Jesus: No Ordinary Teacher (Part 1)

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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.

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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”

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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.

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Head over to Part 2, where we unpack three more bullet points and the teaching credentials of this Jesus.

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103 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 is 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 is possible to be an excellent student in his classroom. Because the more we learn, the more we realise how little we know! 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. kexiongtimes January 17, 2017 / 2:10 pm

    Reblogged this on Kexiongtimes and commented:
    Nice article about Jesus. I totally agree and Guess this article is worth sharing 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. avillamo March 2, 2017 / 6:07 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I do not know how people live without it. Its a need in my life, I would be living among the dead in the darkness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac March 3, 2017 / 1:05 am

      That’s why we are called to be salt and light to the world! Jesus is necessary for all life (John 14:6, 1 John 5:12) and we live to display Him as being totally satisfying 🙂 thanks for your time!

      Like

      • avillamo March 3, 2017 / 1:27 am

        Someone recently told me that they cant wait for all christians to be cut from the world….. I just instantly thought, there would be no world without us. keep going brother. The work is in you

        Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac March 9, 2017 / 8:57 am

      Hey Adam. I’m studying at Flinders University in Adelaide 🙂

      Like

    • Jonathan Camac March 12, 2017 / 11:19 am

      Glad to hear it Jennifer! Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read it 🙂

      Like

  22. Mreynoso2017 March 14, 2017 / 12:53 pm

    Loved this post! A great example of how we should continue to learn new things and understand Jesus’ teachings. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac March 14, 2017 / 8:07 pm

      Pretty awesome isn’t it! Lifelong learners, especially when we find ourselves at the feet of Jesus 🙂 Thanks for your time brother!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Shayn Roby March 15, 2017 / 10:28 am

    Reblogged this on shaynroby and commented:
    Indeed, Jesus is the Master Teacher, giving us life’s lessons as only He knows we are able to handle them.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. lwbut March 17, 2017 / 3:35 am

    Thanks for dropping by my flower post. 🙂

    Everything Jesus knew he learned from his Father – we are to be like him and so we should seek to do the same. Jesus was not proud and taught not of himself, but of his Father, quoting holy scripture and revealing it’s real intent as opposed to man’s interpretations of it.
    Jesus never claimed to be the Son of God, but the Son of Man – he did bless Peter for saying he was the Son of God but swore all who heard it to secrecy! God is reported as saying Jesus was His Son and Jesus claimed God was his Father – as he is the Father of us all. Technically we are all God’s sons/daughters, by direct descent and by Divine Will and Grace.

    When teaching others it is important to allow the students to learn directly what is true from God and not allow any of the human self or ego or corruption to pass from us to the student that may impede their progress. This is extremely hard to achieve!

    Jesus probably had a slightly ‘unfair’ advantage over the rest of us mortals in this regard.

    love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac March 17, 2017 / 4:09 am

      No problems mate 🙂 I like a lot of what you just said. But I think you’re wrong about Jesus “never claiming to be the Son of God.” He and others inferred it many times, but Jesus did himself claim to be the Son of God. Perhaps check out the following website if you get the time too (https://bible.org/question/does-jesus-fact-say-he-god’s-son-not-just-infer-it). Explains it all pretty simply in my opinion – the evidence in scripture makes it pretty difficult to deny the deity of Jesus. Has a well considered conclusion at the end too. Other than that, appreciate your time and interaction with this post mate! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • lwbut March 17, 2017 / 6:44 am

        Thank you Jonathan – i have no doubt your heart is in the right place, neither am I in any doubt that Jesus was the begotten son of Mary and God, both human and Divine. I in now way am attempting to deny his Divinity.

        But you have in your own comment and in the web-page referenced proven my point – that we have great difficulty when ‘teaching’ in not corrupting what is said – to suit our own personal belief rather than confirming it with God for accuracy.

        I stand by my (according to your belief, incorrect) statement that Jesus never CLAIMED to be the Son of God. This does not alter the fact he was and certainly does not deny that he on a few occasions in scripture implied as much – he just never stated it as a claim to Godliness himself. Please advise me of the verse in which he does if you still believe this to be incorrect. (Check CAREFULLY all the listed references)

        I do agree with the page’s final conclusion also. it could have added that Jesus asked those present to not reveal his true identity – why do you think he did that? ( Matt 16:20)

        love.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jonathan Camac March 17, 2017 / 7:21 am

        Appreciate your response brother 🙂 I think it is pretty clear that Jesus at the very least takes on the status of being the Son of God. In my opinion, those verses in particular show he is making pretty straightforward claims to be the Son of God. Perhaps if we are getting nit-picky, he doesn’t say in exact words “I claim to be the Son of God.” If that is your position, I can understand better where you are coming from. But still, I do not think it is incorrect for us to teach that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. After all – it is the reason he was put to death (among other things listed in the website provided). Appreciate your time man 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • lwbut March 17, 2017 / 8:22 am

        I do tend to be nit-picky – but only in the interest of strict accuracy and clarity of thoughts/statements we might make else error should slip into our thinking little by little. Teaching that Jesus IS the Son of God – no problem – as i see it believing it to be Truth; saying he actually claimed it (or even implying that he made the claim as some might imply from your words) is a falsehood unless there is a verse i am missing within the NT? He comes kinda close but it is all implication or other people stating it or being quoted. Even good intentioned falsehoods are still ‘false’ teachings.

        And thank you for your well informed and charitable comments to a ‘stranger’ 🙂

        love

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jonathan Camac March 18, 2017 / 7:46 am

        I understand what you are saying. And I like that you are trying to stand so firmly in the truth mate! I think a lot of this comes down to how we define a claim. Quick google search describes a claim as to ‘state or assert that something is the case…’ In my opinion, that definition fits perfectly with the situation in Mark 14:61-62: ‘Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed God?” Jesus said, “I AM”. That is a pretty prime example in my opinion. And I would suggest there were many other situations where Jesus ‘stated or asserted that something was the case’ – namely, that he was and is the Son of God.

        Likewise! Appreciate the chat with you lwbut 🙂 Good to have some discussion around important and awesome stuff like this!

        Liked by 1 person

  25. lwbut March 18, 2017 / 9:13 am

    Agreed! The same word in English can often have different interpretations between individuals – what you write, even though written simply and accurately by your reasoning, can be taken a different way by others. I have found this often to be the case personally!

    Your quote from Mark would be the closest thing i have seen so far to what meets my definition of a claim Jesus made (that which has actually been stated by Jesus himself, a verbal statement made directly by Christ) but even here the words Jesus uses are I AM and not that “I am the Son of God”. Pedantic it may be but i do not yet believe that Jesus ever stated those words himself in the New Testament? (despite having checked more than 10 scriptural references others have used to say he did).

    It might not seem to matter much in this case, because we both agree that he was in fact both the Son of Man (as he DOES frequently claim in the NT) and the Son of God. My concern is that many times we fallible humans can believe something that never actually happened, happened because of what we ‘know’ or think we remember because it seems CLOSE to the truth. I think that is what most often leads people into making greater and greater error. We tend to make the facts fit our belief (much like those who tried Jesus) rather than our belief fitting the facts and that is very, very dangerous as i see it.

    Blessings Brother,

    love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac March 18, 2017 / 9:23 am

      Yeah I’m following. I can see better where you stand on all this. You are right – it is important that we all strive to create an accurate interpretation and view of Jesus from the Bible 🙂 Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Kae Bucher April 7, 2017 / 5:36 am

    Luv how you made connections between Jesus and teaching .. Associative thinking.. Pointing out Jesus was an associative teacher…:)… I taught special Ed:)… Thanks for the like on my post

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac April 7, 2017 / 8:13 am

      No problems. Thanks Kae. Ah that’s epic – trust the post resonated with you in some way then!

      Liked by 1 person

  27. gloryguides April 7, 2017 / 9:05 pm

    Great Read!
    I love the way JESUS used everyday life to connect to the everyday normal people! He has such a way with using the ordinary for extraordinary!
    It’s a passion of mine to follow his lead, I love writing about regular life experiences and comparing them to His word. I learned to use the same approach as a preschool teacher.
    Looking forward to reading part 2!
    God Bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac April 8, 2017 / 8:04 pm

      Appreciate it gloryguides! Jesus definitely understands how the human heart learns best. Part 2 is already up, so feel free to go and check it out 🙂 Part 3 will be done in a month or so. Thanks heaps for your time!

      Like

    • Jonathan Camac May 23, 2017 / 12:40 pm

      thanks heaps for your time and feedback wildfire wordsblog!! Trust it stirred up your affections and hope in Jesus 🙂

      Like

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