Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” (John 3:1-2, NIV)
…he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. (Matthew 7:29, NIV)
Who was your favorite teacher? Who was your least favorite? Two names just popped into your head, one for each question. The very best of teachers and the very worst of teachers will always stick with us. We don’t always remember exactly what they taught, but how they taught. We know they helped us grasp a concept with which we struggling or they failed to explain and ridiculed us for not understanding. It is easy to recognize good and bad teachers. Jesus was a good teacher.
One of the reasons Jesus was a good teacher, is because it is easy to remember what He taught. Instead of presenting a list of facts, Jesus often taught in parables. He told easy-to-remember stories, that had a message that was not always clear. This encouraged people to talk amongst themselves to discover the meaning of His parables.
Jesus’ gift for teaching was noticed by His enemies and His friends. He spoke strongly and with the authority of God. Jesus was able to refute and correct the teachings of Pharisees, which had become corrupted over time. He spoke to everyone! From all walks of life and His teachings applied evenly – everyone was treated the same. There was no special treatment.
The teachings of Jesus challenged those who were listening, really listening, to what He was saying. Jesus’ teachings require action, and often, change. His teachings apply as much today as the day He gave them. Jesus had compassion for those He was teaching. He sought to help others through His teachings and in His final spoken words, He directed us to do the same: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19-20a, NIV)
So what does this mean for us? In order to teach others, we must study and learn! Jesus is our teacher and the Bible is our textbook. We must study it! Read and study what Jesus taught! Share with others what you have learned!
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