Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
Welcome to chapter 3 of James, which begins with the words, ‘Not many of you should become teachers’.
I would like us to stop for a moment. In Jesus’ day, according to historians, literacy rates were between 10-15%. This would possibly mean that it would be quite a small group who even could be teachers. With no Bibles, no library of commentaries, no internet, the 1st century teacher had a huge responsibility in the new movement of Jesus’ people.
Could you imagine memorising and then passing on the traditions, stories, parables, everything about Jesus which had been laid down by a handful of Apostles? It could have been so easy for a small group to go off course; in fact, they did go off course!
Today we may have a huge number of resources at our disposal, and yet we still need to take very seriously the call of being a teacher of God’s word, God’s truths to our communities.
I hope you are enjoying our series in James.
Featured image: Saint Peter preaching the Gospel in the Catacombs, Jan Styka (1858–1925), Public Domain image from Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:JanStyka-SaintPeter.jpg. Accessed 13 October 2023.