“What did you study in Sunday School?”
“What did you learn about?”
The conversation was repeated so many times, and in so many variations, that it has become a family joke. The joke being, that the answer to every question Mom and Dad asks is either, “The Bible”, or “Jesus”.
The bigger witticism is…that there is no jest in these answers.
Paul may not have had this running joke with his family, but he makes a statement in Ephesians 4 that emphasizes the importance of being a student of Jesus:
“That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.” v. 20-21
How do you learn something? You study.
By looking at the original Greek we see that Paul was not emphasizing that we study about Christ, but that we study Christ…“You however not this way learned Christ.”
This phrase stopped me in my tracks. Am I studying things about Christ, or am I studying Christ? How do I “learn Christ”?
Jesus invited me, invited each of us, to come and learn from Him
“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Training is part of the transformational life. No matter what our education level, Jesus invites us to yoke up with Him and He will disciple us. He called a group of uneducated mismatched men into an accelerated apprenticeship programs and graduated skilled theologians into a worldwide recruiting field for the same school.
Critical thinking skills.
Learning to learn.
Yes, all these. Even those who do not believe that Jesus is God, believe that He was a great teacher. But what kind of teaching changes an ordinary person into an extraordinary disciple? It is that something “extra”. That extra something is someone. It is Christ Jesus.
“What we have received in not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us….For ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” I Corinthians 2: 12,16
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no long live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
He is Truth. He is the point of my learning. He is the point of my teaching. He is also the enablement. He is both the subject and the teacher. He stretches and renews and fills my mind so that it will never return to its original shape. It is transformed.
John Milton wrote that, “The end of all learning is to know God, and out of that knowledge to love and imitate Him.”.
What did you study? What did you learn? Maybe our family should add one more question to the routine…
“Who do you know?”
Part 15 of “Echoes of Encouragement from Ephesians.” See Also: Are There Tags Still Hanging on Your Gift?