The Significance of the Teacher
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”1
Recently, I read a beautiful legend about a king who decided to set aside a special day to honor his greatest subject. When the big day arrived, there was a large gathering in the palace courtyard. Four finalists were brought forward, and from these four, the king would select the winner.
The first person presented was a wealthy philanthropist. The king was told that this man was highly deserving of the honor because of his humanitarian efforts. He had given much of his wealth to the poor.
The second person was a celebrated physician. The king was told that this doctor was highly deserving of the honor because he had rendered faithful and dedicated service to the sick for many years.
The third person was a distinguished judge. The king was told that the judge was worthy because he was noted for his wisdom, his fairness, and his brilliant decisions.
The fourth person presented was an elderly woman. Everyone was quite surprised to see her there because her manner was quite humble, as was her dress. She hardly looked the part of someone who would be honored as the greatest subject in the kingdom. What chance could she possibly have, when compared to the other three, who had accomplished so much? Even so, there was something about her, the look of love in her face, the understanding in her eyes, her quiet confidence.
The king was intrigued, to say the least, and somewhat puzzled by her presence. He asked who she was. The answer came: “You see the philanthropist, the doctor, and the judge? Well, she was their teacher!”
The woman had no wealth, no fortune, and no title, but she had unselfishly given her life to produce great people. There is nothing more powerful or more Christ-like than sacrificial love and the time invested in others. The king had not seen the value in the humble lady. He missed the significance of the teacher.
God has placed people in our lives who have helped our development as disciples of Jesus in one way or another. I think of people like Elsie, the elderly woman who took me under her wing when I was a child and taught me how to pray, and Mrs. Wentworth, my Sunday school teacher, who was there when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Others may have seen them like the elderly woman in the story above, but to me, these godly women played an integral part in creating a firm foundation of faith for me to continue growing. There was one thing that both women had in common… they abided in The Vine, as He in them. Because of this their lives produced much fruit that remains to this day, even though they have been in the presence of the Lord for some time now.
Let this example serve as an encouragement to us friends. Do you want to have a lasting impact in the lives of others? Would you like to see them reach their God given potential? How amazing would it be to see those we served go on to do amazing things for the Kingdom of God? We will only be able to develop disciples if we are disciples ourselves. If we try to do things our way, separate from Jesus, our work will be in vain. But when we remain in Jesus, and allow Him to remain in us, we will produce good fruit.
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, help me never forget the significance of staying connected to you, my teacher. Please work in my life, prune me where needed, and allow me to produce much fruit for your glory and honor. Because apart from you, I can do nothing. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
John 15:4 (NIV).
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.