Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:19)
Defining Your Commitment
In our scripture reference, we see Christ drawing the line in the sand. To be great in this new era of God's Kingdom, one would have to not only live the commandments of God, but he or she would have to teach them to whoever they could find. To reject these two calls to action put the hearer at risk of finding themselves in the least category of God's Kingdom. This is to say, they would lose out on the authority of God leading their lives. Once again to understand the truth of this statement, we must delve into the words Christ used.
Commandment: The term here is referring to what Christ was about to herald to his followers as much as it was what he had referred to in his previous mission statement. The statements that would flow from his mouth were sacrosanct and required complete devotion. He even calls them the least commandments to show the weight that God's law and prescriptions have on humanity. If the least of God's words can have a profound effect on our lives, what more impact will the greatest of commandments have?
Break: This term talks of breaking, annulling and putting away. Remember from last time that Christ said he did not come to get rid of the things that had already been established. He expected his followers - and us today - to do the same. We cannot pick and choose what morals of God we want to follow. Everything God has given is worthy of more than just our consideration. It demands our respect and adherence. To push those precepts aside is to set aside the authority that is behind them. Without authority, we cannot move in the Spirit as freely as God desires and thus cannot be as effective in His Kingdom.
To Do: It might seem silly to break down such a simple word as "do", but here there is value. This simple word in this scriptural context means to accomplish the things which the law commands. It's more than just acting. It's seeing them through to their completion. God isn't looking for a halfway application of His Will and Promises for our lives. He wants an all-in mindset to His mission. Notice also from last time Christ's goal is to bring the morals and promises of God forward to the whole of humanity. He asks us to implement that forward progress in every area of our life.
To Teach: To teach means to show how something is done by way of explaining or exampling that thing to someone. In this scripture, the something is living according to God's Will and promises for our lives. How it is done is a multi-faceted approach
Teaching Through Living
One way we can teach others is through our lifestyle. Whether we choose to break or do the mission statement of God, we will be teaching others around us to do the same. We may not intend to influence people to stray from God, but people are watching us daily. They will respond according to our actions whether we serve God or not. It is important as followers of Christ to ensure that our lifestyle reflects the intentions of our heart. This will be seen in several specific ways throughout this series, so we won't go too much into it here. Just know that every action we take will reflect onto the lives of those around us.
More than just teaching through how people see us, though, Christ desires us to intentionally seek people out to bring them forward in Him. The term teach is an active verb. It implies that we search for people who need to be developed and we actively and intentionally develop them. Teachers, good teachers that is, prepare before each lesson. They know where each of their student's is developmentally. They have plans in place to develop those students based on their needs and their abilities to grasp the subject matter.
Christ is asking us to teach people how to follow His Will and purpose for their lives. He wants us to communicate the promises and prescriptions He has for individuals in a way that they can grasp and apply based on where they are at with their relationship with Him. What is necessary for a sinner is not the same for a 5 year developed saved individual. Helping correct the path of a fallen saint is a lot different than helping to set the path of a recently indoctrinated saint. We have to be wise in how we handle people. When we do that, we will be teaching them and that will lead to great things in the Kingdom.
It's Up To Them
Remember, teaching does not imply that we are to get people to do the Will of God or grab hold of the promises God has given. We can't make somebody serve Christ. All we can do is show them the benefits of pursuing all of God's Will and promises. It's up them if they will receive that teaching.
Great or Least
What makes a great person and what makes a weak person is a simple decision. If we want to see great things accomplished in our lives, we simply need to choose God's Will and promises for our lives. We saw a great example of this in our first challenge on our ACCESS page. Choosing Christ and His plan for us will open doors to great opportunities and blessings in our lives. Choosing to cast aside Christ's plan will lead us to losing all the authority God has available to us. Without authority, we can't move forward and that leads to tragedy. What side of the line will we be on?
We hope you join us for ACCESS in this series as we offer great opportunities to implement these lessons in our lives while also learning deeper concepts from those lessons. We'll have our third lesson on Compass Friday, but we'll have another challenge on ACCESS tomorrow that will help implement and dig deeper into today's subject. Thanks again for your commitment to this series and God Bless.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.