You have but one Teacher and you are all brothers. -Matthew 23:8
There are several times in the gospels that people believed that Jesus spoke with authority. (Matthew 7:29) Usually a person is viewed as having authority when they live what they say and do. The Pharisees surpassed other Jews in their knowledge of the Torah. “Jesus’ problem with the Pharisees and scribes is not with their intentions in relation to God per se. “We see from this passage that the two significant critiques Jesus provides have to do with (1) their lack of obedience to the Torah as they teach it to the people (23:2-4); and (2) the motivation in doing the Law as a way to gain human favor and honor (23:5-7).” (Jeannine K. Brown, Working Preacher, November 2, 2008,
When one speaks with authority it usually denotes a consistency of values being demonstrated through behaviors and actions. In this sense, we are all teachers and learners. (Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr, O.S.B. Living with Christ, August 21, 2021, p.157)Jesus is trying to teach his disciples that most important is faithful obedience to God and our relationship with God. Psalm 128 is a song sung by Jewish pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem. Blessed are those who obey and respect our Creator.
Living in union with God is what gives us the authority to teach. We all teach especially if we are parents or grandparents. By what authority do we teach? Are we consistent “in walking the talk”. Call to mind the teachers in your life that you most admired and respected. What did you admire most about them? If they are still living send them a note expressing your gratitude. If they are deceased say a prayer of gratitude for them.
Blessed are you who fear the Lord and who teach and walk in God’s ways.
“What the teacher is, is more important than what he/she teaches”
-Karl Meninger (www.englishdotcom.net)
Carl Middleton is a theologian/ethicist and a member of the Passionist Family.