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Pentecost

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“All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
We have all received a certain amount of education. It is mandatory now that people attend school (or are home schooled) in the United States through the age of 16. Society prefers that people receive a high school diploma or its equivalent. Many people choose to further their education in colleges and beyond. This time of the year we celebrate milestones in education during graduations.
As confessional Lutherans, we have also received or are planning on receiving a certain amount of religious education as well. I would say that the minimum requirement is Sunday school and 7th and 8th grade confirmation class. These curricula cover an overview of Bible history and the cheif doctrines of the Bible. A good discussion would be to compare notes and what our own educational history has been in all areas both secular and religious.
The reason I mention this is because in our text Jesus is wrapping up the course he had in teaching his own disciples. You are familiar with the process. They accompanied him for almost three years (especiall the last two) and witnessed firsthand who he was, what he did, and listened to what he taught. The summary of Jesus’ teaching is recorded in the Gospels and includes familiar things like the parables, the Lord’s Prayer, the sermon on the mount, his interactions with the religious leaders, and his miracles. His purpose in teaching them was to train them to believe in him, live for him, and to become his teachers to the next generation.
This followed the premise of the Old Testament. In a time before books and certainly electronic media, the next generation was dependent on the previous generation passing it on to them. This was commanded:
 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. 10 Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when he said to me, “Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children.”
Leaders were also to teach others.
Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. 19 Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. 20 Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. 21 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22 Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you.
Several decades ago the pastor at Salem wrote that even today the ideal situation would be for parents to be involved in teaching their own children but since that was not the case, the church stood ready to assist them.(See document on the “ideal” situation).
(See document on the “ideal” situation).
Who taught you about the Lord? Can you remember important truths about our God that you heard from your own parents’ mouths? Are you as a parent or a grand parent involved in talking about Jesus. Know this. They are listening and they pick up from your words and actions how important God is and learning about him. Children who witness their parents reading the Bible, having home devotions, praising God in worship, reviewing their Sunday school lessons with them learn how important Jesus is to their parents. Children who hear their parents speak negatively about Christian education learn something from them as well. We have a responsibility as teachers of children as family and as a church to be Jesus’ witnesses just as much as the early disciples did even if we aren’t formally called.
The disciples were to be the next generation of teachers. There was no text book that congregations could consult, the New Testament had not been written. The disciples did not take written notes. There was no online course that people could take or seminar they could attend or tablet they could read. They were dependent on the eye witness accounts of the disciples and had to trust that what they taught was indeed what Jesus taught.
Do you trust what your religious instructors are teaching you? In our synod we have a very comprehensive training system for pastors and teachers. It is preferred that instruction include Lutheran Elementery Schools, Lutheran High Schools, and then MLC and WLS. In some cases a public school student makes it too such as your pastor. We thoroughly train our teachers and expect them to review what it is that they have learned and have many continuing educational opportunities for them.
But could the early Christians trust the disciples? Jesus himself warned  At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
This warning is repeated by some of the apostles:  As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith.
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
The biggest attacks on the Bible are that those who wrote the Bible were not reliable but that they wrote to fit their own agendae.
Our text should reassure us that we can be certain that the disciples taught what they had learned because God himself was with them. What promises did Jesus make here?
John 14:25-27
“All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
God would send the Holy Spirit. We celebrate this event on Pentecost.
The Holy Spirit would teach them and remind them of everything Jesus had taught them.
It would be amazing if we could remember everything we were taught decades ago. It certainly helps if we have been teaching the same course year in and year out. Although it has been several years since I taught confirmation class to youth, the 25 years that I did teach it does certainly help in lesson preparation just as the math teacher who has taught the same class for decades really knows his stuff. But the disciples had an even greater advantage. God himself, the Holy Spirit, would not only empower them to preach boldly, he would guide them to teach purely. So we can be confident that what we read about Jesus in the Gospels really happened just as the Bible says it did. We can be confident for all of the Bible for that matter.
That same Holy Spirit guides us in our own experience as students and as teachers. We don’t depend on just a formal, thorough education. We trust that God’s Word is living and active because the Holy Spirit uses it to speak to our hearts and to guide our faith.
Joel 2:28 “And afterward,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
29 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
30 I will show wonders in the heavens
and on the earth,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
31 The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
32 And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved;
for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
there will be deliverance,
as the Lord has said,
even among the survivors
whom the Lord calls. 
This weekend marks the end of the school year here at church. We take a summer break for Sunday school and Bible class. For some being confirmed in May was regarded as the termination of their formal religious instruction. This contradicts the command of God to never stop learning.
2 Peter 3:14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
God has preserved the teachings of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit. That same Holy Spirit still teaches us today. Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
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