Hi everyone, it’s Mick here and welcome to Wednesday’s Podcast on this final week of reflections before our Summer reboot Podcasts next week. On Monday we considered how, as his disciples, we must always LOOK to Jesus; yesterday the necessity to BE with Jesus – today going deeper as we consider how we LEARN from Jesus.
Jesus was one smart man! When you read the gospels you often find him referred to as ‘teacher’ – in fact, when Mary met him risen from the tomb on that first Easter Day that is exactly what she called him. John 20:16 (NIV):
Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic,“ Rabboni !” (which means teacher)
We also see many times in the gospels the call to put what we learn from Jesus into practice. There is a famous story in the New Testament found in both Mathew and Luke’s gospels about building your house on rock not sand. In Matt 7:24-27 the story ends with these challenging words:
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. …
‘The crowds were amazed at his teaching because he taught as one who had authority’; in fact we read on some occasion how people were ‘astonished’ at Jesus’ teaching. I have been a Christian for nearly forty years (!) and I am still amazed at Jesus’ teaching! It’s a Godly reminder to all of us who follow Jesus that we are always learning from him; disciples never stop learning …
Jesus was a theory and practice man and he taught his disciples to be the same. To understand the gospel themselves and then to put it into practice. The word ‘disciple’ more accurately is defined as ‘apprentice’ – someone who receives knowledge or a skill and then puts it into practice.
So, how can we LEARN from Jesus the great teacher? Three top tips:
First, always remember that the primary source of our learning is the Bible; it can sometimes seem a little daunting but Podcasts like this can be a great help as you listen to / read scripture followed by a reflection and a worship song. When I first became a Christian many years ago, way before Podcasts, I began by reading Mark’s gospel from the GNB (I just loved the artwork!) – in fact, I found it so exciting I read it several times before I moved on to something else!
Secondly, look for ways to increase your understanding of Jesus and his Kingdom. The opportunities are many! Books, sermons, videos, Podcasts etc … the list goes on. Here at STC we are half way through a yearlong initiative called the GROW Project, the aim of which is to help us all understand our faith, go deeper in our faith and so be confident in sharing our faith in the public arena with friends, colleagues etc. These Podcasts are part of this initiative so, if you find them helpful why not pass the link onto a friend, it might change their life!
Thirdly, now put it into practice! Practical ways of putting our faith into practice – making it real. This has always been our focus here at STC over many years, not just to talk about our faith but to actually do the things Jesus did and say the things Jesus said – it’s called being a disciple! As a church family we are actively looking to put the Kingdom truths we learn from Jesus into practice every day. I’m not going to start a list (never start a list!) however, here are two easy to access ways of learning from Jesus over these next weeks.
First, our Summer Sunday Gatherings which are focussed around our theme of ‘Open Table’ – it’s going to be great fun. More of this in Friday’s Podcast!
Secondly, the Grow Project – time to reflect on the first two terms at what Jesus has been teaching us as individual and a church family and then looking then preparing for our Autumn, Live Life Better modules which begin in September.
We are not all the same – we differ in so many ways particularly how we LEARN, however Jesus knows us personally and has a unique learning plan for each of us. Let me finish today with those familiar words from Jesus in Matthew 7 as he teaches us this great truth for our lives.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise person who built their house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
Lord Jesus, thank you that you are the great teacher. Thank you also that you have given me the capacity to think, learn, explore, create and build. Show me how I can LEARN from you, go deeper with with you, be stretched by you and find ways of sharing you with others that your creative Kingdom would grow. Amen.