Jesus is called Teacher many times throughout the gospels. Luke 9:37-43 shows us Jesus stepping into the role of the stern teacher, who understands that his students have great potential they are yet to live up to.
37 The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him. 38 A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. 39 A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him. 40 I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.”
41 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.”
42 Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the impure spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father. 43 And they were all amazed at the greatness of God.
Think back to your time as a student. You may be a student currently, or you may have to cast your mind back quite far! Did you ever have a teacher who sometimes came across as strict, but only because they knew you could do better and truly wished for you to excel? If you are a teacher yourself, you can probably relate to both sides of this feeling!
In this passage, we see a moment of exasperation from Jesus. But this is not aimed towards the father seeking Jesus’ help for his son. No, there are many instances where Jesus openly admires the faith of those who seek him out and trust that he can heal them. Rather, Jesus’ comments come right after the father reveals that Jesus’ disciples were unable to drive the spirit out of his son. The disciples are Jesus’ students. He knows them, and he knows that they have the awesome potential to heal and drive out spirits by his power. Jesus also knows that his time on earth will not be long, and he must teach them in order for them to fulfil the great things God has prepared for them and point others to salvation. In due time, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, these students fully realise their purpose, As Acts 5:12-16 states: “The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.”
If you are a follower of Christ, you are also a student of the ultimate teacher! He knows your potential and your purpose, and he wants to continue to teach you in his ways, growing you in faith and love. As Jeremiah 29:11 states: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Ultimately, the plan God has for each one of us is eternal life in paradise with him. What a wonderful destination for this journey!
Head: How does this passage better help you to understand Jesus as teacher and saviour?
Heart: How does the growth of Jesus’ disciples encourage you in your walk with Christ?
Hands: What is one thing you can do in order to learn more as a student of Jesus?
Prayer: Dear Father
Thank you for sending your son Jesus to spread the good news of your grace. Thank you that you care for me and want to see me fulfil my ultimate potential in you. In sending Jesus to die on the cross, you have paid a great price for my heart. Forgive me for the times I have forgotten my identity in you and have been led astray. Please help me to lean completely on Jesus, and thereby continue to work towards the goal you have set for me.
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
A song to listen to: You Are My King