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Teacher as Lord

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There can be confusion in some English Bibles because Jesus is sometimes quoted as instructing us not to call anyone teacher.  "But you, do not be called 'Rabbi'; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren" (Mat 23:8).  "And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ." (Mat 23:10)

The Greek word used in both these (Mat 23) cases is ‘kathegetes’.  The context as well as the word carries a strong connection with the concept of a master as opposed to a simple teacher.  The King James Version actually uses ‘master’ in these verses.  Master is not the intent of the function mentioned in I Corinthians 12:28.  A bishop was to be "able to teach" (I Tim 3:2, II Tim 2:2, 24).  Not everyone was fully versed in the scriptures.  Although many gentile converts frequented the local synagogue, some undoubtedly had not frequented the synagogue.  II Timothy 2:24 endorses patience and gentleness in the same breath.  The teacher was not aloof and did not consider himself to be a cut above the student.  The teacher was not in that function for any personal glory, but to pass along godly values, godly edification based on faith.


"charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith" (I Tim1:3b).


Although the primary meaning of kathegetes is master or guide, it does imply a teacher as well.  Our real teacher is the holy spirit.  Yeshua is not walking among us today like He did in New Testament times.  "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you" (John 14:26).  Actually the spirit cannot be spearated from Messiah (II Cor 3:17).


This was specifically directed at the Apostles, but God wants everyone to understand His way.  He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him (Heb 11:6).  One does not need to be an apostle.  He will support anyone who truly regards His words with awe and respect (Isa 66:2).  We should be open to suggestion from anyone, but set the Word of God as our final guide.  Take care to read it slowly and carefully for what it says, not for what we think, or what someone told us, it means.


Messiah was the ‘kathegetes’ of His disciples. They looked to Him alone for guidance and instruction.  In modern terms the relationship was like a mentor and student or master and apprentice.  We can learn from whatever sources are available.  Ultimately, we can trust Messiah alone and the instruction He left us.