The great gospel commission (Matt: 28:18-20) set in motion a remarkable religious movement throughout the whole world.
Here a few apostles or missionaries (the two words mean the same – “those who are sent”) went throughout the whole world and gathered up students, made them into disciples, called them to believe in Jesus, baptized them, and proceeded to teach them all the things Jesus has commanded them. The picture is that of Christian converts from around the world, representing different cultures and speaking different languages, coming out of the waters of baptism only to enter a school and begin their education. This is not surprising, for they still had much to learn.
The reason Christians are always learning is not just intellectual curiosity or an eagerness to master knowledge, but rather that the Christian life and faith permeates every corner of daily life. There is so much to learn. Because of that, the letters of the New Testament contain both the proclamation about Jesus (sometimes called by the New Testament word kerygma [keh-RIG-ma]) and education in all the things Christians have to learn (sometimes called by the New Testament word didache [did-ah-KAY]). A good example of proclamation is seen in 1 Corinthians 2:2, whereas education begins in 1 Corinthians 4 and continues on and off in the rest of the letter. What is it Christians have to learn?
Work, rest, social issues, community relations, church and worship, economics, philanthropy, relations with the authorities, counseling, family systems, marriage relations and child rearing, food and its preparation, clothing, even getting old and preparing for the end of life, both one’s personal life and life in this world. To be a Christian means to learn something about all these things and more. Understanding them does not come naturally. It has to be learned.