Summary: Hebrews says by this time we should all be teachers... but why?
OPEN: A man was scheduled to speak for an important business dinner. But, as he was eating his meal he must have bitten down on something hard, for at that moment his false teeth broke in his mouth. Nearly paralyzed by panic, he muttered to the man next to him, “I can’t believe this!” he says, “my false teeth just broke and I’ve got to get up and speak in a few moments!”
“No problem,’ the man whispered back at him, “I’ve got an extra pair you can use!” And the man pulled a few sets of false teeth out of his pocket and presented them to the frantic speaker.
The speaker tried the first pair—they were too tight. The second pair was too loose. The third pair fit like a dream. Now totally relieved, he set back and greatly enjoyed his meal and afterward delivered an excellent speech.
At the end of the evening, the speaker walked up to his benefactor and thanked him for his help. “He said to his rescuer, “You really did me a great favor tonight. You know, I’ve been looking for a good dentist. Where are you located?”
The other man smiled and replied: “Oh, I’m not a dentist… (pause) I’m an undertaker!”
APPLY: There are people who find it uncomfortable to talk to anybody anything. It wouldn’t matter if they had their own teeth… or if they wore someone else’s, they would feel ill at ease teaching anybody about the Bible or God or Jesus
And actually, that attitude is not abnormal. If you recall, when God called Moses in the desert, He appeared to him in the form of a burning bush. And there God commanded Moses to return to Egypt, confront Pharaoh and tell him “Let my people go.” Then “Moses said to the LORD, ‘O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue’” (Exodus 4:10). Translation: “I don’t want to go… send somebody else.”
It’s interesting how God responds to Moses: "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD?” (Exodus 4:11).
Translation: “Don’t give me your excuses. I want you to do this. AND if I ask you to do something… I WILL supply you with the ability & resources.”
Over the past 2 weeks we’ve talked about what God desires of us.
1st we learned that God wants us to grow up to be like Him. He wants us to mature to the point where - when people see us – they see:
Ø God’s love
Ø His mercy
Ø His holiness
And (most of all) that when people see us being servants of others they will see God. As Jesus in Matthew 5 tells us “… let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Next we learned that not only are we to be mature in our faith, but that we are all priests… AND that as priests & mature servants, we need to grow up in our servanthood to God. In other words, if there’s a job we see needs to be done in the church, we should do it (because, that’s what grownups do). NO PRIEST of God sat down to worship. They were always working for God. As 1 Corinthians 15:58 tells us, you and I should “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
I. Now, here in Hebrews 5, we’re taken 1 step further.
We find that part of maturity, part of growing up as children of God, is getting to - point in our faith where we seek opportunities - teach others (at this point I reread Hebrews 5:11-14).
In fact, Paul writes that this should even be part of our worship experience: Paul writes in Colossians 3:16 that we should “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”
In other words, teaching each other (and admonishing each and singing to each other) is part of what we should be doing for fellowship.
Teaching has always been a major part of the responsibility of God’s people:
· David taught in his songs: “Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.” Ps 34:11
· The Law of Moses commanded parents to teach their children: Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:5-7