A Pupil is like his teacher - Choose your teacher well
Luke 6:39-49 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
And He also spoke a parable to them: “A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher. 41 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. 43 For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. 44 For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. 45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.
46 “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”
Today’s text begins with Jesus saying: “A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit? A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.” This idea of pupils becoming like their teacher is a concept which those in our culture who wish to impose liberal values on our society understand well. There has been a gradual but purposeful strategy to control the morals and values of our society by controlling the teaching of our children. The children of our society are being indoctrinated into thinking, believing and becoming like the blind people who control our schools and their curriculum. I am not saying that teachers themselves are purposefully misleading our children. I have great respect for good teachers, who work hard to help our children get a good education and become good, productive members of our society. Surely though, we can see the results of the implementation of the immoral liberal agenda which has been increasingly affecting our education system for decades. Test scores and basic educational standards in reading and language skills, math and sciences continue to decline, while immorality, drug use, violence and anxiety are at all time highs in our schools. We teach our children that they evolved from animals rather than that they were created in the image of God and we are surprised when they act like the animals we say they are. Truly as today’s text says, we are seeing that when the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the pit. In Matthew 23:8 Jesus says: "But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.” Unfortunately the One who should be the teacher is no longer welcome in our schools.
The same principle, which we see impacting our schools and our society, also impacts the church and those who are Christians. When we become pupils of men rather than disciples of Christ, we become like those who are our teachers rather than like Jesus. Again it is not to say that our spiritual leaders and teachers are not good and necessary, but each individual needs to know Christ personally. Teachers can help us to know and understand what is written in scripture, but individually each person must themselves know the One who wrote scripture. Jesus says: “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (John 14:26) In order for the Holy Spirit to bring to our remembrance what Jesus has said, we must ourselves have heard what He said. We cannot rely on what others said or what others say about what Jesus said. Even if we don’t have full understanding of all of scripture, and no one does, we need to individually read and hear all of God’s word, all of what Jesus said and allow the Holy Spirit to teach us. Then if a blind teacher tries to lead us in a wrong direction, the One who is our teacher will keep us from stumbling.
In verses 46-49 of today’s text Jesus says: “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.” It’s not enough that we call Jesus Lord, He must be Lord. We must individually know Him and be known by Him. In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus says: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” In John 14:15 Jesus says: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” It is not enough to call Jesus Lord. He is not our Lord if we don’t do what He says, if we practice lawlessness, rather than building upon the strong foundation of His truth. We need to know all of what Jesus says and not rely on the teaching of any one person and their preferences or interpretation of what He says.
Jesus says: “the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.” Much of the church today is built on ground without any foundation. Even within the church faith is lacking. Much like our schools and our society, immorality and anxiety are increasing. In Matthew 17:19-20 Jesus reveals something about our faith. It says: Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” If faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain, then the littleness of our faith is not really a matter of how much, the size of the faith we have. The littleness of our faith is really about the size of the one our faith is in. If we trust in ourselves or in other people, our faith will not withstand the torrent that comes against us. We will be ruined. But, if our faith is in Jesus, if we trust in the big God who created heaven and earth, if the size of our faith is securely established on the foundation of what God says, then nothing will be impossible.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit thank You for Your word, for all that You have said. In You and Your word I place my trust. I choose to build on the sure foundation of what You say. I am determined to know both You and Your word. Holy Spirit be my guide and my teacher. As I study and meditate on God’s word, His promises and His commandments, teach me and bring to my remembrance what Jesus has said about the circumstances I face. I trust in You, a Big Big God. Amen.