Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.
Presume to be teachers. In other words, don’t play judge and jury.
The word for teacher (didaskalos) is sometimes translated as master. Jesus was called master or teacher on many occasions and in a Jewish context that meant something special. A master was revered like an Old Testament judge (see for example, Matt. 19:16, Luke 12:13, John 8:4-5). In Jesus’ day to be a master or teacher was to be one of the Big Dogs when it came to dispensing law and passing judgment. When James says, “Don’t presume to become a teacher,” he’s saying “Who are you to judge another? (Jas. 4:12).
Not all of us are gifted to teach (see 1 Cor. 12:29), but all of us are qualified and encouraged to teach (Mark 16:15; Heb. 5:12). You are not qualified because you went to seminary or teaching school. You are qualified because Jesus the Teacher lives in you (Matt. 8:19), and because his Spirit teaches you all things (John 14:26).
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