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What is a Teacher?

Devotions

Even as a young child, Amy Jensen McCaulley would gather her two younger brothers in the backyard and teach them Bible lessons. After graduating from Moody Bible Institute in 1980, Amy dedicated her life to teaching children from a biblical worldview. Recently, one of her first-graders, now a grown married man with children, posted on social media a picture of a postcard Amy had mailed to him when he was in her first-grade class. She encouraged him to keep reading and follow Jesus. Why did this grown man save his teacher’s card for so many years? He wanted to thank his teacher for her powerful influence.

Sixty times in the Gospels, Jesus is called Teacher. The Greek word for teacher is didaskalos, meaning an instructor who is acknowledged for mastery in their field of learning. Everyone who came in contact with Jesus’ instruction, from demons to disciples to the gathered crowds, even the Pharisees, realized He was, indeed, the Master Teacher.

At the end of Christ’s physical time on earth, after His resurrection, Jesus delivered one last lesson to His disciples. Matthew 28 details the important truths found in this final lesson. Notice that Jesus did not spend time walking down memory lane. Instead, He used every moment to teach them, even in this final moment, giving them lessons to last a lifetime. Sadly, some of the eleven gathered disciples doubted (v. 17). Even so, Jesus was intent on delivering His final lesson: “Go and make disciples,” “baptizing” and “teaching” them (vv. 19–20). These final instructions, given with complete authority (v. 18), were intended for those who had learned from Him. He instructed them to go and become teachers themselves, sharing what they had learned from the great Teacher, their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (vv. 19–20).

>> It’s back to school this month as we learn from Jesus, our great Teacher. We hope you will learn from Jesus how to teach others the truth of the gospel and how to live for His glory. Someday, there just might be someone who contacts you and says, “Thank you for being my teacher.”

BY Mary Martin, Former Professor of Christian School Education

Dr. Mary Martin previously served at Moody as program head of Christian School Education and chair of the Education and Counseling division. She has also served as a classroom teacher, principal, and head of school. Mary is the author of Impacting Student Learning through Christ-Centered Instructional Leadership and currently resides in North Carolina with her husband, Michael. She speaks at numerous education conferences each year and loves mentoring Moody graduates.

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