Crowds gathered around Him again, and once more, according to His custom, He sat down to teach them. - Mark 10:1
Our Father is a teacher. The Source of Wisdom delights to instruct those who will listen. His teaching is a gift of revelation and intimacy. When YHWH called Israel apart for Himself, He entrusted them with the Law. The Law was a window into His heart. It was a tutor, educating a nation to stand as a witness to the coming Kingdom.
How did the Lord teach Israel to worship? By loving Him alone. By honoring His Name. By resting on the Sabbath and ensuring their servants and animals would rest as well. By keeping faith with their spouses and speaking truthfully to one another. By guarding their inmost hearts and rejecting all covetous thoughts. God called Israel to walk with Him with by imitating His character. What a striking contrast to the demonic gods of other nations who reveled in drunkenness, prostitution and child-sacrifice!
Jesus is a teacher, like His Father. When Jesus came to earth, He revealed more about the Kingdom of Heaven. He opened our eyes to the love undergirding the Law. “You have heard it said, ‘You shall not kill,’ but I tell you whoever is angry with his brother shall be guilty.” And “You have heard that it said, ‘You shall not commit adultery;’ but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
George is a teacher, like his Savior. He is a man who has spent time with his Master, learning His ways. George has embraced the Word made flesh; now faithful instruction is in on his tongue.
When I was a little girl, my grandmother worked in a bank. Some evenings she brought home boxes of quarters and dimes to roll in paper wrappers. I was fascinated by the way her fingers moved deftly through the jumble of coins bringing order. One day she showed me something even more wonderful – the coin sorter! It was a machine which swallowed large jars of mixed coins and spit them out sorted by type, neatly rolled and stacked in columns.
They way George thinks reminds me of that magnificent machine. Many times I have come to him with a jumble of thoughts in my head. Intuitively I knew they were related, but I could not articulate the connection I sensed. George would listen patiently, pause, then return all of my thoughts stacked neatly in order, with the truth I was seeking resting on top.
Here is one of my favorite examples. In the early days of Wittenberg 2017, when the work was only a concept, not yet a reality, Thomas and I visited George and Hanna at their home in Germany. At the time I was wrestling with my role as married woman in leadership. The Lord was speaking to me, revealing things which I wanted to share, but I was uncertain how to find my voice. On the one hand, receiving a gift and failing to use it seemed poor stewardship. On the other hand, asking to teach felt forward of me as a woman. It was not the model of feminine humility I grew up with. The thought of trading humility for a platform terrified me. So one morning over breakfast I asked George a favor. “George,” I said, “teach me about humility. What is humility?”
“Amy,” he replied, “humility is very simple. Humility is agreeing with the truth.”
Immediately my head cleared and my soul settled. I knew what the Lord wanted for me and from me. Those simple words silenced the voice of the enemy in my head and called me into deeper fellowship with the Father.
George’s teaching has moved many in a similar ways. In the context of Wittenberg 2017 George carried the message which made reconciliation a matter of personal discipleship. To be like Jesus is to be reconciled with the Father. When we are at peace with the Father, we will love our brothers and sisters. There are wounded places in our heart which impede this unity with God and one another. Jesus can heal these wounds. Without this healing, we cannot know the Father rightly, as Jesus did. And apart from communion with the Trinity, we cannot become ministers of reconciliation. We must sit at the feet of Jesus and let Him speak to us directly in order to be healed.
I have heard George teach variations on this message many times in the past decade. Each time the Spirit comes, confirming the words of His minister. Tears flow and healing begins in the hearts of those who hear. Most often these teachings end with George offering a fatherly blessing, touching and praying for those who were moved. George’s teaching is both a gift from Jesus and a participation in His work. Teaching is a gift of love.
He declares His word to Jacob,
His statutes and rules to Israel.
He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
they do not know His rules.
Praise the Lord! - Ps 147:19-20