The importance and influence of teaching should neither be underestimated or under-emphasized. Jesus said to preach (teach) the Gospel in the whole world. If teaching is unimportant, then our Lord sent the disciples on a world wide “goose chase.” Furthermore, Jesus quoted the prophet, concerning a time when responding to teaching would provide the means for becoming a child of God, rather than being born into a relationship as were the Jews, (John 6:45) “It is written in the prophets, and they shall all be taught of God. Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned of the Father, comes unto me.”
Jesus used every imaginable metaphor to illustrate His teachings such as: sheep, goats, shepherds, vines, branches, gnats, camels, bread, water, coins and others. To further show Jesus’ seriousness about teaching, we find He taught the disciples for three years, yet did not rely on their memory of what He had shared with them. He promised the Holy Spirit would be sent after His departure, to testify, guide, bear witness, speak, and teach them, Jn.15:25-27, 16:13,14.
Titus writes that the qualified elder is responsible for “holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and convince (teach) the gainsayers.” (Tit.1:9) The effect of teaching can be seen in the next chapter as false teachers are mentioned as those “who subvert whole houses.” If the false teacher possesses power to “subvert whole houses”, cannot the same be said for the teaching the Gospel? Can it not save whole houses? Then why do some minimize the importance and need of teaching?
The strength of a congregation will be a reflection of both the doctrine that is taught, as well as the capability of its teachers. No greater burden is carried by overseers of the church than to see to the feeding of the flock. A shepherd overseeing sheep will insure both the quantity and quality of the flock’s diet for its health and well-being. The Ephesian Elders were told in (Acts 20:28) ” take heed therefore unto yourselves, and the flock, which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he purchased with His own blood.” Who can deny the importance of teaching (feeding) in this passage, seeing it is attested to by the cost God paid for the church, the blood of Jesus? Paul further shows the reasoning behind such a charge, by saying that men from among themselves would rise up and speak (teach) perverse things! Imagine that!
Few would verbally contradict the Bible by saying that teaching is unimportant, but their actions speak (teach) otherwise. The importance and value of teaching is depreciated by those who absent themselves from the assemblies, including the Bible study periods on Sundays and Wednesdays. If only the voice of the empty pew could be silenced! Absence tells the sinner that Bible study really isn’t that important. The empty pew tells the brethren that some are unconcerned with the congregations spiritual betterment. The empty pew teaches the young by example, that other activities including recreation and rest are legitimate substitutes for worship, study, and teaching. Does anyone claiming the name of Christ really wish to send out these mixed signals?
Since teaching is of supreme importance, then let’s give it every opportunity to do what the Lord designed it to do in our lives . Think about it.