Another preacher made this good observation:
“God only had one Son.
He made Him ‘The Teacher.’
Yes, He preached, but to most, Paul is ‘The
He went about doing good, but Barnabas is ‘The Encourager.’
Uniquely, Jesus is ‘The Teacher.’
Jesus filled many roles, but at the bottom of the
all, He was ‘The Teacher.’” (Hodge).
Someone else praises Jesus’ teaching abilities with
these words: “Jesus was the greatest teacher this world has
Everything He did was focused on helping others get to
heaven one day, and because of this, ‘the common people
heard Him gladly’ (Mk.12:37)” (J. Baker).
And lastly, some good teacher, imitating 1
Corinthians 13, said this: “Where there are magic markers,
they shall dry up.
Where there are chalk and blackboards, they shall
there be printed literature, it shall fade.
But a right relationship with God will endure
forever, as it is shared in the lives of your students.
All work is a result of His love.
Now abide planning, preparation, and love—these
three, but the greatest of these is love.
For without God’s love, all work is for naught”
Today’s lesson again focuses on Jesus as a Teacher
who could also be described as:
an intentional Teacher, an influential Teacher, a
motivational Teacher, and an inspirational Teacher.
Let’s look at each of these descriptions more
First of all, Jesus was an intentional Teacher.
There are several statements by Jesus that reveal His
purposes for His coming, and these intentions, in turn, must
have affected His teaching.
For example, look at what He affirms in Luke 5:31-32
and 19:10: “Jesus answered and said to them [scribes and
the Pharisees]: ‘Those who are well have no need of a
physician, but those who are sick.
I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to
repentance’” and the next passage says: “For the Son
of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.”
These passages show us that Jesus’ teachings will
have something to do with helping those who are sinners to
repent, which means to change the direction of their lives
from serving Satan and themselves to serving God and others,
and those who are spiritually lost to become spiritually
look at John 9:39-41: “And Jesus said: ‘For judgment I
have come into the world, that those who do not see may see
[now He had just healed a blind man, but the blind man had
just worshipped Jesus, showing that His spiritual sight was
as healthy as his physical site], and that those who see
may be made blind.’
Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard
these words, and said to Him, ‘Are we blind also?’
[Hey, are You saying, Jesus, that we are spiritually
Jesus said to them: ‘If you were blind, you would have no
sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’
Therefore your sin remains.’”
[Since you gentlemen think that you know everything
about God and spirituality by saying ‘We see’, instead of
admitting that you are really blind and ignorant concerning
God’s new workings and His Son, then ‘Yes, your sin remains
and you are spiritually blind].
So these passages show us that Jesus’ teachings will
confront us so strongly that we will admit our own ignorance
and seek further guidance or we will stick up for our own
traditions and fail to let Jesus’ teachings enlighten us.
Next, look at John 10:10: “The thief does not come
except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.
I have come that they may have life, and that they
may have it more abundantly!”
One commentator rightly observes: “The religious
hierarchy of hardened Israel was the murderous thief intent
on killing and destroying [and we know that spurring them on
was Satan himself.
In our day, it’s the godless gurus behind the mass
media that is showing glorified trash in order to kill and
destroy our families and spiritual lives], and Christ is the
true shepherd who came to bring abundant life to the people
of God. ‘Life
abundantly’ – The Christian life is the happy life, free,
overflowing, adventurous, and exciting beyond any other kind
Why cannot people believe their Creator, to the effect that
the way of Christ is the way of joy and fulfillment? … [So
many who indulge in sin] do not realize that in life, as in
arithmetic, there is a minus sign as surely as a plus, and
that certain experiences do not add to, but subtract from …
each new indulgence in forbidden things [usually leaves] us
poorer, leaner, emptier, and at length beggared” (Coffman).
“I have come to call sinners, I have come to bring
judgment, I have come to give them true life!”
These intentions permeate Jesus’ teachings.
So, praise God that His teachings can turn us around
and get us going in the right direction, they can judge the
intentions of our hearts and lead us from blindness to
light, and they can offer us an abundant, fulfilling, and
meaningful life right here is this world!
But there’s more!
Look at a fascinating passage in John 12:46ff: “I
have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in
Me should not abide in darkness.
And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I
do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but
to save the world.
He who rejects Me and does not receive My words, has
that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge
him in the last day.
For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the
Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and
what I should speak.
And I know that His command is everlasting life.
Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has
told Me, so I speak.”
Notice the outrageous claims that Christ is
making here as I paraphrase: “I can give you moral
excellence and righteousness—light from God, and not the
darkness of Satan and this world!
My words and My teachings are to be believed and
Those very words and teachings will be what measures a
person when they stand before My throne of judgment on that
Because, you see, My words are not really My own ideas!
No, these words and teachings are from My Father, the
highest authority in existence, who is the Eternal one, and
He and they can provide you with life that will endure
powerful words—His teachings, if rejected, will bring us
But his teachings, if accepted and practiced, will
bring us everlasting life!
How can we so indifferent to Jesus’ teachings when
they make so much difference between our eternal destinies?
If you are not a Christian, how can you reject Jesus’
teachings week, after week, after week, knowing full well,
what the final consequence will be?
And if you are a lukewarm Christian, how can you fail
to practice His teachings day, after day, after day, also
knowing full well what the final outcome will be?
My beloved audience, both here and on the air, this
is not rocket science.
Allow me to repeat what I said just a few moments
ago: if your reject Jesus and disobey His teachings, He’ll
reject you, and you’ll be lost eternally.
But if you embrace Jesus and obey His teachings,
He’ll embrace you, and you’ll be saved eternally.
It’s that plain and simple, yet so profound and
tune it out just because it’s absolute and categorical,
especially when the Almighty God’s authority is behind it!
Now look at another passage where Jesus reveals the
intentions behind His teachings in John 18:37: “Jesus
answered, ‘You say rightly that I am a king.
For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have
come into the world, that I should bear witness to the
who is of the truth hears My voice.”
Did you just hear what Jesus said?
I came to bear witness to the truth!
In My teachings, you will find the truth.
Another preacher puts it this way: “Jesus taught
without prejudice, ignorance, or politics.
He was not captive of a party spirit.
Jesus literally ‘laid it on the line.’
Competency is the only commodity men follow.
Jesus knew what He was talking about.
He was ‘free’ to the truth, the whole truth, and
nothing but the truth” (Hodge).
But did you catch the last part of Jesus’ statement:
“Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice”?
The sword of Jesus’ word is piercing at our hearts
once again because He’s not offering us any grays: “If you
are on the side of truth, you will be listening to My voice,
but if you are on the side of deception, you will be
listening to another’s voice.
So, which side are you on—are you on the side of
truth, of light, and of abundant life or are you on side of
deception, of darkness, and of degenerate life?
My teachings’ bear witness to God’s truth!”
“I have come to call sinners, I have come to bring
judgment, I have come to give them true life, I have come to
enlighten, I have come to bear witness to the truth.”
Now notice one more thing about the intentions of
Jesus’ teachings found in Luke 12:40: “Therefore you also
be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not
Jesus says in essence: “I have come so that you can
be ready for when I will come.”
If we listen carefully to Jesus’ teachings, we soon
discover that there is more to this world than just what is
seen and what is experienced now.
He teaches us about an unseen realm, about an eternal
abode, about sinless city where we can know God, Christ, and
all the righteous, about a world of eternal joyful service.
Jesus wants you in heaven: “I go to prepare a
place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again
and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be
also. And where
I go you know, and the way you know” (John 14:3).
His teachings will get to heaven!
Yes, Jesus was an intentional Teacher.
Jesus was also an influential Teacher.
Someone has rightly noted: “The attraction of Jesus’
message, His healing power, and His Person were indeed
other teachers could claim such magnetism over so many
people in so many cities, towns, and villages” (Zuck).
Sometimes those crowds were thousands in number, and
sometimes they were very few.
Crowds responded to Jesus’ teachings in different
were astonished at His teaching” (Matthew 22:33)!
After a Samaritan audience heard Jesus’ teaching,
John 4:41 states: “And many more believed because of His
Sometimes His teachings left the crowd questioning:
“Therefore there was a division again among the Jews because
of these sayings” (John 10:19).
Sometimes they praised His teaching, as is stated in
Luke 4:15: “And He taught in their synagogues, being
glorified [or praised] by all.”
One crowed became angered, as we read just a few
verses later in Luke 4:28: “So all those in the
synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with
wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they
led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was
built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff.”
His teaching could hit a nerve!
With regards to His disciples, we see how Jesus
selected them, and then trained them “by example, by verbal
instruction, by His miracles, by personal association, and
by involvement” (Zuck).
Certainly, He loved them, and because He did, he
sometimes corrected and rebuked them.
Jesus did this on about 15 occasions.
Someone has rightly observed: “The … deficiencies on
[the apostles’] part gave Jesus excellent opportunities to
Failure, however, was never reason for rejection” (Zuck).
How those apostles were profoundly influenced by
Jesus teachings: their eyes were opened, their hearts were
transformed, and their lives were changed!
Jesus also had His opponents, and they too were
deeply influenced by His teachings.
The gospel of John states around 60 times that the
Jewish religious leaders were in opposition to Jesus’
Most of the Pharisees and Sadducees rejected Him and
became flagrantly hostile to His teachings.
The chief priests, elders, and teachers of the law
sought to and eventually killed Jesus because His teachings
threatened their status.
Jesus turned many of His tense encounters with these
religious rulers into “teachable moments,” and He never
hedged on divine certainties for personal convenience (Zuck).
A few of these religious rulers, like Nicodemus,
Crispus, and Saul, were won over eventually by Jesus’
can we conclude?
“Judging only by His impact on the crowds, the apostles, and
His opposition, Jesus was truly a supremely effective
Someone else put it this way:
“Jesus is the true hero of all time. He made a marvelous
impact on His disciples while He was enfleshed on earth, and
He continues to influence people positively down through
is the authentic model for mankind” (John Russell).
Has He become the influential Teacher for your life?
Jesus was indeed an influential Teacher.
Jesus was also a motivational Teacher.
How did Jesus make people eager to learn?
First of all, He captured people’s attention by
asking to them to listen, by making a startling statement,
by making a request, and by calling people by name (Matthew
2:5; John 4:7; Luke 19:5).
Jesus aroused people’s curiosity and perplexity by
telling about 40 stories or parables; sometimes the meaning
was obvious, but sometimes the listener had to reflects and
Sometimes His own disciples asked Him to explain the meaning
of these stories.
Jesus engaged people by addressing their needs and
their problems (Luke 7:48; 22:25-26).
Jesus held attention by varying His methods of
Sometime it was discussion, sometimes is was responses to
questions, sometimes conversations, sometimes it was logical
argumentation, sometimes He used proverbs and gave
Jesus even combined various methods on occasions.
Jesus’ speeches sparkled with illustrations.
In Matthew’s gospel alone, there are 160
illustrations drawn from nature alone which refer to plants,
animals, land masses, and times of day.
Like when Jesus said, “You are the salt of the
earth” (Matthew 5:13).
Jesus sometimes used visuals or objects as well to
hold attention: a coin, fields white unto harvest, the towel
and the wash basin, the bread and wine, the stones of the
several occasions, Jesus also involved the listeners by
having them do something (Mark 5:19; Luke 10:1-17).
Someone made this good assessment: “Were people in
Jesus’ day interested in what He taught?
Indeed they were!
They were curious, intrigued, even captivated” (Zuck).
In fact, a modern version renders Luke’s words in
Luke 19:47ff in this way: “Every day Jesus taught in the
chief priests, the teachers of the Law, and the leaders of
the people wanted to kill Him, but they could not find a way
to do it, because all the people kept listening to Him, not
wanting to miss a single word.”
Now that’s a motivated crowd!
Jesus gained and held attention, and sometimes used
hidden meanings, variety, and suspense to tease the mind.
Yes, Jesus was a motivational Teacher!
Lastly, Jesus was an inspirational Teacher.
You know, if you really try to live the Christian
life, it’s going to be hard.
In fact, many people find that they are not
spiritually robust enough to live life on this new level.
Jesus anticipated this in His own apostles and
promised them they would one day have the Holy Spirit to
provide them “with all the courage, endurance, and other
qualities that they would need [to be faithful]” (Phillips).
And a reading of Paul’s letters “shows plainly enough
that this promise was implemented.
Ordinary people were not only ‘converted’ from their
previous self-loving attitude, but they received sufficient
spiritual vitality to cause no little stir among the
[places] in which they lived.
[That Spirit produced in them] those qualities [found
in] Galatians 5: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control”
Listen, we are so conditioned to look at life as a closed
system that the invasion in our lives by something from the
outside is hard to us to grasp!
You know that this is “the great difference that has
come to exist between the Christianity of the early days and
that of today!
To us, it has become a performance, a keeping of rules,
while to the people of those days, it was plainly, an
invasion of their lives by a new quality of life [and a new
vitality for life] altogether.
[You see] without a power from outside [without the
Holy Spirit to guide and to strengthen us], Jesus’ teachings
remain beautiful ideas, tantalizing [but not something that
we can live out].
With the closed system, we have to say sooner or
later: ‘Well, you just can’t change human nature.’
Jesus’ ideals fail for our own spiritual poverty, and
then despair takes their place.
But the fact of Christ’s coming is itself a
shattering [proof that our closed system thinking is false.
He invaded this planet!]
And what else is Jesus’ continual advice to ‘have
faith in God’ but a call to [reject our] closed-system type
‘Ask, and it will be given you; seek and you will find;
knock, and it will be opened to you!’—aren’t these
famous words and invitation to reach out [to God, to
something beyond our closed-system]?
If we want to cooperate, the Holy Spirit is
immediately available [for Peter promised those on Pentecost
and to generations afar off: ‘Repent, and let everyone of
you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the
remission of sin, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy
Spirit’ (Acts 2:38).
Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit’s help is very
inspiring, but it doesn’t stop there.
His teachings about peace, about fellowship, about
God’s care, about strength, about selfless love, and about
His being with us until the very end are inspiring as well!
He was an inspirational Teacher!
Another person puts it this way: “Jesus continues to be the
premier example of the effective teacher.
His influence is felt as powerfully today as it was
2000 years ago.
His capacity to touch lives by His teaching and to help
people to see and understand spiritual matters serves as the
ideal toward which we should strive” (P. G. Downs).
Jesus was indeed an intentional, influential,
motivational, and inspirational Teacher.
Trust in Him, embrace Him, follow Him, and this life
can be abundant and heaven can be your eternal home!