Jesus: No Ordinary Teacher (Part 1)

img_4327

Teaching.

We would all be dead without it. Consider this. Somewhere along the line, you were taught everything you know and do today.

We all go through a process of learning the bare essentials. The toilet training stage. Learning how to eat and drink. Walk and talk. Then as we walk through life, we begin to understand more complex lessons. Skills like how to read and write. How to tie your shoes. How to cook. How to apologise. How to interact with one another.

Some are still learning those lessons. But truth is, we all are. Anyone who claims to know everything is delusional. The fact that we are in the 21st century, part of society as we know it today, is thanks to our ongoing learning over hundreds of years.

You see, life is a great teacher.

Teaching is part of the fabric of life, and we are students to it

And Jesus claimed to be a great teacher (John 13:13).

Now, Jesus didn’t claim teacher status to get a job down the road. This wasn’t his little spoken resume. No, this Jesus claimed to be the Son of God (Matthew 16:15). The way to the truth and fullness of life (John 14:6). In light of this, we see something clearly.

When Jesus accepts claims to be a teacher, he claims to have incredible authority. Not just a teacher of maths or science. This is a teacher of life itself. Essential for the forward movement of the world. Essential for the continuation of society. Essential for life

And importantly, every teacher has students.

In claiming to be a teacher, Jesus invites us to come and learn. To be his students. Therefore, it is essential we assess his credentials. It is essential we understand what sort of a teacher he is. Hence this new 3-part blog series. So get your red pens out.

Because it’s time to give Jesus a grade.

_________________________________________________________________

CHECKING THE LIST

I’m currently undergoing an education degree. Training to be a teacher. And throughout my first year, we learnt some of the qualities and disciplines required of a good teacher.

In looking back on 2016, I began a summary of the key qualities to a proficient teacher. Just jotted some bullet points on paper. And being a Jesus follower, knowing his claim to be our teacher, I looked at the list and asked myself one question:

How would Jesus stack up to the list?

  • A good teacher has proficient knowledge of the content

This is perhaps the most basic requirement of any teacher. A teacher needs to know what they’re teaching. I hardly need to labour on this point any longer. It is such an important part of teaching that the Australian Professional Standards demand it be met.

Significantly, Jesus knew his content like the back of his hand. Even at an early age, it was clear Jesus had proficient knowledge. History records Jesus schooling religious leaders when he was 12 (Luke 2:47). Just think about that for a bit.

A twelvie teaching highly educated men. This is one of the craziest things ever. To put it in some modern day context, it would be like a 12 year old gathering all of the world’s top scientists and disproving evolution. And then later in life, solving the world’s worst cancer once for all (1 Peter 3:18).

This dude knew his content.

When Jesus was tempted by Satan, he responded with scripture (Matt 4:1-11). When Pharisees questioned the motives of Jesus, he responded with scripture (Matt 9:9-12). When Jesus was put to death, he responded with scripture (Matt 27:46).

Whenever Jesus was questioned or under attack, he oozed God’s word. Because he is God’s word. But more on that later.

  • A good teacher has a passion for the topic and students

Just knowing the content isn’t enough. All good teachers have a very real sense of passion towards their field. I can testify to this. Because some of the worst classes I have ever been part of were run by bored teachers. No names mentioned.

It’s pretty rare for anyone to love a class if they hate the teacher. You see, when a teacher doesn’t care about the learning outcomes of the students, things don’t go well for both parties. My lecturer absolutely nailed it with this key statement:

“When you step into a school it is no longer about you. It becomes all about the students”

king-jesus_620

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son… (John 3:16)

You see, when Jesus stepped into the world it was because of us.

Try getting your head around this amazing truth. The whole reason Jesus came was due to his passionate commitment for us (Isaiah 9:6-7). To save us from death (Matthew 1:21), to give us life to the full (John 10:10), to teach us the ways of God (Matthew 18:14).

Like any good teacher, Jesus knew his content well. He had a deep seeded understanding of scripture (to say the least). But it was the passion for his students that made heads turn (Luke 12:32). Even when it came at his own expense.

It is the passion Jesus has for us that makes life in his classroom a joy.

  • A good teacher conveys the content in relevant, understandable ways

You can have a proficient understanding of the content. You can even have a deep passion for the students to learn. But then you hit a roadblock. How am I going to get this information into their heads? How am I going to engage the students in learning?

My lecturer suggested that “making learning interesting is the key to many problems.”

And really, it’s all about making links with the real world. This is why we are given assignments to research our favourite celebrity. This is why fractions are often synonymous with pizza. These strategies engage us. They meet us where we are.

To take something unknown and complicated, yet present it clearly and in relation to known concepts, is the pinnacle of teaching.

Enter Jesus.

When it comes to teaching so that content can be understood, Jesus is the absolute professional. He consistently and intentionally made links with this world, in order to explain out-of-this-world stuff.

Jesus used analogies with common commodities such as salt and light, to describe pretty deep concepts (Matthew 5:13-16). Jesus used culturally relevant stories to explain counter cultural truths (Matthew 13:33, Luke 10:30, Luke 15:11). Jesus even ran practical lessons so we could see his teaching and power firsthand (Matthew 14:13-33).

Jesus meets us where we are, so he can bring us to a place we aren’t. Teaching 101. Even 2000 odd years ago, Jesus understood how we learn best. He is the trailblazer, the trendsetter, to a style of teaching still used in universities and schools today.

And that makes Jesus no ordinary teacher.

_________________________________________________________________

Stay tuned for Part 2, where we will unpack three more bullet points and the teaching credentials of this Jesus.

Advertisements

70 thoughts on “Jesus: No Ordinary Teacher (Part 1)

  1. sja316 January 12, 2017 / 1:58 pm

    Yes for sure, Jesus is the best teacher of all time! It’s like Jesus knows that ‘The Gospel’ has to be communicated around the world, and he thinks right, I’ll teach the ‘people’ the best and most efficient way that they can do this, Jesus’ parable being one of the best ways, an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. And so people go spreading the word of God to their neighbours, and their neighbours are delighted because they are filled with the teachings of Jesus. So they then tell their friends about the ‘Good News’ of Jesus Christ,and all this is tempered with love, which can only come from Jesus.
    Fab post….

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac January 12, 2017 / 2:06 pm

      Profound simplicity. Pretty awesome that Jesus knows how we are wired and so teaches in ways we can understand. Tempered with love – spot on there Stephen. Thanks heaps for your time once again man 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. deanna reynolds January 12, 2017 / 3:38 pm

    Hello, Jonathan! So good to hear this from you. I love how Jesus works, how He links what He has you writing about teaching with what He has me writing about our abiding in the Word at the same time! When you have time, here is a link to the first of two to date:
    Saving Faith is Present Tense and Active – Part 1: “I AM” https://thelordiswithus.com/2017/01/08/saving-faith-is-both-present-tense-and-active-once-saved-always-saved-heresy-exposed/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac January 12, 2017 / 7:31 pm

      Good to hear from you too! That’s sweet as hey. I’ll have a look when I find the time. Appreciate your time here 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tom January 12, 2017 / 5:15 pm

    Jonathan, Thanks for the post and pointing to our wonderful Teacher and Savior.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. claire January 12, 2017 / 5:17 pm

    As a lifetime teacher I’d add one more. Making the material as simple to understand as possible (this requires a total grasp of your material) Jesus aced that one His lessons were such that even little children could understand (perhaps more than many of the adults!)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jonathan Camac January 12, 2017 / 7:35 pm

      Yeah for sure. That was the underlying theme of the last bullet point – keeping tough content as clear (simple) as possible. But definitely good to mention. Thanks for your time and feedback Claire 🙂 Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Cass ( PoeticSpokenWords) January 12, 2017 / 5:47 pm

    Loved the term “twelvie” haha, this post is amazing and reminded me of what I’ve learned during my TEFL/TESOL course. I’m definitely awaiting part 2 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac January 12, 2017 / 7:38 pm

      haha, yeah that’s what we call twelve year olds in Australia. Guess it isn’t a universal thing. Appreciate your time and interaction with the post Cass! Next part will probably be later this month/early next 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. f3foranswers January 12, 2017 / 6:54 pm

    YES! Jesus is most definitely 100x more of a teacher than anyone who has taught us, and especially ourselves. It’s pretty amazing thinking about all the things Jesus was really able to educate us on without specifically saying.

    Conceptual analysis. Critical thinking. Problem solving. Self-reflection…the list could go on. Truly the trailblazer, as you said.

    Great writing, and thanks for such a good and insightful read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac January 12, 2017 / 7:40 pm

      Spot on mate, and a great summary. Jesus knows the human heart so intimately that he was able to speak right to it with efficient, clear, relevant teaching. What a King! What a Saviour!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. beemonet January 12, 2017 / 10:02 pm

    I really enjoyed reading your post! It was truly appreciated!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac January 12, 2017 / 10:04 pm

      Stoked to hear it beemonet! Thanks for taking the time to read it 🙂 Stay tuned for Part 2 sometime next month!

      Like

  8. N. Bird January 14, 2017 / 1:03 am

    Jonathan,
    Really appreciated your post and am looking forward to reading post 2 and 3. I have been reading and studying Jesus and the way he took ordinary men and made them disciples. We are commanded to do the same,to make disciples (Matt. 28:19). And who better to learn from that the Master Teacher. Your post touches right in the center of what making disciples is all about. Jesus teaches his truths to us so that we teach them to others and they teach others. That is discipleship that is making disciples for Christ. Will be watching for those other posts!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac January 14, 2017 / 9:18 pm

      So true! We would be stupid not to tune in and learn from Jesus – our master teacher in every respect. Glad you got something out of the post N.Bird. Part 2 will probably be coming out early(ish) February sometime. Appreciate your time man! 🙂

      Like

  9. Leila Grandemange January 15, 2017 / 12:39 pm

    Love this! Especially loved- when a teacher steps into the classroom it becomes all about the students – So true! That’s why Jesus is the greatest teacher… by giving His life, He proved that everything He did was for us. God bless

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac January 15, 2017 / 7:45 pm

      So true Leila! Stoked you got so much out of the post 🙂 Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 over the next month or two. God bless 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. GrampaDennis January 16, 2017 / 9:04 pm

    Wow! Great job! I have heard and read many of the same points before, but seldom put as well as you did. You are not only a Student of Life, but an excellent student as well! I look forward to reading Parts 2 and 3.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac January 17, 2017 / 9:26 am

      Appreciate your kind words GrampaDennis! Although, I don’t know if it’s possible to be an excellent student in his classroom. Because the more I learn, the more I realise that I know next to nothing haha. Stay tuned for the second and third parts 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. DW January 17, 2017 / 12:20 am

    Jesus is indeed no ordinary teacher!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. K Marie January 23, 2017 / 2:26 am

    Hey, Jonathan. I always enjoy your posts. Thanks for another great read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac January 23, 2017 / 3:28 am

      Appreciate your time K Marie! Hope the words stirred up your hope and joy in Jesus 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Daily Thankful January 25, 2017 / 4:57 am

    Thank you for this great post, Jonathan. You already are an excellent teacher, and it is clear that God will continue to use this gift to bring glory to Himself in the future. You are a blessing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac January 25, 2017 / 7:57 pm

      Appreciate your words. Wherever I or you or any of us end up – may God be glorified in and through all things. Thanks for your time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. optimistonboard.com January 29, 2017 / 9:23 pm

    Great post! A ‘successful’ teacher has passion, something Jesus has in abundance! If you get time please pop over to my page and let me know what you think

    Liked by 1 person

  15. joseph elon lillie January 30, 2017 / 9:30 am

    Good points. I especially like point 2. Jesus had such passion for his subject and his students. He was willing to die for us!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac February 3, 2017 / 2:45 am

      Glad you got something out of this gwennonr 🙂 thanks for your time once again!

      Like

  16. Berni February 4, 2017 / 10:24 pm

    If you learn to bow to Jesus, He’ll also teach you how to become a good teacher yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac February 4, 2017 / 11:16 pm

      Well said! Yet – we students will never be greater than our awesome, all knowing and loving teacher. Luke 6:40 🙂

      Like

      • craiglock February 5, 2017 / 10:29 pm

        “Thought-provoked, encouraged and inspired”, thanks Jonathan

        Regards

        craig

        PPS
        Best wishes from the First City to see the sun, the light each new day

        Liked by 1 person

  17. oshamebinum February 5, 2017 / 11:46 pm

    Wow.. This post is just wow.. Every shade of fabulous and life all mixed together in the right proportions… Thanks Jonahan for this post.. Wow again..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac February 6, 2017 / 12:05 am

      Stoked you got so much out of this oshamebinum! Appreciate you taking the time to read it 🙂 Have an awesome day!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. arm5 February 13, 2017 / 2:58 am

    If we are true disciples we will want to be taught his ways so we can reach others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac February 13, 2017 / 4:01 am

      Very true! How could we deprive others of our greatest hope and joy?

      Like

  19. Travis R. Wright February 13, 2017 / 10:05 pm

    I really liked this post, you are an excellent writer by the way, I like your style👍👍👍

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s