Were teachers important in your life? They were very important to me as I will explain in an amazing story that follows this introduction.
“Teacher” in the Bible
There must be something about teachers that is important to the Lord, especially those who teach His Word. The word “Teacher” occurs 300 times in the NIV Bible. Many key figures in scripture were called teachers of the Word—including Ezra (Ezra Ch. 7) who is proclaimed “Priest and Teacher of the law of Moses.” Also, Solomon (David’s son) who was famous for his wisdom. Paul (Acts 19:9-10), Apollos, (Acts 18:24-26) and others in the New Testament were recognized teachers, along with the ultimate one—Jesus (Matthew 8:19). Jesus even named Himself as teacher in Matthew 26:18. He said to His disciples as He entered Jerusalem, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him the Teacher says: ‘My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples in your house’”
A Real-Life Story
Mrs. Oliver[i] was my English teacher and a huge encouragement to me in high school. She gave me some leeway to read books that were outside of her class requirements and helped me apply to college successfully. One Christmas when I was in college on the East Coast, she and her husband invited me to her home in New York. They had moved to complete a master’s degree and I didn’t have the money to fly home to the Northwest. It was an important visit for me because I was affected by the pressure and change in “culture” going from a small town in the Northwest to Boston[ii]! Obviously, she was my favorite teacher!
Even some of my high school friends were touched by Mrs. Oliver. About 10 years ago, at a high school reunion, she and her husband joined in along with a few other teachers. So, three of us students decided to have lunch together every 3 months with Mrs. Oliver. Each time we met was a blessing! We talked about what was happening in our lives and Mrs. Oliver always asked, “What books have you been reading?” We loved it so much that it continued until 2020 when the shut-down unfortunately stopped us.
Sadly, Mrs. Oliver passed away last week, due to a heart condition, and our group is shocked and feeling helpless that we could not have one last lunch together.
The Ultimate Teacher
Fortunately, there is an ultimate teacher that can sooth our sorrows and lead us onward to the future He planned for us. God the Father is mentioned as the highest teacher in the Book of Job (Job 36:22; “God is exalted in his power. Who is a teacher like him?”)
And, surely, Jesus, who is one with the Father, gave the Holy Spirit to all who have accepted Him as Lord. Over the last 22 years, I have been blessed by wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit. I have 12 journals full of messages that I’ve received, often in the middle of the night. So, although teachers like Mrs. Oliver may pass away, Jesus is always there to instruct us and comfort us. Have you prayed to receive the gift of hearing from the Lord?
I say this prayer over all who read this Blog—“Lord, be the light, the wisdom, the comforter, and the ultimate teacher to anyone who takes these words to heart. Teach us to find quiet times to pray and listen for your “still, small voice”(1 Kings 19:12-13, or “gentle whisper” in NIV). Thank you, Lord, for being our ultimate teacher.”
Pastor G. Harold
[i] Her real name is withheld for privacy purposes.
[ii] I had won a full-ride scholarship to Harvard University (my parents could never had afforded it!) and it was a huge pressure and change from the way-of-life in a town in Oregon.