One of the most common pictures of Jesus in the gospels is that of teacher. The gospels are full of references to His teaching ministry. And He went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. Matthew 4:23
In the alfresco setting of a mountainside, Jesus taught His disciples and gave the world what we have come to know as ‘The Sermon on the Mount’ Matthew 5:7
On still another occasion Mark 4:1-2 when the crowd that came to hear Him got too big. He got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while the people were along the shore at the water’s edge.
The Bible tells us ‘He taught them many things by parables.’
His classrooms were synagogues, the mountainside, the lakeside and in one on one encounters, such as His midnight interview with Nicodemus.
Nicodemus a member of the Sanhedrin (means: Sitting Together) and a religious leader of the Jewish people, had discerned the extraordinary and superior character and nature of Jesus’ teaching and longed to learn from the master.
This is where Nicodemus acknowledged the more than human quality of Jesus teaching, when he addressed Jesus ‘We know that you are a teacher who has come from God. John 3:2
At the other end of the social and moral spectrum, we find Jesus giving his great exposition on worship and living water, to a woman who had come to the well to draw water.
In this instance, He not only crossed the boundary of respectability in speaking with a woman of questionable character but also of the ethnic polarisation that existed between Jews and Samaritans.
The School of Christ is without walls and boundaries of any kind. Jesus teaches not so that we might be excluded but so we might know how to come in.
He reminds us ‘I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.’ John 14:6
The common impact on the hearers of Jesus’ teaching was always amazement at His wisdom and commentary. We find them regularly exclaiming ‘Where did this man get these things?’ Mark 6:2what is this wisdom that has been given him.
On another occasion we read that the crowd were amazed at is teaching because He taught them as one who had authority Matthew 7:28-29
One of the dominant portraits we have of Christ is that of a teacher.
As teacher, He had none of the resources we have today A systems, graphic aids, media, internet. Yet, in great tribute and testimony to His teaching, we have a significant record of His sayings and teaching.
What He taught has never become outdated but is as timely and timeless as when His words resonated throughout Galilee and filled the mouths of hearers with questions.
All other learning and knowledge pale into insignificance, compared to the eternal truths imparted by Jesus. One of the great privileges of the Christian experience is to have the teachings of Jesus recorded in the Gospels for our enlightenment, understanding and enrichment.
We began with one of the most famous parables of Jesus teaching, the man who built his house on bedrock and the other who built His house on shifting sands. This is not a lesson in physical housebuilding but it is a lesson on building our spiritual houses.
Simple generic acknowledgement of the rule of Christ, that there is a higher power is an inadequate basis for building our lives. Instead we have to go deeper, dig deeper and ground ourselves in an actual personal acceptance of Christ as Lord with all that that implies.
It is only from a foundation laid as deep as this, can we begin to scale the height of Jesus’ teachings.
Psalm 86:11 Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.