Passage: My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles.
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.
Journal: "My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment." The "teacher" is under a "stricter judgment." Here, the term teacher is translated master, or one in a preaching capacity. Here, the term judgment references a future judgment, and is the gamut between punishment and reward. The word of God is the most precious item that can be handled, shining brighter than Solomon's golden splendor and running deeper than Jonah's watery tomb. This one and only truth cannot be handled loosely and carelessly, but rather as holy and precious cargo, reminding of how the priests handled the Ark of the Covenant on its extended poles. The prophet was God's prosecutor. The teacher is God's schoolmaster. The lesson to be learned is one of life and death. The teacher need not rely on eloquent dissertation or emotional appeal. Rather, the teacher is to rely on the eloquence of God, found in His word, and the emotion of God, found in His redemptive plan. Yes, the word of God is priceless indeed; a treasure to be discovered each day. A seed that is to be planted on the Lord's Day by His teacher; a seed that is to be watered on each day by His pupil.