Summary: Second in series regarding the life of Christ and what he modeled for us.
The Life of Christ
Part 2: He Taught...
March 13, 2005
Today we continue our 5-week look at the life of Christ. Last week we looked at some aspects of how Jesus lived - that he lived in view of eternity, he lived to glorify the Father, he lived for the benefit of others, and he lived to relate to people.
And we looked at the fact that Jesus still lives to send the Holy Spirit, to pray for us, and to prepare a home for us.
Today we move on to look at the way Jesus taught during his brief three-year ministry on earth.
This isn’t a teaching seminar about how to become a better teacher, so what’s this about?
Well, it’s meant to achieve a couple things: first, it’s meant to simply display some aspects of the way Jesus taught and spoke, so that those of us who call ourselves teachers will have a good model to go by.
But also, it’s meant to show us that Jesus didn’t speak as some weird spiritual mystic that we have to try and decode.
Yes, sometimes he spoke in parables that left people confused, but he always explained them to his disciples, and we have the explanations in the Bible.
But really, he was very forthright about what he talked about.
And so I want to encourage you to read the words of Jesus with the idea that they are understandable. However, I want to be quick to point out that the Bible also says that without the Holy Spirit, full understanding is no possible.
But my point is that I want you to approach the Scriptures ready to learn from the Master, okay?
So today I want us to look at five ways Jesus spoke and taught, and I’m hoping that this will be more than just a "lecture" on the teaching style of Jesus. My hope is that you will walk out of here knowing him better and loving him more because of the pains he took to communicate to you and me.
Let’s get started, shall we, and look at these five ways Jesus taught and communicated. First...
He taught with authority.
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
When Jesus spoke, people listened. There were plenty of rabbis and teachers around, but there was something different about Jesus.
He had authority that others didn’t. He wasn’t a Hebrew scholar, he wasn’t a Pharisee, he wasn’t a "trained" minister.
But he had authority no one else had. Why is that? I think I have at least one answer for that, and it has to do with the source of his teachings. Because you see...his teachings were not his own - they came from the Father.
John 1 says the Jesus came from the Father, full of grace and truth. He had the truth of the Father backing him up!
There were at least a couple instances where the religious leaders, teachers, and even lawyers were demanding that Jesus offer proof of what he had to say.
His answer was this: I speak for the Father, and all I’m doing is telling you what he says. If you don’t like it, too bad!
He said that the Father would back him up, and prove his words to be true.
Well, with that kind of backing, why wouldn’t he be confident, teaching with authority? He knew where his authority came from, and he taught accordingly.
He taught in ways that related to everyday people.
I’ve yet to see an example of Scripture in which Jesus held a theological symposium, to lecture the religious folk of his day about the latest in theological leanings and ideas.
Jesus did discuss theology and religious thought - in fact, he did it all the time! But he didn’t use the "intellectual" language of the time; he used the language of the common person.
And he did it in lots of different ways. He told stories, he told parables, he referenced people and events everyone knew about, he used the same linguistic devices, and all sorts of stuff.
He could relate to any age, gender, social status, or level of spiritual maturity.
Jesus’ teaching was geared to the people present in any given situation.
One of the goals of teaching should be that little thing called "communication," right?
Well, you might have all the knowledge in the world but if you can’t communicate in a way that makes sense to the person you’re talking to, then all that knowledge is pretty much useless.
With the exception of some of the parables, few people went away from Jesus saying, "What in the world did he mean by that?"