Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. (Hebrews 13:7)
Following The Faith Of Teachers
The Hebrew Christians faced great persecution along with the discouragement of many who had given up their faith, returning to the teachings of the Law of Moses. It became a challenge to embrace the gospel of Christ in a world given over to paganism and the pressure of family to remain faithful to the Jewish teachings of the law. Wherever the faithful found themselves, they needed encouragement to stay true to the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In his closing remarks to the Hebrews, the writer affirms the individual’s faith by admonishing him to follow the example of those who had guided him in the path of truth. It is uncertain in what context these leaders ruled over the people. Whatever place these people found themselves serving, their example would become the basis of helping others remain faithful to the Lord. The leaders had spoken the word to the people and left a legacy of faith well worth following.
Faith is an active example of daily living. Teachers are instructed to guide the hearts and minds of the students in the word of God. It is easy to teach the word of God, but it becomes a greater task to live the message taught. Teachers lead by example. The early church was filled with many whose task was to lead the people to understand the word of God. More than just teaching the word, those who instructed the church in the word of God lived a daily life of faith, showing how the word changed their lives. Those who spoke the word of God to others would receive the heavier judgment for the responsibilities placed upon them, and those who heard the word had a great responsibility to follow and obey the word of God. Learning the will of God was a vital part of the life of the Christian but following the example of those who taught was a very important part of the growth process. The teachers lived their lives as examples of what they taught, and the students needed to follow that faith. That was a great example.
Teaching the word of God changes lives not only for this life but recreates a soul to a view of eternity. The Hebrew writer wants his readers to consider the outcome of the lives of those who taught them the word of the Lord. John will later write in the Revelation of the works that follow the faithful. One of the great memories from childhood are the Bible teachers who impressed the stories of God into the minds of the children. These are lessons that are not easily forgotten. It is necessary to remind teachers of the impact they have on the lives of their students, and the eternal lessons taught in the classroom of holy writ have a far more reaching impetus than anything in the world. Teachers must instruct so that the students will follow their faith and seek to mold their lives after their example. That is a tall order. It is one that is eternal.