The Way

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Summary

Commenting on the importance of teachers, Albert Einstein once said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” 



And, Bill Gates once said, “Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids to work together and motivating them, the teach is the most important.”



There’s no doubt that teachers are essential in our society.

They impart our values, cultural norms, and teach skills needed for living in society. It’s teachers who contribute, in large part, to the develop of our youth into fully grown and mature adults. 


They have a lot of sway when it comes to showing others how to walk the Way.

It’s for this very reason that James says that God will be a harsher judge to teachers than to the rest of us!


The Bottom Line: Because teachers play such a vital role in helping people walk the Way, their words ought to be words of blessings instead of curses.

Show Notes

(James 3:1-12)

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle. If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies. Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits.
How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh. (NRSV)

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, because you know that we will be judged more strictly. For we all stumble in many ways. If someone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect individual, able to control the entire body as well. And if we put bits into the mouths of horses to get them to obey us, then we guide their entire bodies. Look at ships too: Though they are so large and driven by harsh winds, they are steered by a tiny rudder wherever the pilot’s inclination directs. So too the tongue is a small part of the body, yet it has great pretensions. Think how small a flame sets a huge forest ablaze. And the tongue is a fire! The tongue represents the world of wrongdoing among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the entire body and sets fire to the course of human existence—and is set on fire by hell.
For every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and sea creature is subdued and has been subdued by humankind. But no human being can subdue the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse people made in God’s image. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. These things should not be so, my brothers and sisters. A spring does not pour out fresh water and bitter water from the same opening, does it? Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers and sisters, or a vine produce figs? Neither can a salt water spring produce fresh water. (NET)

Not many of you should become teachers, brothers, as you know that we shall receive a greater judgment. For we all falter in numerous ways. If anyone does not falter in speech, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. And, when we insert bridles into the mouths of horses to make them comply with us, we also direct their whole body. And look at how ships, which are so enormous and which are driven by powerful winds, are directed wherever the pilot’s impulse determines by a tiny rudder; So also the tongue is a small bodily member, yet it boasts of great things. See how immense a forest so tiny a fire ignites. And the tongue is a fire, iniquity’s cosmos, defiling the whole body, and setting aflame the wheel of generation, and being itself set aflame by Hinnom’s Vale. For every nature—both of beasts and of birds, both of reptiles and of creatures of the sea—is being tamed, and has been tamed, by human nature, But from among human beings there is no one able to tame the tongue: a restless evil full of lethal venom. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings who have been born according to God’s likeness; Out of the same mouth comes blessing and curse. It is not fitting, my brothers, that these things happen thus. Does the fountain issue forth from the same spout as both sweet and bitter? Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers, or a vine figs? Neither can what is salty produce sweet water. (David Bentley Hart)

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters; you know that we will be judged more severely. All of us make many mistakes, after all. If anyone makes no mistakes in what they say, such a person is a fully complete human being, capable of keeping firm control over the whole body as well. We put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, and then we can direct their whole bodies. Consider, too, the case of large ships; it takes strong winds to blow them along, but one small rudder will turn them whichever way the helmsman desires and decides. In the same way, the tongue is a little member but boasts great things. See how small a fire it takes to set a large forest ablaze! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is a world of injustice, with its place established right there among our members. It defiles the whole body; it sets the wheel of nature ablaze, and is itself set ablaze by hell. Every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, you see, can be tamed, and has been tamed, by humans. But no single human is able to tame the tongue. It is an irrepressible evil, full of deadly poison. By it we bless the Lord and father; and by it we curse humans who are made in God’s likeness! Blessing and curses come out of the same mouth! My dear family, it isn’t right that it should be like that. Does a spring put out both sweet and bitter water from the same source? Dear friends, can a fig tree bear olives, or a vine bear figs? Nor can salt water yield fresh. (N.T. Wright)

Μὴ πολλοὶ διδάσκαλοι γίνεσθε, ἀδελφοί μου, εἰδότες ὅτι μεῖζον κρίμα λημψόμεθα. πολλὰ γὰρ πταίομεν ἅπαντες. εἴ τις ἐν λόγῳ οὐ ⸀πταίει, οὗτος τέλειος ἀνὴρ ⸁δυνατὸς χαλιναγωγῆσαι καὶ ὅλον τὸ σῶμα. ⸂εἰ δὲ⸃ τῶν ἵππων τοὺς χαλινοὺς εἰς ⸄τὰ στόματα⸅ βάλλομεν ⸀εἰς τὸ πείθεσθαι ⸉αὐτοὺς ἡμῖν⸊, καὶ ὅλον τὸ σῶμα ⸉1αὐτῶν μετάγομεν⸊. ἰδοὺ καὶ τὰ πλοῖα ⸆ τηλικαῦτα ὄντα καὶ ὑπὸ ⸉ἀνέμων σκληρῶν⸊ ἐλαυνόμενα, μετάγεται ὑπὸ ἐλαχίστου πηδαλίου ὅπου ⸇ ἡ ὁρμὴ τοῦ εὐθύνοντος ⸀βούλεται, ⸀οὕτως καὶ ἡ γλῶσσα μικρὸν μέλος ἐστὶν καὶ ⸂μεγάλα αὐχεῖ⸃. ἰδοὺ ⸁ἡλίκον πῦρ ἡλίκην ὕλην ἀνάπτει· oκαὶ ἡ γλῶσσα πῦρ· ὁ κόσμος τῆς ἀδικίας ⸆ ἡ γλῶσσα καθίσταται ἐν τοῖς μέλεσιν ἡμῶν, ⸀ἡ σπιλοῦσα ὅλον τὸ σῶμα καὶ φλογίζουσα τὸν τροχὸν τῆς γενέσεως ⸇ καὶ φλογιζομένη ὑπὸ τῆς γεέννης. πᾶσα γὰρ φύσις θηρίων τε καὶ πετεινῶν, ἑρπετῶν τε καὶ ἐναλίων ⸉δαμάζεται καὶ δεδάμασται⸊ τῇ φύσει τῇ ἀνθρωπίνῃ, τὴν δὲ γλῶσσαν οὐδεὶς ⸉δαμάσαι δύναται ἀνθρώπων⸊, ⸀ἀκατάστατον κακόν, μεστὴ ἰοῦ θανατηφόρου. ἐν αὐτῇ εὐλογοῦμεν τὸν ⸀κύριον καὶ πατέρα καὶ ἐν αὐτῇ καταρώμεθα τοὺς ἀνθρώπους τοὺς καθʼ ὁμοίωσιν θεοῦ ⸁γεγονότας, ἐκ τοῦ αὐτοῦ στόματος ἐξέρχεται εὐλογία καὶ κατάρα. οὐ χρή, ἀδελφοί μου, ταῦτα οὕτως γίνεσθαι. μήτι ἡ πηγὴ ἐκ τῆς αὐτῆς ὀπῆς βρύει τὸ ⸂γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ πικρόν⸃; μὴ δύναται, ἀδελφοί μου, συκῆ ἐλαίας ποιῆσαι ἢ ἄμπελος σῦκα;⸆ ⸂οὔτε ἁλυκὸν⸃ γλυκὺ ποιῆσαι ὕδωρ.

What is The Way?

Fr. Dustin Lyon explores scripture to rediscover Christianity so that we can walk in the Way of the Lord.