|Jesus the Teacher|
Of all the responsibilities and great offices that Jesus filled, His being a teacher rated near the top, if not at the top.|
When He gave the Sermon on the Mount, He seated Himself and His disciples came to Him: and He opened His mouth and taught them.
Let us think of the places where Jesus taught. By the river Jordan He taught John, Andrew, Peter, Philip, and Nathanael. In the home at the marriage in Cana He taught the servants and the masters. In the great Temple He taught the priests and Pharisees, on a house top He taught Nicodemus. By a well He taught the woman of Samaria. In a synagogue He taught the Nazarenes. By the seaside He taught the disciples.
Let us think of the visual aids He used. Look at Him as He speaks about salt, sparrows, lilies, candles, eyes, hands, feet, lampstands, cities, gifts, prisons, heaven, earth, Jerusalem, rain, sunshine, neighbors, enemies, hypocrites, and a thousand other common things. A small child was in His arms when He said, "Allow these little ones to come unto me." A yoke was visible when He said, "Take my yoke upon you and learn of me." A vine was within reach when He said, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman."
Let us think of His methods. The question method of teaching has been named after Socrates, but Jesus was the master when it came to questions. He asked His disciples, "Whom do men say that I, the Son of man am?'' Jesus used the lecture method. The Sermon on the Mount and His discourses on eschatology are examples. He employed the art of story telling. His parables were filled with short stories. He engaged in the discussion method. The Pharisees and Sadducees would bear witness to His discussions. He used the example method. His whole life became an example for the whole race.
Let us observe the relevance of His message. The truth that He taught was always relevant. It was fitting to the occasion. He applied His message at the point of His pupil's greatest need. It was when they were out of wine at the feast that He said to the servants, "Fill the water pots." It was to the weary laborers that He said, "Come unto me and I will give thee rest." It was to the disciples who had fished all night that He said, "Launch out and let down the net."
Let us observe the content of His lessons. The messages He gave had divine wisdom. He astonished Nathanael and left him amazed as to how He knew. He absorbed the inquiries of Nicodemus and sent him away to ponder the new birth. He disappointed the rich young ruler and placed upon him requirements that left him sad and dejected. It was the truth that He taught that made the obedient glad, the disobedient angry, the stubborn defiant, and the strong fearful.
May we take His greatest lecture and analyze it to see His method, His character and His content. The Sermon on the Mount is without question the greatest and most influential piece of literature that has ever been written.
ASSIGNMENT: Matthew 5, 6, 7.
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