Isaiah 30:20: And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.
The teacher has an important role in the body of Christ. They serve to deepen the spiritual life of the believers via the avenue of spiritual understanding. A teacher does a lot of explaining, analysis and comparison. It is about line upon line, precept upon precept (Isaiah 28:13). There is an engagement with the reasoning, helping the people to see things from God’s perspective.
In the three components of the soul (mind, emotion, will) the teacher works with the mind and therefore the one primarily charged with the transformative growth of the new believers. Paul said we should be transformed by the renewal of our mind (Romans 12:2). The teacher puts the right information in the mind.
New believers are not to be left alone to fend for themselves. They are mean to be taught. They needed to unlearn the wrong things and learn the principles of the kingdom.
In the book of Acts the bible recorded that the new believers continue in the apostles’ teachings, as they went from house to house (Acts 2:46, 48).
The spiritual life is new to them, hence the need for thorough teaching. They are encouraged to desire the sincere milk of the word that they may grow thereby (1Peter 2:2). Jesus said the new believers should be taught his ways and words (Matthew 28:18-20).
Paul told the Ephesians church: you have not so learnt Christ, if you have taught by him, you will have stopped some wrong behaviours, as the truth is in Christ. The teacher needs to fortify the people with truth (Ephesians 4:15-32).
A quintessential teacher in the Old Testament is Ezra who was firstly committed to knowing and doing the scriptures and then teaching others (Ezra 7:10).
He goes to great length to help people know the book of the law. He is aware that is the basis of pleasing God, and he worked hard at instructing the people in that line, using the five books of Moses as a textbook.
When David chose to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, he had the best of intention, and had the best passion you can imagine, and the right reverence for God, but he missed it in accuracy of obedience. David was ignorant of the laid down procedure. And the journey was an unmitigated failure (2Samuel 6:1-18, 1Chronicles 15:11-15).
In that arrangement, everything was right, except the truth concerning what God had said about such things. Because he did not have the right understanding, he was limited in what he can do, in the advancement he can make and even in relationship with God.
God has put the hunger for truth in his people and a teacher meets that need in the body of Christ. To highlight the important role of the teacher Paul said that he an apostle and teacher of gentile in truth (1Timothy 2:7).
One man who stood in the place of an teacher in the new testament was Apollos, he gave strong defences of the truth of God, but he needed Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:24-28) to improve his understanding, on the ways of God as regards the person of Jesus, and he went on to be a giant in the church, as an explainer of truth helping to establish the faith of many. Jesus said that some people are in error because they do not know the scriptures (Matthew 22:29), the teacher serves to help us know the scriptures. And like Apollos, you cannot be a true teacher without being teachable and humble. However, he should not feel inferior to the other leaders in the church.
The teacher should not feel inferior to the evangelist
The evangelist is primarily a preacher and he proclaims truth, towards winning souls. Because of the way the evangelist brings souls to the kingdom, the teacher may start feeling that he is a second rated member of the fivefold ministers, because he focuses on explaining the bible to the believers, those already saved.
The teacher should understand that his activities also leads to soul winning. With the right teaching, the life of God manifests fully in the people of God, and as the light shines brighter it will attract people to God’s kingdom which has been established in our lives (Isaiah 60:1-3). Others will be saved, as the people are truth-empowered to represent Christ fully.
The teacher should not feel inferior to the prophet
While the prophet brings words for the “now,” able to peer into the mind of God and declare the same, the teacher, on behalf of God, works on the mind of the people, so that they can better receive the things of God. The teacher helps to identify the way of God, while the prophet tells you the next step, or the end point.
While Eli was not a prophet, he guided Samuel to understand, recognise and function in his prophetic gifting, when he was a child (1Samuel 3:1-11).
The teacher should not feel inferior to the apostle
Every one of the five-fold ministers is limited. And Paul wrote that the body is not just one part (Romans 12:4). Paul and Apollos ministered in the church in Corinth (1Corinthians 3). Paul was definitely the more apostolic type while Apollos is the teacher type. Paul wrote that he plants, and Apollos waters but God gives the increase.
It is not enough to do the apostolic task because you cannot plant and not water; otherwise the planting work will be a waste of time. While the apostle is focused on the big picture, the teacher help to apply the apostolic truth in real life. The teaching ministry has the rain effect (Isaiah 55:1-11, Deuteronomy 32:2).
The teacher should not feel inferior to the pastor
The pastor gets to settle down in a church setting, but the teacher needs to reach out to the whole body of Christ. The teacher deals with words while the pastor deals with feelings and therefore has people gravitating towards him, but the teacher communicates the feelings of God, as he communicates his word. The teacher communicates God’s demands, while the sheep demands from the pastor. It is therefore a balancing act. The teacher starts from word to feeling, the pastor from feeling to the word, in approach.
Paul said that he magnifies his ministry (Romans 11:13), he takes and presents it as very important. Being called to be an apostle to the gentile for a former Pharisee was not something he willing chose, but he embraced the calling and advanced in it, labouring more than the other apostles (1Corinthians 15:10). He was a shining light blazing the trail. He advised someone to make full proof of his ministry (2Timothy 4:5). He sent a message to Archippus to pay attention to fulfilling the ministry God has called you to (Colossians 4:17).
When you identity yourself as a teacher then get on with it, you cannot continue to be jealous of what others have. If you are not a teacher when you recognise one receive their ministry and understand that if they are not important then God will not put there here. Do not close yourself to teachers of the word, recognise them, they elevate the scriptures in the midst the church and as it was noted that Jesus said. If we do not know the scriptures them we are susceptible to errors.