There is no other religious leader like Jesus Christ.
Many of us do not have a respect for authority in and of itself. In general, we do not care what a person’s position is, because we will respect them only if they are worthy of respect. Just because his title is “boss” or “professor” doesn’t mean that we will blindly follow his directives or uncritically do what he says. We do not follow people who jump of cliffs.
We do not care how many titles a person has, we will only listen to their teaching if we are convinced they are intelligent and trustworthy. That’s why Christ’s credentials as a teacher are so very important to us.
What makes a good teacher? Some qualities of a good teacher include the fact that his teachings are true, and he can prove it. He follows his own teaching. He cares for those whom he teaches. And his teachings make a difference in the world. (Please note that I do not think a person must be male to be a good teacher. I use the masculine pronoun out of convention.)
We have an accurate set of historical documents that describe the events of Christ’s life. Christ appeared on the earth claiming to be God, teaching people how to live their lives, and giving us facts about God.
We can believe His teachings about Himself and about God because of His miracles. The fact that He performed miracles proves that God placed a stamp of approval on His message.
Miracles are contrary to the normal operation of the universe. They cannot be explained by known natural laws. Only a God who is powerful enough to bring about the universe from nothing could possibly perform them. God would not perform miracles on behalf of a false teacher.
Jesus Christ, as both God and man, is the only completely true teacher. He can no more lie than God Himself could.
Christ followed his own teaching. No one, even His enemies, could accuse him of sin. He lived a perfect life, the only man ever to earn the rewards of heaven through His own efforts.
Now we get to the last issue for discussion in this chapter: did Christ care for those He taught? No teacher has ever done for His followers what Christ has done for us.
He took our sins upon Himself and suffered God’s wrath for those sins when he didn’t deserve it. He rose from the dead to show His triumph over our greatest enemy: death itself. He makes it possible for those who have faith in Him to take credit for His perfect Life and have their sins paid for by His death.
Christ’s life, teachings, and love make Him the only teacher worth following without reservation. I thank God for what He accomplished for me in Christ each day.
Did Christ’s teaching make a difference in the world? That question is so significant that it deserves a post all by itself, and we will turn there next.