#DailyDevotion Teachers Will Be Judged More Strictly
James 3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
In our American context this might need to be said more than other places. What do I mean? In America we are overrun in our mindset of everyone being equal and the thought of rugged individualism. What do I need a teacher for? I can read the bible for myself. Since I can read it for myself I can take up the mantle of teaching others. Or we may just make ourselves teachers of just ourselves.
James is warning his readers that many of them should not become teachers because teachers will be judged with greater strictness. There is coming a judgment day. We will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account of what we have done with the faith given to us. There is a biblical principle that those who have knowledge will be judge with more strictness than those who don’t and those who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
Luk 20:46-47 “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, (47) who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” The scribes were Judah’s teachers and so when they do not act in love as the law prescribes they have a greater condemnation.
Luk 12:47-48 “And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. (48) But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.” Those who presume to teach presumably know more than the others who are taught. Here we see that those who know and fail to do receive a greater punishment than those who are ignorant.
We should not presume to take up the teaching mantle of teaching in the Church. We might prepare ourselves for being called to do such a thing by studying God’s Word and being taught God’s Word. For is it Christ himself who sends us pastor and teachers. Eph 4:11 “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,…” Rom 10:15 “And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” The Lord Jesus Christ calls and sends men into the ministry through the instrument of the Church, Tit 1:5 “This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you.” And that the Church possesses the office of the keys in which a man is placed Jesus says, Mat 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” We are gathered that the Church may forgive and retain sins. The Church having possession of this office places a man there with the authority of Christ to absolve sin, teach and administer the sacraments in which this office of the keys is performed by the one he has sent.
Heavenly Father, grant us thankful hearts for those whom you have sent to teach us your word, the word of Christ. Grant that they may be faithful not only in their teaching but in their lives so they may receive commendation and not condemnation at Christ’s coming. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.