Teachers and Midwives

I am in the midst of one of those "swamped" or "in the weeds" moments with my seminary homework and other responsibilities, so today's post will be a little shorter. I thought I would post a quote that encouraged me about the role of being a teacher and a witness to what our great Teacher is and does. Let me know what you think:

"'...A human teacher, be he as wise as Socrates, can only assist at the birth of truth and knowledge in another person; he can be no more than a midwife, so to speak. The identity of the teacher is as unimportant as the moment when the disclosure is made. For the teacher is a mere midwife; only God can beget. But what if God does beget? What if God comes himself to teach and impart new life? Why then, the Teacher becomes all-important, and the moment of illumination or entering on this new life becomes highly significant. This is in fact, [the Apostle] John is convinced, what has happened. The Absolute became our Contemporary; God became man for thirty years or so to bring us to a new dimension of life through knowing him." -Soren Kierkegaard from Philosophical Fragments

Why am I encouraged by this? Because I am not under any pressure to convert or make someone believe anything. In fact, I can't make anyone believe the truth. All I can do is point them to the Person that can implant truth in them and trust God to do the work (This, of course, is right in line with the Apostle Paul's teaching in 1 Corinthians 3:5-8 and the parable of the sower in Luke 8:4-15). In that sense, I am like a midwife. I didn't help conceive the child or get the body ready to give birth, nor will I be essential once the baby is born. I just play my small part in moving the teaching along, making sure the credit all goes to the one who planted this truth of the gospel in the first place. Now, I know I'm mixing my metaphors, but I think it still gets the point across. The focus should be on the truth giver, God, and when I see myself as a midwife in the process, as I truly am, God will get the glory.


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