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Tuesday: Rabbi Jesus — 11 Comments

  1. This question is about the most important one that has been asked in this two-part lesson on Jesus as the master teacher:

    Considering who Jesus was, why does it make sense to learn from Him the best ways of teaching spiritual truth? What can we learn from Jesus about why not only what we say is important for teaching, but what we do, as well?

    I am disappointed that the authors have concentrated more on who Jesus is than on what and how he taught. It is my assertion that Jesus not only set the curriculum, he also gave us the pedagogy (that's a big word that means the methods of teaching).

    There are three areas that I would like to mention this morning"

    1. He turned the religious views upside down. Read the Sermon on the Mount to see how radical his ideas of religious behaviour are. So often he says something like "You think ..." followed by, "but I say unto you ..." and he gives a deeper more meaningful understanding of how we should relate to others and to God. He radically opposed the rampant religious hypocrisy that said one thing and acted in self-interest.
    2. He taught using parables and object lessons that related to the experience of his listeners. Salt, light, sheep, seeds, plants, searching for lost items, oil supplies for lamps, and so on. Jesus made Christianity interesting and relevant. Object lessons were something that were easily remembered. Why do you think there are so many of them in the Gospels.
    3. He taught with compassion. When dealing with sinners and people who were suffering, his compassion extended beyond words of condolence. He acted compassionately. He ate with sinners, he played with children, he wept over Jerusalem.

    Jesus greatest testament of who he is, is how he lived and taught. It is worth reading at least one of the Gospels this week to remind ourselves that.

    • My comment is meant to enhance the point Maurice is making, not detract from it in any way.

      In reading Maurice's thoughts regarding his disappointment in today's lesson having concentrated on who Jesus is more than what and how He taught, my mind wondered if perhaps there is a direct connection between the two aspects: that Jesus curriculum and pedagogy was a direct flow-on from who Jesus is (ie His nature and character).

      The overarching description of Jesus nature and character that springs to my mind is Pure Compassionate Beneficence. So I was heartened to see Maurice's reference in point (C) to Jesus teaching with compassion.

      What is "Pure Compassionate Beneficence"? It means to be deeply motivated towards another for their best interests. It is the 'way of being' that Jesus was towards the woman caught in adultery, the Samaritan woman at the well, Nicodemus' night visitation, Peter when Peter was about to deny Jesus, Judas when Judas was about to betray him, and even those who were crucifying Him on the cross.

      Please don't mistake what I am saying for the notion of Jesus being some 'marshmallow'. Pure Compassionate Beneficence is pure strength - but it is an expression of pure strength that does not 'break off a broken reed' that is barely hanging on or 'extinguish a dimly burning wick' that is almost ready to go out (Isaiah 42:3). It is also a pure strength that confronts - but never in anger or affront.

      Have you experienced that depth of Pure Compassionate Beneficence? If not, can you imagine doing so?

      Paul asks a question in Romans 8:31, "If God is for us (which He absolutely is - Romans 8:32), who can be against us"? The unwritten answer to this question is that the only ones/things that can be against us is sin (lawlessness) itself, Satan and ourselves.

      When we are able to see Jesus/God in this light, it begins to transforms us into His likeness - and we too progressively become more and more compassionately beneficent in our attitude toward others. And as we become more and more compassionately beneficent in our attitude toward others, we also progressively become more and more compassionately beneficent in our behaviour towards others and our treatment of others.

      Can you actually see/imagine this?

      • Phil – yes, I can see and imagine “If God is for us, who can be against us – Rom.8:31,32KJV. The effects of all of Jesus’ righteousness is in potential embodied in our Faith and love for Him and the Father and by Faith we experience His Compassionate Beneficence every time we deny our self and live HIM instead of our 'self'- 1John4:18-21KJV.
        Yes, by compassionate faith we walk in His Life of Light – if we do so, all our actions will reflect His Love and compassionate Beneficence. Should our walk by faith not do so, this is not a sign that the Light does not work or is ineffective, it is a sign that the Light cannot shine; why, because of lack of oil in the lamp!

        You ask: “Have you experienced that depth of Pure Compassionate Beneficence?” When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, at that time it was when we would have felt it the most deeply! It took me a bit longer to feel deep, loving gratitude for the Son of God who has left His perfect Heavenly Home to come to a planet filled with death and dying creatures – yes, His selfless act is “Pure Compassionate Beneficence”!! It took me to see, acknowledge who I am without my Savior first, before I could comprehend the extend of His compassionate Love. Our Savior’s Life of compassion and Faith is the most monumental expression of Love ever demonstrated!

        For those of us who do not remember ever being grateful to the depth of their whole being for having been rescued from certain death, I suggest to examine their commitment to living a life of dying to self so they can truly live – Eph.4:22-24KJV; Rom.6:4-11KJV; 2Cor.4:6-18KJV;
        Rev.3:14:23KJV – (23)”He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

    • Indeed, yes. Your last paragraph is so true: "Jesus' greatest testament of who He is, is how He lived and taught!" Your post reminded me of an old textbook. Teaching Techniques of Jesus by Herman Horne. It breaks down the various methods he used and studies each one separately. The contents listed methods like His use of parables, questions, Scripture, and symbols. Throughout the various discussions of the 'how' of His teaching, the book winds down to some conclusions. One was that He was adaptable. It mattered whether He was speaking to an individual, a group, or a crowd. It mattered whether they were adults or children, etc. Finally, it discussed a very important part of teaching: WHO the teacher is. Horne believed a master teacher must have a mastery of the subject being taught and the list continues to include: a life that embodies the teaching. He was, indeed, THE Master Teacher.

  2. One of the many important reasons that Jesus, one of the three divine partners in the Godhead, came personally to this planet was to put a human face on God, to help us to understand His character, to invite us to be embraced by His loving arms. How does the picture of Jesus personally interacting with people that looked like Him, how He was involved with them in their daily lives, help me and you want to spend time in His company?
    He understands our weaknesses. At different times I had two maths teachers, one was a German professor who didn't understand why we couldn't grasp the concepts he was explaining, because they were so simple to him, the other was actually an English teacher filling in because there was no Maths teacher that year, he knew it would be hard for us to understand and devised ways for us to remember and apply the theorems he was teaching. The latter is the way Jesus taught, He knew and understood His students and where they were in their journey of learning and adapted His methods but not the content to suit them. Many students struggle with Maths because I believe they never had a good grounding on which to build. I believe that Jesus focused on the basic principles of the kingdom of heaven, He knew that after He returned to Heaven He would send the Holy Spirit who would inspire Paul to reveal the more abstract aspects and provide deeper understanding of the knowledge of the character of the LORD.

  3. As we can fully appreciate who Jesus Christ is, we can find all there is to learn encapsulated in Him. HIM meaning: His divinity, His Truth, His purpose, His teachings, His interactions with those who learn about the Truth and how He applies this Truth can be seen by them who believe Him; the greatest Gift for us is obtained by His Faith – our imparted righteousness.
    In Jesus Christ, God was with us; He gives us everything essential to know for our Salvation; after all, this is the mission the Father send His Son to earth for, to dwell as Christ Jesus among us.
    I believe that the most essential part of His Teachings is to honor God the Father with our deep, committed love and have unwavering - Faith in God !

    The ‘Sermon on the Mount’ - Matt.5:3-12KJV tells us everything that the Spirit of God considers important for those living in God’s Kingdom. It is given to us to exemplify what our lives will look like if we live it by faith, believing that if we have died with Christ, His Holy Spirit will live in us to empower us to live in such a manner.

    This will demonstrate to the world that we do not stand up in self-righteousness, but in the righteousness of God as we are covered in Jesus - we are no fools, but do not mind to be considered fools by the world if it is to honor God.
    The Beatitudes is the upside-down worldview held by those who do not want to live by the laws of this world.

    This teaching took me the longest time to understand, receive, believe and live. I am a peace-seeking person at heart and avoid conflict the best I can, but this asked a lot of 'giving up' of control.
    When it comes to the Glory of God, I am zealous to protect it. This is the only area I stand up to see justice done; but even in this - standing up to protect God's honorable, holy Name - I have to acknowledge that He is in charge; my need to be patient and accept that He establishes His Truth and righteousness in His own way and time is a work on progress.

    Matt.13:10-17KJV – Jesus spoke in parables: v.13 – “…Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. “ v.15 “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. (16) but blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.”

    Jesus Christ's disciples were blessed to walk alongside Him and observe Him as He lived. By Faith, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, we can see and experience Him and His teachings.

  4. Jesus is the truth. If we abide in Him we are in the truth! In Him we can learn everything. And while we learn from Him, we get ready to teach others from our own experience!

  5. An important thing to remember about this master teacher, Jesus, “And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
    For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” Matthew 7:28-29

    • Good observation Ronald.

      What do you reckon actually made the difference between the way the scribes came across and the way Jesus came across?

      • I believe the difference was somewhat like this: The Scribes might teach a class and announce there would be a quiz on the genealogy of a revered ancestor the coming week. It would not be an 'open book' quiz. It must be memorized. On the other hand, Jesus might teach and begin with, "Once there was a boy who had a Grandmother named Ruth." Thus beginning lessons and discussions about the importance of one's character rather than rote memory or ancestry.


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