Cover 2019-02-03

Jesus – The Greatest Teacher

by Kyle Murphy

As I was going through my studies to become a teacher, I would often catch myself reading about a strategy or principle and thinking to myself, “Hey, that’s what Jesus did!” It makes sense. Jesus was the best teacher! Many times his followers would call him “Rabbi”, and as his followers, we see him as our most authoritative teacher. So, what is it that made Jesus such a great teacher?

  1. Jesus had a clear objective. A teacher is nothing without an objective. Jesus knew what his purpose was, and everything Jesus did was moving Him, and his students, toward that objective. Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.” (John 8:28)
  2. Jesus knew and cared for his students. Much like teachers are nothing without an objective, they are equally nothing without students. Duh! But more importantly is caring for them. Research reveals that teacher-student relationship is one of the most important indicators of student success. The old adage that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care, remains true. It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. (John 13:1)
  3. Jesus used interactive strategies to connect His students with His objective. Research shows how interacting with what you’re learning helps strengthen and deepen understanding. His teachings were frequently supported with interactive, sensory experiences and connections.
    • Stories: Jesus told stories, and it’s no surprise that stories help us understand and retain information. Jesus’ parables gave his disciples concrete, earthly examples of abstract, Heavenly realities, while he also used allegory, hyperbole, humor, imagery, and wordplay.
    • Senses: The more senses used when engaging a subject, the more information that will be understood and retained. Jesus used the physical world around Him to connect His message to His students’ lives, including food, music, foot-washing, visual-aids, and tangibles.
    • Discussion: Jesus asked questions, and had discussions with his disciples. “Who do you say that I am?” “Do you want to get well?” Discussions allow students to wrestle with difficult and complex subjects. Sometimes the question can act to just start a conversation in the student’s head, like “Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifespan?”