When we were little children, we were taught about our five senses: sight, touch, hearing, smell, and taste. Did you know the Bible reveals that God uses all of the sense to teach? Let me share some interesting insights with you.
God Used Sight To Teach. The Bible tells us of many fantastic stories that fill us with awe and wonder. The book of Exodus, for instance, tells us that God used miracles to convince the Pharaoh to let His people go (Exodus 7-12). God used signs to declare His presence in His prophets. Jesus used miracles to capture the attention of His audience. Why do you think God made an ark or Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17)? For a visible reminder! His intention is teach us in a visual way.
God Used Hearing To Teach. In the Old Testament the prophets were sent a message from the Lord to proclaim to the people. The books of the New Testament are actually letters that the writers intended to be read to each congregation. Look at Jesus' great example of teaching and ministering to the people. When Jesus revealed His power over nature He did it by stilling a storm (Matthew 14:32, Mark 4:39). When we hear a prayer, a song, or a sermon, we are being taught about God’s love. He hopes we will learn from hearing the word of God which leads us to faith (Romans 10:17).
God Used Touch To Teach. After speaking many times to His people, God thought it best to come in the flesh! The Lord actually walked among us! While He was one the earth, Jesus touched the lepers (Matthew 8:3) and the eyes of the blind (Matthew 9:29). One time Jesus put his spit on a man’s tongue (Mark 7:33) and another time on a man’s eyes mixed with mud (John 9:6). In Luke 22:51 Jesus took the ear of Malchus, the servant of the High Priest and reattached it to his head. And who could forget doubting Thomas? In the OT, the Lord touched Elijah, Jeremiah, and Isaiah. He intends to teach us by touching us through the hands and feet of His own body, the church! He still teaches through physical touch.
God Used Smell To Teach. Think back to how Jesus emphasized smell in His own ministry. Jesus taught about lilies (Matthew 6:28) and herbs (Mark 4:32). Jesus used the illustration of ruined wine (Matthew 9:16-17). Jesus spoke often about burnt offerings and sacrifices (Mark 12:33). Jesus made the men roll away the stone of Lazarus’ tomb when he was warned that it would stink (John 11:39). Even in the Old Testament the Jews were instructed to make sacrifices and burn incense. God enjoys sweet smelling aroma. He knows it's a teaching tool!
God Used Taste To Teach. We often forget about this one, but Psalm 119:103 says, “How sweet Your word is to my mouth.” Think back to the Table of the Showbread, or the Lord’s Supper, why did God use food to illustrate those things? Why did God force the Israelites to grind up the golden calf and drink the water? Life can be bitter or it can be better. Jesus was keenly aware of the needs of man, especially "taste" as he mentions our daily bread in the model prayer (Matthew 6:11). Jesus emphasized salt and wheat and illustrated the kingdom with a mustard seed and He also spoke of figs, yeast, and other foods. Why? Everyone connects with food! What’s your favorite thing to eat and drink? God knows we think about it, so He teaches with taste.
Drift back with me to those days of childhood. Think about VBS. Remember singing, "Oh be careful little eyes, ears, hands, feet, nose, mouth, etc." in class? Maybe we should use those senses to draw us closer to God, not further away. May God bless your week!!!
You are loved.
Dr. Ray Reynolds
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