“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.”
Albert Einstein summarized my theory of teaching. Some folks revel in the details. I believe the art of instruction is helping students learn to discover the threads and connections that link the big ideas together.
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I’ve read pieces of Isaiah many times. I know it’s prophesy, some combination of warning and hope. I also know I never had a good grasp of the big picture.
In our small group last week, the curriculum authors made a statement that connected like a lightning bolt through the arc of scripture. Maybe it’s obvious to others, but for me it brought a big picture into focus.
“Isaiah clearly answers the question, ‘What offends God?’ The answers are plain and simple. God is offended by idolatry and injustice.”
The big ideas, according to Isaiah: how we relate to God and to others. And the lightning bolt is the connection to Jesus’ answer about The Greatest Commandment:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
The opposite of idolatry and injustice: Love God and love others. Jesus tells us EVERYTHING ELSE hangs on these two commandments.
That’s sort of a big idea.
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The Law says God is offended by idolatry and injustice. Jesus says love God and love others.
I’ve told you before I’m not a theology guy. It’s awfully easy to get lost in details that tend to obscure the big picture. I appreciate teachers who help me discover the threads and connections that link the big ideas together.
Teachers like Jesus.