Jesus: No Ordinary Teacher (Part 3)

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I’m currently undergoing an education degree. Training to be a teacher. And throughout my first year, I 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 onto 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?

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CHECKING THE LIST

In Part 2 we covered three more bullet points. A good teacher sets clear classroom standards, becomes a role model of how to live within them, and then sacrifices time to help struggling students in the classroom.

Jesus aced the test. In fact, he far surpasses the standards of a good teacher. But now we turn our attention to three more qualities of a good teacher. So get your red pens out.

Because it’s time to give Jesus a grade.

  • A good teacher treats all students equally 

A classroom is an extremely diverse place.

The only similarity most students share is their age. Everything else can be vastly different. Race. Country of orientation. Language. Body shape. Life experience. Personality. Strengths. Weaknesses. Hairstyles. Hobbies. Habits. Handwriting.

And so a good teacher accommodates to these differences. Makes everyone feel welcome. Modifies tasks. Takes interest in their lives. Includes them. Listens carefully to them.

A good teacher shows in their actions that everyone is equal.

jesus-with-a-child

“It is not my Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish” (Matthew 18:14)

The life of Jesus is the most significant display of equality ever.

Jesus spent time with all sorts of people. The liars, the prostitutes, the injured and disabled, the children, the ordinary, the people of authority. Jesus identified with these people. He spent time with them. Ate lunch with such people.

Jesus reached out to all people. This was such a massive feature of the life of Jesus, that he was regularly and deeply criticised for it (Matt 9:11). Indeed, Jesus was even spat on whilst performing the greatest act of equality ever (Matt 26:67). But that didn’t stop him.

Jesus acknowledged that we are all equally broken (Matthew 9:13). Yet ultimately, Jesus demonstrates through the cross that we are all equally loved (John 3:16). And by his resurrection, proves we can all be equally accepted (Ephesians 2:13).

Jesus loves and welcomes all people in his classroom.

  • A good teacher works alongside the students

Times have changed.

Long gone are the days where teachers barked orders from the front and then sat down for the remainder of the lesson. Nowadays, teachers are expected to be active in the classroom. Working with and alongside their students.

Each student sees the content through a different lens. Therefore, it is the job of the teacher to provide ongoing help. Clarification of key concepts. Assistance in explanation. Guidance in group work. Advice for assignments. Affirmation in success. Hope in failure.

A good teacher is present to help.

“I will be with you always, even to the end of the age” – Jesus

Be honest. You don’t really believe that.

Jesus had just died, risen, and was spending some final moments with his disciples. Then just moments before Jesus ascended back into heaven, he gave his disciples (and indeed, us) some departing words. I will be with you always (Matthew 28:20). Wait. Jesus tells his disciples he won’t ever leave them. And then he leaves them. Contradiction?

Not at all.

Jesus leaves with us his Spirit (John 14:26). He gives to us the very power and fullness of God, at work in us and through the word of God (Eph 6:17). In the straightforward words of John Piper, “The Spirit inspired the Word and therefore goes where the Word goes.”

It is primarily by the Word of God that we experience the presence of Jesus. It is by the Word of God that we experience the council of Jesus. It is by the Word of God that we experience the hope and joy of Jesus. It is by the Word of God that we receive Jesus. 

Jesus hasn’t left his classroom unattended.

  • A good teacher inspires teamwork

If you’ve ticked every box for the last eight bullet points, you’re likely to be a pretty good teacher. But in my mind, there is one more quality of a good teacher. You see, any good teacher knows that students can learn a lot off each other.

Take a PE class learning soccer, for example.

A teacher can explain every facet of the game to their students. The skills, the rules, the movements, the fitness requirements. Discuss different game contexts. Analyse videos of how the professional soccer players do it. Practice passing drills. But eventually, to get the full learning experience, a good teacher takes the students outside for a game.

Most classes will have a mixture of abilities. Some students are naturally quite skilled, others struggle right from the outset. But everyone learns and grows together. Because a good teacher can work all skills, all struggles, and all failure to work for a greater good.

How? Because the game is run by a teacher who knows it inside-out. The rules are set up by a teacher who knows how to play within them. Feedback is given by a teacher who knows the error in technique that lead to the missed shots on goal and grazed knees.

Through guided experience, students can learn and grow together.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28)

This is where we bring it all together.

This is also where my soccer analogy gets slightly dodgy. You see, the game we take part in is called life. The goal of this game is to be more like Jesus. The game context we are in is our world of sin. And God puts us in a team, the church, to work at this goal together.

Problem is, we will never reach that goal. We are assigned an impossible task. Nobody can claim to have perfected the pursuit of being like God (Romans 3:23). None except one. His name is Jesus. And in him, our good teacher, we can have incredible and total confidence. Because our victory is no longer based on our ability.

Our victory is based on God’s ability (1 Cor 15:57).

The church is not without its faults. In fact, recognising and admitting our own brokenness is A1 Christianity. We do not hide away from all our imperfections. Instead, we trust them into hands that bled for us. We cry out to our good teacher for help.

So consider it the grace of God to fall flat on your face. To scrape your knees. To recognise how far you fall short. Because when we cry out to God, he is quick to get us back onto our feet – to learn, grow and walk in the ways of our Father (1 John 1:9).

Mediated by our awesome teacher, we grow together as a church.

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THE REPORT CARD

Let’s summarise the teacher outlined.

Jesus has incredible knowledge to the Word of God (to say the least). As our good teacher, Jesus communicates the content to us in relevant and understandable ways. Furthermore, Jesus has a deep seeded passion for the eternal welfare of all people.

Out of love for his students, Jesus set clear classroom standards for us to follow. And not only that – he demonstrates the perfect fulfilment of the law. His perfect life is our example. Yet we still struggle heavily. That perfect example alone is crushing. Fully grasping this reality, Jesus willingly sacrificed his life for our eternal good.

Jesus treats all students equally. The same love and acceptance is extended to everyone. Knowing our unique strengths and massive weaknesses – Jesus works alongside us through his word and by the power of the Holy Spirit. Even moreso, he inspires teamwork in the church so we can learn and grow together.

This Jesus is no ordinary teacher.

The author of life beckons us to enter into his classroom

So. We’ve spent three blogs assessing this Jesus.

And in truth, we are only scratching the surface to the credibility of this Jesus. It isn’t easy to create a certificate for he who has credentials that precede the universe (Job 38), and at such a magnitude that time would fail to speak of (Colossians 1:15).

Here’s the bottom line. At the end of the day, we all have a decision to make. I’m convinced of this Jesus. I’m a member of his classroom. But maybe you’re not. Maybe you want to be his student but don’t know how. Let me summarise:

By placing your trust in the finished work of Jesus, the journey of learning and growing in his classroom begins (Romans 8:32). And know this. When you lift up your hands and cry out to God for help, our good teacher is always present and willing (Psalm 34:22).

The author of life beckons us into his classroom. Beckons you.

Will you respond to his call?

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53 thoughts on “Jesus: No Ordinary Teacher (Part 3)

  1. atimetoshare.me May 2, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    Sounds like you’ll be a fine teacher as long as Jesus is your partner.

    Liked by 1 person

      • atimetoshare.me May 2, 2017 / 2:56 pm

        Hang in there. The world needs good teachers.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. H.M. Davis May 2, 2017 / 2:45 pm

    A timely reminder today. As a home school mom, I have had to grow into the role of “teacher” with no training and no actual skill. However, God called me to it for some years, and my life over the last decade or so has been a testimony to how the Lord can accomplish what I could never do on my own. I am far, far from a perfect teacher – I’m not even a good teacher! I am so thankful that He is and that He is willing to show His skill through my lack of it. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac May 2, 2017 / 2:53 pm

      Wow! That really would’ve been a steep learning curve. Love the testimony you’ve taken from the experience 🙂 In the words of A.W Tozer, “How completely satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God who has none.”

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Kaytlyn Amanda May 2, 2017 / 3:35 pm

    It’s truly amazing that our God can be put to every single test and pass every one- no matter how rigorous! Thank you for showing off the grace, truth, love and sovereignty of our God through your posts. I can tell the Great Teacher Himself is working in and through you! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac May 2, 2017 / 10:46 pm

      Incredible hey! That some of the same standards we use for teachers today, Jesus easily surpassed thousands of years ago. It’s almost wrong for me to make this comparison – there really is no competition! Thanks for your time and words once again Kaytlyn 🙂

      Like

  4. Mannyr May 2, 2017 / 6:15 pm

    Great advice. a very good model for our schools too bad those in charge will never hear it. They are busy with the old warehouse system.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac May 2, 2017 / 9:37 pm

      Jesus is definitely a trailblazer to a style of teaching still used in schools and universities today! More people would do well to look to the example of Jesus. Appreciate your time Mannyr 🙂

      Like

  5. K Marie May 2, 2017 / 10:46 pm

    I was looking forward to Part 3 of this series of posts. Jonathan, you are a gifted writer and I believe you will also be a great teacher. You are following the example of the greatest teacher of all. How extraordinary. 🙂 God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac May 2, 2017 / 11:10 pm

      Ah sweet as! Apologies for taking a while to get this one together. No doubt all of us who are in Christ are following the example of Jesus in some way or form! Appreciate it Kristen 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Eccentric Muse May 3, 2017 / 5:17 pm

    I enjoyed reading this post! When I saw the 3rd part of this series, I immediately abandoned everything and started to read. You have your head on and you’re on the right track. I know you say that you still have more to learn and experience, but you’re going to make a great teacher with that attitude.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac May 3, 2017 / 9:59 pm

      Glad to hear it! Hope you weren’t doing anything too important when you abandoned everything 😉 Appreciate your words and support for the writing here Eccentric Muse! Trust it deepens your affections and hope in Jesus in some way 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eccentric Muse May 4, 2017 / 3:27 pm

        I was at my work desk getting ready for lunch. 🙂 I’ll always support this blog once it stays active! Thank you and have a blessed day! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Matt Brumage May 5, 2017 / 1:40 pm

    The members of my immediate family have been teachers since I was small. In one way or another, even the ones not vocationally teaching, were teaching in some sense outside our home, and those alive, still are. It was ingrained in us by our mom. She’s absolutely amazing at teaching. At over 80 years old, she’s still a master teacher, teaching teachers coming out of universities how to function in the classroom. My brother is our other vocational teacher, and he continues to eagerly have and encourage innovative ideas, inspire students, and live out these qualities you’ve mentioned daily.

    I teach weekly, and attempt to pass on skills and a paradigm that encourages others to branch off and teach. I love to do it. I don’t really have all 9 qualities you mention in these 3 posts, but am being constantly grown into this role. These are so helpful for me. It encourages me that I have Jesus for my Mentor, and that these qualities you list here are ones I’ve seen in others in my family so I have plenty of other examples, as well as people to ask.

    Thank you for the entry, and I am confident you will be such a conduit of blessing to your students. Thank you for your pursuit of this vocation. May you be richly blessed as you pass on those blessings to your students!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac May 5, 2017 / 8:30 pm

      Wow, thanks for your thoughtful response here Matt! Sounds like you have a fair history of teachers in your family. Yet – what an awesome thing that we get to live under the teaching of the best ever – Jesus! Appreciate your time and words mate 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dennis Rhodes May 7, 2017 / 3:14 am

    That was a great read Jonathan, thank you. There are so few male teachers in our schools these days. It excites my heart to know that you will be there –you and Jesus together – for the little ones entrusted to your care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac May 8, 2017 / 11:18 pm

      Thanks Dennis! I sure hope so. Still a lot to learn and get my head around. And who knows – perhaps God will take my life on a different course. Appreciate your time in reading this. Bless you mate 🙂

      Like

  9. andremathieucp May 8, 2017 / 6:22 pm

    You are a man of faith and insight. You are gifted with a simple yet creative way of communicating profound Truth. You are a good teacher. God keep you. May you continue to grow in faith, hope and love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac May 10, 2017 / 1:12 am

      Appreciate it Andre! May the same be true of us all – that we would press on to know the LORD (Hosea 6:3)! Thanks for your time 🙂

      Like

  10. Hannah May 10, 2017 / 12:59 am

    I stumbled across your blog after you liked my most recent post. I read this post and was amazed at the passion and love you have for Christ. As someone who is also pursuing education, I am thankful there are other people in the world who use Christ as an example and perfect image of a teacher and Father. Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac May 10, 2017 / 1:19 am

      Wow, appreciate your thoughtful response Hannah! Just awesome that in Jesus, we have a perfect example still totally applicable to life today. Indeed, the author of life itself doesn’t lose relevance too quickly 😉 Thanks for your time!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hannah May 10, 2017 / 1:20 am

        So true! Thank you for your time as well 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Nicolas C. Day May 10, 2017 / 1:53 pm

    “Jesus hasn’t left his classroom unattended” – fantastic statement. Reading this post brought back memories of my teachers in high school that had to exercise a tremendous amount of patience to deal with my rebellious attitude . And that was for just one year…Jesus has had to be patient with me for my entire walk! Nevertheless, he has done so above and beyond – teaching me and melding me to conform to his image, always with utmost love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac May 11, 2017 / 8:23 pm

      Well said Nicholas! Sounds like you have had some good teachers in the past. But like you mentioned, what an awesome thing it is that Jesus has patience in working and conforming with us into his image. Appreciate your thoughtful response mate! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. fictionbypalmer May 10, 2017 / 1:56 pm

    Thanks for the three part article. It helpes to have the pov of a teacher. Best to you as you bring a mirror of Jesus to each class.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac May 10, 2017 / 10:11 pm

      Glad to hear it Palmer! Love the way you’ve put that – trying to bring a mirror of Jesus to class. We as Christians cannot improve on the example of Jesus, hence why we try to reflect him, to display and show Jesus to be infinitely valuable. Appreciate your thoughts and time mate 🙂

      Like

  13. lorac888890 May 11, 2017 / 2:02 am

    Hello. May you succeed in achieving your goal. Teaching is a fine profession. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. gmgoetz May 17, 2017 / 3:23 am

    God Bless You Jonathan as you continue serving our Lord Jesus Christ, as well as studying to show yourself approved unto God.

    2 Timothy 2:15
    15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

    I just completed reading “Jesus: No Ordinary Teacher Parts 1-2-3”, and it is quite obvious your first Love is the Living Word of God, Jesus Christ and The Written Word of God, our Beloved Scriptures.
    As you diligently study and prepare yourself to teach young people in the school system, and then teach in that system, many students will be blessed as they see an honourable man of God with integrity, showing them how to live, as well as teaching various subjects.

    Staying open to Holy Spirit, with His gifting and leading, you could teach regular school, Bible School, or be a Pastor. Keep listening Friend.

    God’s Abundant Blessings,

    George

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac May 17, 2017 / 1:18 pm

      Thanks for your time and comments here George! Appreciate your thoughtful contributions. It would be my highest hope that the Word of God, namely Jesus, would be my primary love and joy. Wherever I end up, I’ll continue to pray that God would be magnified through my life – whether by life or death. God bless mate! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac May 23, 2017 / 12:43 pm

      Thanks PadrianaGrace! Appreciate your time and feedback heaps. Love the whole idea behind JCCML on your blog too 🙂 All the best!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Pr. Michael Jannett May 25, 2017 / 1:24 am

    Great post. Question: are we bring taught by Jesus to go and teach others? What is the end game for a teacher? For Jesus as Teacher?

    (I love the article, by the way…just trying tease out the end game…I look forward to your response.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac May 25, 2017 / 1:54 am

      Great question Michael! I think Luke 6:40 gives us some great insight. “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.”

      As disciples of Jesus, our primary role is to follow Him (Matthew 16:24). We will never surpass our infinite, all satisfying creator. And thank goodness for that. We will forever be under the authority and teaching and power of Jesus, and we should pursue and love him with everything we have – “heart, soul, strength and mind” (Luke 10:27). But we are also given the burden (responsibility) of loving others in the same verse. “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Luke 10:27). And I would suggest that a significant part of loving others is sharing the supreme truth and worth of Christ. It is a seriously awesome thing that we have the word of God available to us. Because of it, we have a standard of truths to which we are all servants. Therefore, we do not have to come up with clever or new content. And so the way we teach and love others is by preparing the feast, unpacking what has already been given to us, and presenting it for all its worth. The way we teach others is by accurately directing them to Christ, primarily through scripture.

      So to summarise. The end game is Christ. We live to make much of Christ – whether by life or death (Philippians 1:20). What we proclaim is not ourselves, but Christ and his teachings. We do this by telling people the good news of Christ from a heart of love and a life of service.

      Hope that makes sense 🙂 Thanks for your interaction and time with this post!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pr. Michael Jannett May 25, 2017 / 5:08 pm

        Great response. Thanks!

        Like

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