Teach the Truth

June 24, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

“Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?” (John 3:10)

Jesus “pulls no punches” with Nicodemus, and He will pull no punches with us. Nicodemus, the seeking Pharisee, comes to Jesus under cover of night to ask Him some questions, but instead, Nicodemus gets questioned.  Perhaps it would have been too embarrassing and socially unacceptable for Nicodemus, a Pharisee, to ask Jesus a question in public, as that may have looked like Nicodemus was acknowledging Jesus’ authority to answer.  

Nicodemus, however, ends up facing the heart-searching questions that Jesus poses to him. Jesus speaks to him of how souls are birthed into spiritual life, and Nicodemus does not seem to understand the process at all. He thinks that Jesus is talking in human terms about the human birthing process. 

Envision, if you will, Jesus looking at him. Jesus says, “Are you a teacher in Israel and you don’t know these [basic things about spiritual birth]?”  James says in his epistle, “My brothers, be not many teachers, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation” (James 3:1). Jesus is rebuking Nicodemus and letting him know that he is strongly lacking in his spiritual knowledge. How can he then be a good teacher?

There are many things that we think we know about salvation and the kingdom of God, but we must come to Jesus and allow Him to ask us questions, hard questions, to see if we truly understand the way of salvation. Many of our beliefs may be amalgamations, half truths, mental truths, or downright errors.  We shouldn’t be surprised when Jesus comes, either gently or not so gently, and questions us thoroughly. 

 It’s important that what we believe and teach be as true and pure as possible.  Better to be corrected now while we have time to make a correction then to face God later and find out that we were not teaching the truth! When James says that teachers teaching falsehoods will receive a greater condemnation, we need to take that seriously. Condemnation is a pretty strong word—not one that you want applied to you. Even if you aren’t a teacher, it is important to live out of correct beliefs because all beliefs bear fruit, good or bad, in our thoughts and actions.

Furthermore, we can be doctrinally correct, but our hearts can be far from God in the application of the truth. We “see in part” Paul says. No church or denomination has the entire truth or is completely free from error. And no one individual understands everything about God and His Word correctly. 

Let God ask you some questions so that He might refine or downright correct what you believe.  Let there be no false teaching falling from our lips.

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net

Women of the Word is a non-profit ministry conducting Christian women’s conferencetrips to Israel and online Christian Bible studies.  “WOW” also offers bible reading plans and instruction for how to understand the Bible for beginners and those maturing in their faith. WOW serves women of all denominations, cultures and ages and is focused on teaching biblical principles and their application in daily life.