Rabbi Jesus – the Master Teacher
As we begin this study of our Lord as the Teacher, we approach this from the standpoint of who we are as James wrote,”Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, for you know that we who teach shall be judged with greater strictness. For we all make many mistakes…” 3:1-2 Our humility is different than our Lord’s. We are fallible and need to improve in how we communicate the truth of God’s Word. What better way to improve than to see how the Master did it.
He had no form or comeliness that we should desire Him. The present movie stars feed on adulation. Though our Lord far surpassed them in talent and ability, He was not a captive of His audience. He sought to captivate His audience to lead them into a blessed life on this earth that translates to an eternal life of bliss and glory.
He had nowhere to lay His head. Without this world’s material wealth He sought to have us lay up treasures in heaven where neither moth or rust consume and where thieves cannot break in and steal. The rich of this earth very often like to attract their followers who hanker after their wealth. Our Lord taught that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. Those who heard Jesus say this asked, “Then who can be saved?” The Master’s answer was and is “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” Lk. 18:25-26 The Great Rabbi redirects men in the right direction.
Despite what moderns would say are ‘shortcomings’ of no good looks to attract and no wealth to put forward His teachings in institutions, sit and listen to the reactions to Him. Walk along with the crowds and see and hear the reactions to Jesus. As we proceed through the four Gospel narratives Jesus’ words and works are one in Him and garner the reaction.
• At the Sea of Galilee there were ‘great crowds’ and seeing and hearing the ‘throng wondered and glorified the God of Israel.’ Mt. 15:29-31
• Returning from the Tyre region going through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee through the region of the Decapolis the people were ‘astonished beyond measure’ and said ‘He has done all things well.’ Mk. 7:37
• ‘Great crowds’ followed Him from not only Galilee and the Decapolis, but also from Jerusalem, Judea and from beyond the Jordan. Mt. 4:25
• When Jesus came down from the mountain and His sermon there, ‘great crowds followed Him.’ Mt. 8:1 Repeatedly ‘great crowds gathered about Him.’ Mt. 13:2 It was not just on Palm Sunday. Mt. 21
• As He taught in the synagogues of Galilee, He was ‘glorified by all.’ Lk. 4:15
• The people wondered ‘who has given such authority to men?’ When the lame are healed the people exclaimed ‘We never saw anything like this.’ Mk. 2:12 ‘And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen strange things today.’ Lk. 26
• In amazement people wondered, ‘Can this be the Son of David?’ Mt. 12:23
• In His own country in the synagogue ‘they were astonished’ and asked, ‘Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works?’ Mt. 13:54-56
• As Jesus heals and speaks, ‘all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the people rejoiced…’ Lk. 13:17
• At the synagogue in Capernaum they were ‘astonished at His teaching’ as He ‘taught as one who
had authority and not as the scribes.’ Mk. 1:22
• His ‘fame spread everywhere’ in Galilee. Mk. 1:27-28
• At times because of the throngs He could no longer ‘openly enter a town.’ Mk 1:45
• After the feeding of the 5000 they said ‘this is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.’ Jn. 5:14
• After He taught in the Temple the people asked in amazement, ‘How is it this man has learning, when He has never studied?’ Jn. 7:15 ‘Many believed’ and said ‘When the Christ appears, will He do more signs than this man has done?’ v. 31, ‘This is really the prophet’ v. 40, ‘This is the Christ.’ v. 41
• They came to Him across the Jordan where John baptized acknowledging ‘everything John said about this man was true…many believed.’ Jn. 10:41-42
• And it certainly could not have been just the earthquake that affected the centurion and his men. Even the neutral exclaimed ‘Truly this was the Son of God’. Mt. 27:54
We of course expect to hear His followers exclaim about Him.
• ‘What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey Him?’ Mt. 8:27
• They acknowledge, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’ Mt. 14:32
But even His enemies exclaim, marvel and are dumbfounded.
• When they heard Him expound on Caesar and God they ‘marveled.’ Mt. 22:22
• They could not stand before His teaching as when He spoke on Ps. 110, ‘no one was able to answer Him a word.’ Mt. 22:45
• The Pharisees acknowledged ‘You see that you can do nothing; look the world has gone after Him.’ Jn. 12:9
• Officers come back to the chief priests and state, ‘No man ever spoke like this man.’ Jn. 7:46
• It even came to this, ‘many even of the authorities believed in Him.’ Jn. 12:42
It is this amazing Lord who reaches down through time and beckons us to teach all things in His Word, giving us His own Spirit to guide and carry us forward. Jn. 15:26, 16:7-9, 13-14.-
Excerpted from BILD International
Keys to the Effective Establishment and Expansion of the First Century Church.
(Toward a Theology of Acts)
Keys to the Establishment of the Church in Jerusalem: (Acts 1:1-6:7)
l. The foundational leaders were chosen and carefully prepared by Jesus (1:1-26)
2. The additional leaders came about on a qualification not a rotation basis. (6:3)
3. The leaders knew the Word of God. They were uneducated and unlearned men in
the formal sense, but they had a mastery of the Word, exhibiting the same boldness
as Jesus (2:14-36; 3:11-26:4:5-13).
4. The leaders were convinced of the reality of their faith. (4:5-13)
5. The leaders took responsiblity in dealing with problems in the church. (5:1-11; 6:1-7)
6. The leaders sought to keep devotion to the Word and prayer top priority. Even those
they chose to assist them in overseeing the practical needs of the people were men
full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. (6:1-6)
7. The whole church devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to fellowship, to the
breaking of bread and to prayer. (2:42)
8. The devotion to these elements produced a unity which caused them to find favor
with those around who were observing, resulting in many being added to the faith.
9. The unity and sincerity of their faith was threatened by the display of religious
activity without inner integrity, and was disciplined severely. (5:1-11)
10.The leaders and the church carried on a bold witness. (4:5-31; 5:17-42)
11.The person and work of Christ was at the center of their witness. (2:22-36;3:12-26;
4:8-12; 5:17-32, 42)
Pastor David Koenig