Devotional: The Lord My Teacher
"The Lord is my portion, says my soul."
"You are a teacher come from God."--John 3:2
We cannot dispense with any one mediatorial office of Christ, least of all with His office as a PROPHET, or, TEACHER. He came to make known Salvation. Before He could officiate at His altar as Priest, or sit upon His throne as King, He must reveal God's plan of redemption as a Prophet.
Look, O my soul, at one or two of the qualifications of Jesus as your Teacher. He is a DIVINE Teacher, a "Teacher come from God," to make Him known, to reveal the mind and to unveil the heart of the Father. His own words are, "All things are delivered unto me of my Father, and no man knows the Son but the Father; neither knows any man the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will REVEAL Him." Oh, what a blessed Revealer of God is Jesus! He lifts the veil and shows me the Father as no planet in its glory could, as no mountain in its magnitude could, as no flower in its beauty could--no, not the greatest, most sublime, and loveliest object in nature could. "He that has seen me, has seen the Father."
He is also a HUMAN Teacher. We could not learn from angels. Our dulness would weary their patience, our waywardness would exhaust their love, our questions would baffle their knowledge. Our Teacher must be like ourselves, human. "And because he is human, he (the Old Testament high priest) is able to deal gently with the people, though they are ignorant and wayward. For he is subject to the same weaknesses they have."
He must be gentle, long-suffering, and infinite in knowledge. Such is Jesus. Oh, with what unfaltering love and unwearied patience--bearing with our dullness, indifference, and ingratitude--does Jesus teach us the precious things of His Word, and the yet more glorious and precious things of Himself. "Lord, I would humbly learn from You, and of You, what You are, and what Your truth is--never, never leaving Your feet."
And what does Jesus teach us? He teaches the plague of our own heart, the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the hatefulness and nothingness of self, the emptiness of the creature, and the insufficiency of the world. He makes us acquainted with the heart and character of our Father--His thoughts of peace, His purposes of grace, and designs of mercy. He reveals to us His own glory and beauty, fullness and preciousness. In a word, He teaches every spiritual truth and holy lesson essential to the completeness of our education for a heaven of perfect knowledge, purity, and love.
And how does Jesus teach us? He teaches by the illumination of the Spirit, by the letter of the Word, by the dispensations of His providence, and by the communications of His grace--yes, by all the events and circumstances, joys and sorrows, lights and shadows of our solemn and chequered life. He is teaching you, O my soul, more of your own nothingness and of His all-sufficiency, by one hallowed sorrow, by one fiery temptation, than, perhaps, you have ever learned in all your previous history--for "who teaches like Him?" Oh, what a university in the believer's training for heaven is Jesus' school of affliction! The astronomer only efficiently and practically acquires a knowledge of his sublime science when the sun has set, and the sable robe of night drapes every object in ebony gloom. Thus we, the students of a diviner, sublimer, and holier science--"the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ"--become the most spiritual and experimental in our attainments, when the sun of earthly good has set, and the starless night of weeping and of woe shuts every 'creature object' from our view. Blessed Teacher! You have often taught me in the deepest darkness of adversity, more than I ever learned in the brightest sunshine of prosperity!
"O Lord! give Your servant a lowly, meek, and teachable spirit, willing to learn any lesson or truth in any school or way Your infinite wisdom and love may appoint."
"Your way, not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be!
Lead me by Your own hand,
Choose out the path for me."