I would like to write about being a great teacher. I am always interested in the subject of good teaching and great teachers since I, myself, am a teacher and have been teaching for about 10 years now. It has been a great journey and I think that I have been impacted personally way more than I have impacted others. It is a blessing from the Lord to be able to teach. In fact, I would like to focus on the Lord Jesus Christ and how He was and is the greatest teacher this world has ever known. He was a common man (even though He was God in the flesh) born to a common family yet He developed into the greatest teacher ever. I would like to focus on the essence of His teachings to see how I and other teachers as well, can have some of the success that He had, some 2,000 years ago. His teachings have been successful for the past 2 millennia. He has had a lasting impact and that is the goal of every teacher.
He taught His students the greatest commandment of all.
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law ?” 37 And He said to him, ” ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38 “This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ 40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22)
The best thing that you can teach your students to have a lasting impact in their lives (along with the other subjects that you specialize in) is to teach them to love God. They are to love God with all of their:
- Heart – vigor, passion, emotions, strength, abilities, capabilities (use your life to serve God)
- Soul – the very breath that you have, your life, your will
- Mind – reasoning skills, understanding
Put in other words, we are to love/serve God with all that we are and all that we have. Everything else in our lives flows out of that decision to live and serve God. The manifestation of that is seen through the way that we treat others around us. If we love and serve God then we will treat the people around us, not as objects to be used, but we will treat them the way that we treat ourselves. We will love them like we love ourselves. Just imagine the type of society we could live in if everyone were taught these two golden rules? There would be no more evil against others. People would not use and abuse each other for their own selfish pleasures. As a teacher, I want to impact a student in such a way that he will positively impact society as a whole. If my student learns to live by the golden rules then he will positively impact society and I as a teacher will leave a lasting legacy. Isn’t that why we teach in the first place?
In order to live by the golden rule, a person must first be born again.
1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews ; 2 this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher ; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old ? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3)
Being born again is a spiritual matter. It is not a physical rebirth although there are physical effects of this spiritual rebirth. When a person is born again his character transforms. He changes from a very selfish person to a person who wants to love God and serve others instead of himself. This is something that only Jesus Christ can bring about in a person’s life. Without faith in Jesus Christ, it is impossible to be born again and live out the golden rules. In order to teach people about being born again, you need to have been born again yourself. In order to be able to teach people about living according to the golden rules, you need to live by them yourself and of course, that is impossible without being first born again. Have you been born again?
Teach others about eternal life
16 And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life ?” 17 And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good ? There is only One who is good ; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 Then he said to Him, “Which ones ?” And Jesus said, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER ; YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY ; YOU SHALL NOT STEAL ; YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS ; 19 HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER ; and YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” 20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept ; what am I still lacking ?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven ; and come, follow Me.” (Matthew 19)
In order to have eternal life, first, you must have no other “gods” (idols) in your life other than the One and only true God. The rich young ruler who wanted eternal life had an idol in his life that he could not give up. God wants to be number ONE in your life. The rich young man wanted God in his life but he did not want to offer priority number one to God. He wanted to keep his possessions as his idol (number one thing in his life) and at the same time benefit from God by gaining eternal life. He wanted to treat God like a genie. God is not mocked. He wants place number one or no place at all in your life. As teachers, we need to teach this to our students because the idols in their lives are vain and do not satisfy. In order to have God as number ONE in your life, you need to be a follower of Jesus Christ. If you do not follow Jesus Christ then God will not be number one in your life and you will not have eternal life in paradise. The choice is up to you.
So, as we have seen, if you really want to impact the world, you need to do it one student at a time by teaching him or her to live by the golden rules, be born again, and have eternal life by placing God as priority number ONE in their lives. That impact will outlast all the arithmetic, grammar, science etc. in all the classrooms of the world. Those subject are wonderful and need to be taught but they do not have the power to change a person’s character for good so that he or she can positively impact society and future generations. As a teacher who wants to leave a lasting legacy, I choose to teach my students what Jesus Christ, the greatest teacher who ever lived, taught. May the Lord help us do a great service to the next generations.