One of the on-going frustrations of a Christian teacher is when people who are being taught ‘don’t get it’. The teacher puts his all into the presentation of the topic, and the session seems to go quite well, but at the end the blank look on some people’s faces indicates that they just haven’t ‘got it’. As we say in English ‘the penny hasn’t dropped’. It may be because the teacher was trying too hard, the room was too hot or too cold, the listeners didn’t understand the language, or the teacher wasn’t in tune with God.
How encouraging it must have been for Paul and Silas, therefore, when they spent three weeks with the Thessalonians teaching from the Scriptures and there was a positive response from the listeners. ‘And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a great multitude of the God-fearing Greeks and a number of the leading women’ (Acts 17:4). A short while later the evangelists were in the city of Berea when the same thing happened: ‘Many of them therefore believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men’ (Acts 17:12). Unlike Eutychus (Acts 20:9) they all paid close attention, and the Bereans even received the message ‘with great eagerness’.
We all hope for a dramatic response to the message of the Kingdom, and praise God for those parts of the world in which this is the normal thing. However, for many of us, it seems to take a while before the teaching we give is received with such positivity. Should we give up and consider ourselves hopeless teachers? Are the people that we teach these days hardened against us? Maybe Satan is actively trying to stop the message being received. But then hasn’t he always? At least most of us are not being physically opposed because of our message.
God’s heart is for the truth to be taught so that believers may be set free. If the response is slow, keep at it! Trust God to make the ‘penny drop’ in His timing. If some of them are persuaded then His purpose is fulfilled. And if great multitudes have their lives changed over a period of time, Hallelujah! However remember that every testimony is precious, as it represents the Kingdom of God at work in someone’s life, and that pleases the Lord.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord Jesus, for giving us Your Word of Truth. May we all respect it, receive it, pass it on in whatever way You have marked out for us, and trust You with the outcome. Amen.
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