Summary: "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
Why Jesus Encouraged People to Seek the Mentorship of Godly People (Luke 6:40)
We all tend to acquire the best and worst traits of our most influential teachers. Jesus urges us to adopt mentors that are Christ-like in their thinking, attitudes, and behavior.
Illustration: It is better to train ten people than to do the work of ten people. But it is harder.
Illustration: William A. Ward has said, "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
Progress Magazine, December 23, 1992.
Illustration: An item in "The Report Card" told of a study done in Colorado in which 3000 high school seniors were asked about their best teachers. From their responses this composite was drawn. The ideal teacher (1) is genuinely concerned and interested in students as individuals; (2) requires students to work; (3) is impartial in dealing with students; and (4) is obviously enthusiastic about teaching.
Today In The Word, Oct, 1989, p. 25.
Illustration: Teaching is the inculcation of the incomprehensible into the minds of the ignorant by the means of the incompetent...is the transfer of material from the teacher’s notes to the student’s notebook, without it going through either’s minds.
J. Dennis Miller, president of Church Youth Development states that a problem with educating young people in the church stems from a failure to understand how young people learn. He claims that adults learn in the following pattern: 1) acceptance of absolutes; 2) subordination of attitudes and actions to absolutes; 3) application of truth received to life experience. Knowing something as an adult is based primarily upon remembering information and intellectual learning.
Youth, Miller contends, learn in a different way: 1) evaluation of life experience; 2) discovery of attitudes and actions which validate their life experiences; 3) identifying truth based on their relevance to life experience; 4) acceptance of truths that prove reliable from life experience. Life experience is the main influence on the learning young mind.
1. Jesus knew that pupils tend to become like their teachers. Jesus said, "A student is not above his teacher, but every pupil when he is fully trained will be like his teacher." (Luke 6:40) Students tend to adopt their mentor’s ideas, attitudes and behavior. Ask the Lord to help you point people to experienced-godly teachers who can help them become all that the Lord wants them to be and do.
2. Jesus knew that people can learn a great deal from the experiences of others. Jesus knew that the writer of Hebrews would write, "But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil." (Heb. 5:14) Ask the Lord to help you get around experts in the fields that you wish to develop in for vocational, ministry and spiritual reasons.
3. Jesus knew that people can learn a great deal of information through the example of a mentor. Jesus said, "I have set an example that you should do as I have done for you... Now that you know these things you will be blessed if you do them." (John 15:15,17) Ask the Lord to help you to get people around spiritual servants who can teach them from their example.
4. Jesus knew that you can tell what people will be like by observing who they regard as their mentors. Jesus said to the Pharisees, Jesus said, "Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit."(Matt. 15:14) Ask the Lord to help you avoid mentors that do not have spiritual fruit worth reproducing.
5. Jesus knew that the best mentors are the ones with the best fruit. Jesus said, "Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit."(Matt. 12:33) Ask the Lord to give you the patience, discernment and wisdom to determine the best kinds of fruitful people to emulate.
6. Jesus knew that everyone needs to continue to seek greater knowledge and wisdom. When Jesus was twelve years old he pursued knowledge and wisdom in the temple. Luke writes of Jesus, "After three days his parents found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions... He said, "Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s
house?" And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." (Luke 2:46,49,52) Ask the Lord to help you never stop growing in wisdom and knowledge by refusing to get around more mature mentors.
7. Jesus knew that all people need counsel from Godly people. The Lord Jesus remembered the words of Solomon who wrote, "For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure." (Prov. 11:14) Ask the Lord to help you consult many godly advisers before you make important decisions.