This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:11-12
In this life there are teachers who are worth hearing and others who ought to be ignored.
High on the list of those teachers who should be avoided is the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria) instructor who was giving lessons to his students in the countryside north of Baghdad. Surrounded by his eager students he was showing them how to make a car bomb. That's right, a car bomb.
To make a long story short, as the more than 35 students gathered around him, he accidentally took in hand a belt with live explosives. Now I personally am not an expert in bomb building, but it seems one ought to always make the distinction between real explosives and pretend.
It was a fine point that the instructor forgot and set off the belt-bomb.
When the smoke cleared, the instructor had disappeared (literally), 22 of his students were dead and 15 were injured. Security forces that came to the explosion arrested 12 other potential bombers, defused seven car bombs, numerous explosive belts, and already-in-place roadside bombs.
As I said, there are teachers who are worth hearing and others who ought to be ignored.
Reading through the Scriptures, I cannot ever find a chapter or verse where the Savior ever instructed His disciples on how to build bombs. That doesn't mean, however, that listening to Him was boring or that He never said anything that was explosive.
On the contrary, when Jesus was with us, and even now, anyone who hears His words with an open mind will find He is anything but boring. Motivated by an all-consuming love, His words touch the hearts and minds of sinners as no mere human teacher can. Little wonder those who first heard Jesus' words were amazed and astounded that He spoke as "One who had authority" (see Matthew 7:29).
Today His words have become familiar, but to the person who considers them, His teachings have lost none of their passion and His actions none of their power.
To see Him touch a leper or call a publican from his tax table into discipleship is to see love in action. To hear His words reach into the grave and call to life the corpse of his friend, Lazarus, is to see heavenly power in action. To look at Him on the cross and know that the Innocent is dying for the guilty and the sinless Son of God is carrying the sins of humanity's sons and daughters is to see a compassion like none other.
Yes, there are teachers worth listening to and those who ought to be avoided.
But, my friends, there is only one Savior worth following, for in Jesus alone is salvation.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks You are not just my Teacher, You are my Savior. May I gladly hear, cherish and follow Your wonderful words of life. In Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries