Jesus is the Teacher of humanity.
He walked on earth as a man. He reigns in heaven now and forevermore as God Almighty. In both places, He is the Teacher.
He lives to teach us about Himself. One of the first things He teaches us, and one of the most important, is that He is righteous. Therefore, if we would know Him, we must seek righteousness. And we must seek it with all our hearts. That is, we must seek not merely to know righteousness as a subject to mentally understand; we must also practice righteousness if we are to truly know and understand what it means.
Since we know that God is love, and we also know that God is righteous, we can know that love is righteous. That is, he who walks in love walks in righteousness. And he who lives righteously loves as God loves.
Mankind could not fully grasp the meaning of love or righteousness until Jesus of Nazareth. The prophets of Israel knew that God was righteous, but it was hard to know just how righteous. Likewise, they knew that God loved His people, but they could not know just how much He loved them. Jesus came to reveal the full extent of that righteous love.
Until the resurrection of Jesus, God did not command the world to repent. Neither did He previously offer Himself as Teacher to the world. If you think about it, God was too scary for anyone to approach. Who would have thought that we could approach God and learn from Him if He had not first taken flesh upon Himself and walked the earth among us? He let us crucify Him so that we could know conclusively that nothing we do could make Him reject us.
Now that we know that He was willing to personally bear the brunt of our sins, we can approach Him to learn more about His righteousness. While we know that He will not condemn us, we should not think that He won’t admonish us and correct us. Indeed, when we turn to God we become more sensitized to the foolishness we have practiced in this life.
Jesus doesn’t teach us how to achieve worldly success. He does not give us “the five steps to this or that success.” He comes to teach us what is right. Each day when we look to Him we are asking for our daily bread, the bread of understanding and doing His will. We are not asking Him to straighten out everyone else. I am asking him to lead me away from temptation and evil for everyone’s sake around me, and you are asking Him to lead you away from temptation and evil for everyone’s sake around you. Righteous love is to be the foundation of our living.
Guilt has become a negative word in today’s culture, but true guilt and true repentance lead to true happiness. Unless you are perfect, you cannot honestly go to God without experiencing some measure of guilt. The good news is this: He will forgive those sins we acknowledge, and show us how to avoid repeating them. He will not excuse sin or act as if it is unimportant. It caused Him to die.
Because we know that we can be forgiven of every sin, we have confidence to trust in Jesus daily for our lives. His willingness to forgive us gives us the confidence to sit in the classroom of righteousness that is known as prayer. Pray as long as your faith will allow you, even if that’s only a minute. But however long you pray, ask Him to show you the right things to do. From this little stream will swell a river of life.