The Teacher and the Wise Scholar
With many similar parables, Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.
There are two dangers that the wise teacher must at all costs avoid.
(a) He must avoid all self-display. A teacher's duty is not to draw attention to himself but to draw attention to His subject. A love of self-display can make a man attempt to scintillate at the expense of truth. It can make him think more of clever ways of saying a thing than of the thing itself. Or it can make him so desirous of displaying his erudition that he becomes so obscure and elaborate and involved that the ordinary man cannot understand him at all. There is no virtue in talking over the head of an audience. As someone said, "The fact that a man shoots above the target only proves that he is a bad shot."A good teacher must be in love with his subject and not in love with himself.
(b) He must avoid a sense of superiority. True teaching does not consist of telling people things. It consists of learning together. It was Plato's idea that teaching simply meant extracting from people's minds and memories what they already knew. The teacher who stands on a pedestal and talks down will never be successful. True teaching consists in sharing and discovering truth together. It is a joint exploration of the countries of the mind.
There are certain qualities that he who would teach must ever seek to acquire.
(a) The teacher must possess understanding. One of the great difficulties of the expert is to understand why the non-expert finds a thing so difficult to understand or to do. It is necessary for the teacher to think with the learner's mind and to see with the learner's eyes.
(b) The teacher must possess patience. The Jewish Rabbi Hillel laid it down by saying, "An irritable man cannot teach." He insisted that the first essential of a teacher is that he must be even-tempered. The Jews laid it down that if a teacher found that his scholars did not understand a thing, he must begin again without rancor and irritation and explain it all over again. That is precisely what Jesus did all His life.
My Life Application
Make it your desire to be a gifted teacher and ask Jesus to help you. Remember, you need all that He has to offer.
My Prayer and Praise
"Dear Father, thank You for guiding me through life. Please continue giving me directions. I read how You taught Your disciples, and I desire that You teach me whatever I am to learn. Amen!"