The Gift of Teaching

“The one who teaches, in his teaching” (Rom. 12:7).philippines-1

A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales and how she had heard in Sunday School about how a whale had swallowed Jonah. The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small. The little girl remained steadfast in her position and reiterated that indeed, a whale had swallowed Jonah.

Irritated, the teacher again stated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible.

The little girl said, “I’m not sure how it happened, but when I get to heaven I will ask Jonah.”

The teacher replied smugly, “What if Jonah isn’t in heaven?”

The little girl replied, “Then you ask him.”[1]

The gift of teaching is not the ability to teach based on a lesson plan. It is not the teaching ability you learned in your Bachelor of Education. It is not about the natural ability to teach. Rather, the gift of teaching is the special teaching ability of the Spirit to interpret God’s Word and apply its significance to the church. It is the ability to understand God’s Word and teach it by the insight of the Spirit.

Thus, the gift of prophecy is the ability to gain insight from new revelation. The gift of teaching is the ability to gain insight from old revelation. (Gaugler/Dunn) It is the ability to gain an accurate and deeper understanding of God’s Word and then to teach it to others.

Many Bible scholars have the gift of insight and teaching. I know of certain Bible teachers who are boring preachers. But if you listen well, you learn many things from God’s Word through them. Some pastors and teachers can understand God’s Word deeply and accurately and then be able to teach it to others.

If you are attending a church that teaches God’s Word clearly and accurately, you are blessed. Many churches do not teach God’s Word. They just quote God’s Word and then teach other things. You go home spiritually malnourished. Before you realize it, you go through month after month of eating spiritual junk food. It is sad to see so many believers going without true spiritual food—the Word of God. The reason is that their pastors do not study hard.

[1] “Jonah and the Teacher,” Evidence for God. Cited October 9, 2016. Online: http://www.godandscience.org/humor/jonah. html. Actually, the book of Job does not mention whether a whale swallowed Jonah. It mentions a big fish, but not necessarily a whale.

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