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Friday, May 18, 2012

Repetitve teaching, why?


Have you ever noticed how repetitive the bible can be? As you read through the bible it becomes obvious that God is teaching the same lessons over and over again. From generation to generation, covenant to covenant God has the same lessons for us. Why do you suppose that is? Perhaps for the same reason the Hebrew writer penned theses words; “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5:11-14 NIV

This has always been mankind’s problem, we are slow to learn. As you read through the Old Testament you see that God had to teach His people the same lessons over and over again. In the New testament we see the apostles teaching the same things repeatedly. Retention has always been the bane of man's existence. This is why lessons are repeated in the bible. Repetition is they way we learn. Think back to your school days. How often did you think to yourself, haven't we heard this before? The answer to that question was yes. Because before the next level of teaching could be tackled, the teacher had to remind you of what you had learned thus far, then you would be ready for the next level. The purpose of repetitive teaching is to is to bring the learner along incrementally.

Look at the second sentence in the Hebrews quote. He is saying that his readers should be teachers by now, but are still in the early stages of learning about the truth of the word. But, if you think about it, how often do we see in the gospels Jesus teaching the teachers of the law, because they had not understood what really mattered. They hadn't even gotten the basics of what God really wanted from man. Yet they presumed to be able to teach others the right way of living. Jesus had to teach them the basics before they were ready to move on to the next level. The problem appears to be that both the first century christians and the teachers of the law had not spent enough time in the scriptures and were weak in their understanding and spiritual maturity because of it.

In the last sentence of the quote, we see that the mature are feasting on the solid food, they are making constant use of what what will continue to nourish them and grow them, so they will be better at distinguishing good from evil. So, the next time you find yourself reading the scriptures or hearing a lesson and you ask yourself; haven't I heard this before? Know that you have and that you will again because you need to, to mature and grow and be able to teach it yourself.

© 2012 Leo J. Woodman

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