A Student among Students

Deuteronomy 4:1 says, “Hear now, O Israel, the decrees and laws I am about to teach you.”  Deuteronomy 5:1 says, “Hear, O Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today.  Learn them and be sure to follow them.”  In the language of Hebrew, when one takes away the prefix and suffix from the words “teach” and “learn”, these words are the same.

Zuck stated that “one who teaches must be first of all a learner and an intense learner.  He cannot teach what he himself does not know.  And conversely, intense learning should result in teaching” (1964, p.234).  Therefore, who is a teacher?  A teacher is basically a learner, a student among students.

How shall one teach/learn?

These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, …  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6: 1-9)

Teachers employ various methods to engage their pupils.  We also learn in different ways: by engaging pupils in conversation (Talk), being a role model and sharing personal testimony (Tie and bind), and by creating visual displays (Write).  Hence, utilize multiple teaching strategies to cause fruitful learning.

Lastly, why shall one teach/learn?  Our ultimate goal can be summed up in Luke 2:52 that “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”  We aim for intellectual growth (in wisdom), physical growth (in stature), spiritual growth (in favor with God), and social and emotional growth (in favor with men). Luke 2:52 outlines a holistic approach to Christian education.  It is comforting and encouraging that God does not demand us to be perfect but expects us to make progress.  Embrace a growth mindset.  Be a student among students.  Press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).

Zuck, R. B. (1964). “Hebrew Words for “Teach””, Bibliotheca Sacra.  Dallas Theological Seminary. 121 pp. 228-235

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