Christians have been talking a lot lately. We’ve got much to say about race, marriage, forgiveness, justice, love…
And we grip the podium with confidence that God has called us there. The Bible says we are in this broken world to share His Good News to the nations.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. ” Matthew 28:19-20
Got it, God, we say with an understanding wink. Those poor, lost souls around the world are counting on us.
We Christians take our Great Commission Seriously. It’s a big job. But then again… we’re kind of a big deal.
However, when we finally take a recess, humility whispers a hard truth: our teaching is flat and we’re having little to no impact.
Humility also reminds us that God doesn’t need us. He can raise up stones from the ground to praise His name. Even the skies proclaim His work.
He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” Luke 19:40.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. (Psalm 19:1)
He’s given us a job that a rock can do. Maybe we’re not supposed to feel like such a big deal…
But still, He invites us to join Him in kingdom work. He sends out the broken and weak with a critical message of life and death. He commands even the red-faced, puffed-up people to teach others about sacrificial love, life through death, grief with hope, and grace.
Maybe we should leave it to the rocks after all…
But as an educator, I get it. It’s a very effective teaching strategy. When my students are really struggling to learn something, I ask them to teach it to another.
“There is no better way to learn than to teach.” B. Whichcote
And the real power of the lesson comes when their poor teaching reveals the gaps in their learning. The real schooling begins when they know that they don’t know.
Maybe God gives us The Great Commission because we have much to learn.
God knows that I’ll deepen my understanding of the truth when I must put it in my own words. He’s sure that I’ll grow in wisdom and humility when I try to illustrate the gospel with my own life.
But the God of all creation is not wringing His hands when I stumble over my words or trip over my testimony. For my Teacher knows when I’ve loosened my grip on the podium, I’m humble enough to listen and learn.
The world just might take notice when Christians are willing to circle back for more learning.
The lost just might follow us when we step down from the podium and walk the road of repentance.
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news.” Romans 10: 15
God planned for His strength to be revealed in the weakness.
The gospel is designed to advance in the circle-backs.
His commissioners are great only when they’re willing to walk the lowliest of roads.
It’s a perfect pedagogy for an upside-down kingdom. It’s the right lesson plan for grace.
So go ahead saints, take your charge and go tell it on the mountain. But don’t forget that good teachers are lifelong learners.
And the best teachers stoop to listen to the truth of the stones.