Our Responsibility

The Lord Jesus Christ made it abundantly clear that we are to teach the Word of God. A good place to start teaching new Christians is with the subject matter of Jesus’ sermons and teaching passages.

(Matthew 28:20) “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

GOD COMMANDED MOSES TO TEACH THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL

(Deuteronomy 6:1) “Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it.”

God commanded Moses to teach the people. The first four books of the Bible: Genesis through Numbers are the history and revelation of God’s word to His people the Jews. Deuteronomy, a word meaning, Second Law, is essentially a sermon delivered by Moses before he died. It was a restating of the law. Moses was committed to do just that.

(Deuteronomy 4:1) “Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you.”

GOD COMMANDED PARENTS TO TEACH THEIR CHILDREN HIS WORD

(Deuteronomy 6:7) “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

We see here that a parent’s teaching was to be a part of daily life in the Jewish family. Instruction of children was the parent’s responsibility.

GOD COMMANDED EZRA TO TEACH THOSE WHO RETURNED FROM BABYLON

After the people returned to Jerusalem following the Babylonian captivity God was pleased to raise up new scribes in Israel. One of those was a man named Ezra. Ezra took very seriously teaching the people the Laws of God.

(Ezra 7:6) “This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.”

Ezra is called a “ready scribe.” The scribes gave themselves to the careful study of God’s word. At the time of Ezra that was the law and the prophets. Ezra excelled in this and is honored by the designation.

(Ezra 7:25) “And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not.”

A TEACHER, WAS ALSO CALLED A RABBI OR MASTER. Both John the Baptist and Jesus were referred to by the title Rabbi in the gospels. The word means “Master.” We also know that they both had disciples, those they taught.

(Matthew 23:8) “But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.”

It was common for a teacher to gather around Him followers. They taught their students the disciplines of their particular field or livelihood. Before and even after schools became common, tradesmen would take on apprentices that they would train to carry on their work. They taught others in order that they might pass on their trade.
IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST CAME ONTO THE SCENE AND GATHERED TO HIMSELF DISCIPLES, FOLLOWERS, LEARNERS, APPRENTICES IF YOU WILL, THAT HE UNDERTOOK TO TEACH, TRAIN, AND MENTOR INTO THE MEN THAT WOULD CARRY ON HIS WORK.

Having experienced the discipleship process from the Lord Jesus Christ the disciples automatically did the very same thing.

NEW TESTAMENT CHURCHES AND PASTORS ARE COMMANDED TO TEACH DISCIPLES

What does the great commission command is to be done once a believer is saved and baptized? They are to be taught what Jesus taught His disciples.
All that commanded in the Old Testament concerning this process carries over for New Testament believers.
(Matthew 28:20) “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Who was Jesus talking to when He gave what we call the “Great Commission?” Verses 16  through 18.  He was talking to at least the eleven disciples we know as the apostles. This was the leadership of the first church that became the Jerusalem church.
One of the qualifications of a New Testament pastor, elder, bishop is that he be able to teach.

(1 Timothy 3:2) “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach”

Not surprising, teaching is a theme in the Pastoral Epistles of 1 & Timothy and Titus. The words teach or teaching are found 11 times.
Parents are still responsible to teach their children. (Ephesians 6:4) “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

CONCLUSION: In our opening passage Paul is charging Timothy to do with others as he had done with him.  But, we can trace this thing back a bit.

(2 Timothy 2:2) “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”

Timothy was discipled by Paul who was discipled by Barnabas, (and the Lord Himself), Barnabas was discipled by Peter and the other leaders in the church of Jerusalem.  And of course Peter, was discipled by the Lord Jesus Christ.

ILLUSTRATION: Call five men or teenagers forward. Line them up with their Bibles. Line  four up behind each other facing one direction. The fifth man stands facing the first of the other four. He pictures Jesus discipling Peter, then Peter discipling Barnabas, then Barnabas discipling Paul, and finally Paul discipling Timothy. Then remove one person from the process; what is the result? The discipleship chain is broken.

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