012

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Matthew 7:3-5 one of the most often quoted of Bible passages. Jesus had a knack for turning a phrase and here he made impact with a humorous impossibility. The Master Teacher sure could get an audience’s attention!

Even the smallest of sins have serious consequence (Romans 6:23) and it is important to help our friends recognize this. It is even more important to have ourselves in order before we turn our attention to others, or we risk being in the same comical situation that is described in our text. How can the person we are trying to correct and reprove take us seriously when we make no effort to correct our own obvious sin?

Part of our responsibility as members of the Lord’s church is to help each other get to heaven through teaching and admonishing (Col 3:16), but this is one occasion when we are authorized to put ourselves before others.

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