Most of the world’s major religious traditions involve following the teaching of a master. In that respect, Christianity is not different from other religions. The most common calling Jesus gave to people was, “Come, follow me.” Through this invitation, Jesus called men and women to be his disciples, which is another way of saying “learners.” Yet despite this biblical truth, Christians often downplay or downright dismiss the idea of Jesus being a teacher in order to distinguish him from other religious leaders of the past and present. In an effort to show Jesus as different – not just a teacher, but God in the flesh – we have lost one of the central callings of our faith. In our attempt to make Jesus more, we have actually made him less by de-emphasizing the wisdom of his teaching.
God the Father himself commanded us to learn from Jesus when he proclaimed, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” (Matthew 17:5) Stop and think about what that really means! Our teacher isn’t just a human teacher, he is the very Son of God! The timeless truths of God himself have been revealed to us in Jesus Christ. That is what makes Christianity different from other religious traditions. We learn from God himself! And God loves us so much that he wants every area of our life to be transformed by the saving work of Jesus. Christ’s teaching shows us how that happens.
With this in mind, the first study in our Rooted series will explore how to be rooted in our master teacher, Jesus. As we go through this study, we’ll see how practical and how wise the teachings of Jesus are for those who take up the call to follow him as a disciple. As we start this study, I want to encourage you with words from Paul to the Colossians, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6-7)