Jesus the Teacher: All in

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Who was your favorite teacher?  Everyone may come up with a different name, but the person’s traits of competence, friendliness, humor and kindness are universal.   Who was your best teacher?  Maybe the same person; maybe not.   Possibly your best teacher was the inspirational genius type who specialized in his/her subject.  He/She may have been a demanding task master who expected you to reach for the stars rather than accept mediocrity. Under them, you grew.

If these questions were posed to the general population rather than on a church blog, how many mentions would Jesus get?  Yet Jesus possesses all the traits of the kindest, most compassionate teacher and set exacting standards.   Jesus is the only teacher who not only passes knowledge from one generation to another, but He is the source of all knowledge.  Yet He is often underappreciated.

In her sermon today in Voorhees, Heather Mandala stressed scripture from Matthew 7: 24-27, Jesus taught, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock”.  This concept should be so ubiquitous in every phase of life, yet just like Jesus it is often taken for granted.   In the sermon Heather mentioned how imperfect humans tend to build foundations on money, power, self-righteousness, control, family issues or over activity.  Our goals may be hugely ambitious but consumes so much of our time that we leave no room for self-growth, awareness or God.  Suddenly like the Tower of Pisa, over time our relationship to the vertical tends to bend until disaster is imminent.  Isn’t it interesting that often when human tragedy strikes, someone watched it develop over a long time, yet did nothing.   Many find interest in watching someone else fall rather than take the initiative to suggest something helpful.

Your foundation must be rock solid.  Once it is, all future decisions will be based upon those values.  Whether those decisions are relational, family or business based, you will have the confidence from the word of Jesus that you are doing life the correct way.

Over this past week Barbara, Laura and I survived some major construction in our home.  Luckily the company we chose had a firm foundation based on honesty.  What made the experience palatable were the personalities of the three workers.  From the start they communicated, shared their humanity, were respectful of our home and worked efficiently. They earned our respect.  By observation we learned a lot about their values.  This is exactly what our pastors are always talking about.  Learning and modeling our behavior more like Jesus for the sake of others.  People will notice especially when your values shine within the gloom of everyday life.

Are you standing tall or leaning from the vertical?  As we approach Easter, do you have some foundational strengthening to do?  What about a colleague, friend or neighbor (#weinvite)?   The best teacher ever is Jesus.  His teachings are live and well in 2018 and shared in a place called Hope.  If you are committed to being All In with the teachings of Jesus, then there is no better time to begin.  His Word will straighten your moral compass.  Jesus’ invitation is open to all.  Come just as you are.

-Jim Randazzo

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