In 1994, UNESCO earmarked 5th October as World Teachers’ Day to garner attention on the profession and the welfare of those who have dedicated their lives to the teaching profession. The main motive of these celebrations is promoting the idea of “Education for All.”
Similarly, every child of God is responsible for spreading the Good News that “Christ Died for All”. For a follower of Jesus, teaching is not a profession, but a way of life. Jesus, while he was in this world, taught people the truth about His kingdom through parables. It was His way of life, and He said that “I am the Way.”
This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.1 Timothy 2:3-6
Role of Teachers
Teachers nourish their students with wisdom and teach life skills to their children. Their escheats help students discover the precise path in their lives. Parents are instinctively teaching their children to cope with every stage of their lives. Though all of us can teach others, the quality of teaching is the outcome of what we are. For this reason, Bible teaches us to produce qualified teachers who are reliable in spreading the love of God to all people, irrespective of caste, creed or religion. God gives us the Holy Spirit to teach us the truths hidden in the scripture and every teacher’s purpose is to connect their believer to this ultimate teacher. The role of the teachers in every believer’s life is to shape them in the likeness of Jesus by remaining in Him.
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.2 Timothy 2:2
A Period of Learning
Learning does not exclusively belong to any specific age group or people or a particular time period of our lives. Every new day is an open page of our life lessons, and one should learn them with practical experiences. The world has many options for learning, and with the emergence of the internet, access to learning new things has become unlimited. Despite modern facilities, the world faces a remarkable decline in learning proficiency. While we are celebrating “Teachers’ Day” to enhance teaching proficiency, we should not fail to understand the role of learners in the teaching profession. The quest for learning and expertise in teaching should go together.
During the early days, parents refused to send their children to schools because of the rigid social setups. Teachers had to go to each house to convince the parents and bring their children to school. This problem persists in the modern days as parents are not entrusting their children to teachers. Families no longer support the authority of a teacher over their students in the classroom. Teachers can face threats of violence from their students as well as their family members.
In the same way, believers are reluctant to learn the Word of God through their teacher, the Holy Spirit, but are leaning on others and their glamorous sources to study them. Bible says that faith comes through hearing the Word of God and experiencing it in our lives. Some people think they have learned the Words of God sufficiently and shut off their learning process. They should know that they have learned only a handful of things while ocean-like subjects are still there to learn.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.Romans 12:3
Discerning Reliable People
When our culture tends to glorify celebrities, artists and athletes more than outstanding teachers, there will be considerable challenges to the status of the teaching profession worldwide. We esteem other professionals who have an influence on us as well our children and refuse to give teachers due respect. As a consequence, we are facing a decline in the number of new teachers. In years past, young school graduates were pleased to adopt teaching as their first career choice. Now, they seek higher-paid jobs in more lucrative sectors at home and abroad. Money decides everything and not principles.
Likewise, believers are looking at so many lucrative means in their ministries, and they are becoming unreliable sources of communications for the Gospel. People are choosing to serve God not by option but by compulsion due to their plight. People are assigned to serve God in different capacities, not based on their spiritual standing but their social status (James 2:2). Are we reliable in communicating the Good News of God’s love to others? Jesus spoke about Nathaniel in praiseworthy words saying,
“Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”John 1:47
Entrusting the Responsibility of Teaching Others
As there is a steep decline in the numbers of youngsters joining the Teaching Profession, many new attractive schemes with new salary packages and intensive training programs are in the offing to attract more people towards this noble profession. Unfortunately, the renowned teachers of the Gospel are reluctant to pass on their baton to the next generation. Some people take it as their legacy and do not want to involve anyone in their jurisdiction. While things are taking different shapes, should we not receive the baton directly from our Savior and allow our legends to remain the same?
Most spiritual leaders project themselves as heroes and think that they deserve a multitude of followers. Today’s trend of hero-worshipping is a welcome subject for both the heroes as well as the worshipers. The worshipers are careful not to carve any idol for themselves, but inadvertently they made their leaders their idols. To make themselves a hero, the leaders rank the heroes of the Bible at a higher level and tell the believers that they are like twinkling stars that one can only admire from afar. With this possessive attitude, the question of entrusting their ministry to a younger generation is out of the question. The Bible tells us to bestow the responsibility of sharing the love of God with reliable people. Who are reliable? Those who are with pride or those filled with the Spirit? While people are not ready to pass on the responsibility of spreading the Gospel to Spirit-filled people, God is willing to do so.
As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.1 John 2:26-27
Becoming a Qualified Teacher
In the teaching profession, there is a specific study that makes a teacher master his professional skills. Apart from the academic qualification, a teacher will be qualified to teach others only when they understand the thrust areas of his student. One should value the ignorance of others as an opportunity to teach rather than blaming their ignorance. Moreover, the escheats of a teacher help a learner to gain everything they need. The teacher is willingly spending his accrued knowledge to educate a learner. They would have otherwise invested their learning to earn a handsome salary and status in society. With wisdom, a teacher understands the plan of God and helps a learner to rise above them.
Jesus refused to turn the stones into bread and taught us that the gifts and blessings accrued should be spent for other’s spiritual growth. The Bible tells us to encourage one another to grow in His love, and with our new birth, each believer is the teacher of the Gospel (Matthew 28:20). Are we qualifying ourselves to teach others, or do we still prefer to remain learners who do not learn anything?
In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.Hebrews 5:12-14
Let us look to our Lord, the Greatest Teacher of all time to help us impart the love of God without any selfish motives so that the sheep entrusted to us might also find salvation.