Ezra set his heart, studied, and applied the Word of God in His own life. It would seem sufficient for man to handle the Scriptures this way. You would think he would be completely content that he and God had connected. But that was not the case for Ezra. He was a priest and a scribe (Ezra 7.12). He was not only responsible for his personal relationship with the LORD but for the people’s connection as well. He was under obligation to teach the Word. But I have never found obligation to be a lasting motivator for doing what is right. I think Ezra was motivated by his love for God and people.
Now before we relegate the forth component of the restorative power of the Word to the clergy, let me remind us that we are all priests in the New Covenant (1 Pet 2.5,9). And our supreme motivation should also be to love God and people (Mt 22.37-39). But this goes well beyond duty. If we were to take a close look at the affects of teaching on the teacher himself, we would find that he is by far the greater beneficiary of the act of teaching. I have always said “if you really want to learn something, teach it.”
When I say teaching, you may conjure up images of standing in front of a classroom and droning on in a monotone while your poor students stare at you like a deer in the headlights. That may be reserved for the chosen few (thank goodness). I’m simply talking about passing on the information (the Word of God) to another person. I’ve watched young men share one on one with a younger disciple and the transformation in the one teaching is amazing. As they take responsibility in bringing their brother up to speed, they are actually comprehending more, developing deeper convictions, and best of all, growing closer to Jesus themselves. This is one of the greatest secrets to spiritual growth, teach others and reap the greatest benefit.
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