Study from God’s Word… Matthew, Chapter 13; Mark, Chapter 4; Luke, Chapter 8 … Passage for Reflection: Matthew 13: 52 … NIV He [Jesus] said to them [i.e., His followers/disciples], "Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old."
My Journal for Today: Have you ever wondered why Jesus so often taught His Heavenly Father’s “kingdom values” by using parables, ... those wonderful, but sometimes enigmatic stories our Savior used to teach, persuade, and relate what God wanted the people to learn and to use in their daily lives? Well, the reason Jesus used parables to teach can be found in His own words as he related to His disciples that his use of parables fulfilled the prophesies of the Old Testament (see Psalm 78: 2 and Isaiah 6: 9-10). But today’s text also relates one of the reasons Jesus used parables in sharing the importance of relating true KINGDOM VALUES when a teacher is teaching or relating God’s truth to His children.
Both of our daughters have Masters Degrees in elementary education; and they have certainly been taught to teach children the so-called THREE R’s, i.e., the basics of reading, writing, and math. And I’ve observed, with great pride, our daughters teaching in a classroom or as professional tutors; and their teaching techniques really get the material across to their students. However, it’s most interesting to see these two teaching “pros” teach our grandchildren, ... their own kids. Because they use life experience to teach, not only the principles of mathematics or language or other basic educational skills; but they also use everyday life in teaching their kids, our grandkids, the kingdom values Jesus taught His followers by using parables.
How many times, when you’re reading through the parables used by Jesus in the chapters of the Gospel writers, do you read the phrase, “... the kingdom of God is like ...,” which was followed by Jesus using a parable to teach some value to His followers or maybe to rebuke the Pharisees for being hypocrites. And so often the religious leaders didn’t have a clue about what he was teaching; but the common folks not only got it, but likely applied the teaching to their lives. Certainly we see that at least eleven of Jesus’ inner Disciples, and later the Apostle Paul, really internalizing Jesus’ teachings; because all but one, the beloved John, died the death of a martyr living and teaching kingdom values by sharing the message of Christ with the world.
So, the question arises in my mind, from my meditation on how Jesus taught, is whether I’m being the teacher I should be - or even the Christian I should be - as I live, model, and teach kingdom values to my family and others, especially as I live my life as a Christian, let alone as a “Christian” teacher. Am I imparting the values Jesus taught with His parables from the storehouse of my mind and from my experience to relate the treasures of truth which are God’s kingdom values; or am I keeping Christ’s light of truth under a bushel so that others cannot see those values and apply them to their lives?
So, having been given, by God’s Spirit, a gift of teaching, I’m convicted today to assess whether I’m doing what is modeled by Jesus and charged by His words in today’s text? Am I doing what our daughters are doing for their daughters, ... teaching and relating God’s truths, gleaned from God’s word, as they live their lives to impart/model truth for our grandchildren? I believe sharing kingdom values in these daily devotional entries is using my teaching gifts in at least one way. I just hope this, along with how I impart Godly values to my family and in ministry, will do what today’s text and Jesus’ model relates to me.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, help me to live, model, and impart Your kingdom values to others, especially those closest to me. Amen