Our Lord taught lessons by what He said and by what He didn’t say; by what He did and by what He didn’t do. Since our eternal destiny rests in our understanding and implementing these lessons, it might be helpful to categorize and review some of them.
By precept and example He consistently and repeatedly rebuked the disciples’ lack of faith (O ye of little faith, if you had faith as small as grain of mustard seed, etc.) He called little children to him and said, except you become as one of these, exhibiting simple faith, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.. The undoubting, unsullied faith of a child He taught as a goal for all believers. But in spite of all the miracles performed, even the disciples doubted, and He was astonished and saddened at their lack of faith. Their fearful doubting would make it more difficult for them to convince others of the Message. For how could they teach others if they themselves doubted under duress? Patiently, patiently He dealt with their stubborn hearts (as He does with ours), but He will not strive forever with the stubborn spirit of man. His long-suffering, plaintive cry over Jerusalem, “How often would I have gathered you under my wings as a hen gathers her chicks, but you would not!…, and now your house is left to you desolate,” (Luke 13:34 paraphrased) is a sad, sad example of too little, too late.
Hebrews 11:6: “Without faith it is impossible to please God. You must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.”
One of the other lessons our Lord taught so emphatically was the absolute necessity of the sincerity of believers. The twenty-third chapter of Matthew contains one of the most scathing rebukes of any person or group of people in all the Bible for their hypocrisy (where mere men are given higher standing and stricter obedience than God for the sake of appearance). He didn’t suffer hypocrites gladly. His “serpents, brood of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?” (Verse 33) is about as definitive as it gets. Make no mistake: all things are naked and open before the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Heb. 4:13 There are no secrets from Him.
Another important area of the teaching of Jesus concerns the universality of the Gospel. Jesus came to seek and save the lost: every tribe, nation, old, young, wicked, good, male, female, no one is excluded, thank God! No partiality. The crippled, the demonic, young, old, rich, poor, worthy or unworthy, across the board. The ground is level at the cross. Lesson for us: people are just people, of equal worth in God’s eyes (until they prove otherwise), and we’re not the judge of that. Outward circumstances are nowhere in the Lord’s consideration. He can make a saint out of a murderer, the Apostle Paul comes to mind. The souls of people and how they relate to their Maker are all that count eternally.
Our Savior taught many other lessons while He was here on earth, but faith, sincerity and humility were among the ones given extremely high priority. We do well to keep those in mind. May God help us all to stay close in our walk with Him.