One of the characteristics that I admire the most in people is this: being teachable. These are people who are constantly thinking, reading, listening, praying, feeling, and learning. They are many times early-adapters of new technologies, strategies and leadership principles. I especially admire those who take all the ideas they are bombarded with, put them through the filter of the Scriptures, and see how God wants to use that information to grow them.
- Sometimes, the information is something that you need to apply to your life in some way.
- Sometimes, the information is something that helps you to understand other points of view, but it’s not something you need to apply to your life.
- In either case, you are learning, expanding your understanding of people, knowing how to live like Christ and for Christ in this world. To put it into a phrase: as you learn, you realize more and more how to live a life that always pleases God.
Unfortunately, I know too many people who think they’ve got everything figured out so they don’t need to learn anything new. They are quite content with what they know and how they are living their lives, and they settle for stagnation. They think they can coast along in life. They don’t realize they are missing so much of what God wants them to know, to feel, to experience, and to do.
Most of the religious leaders that Jesus encountered as he walked the earth did not accept him as God-in-the-flesh. They did not believe that he was the Messiah, the One born to be the Savior of the world. They were so stuck in their ways of thinking, learning and living that they could not accept him for who he said that he was and who he showed himself to be.
In one encounter, the conversation went like this:
Then He said to them again, “I’m going away; you will look for Me, and you will die in your sin. Where I’m going, you cannot come.”
So the Jews said again, “He won’t kill Himself, will He, since He says, ‘Where I’m going, you cannot come’ ?”
“You are from below,” He told them, “I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
“Who are You?” they questioned.
“Precisely what I’ve been telling you from the very beginning,” Jesus told them. “I have many things to say and to judge about you, but the One who sent Me is true, and what I have heard from Him—these things I tell the world.”
They did not know He was speaking to them about the Father.
So Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing on My own. But just as the Father taught Me, I say these things. The One who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, because I always do what pleases Him.” (John 8:21-29)
Jesus was predicting his death upon the cross, where he would pay the price for my sin, and your sin, and the sin of all who will believe. His death was sufficient to save the whole world, and it is available to all who will trust in Jesus as their Lord & Savior, those who believe that Jesus is the Great “I AM,” the one who came to seek and save the lost.
Jesus predicted that he would be “lifted up.” I believe that Jesus was lifted up in three distinct ways:
- He was lifted up on a cross, and crucified for our sins.
- He was lifted up through his resurrection, conquering death, hell and the grave forever.
- He was lifted up at his ascension, returning to heaven and reigning as Lord
Jesus makes a statement in his conversation with these religious leaders, saying that he does nothing on his own, only the things that the Father has taught him. And then he says that the Father is with him (a reference to him being one with God, truly God incarnate), and that he always does what pleases God.
That is my goal. I make it my goal to always do what pleases God. I want to be like Jesus in every way. I want to have the love for God that he has and the love for people that he has. I want to speak like he spoke, to listen like he listened, to care and show compassion like he did, and to inspire people the way he did. There are many other ways I want to be just like him. And most of all I want to point them to saving faith in Jesus like he did.
Are you teachable? What is God teaching you? Are you putting it into practice in your life today?