“Mirror of the Passion” Lent devotion for April 12, 2022. Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash
Jesus was teaching daily in the temple. (Luke 19:47)
Tuesday of holy week is often called teaching Tuesday or tricky-question Tuesday. The religious leaders tried to trip up Jesus with questions about taxes and marriage after the resurrection. This is the day Jesus taught about the end times, told important parables about his coming, and came down hard on the Pharisees who were in it for their own glory, not God’s. Jesus knows the timeline. He’s not pulling any punches in these last few days of his life.
Jesus was clearly into teaching. Some addressed him as “Teacher.” So that would mean we are the students. He could call us “Class” right?
That’s the way it should be. However, I’ve certainly heard a lot of tricky questions over the years. They usually go something like this:
- So if some guy lives on a deserted island all by himself for his whole life and never gets to hear about Jesus and believe in him, does that mean that he’s going to hell?
- If Genghis Khan, Jack the Ripper, Sam Berkowitz, Jeffrey Dahmer, or Adolf Hitler repented at the last minute before their death and believed in Jesus, would they go to heaven?
- If your family is starving and you can’t get a job and you steal some food, is that a sin?
- What happens if someone kills themself? They have murdered, but they can’t repent. Are they automatically condemned?
Books have been written about such questions for generations. Trust me, they are way above my pay grade. And yours. It’s not our job to distinguish the sheep from the goats. You and I don’t get to decide who gets kicked out of the banquet. Jesus said, “Don’t go and pull up all the weeds. You’ll destroy the wheat.”
A better question is, “Is he still the Teacher?” If your answer is, “Yes,” then the next question is, “Are you still learning?” If you’ve got questions, you obviously don’t know everything. Are you taking some time each day, with his word open in front of you, letting the Spirit teach you and remind you of his promises? When’t the last time you attended a bible class at your church? When’s the last time you taught a class? (Remember, the teacher always learns more than the students.) What questions (yes, even the ones I’ve mentioned) have you brought to him in prayer?
One sign of spiritual maturity is admitting there’s a lot you don’t know and you’ve got so much to learn.
If it’s been a while, start slow. Start on Tuesdays. Teaching Tuesday. The Teacher is in.
Lord, I have a question. Or two.