…. they were unschooled, ordinary men …. they had been with Jesus …. the crippled man healed standing with them – Acts 4:13,14
Did Jesus write a book ?
Was the 4 gospels just an anthology of recorded sermons given in a lecture?
Let’s look at Jesus, the master teacher.
What method did Jesus used to teach His disciples that change lives ?
btw, … He certainly did not use powerpoint 🙂
his teaching was also not in point form,
yet, it was powerful … life changing.
Most of Jesus messages were short, succinct, concise, memorable.\
37 … And the large crowd enjoyed listening to Him.
Mark 12:37 (NASB)
What was His message?
Jesus walked into living history. He lived in a time when the Romans were the authority over the the Jews, when all the modern conveniences did not exist, where the gap between the rich and poor was very great, and when education and healthcare was not widespread as today, … most were oral learners, … and his large crowds had adults & children.
Hence, His message on the Kingdom of God had to be simple, clear, engaging, … visual and tangible.
So, what did Jesus used to to make His message memorable, easy to propagate, …. & understandable even by children ?
And, yet speak to the heart.
Why was Jesus teaching & message, … life-changing ?
Wherever Jesus ministered … He walked … He sailed.
And as He walked, … He listened, He taught, He ministered.
He ministered directly to the needs of the people around Him.
The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.
John 1:14 (MSG)
full of grace
and truth (NIV)
No one has ever seen God,
but the one and only Son,
who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father,
has made him known.
John 1:18 (NIV)
“… Anyone who has seen me
has seen the Father. … “
John 14:9 (NIV)
Thus, Jesus came to reveal who God really is, to made him known,
the heart of God. Jesus lived out the plan of God to redeem us.
He revealed God gloriously & personally to the great, the religious, … and to the last, and the least, … by stepping into our everyday world, and lived alongside us, .. amongst us.
He brought God’s tangible presence to the people through His word and deeds.
Thus, … In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God … The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
John 1:1, 14 (NIV)
Unlike others … Jesus was totally different,
… awe-inspiring, with authority,
… filled with compassion, love and power (miracles & healings).
He loved the people He was teaching, ministering,
& they experienced His love.
28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
Matthew 7:28,29 (NIV)
The Jews then were astonished, saying, “How has this man become learned, having never been educated?”
John 7:15 (NASB)
Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked.
Matthew 13:54 (NIV)
When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
Mark 6:34 (NIV)
“No man ever spoke like this Man!” John 7:46 (NKJV)
Jesus taught His followers in a group, synagogue, temple,
and He also took them outside, outdoors … into the world He created …
… in informal walks in fields, lakes, … trekking up mountains, ….
sailing on boats, dining in homes, praying in gardens, … out fishing … over long walks between towns, a meal, a wedding, cooking breakfast for them, … many, many meals 🙂 , … early in the morning in prayer, late at night with a visitor,
hanging out with tax collectors, prostitutes, drunkards, .. children,
often, … Jesus stopped, ….
Jesus listened, …. Jesus conversed, ministered, … compassionately touched someone
who was suffering, needy, sick, dying or enduring some kind of oppression,
… tangibly revealing the depth of God’s love and power for the lost, the least, the last, the unclean, the forgotten, the despised.
… at times, Jesus’ teaching spontaneously arose from an unexpected interruption or incident … a question from someone in the crowd or His disciples … a miracle … a humble widow dropping 2 coins,
… sometimes even from an accusation,
He stopped, … He spontaneously addressed the questions on their hearts and minds;
… sometimes, Jesus said some very shocking things to get his point across (hyperbole),
like cutting body parts to avoid hell (Matt 5), hating family members to be a disciple (Luke 14),
all exaggeratively memorable to get His truth across, and capture the attention of his listeners,
… Jesus also inspired his disciples with thought-provoking & practical questions for them to consider … to stretch their faith, their understanding,
rather than just giving them straight answers,
… He invited them to look at the birds, the flowers, the trees … women baking, farmers in the fields, vineyards, shepherds & their sheep, fathers and sons, managers and workers, … rich men, judge, laborers, beggars, widows, merchants, … (parables).
Jesus taught and spoke through the everyday lives of ordinary folks,
… His miracles were mainly framed within the struggles of everyday people, …even saving a wedding celebration by turning water to the best wine (!)
Jesus was throughly familiar with the life experiences of the people he taught, … their hopes, struggles, joys, pains, … having grown up, lived and worked in their midst, … 30 years walking in our sandals.
In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began
and to teach
Acts 1:1 (NIV)
… they saw His gracious patience with their doubts, fears, and sometimes slow progress, … gentleness with children and the afflicted, … His grace & forgiveness extended to many they met along the way, … the outcasts, the unclean, the forgotten, the least, the greiving.
He taught, He persuaded, He pleaded,
… He patiently listened to the people.
… how He wisely handled opposition, … envy, jealousy, betrayal … deftly diffused conflict, … exposed fallacy,
… they saw his daily life, his actions up close and personal.
For example, in the first 3 chapters of the gospel of Mark, not a single of Jesus’ sermon was recorded,
however, His compassion, His loving actions, His deeds, His short statements,
His way of life was seen, heard and experienced.
Jesus said, “.. The one who has seen Me
has seen the Father. ..”
John 14:9 (HCSB)
Under the risk of persecution, the disciples boldly testified,
“.. for it is impossible for us not to speak about
what we have seen and heard.”
Acts 4:20 (NET)
… Jesus statements were practical, logical, rational, … and memorable,
like when He said,
“Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”,
with double-edged sword precision, … yet gracious and respectful,
… He reached out compassionately to heal the sick, … powerfully cast out demons, … healed a blind man & a deaf man with His spit 🙂 , … raised the dead, … stilled the sudden storm,
revealing who He really is.
… ministering to multitudes of thousands in a field,
… a quiet one-on-one chat with a foreign woman by a well in the heat of noon,
… having a meal at the home of the most disliked man in town, etc,
… patiently explaining the Kingdom of God to a religious leader in the dark of night
… one on one, … one by one, … He gave each one His full attention,
… when He was hungry, thirsty, tired, slept,
…. empowered his disciples to teach and minister to others,
full of joy when the disciples returned with their stories of God’s power,
… when He wept with Lazarus family, … was angry at the temple traders … agonised in prayer,
… Jesus prayed so much, and received so much tangible answers to prayer,
that the disciples were inspired to ask Him one day, “Lord teach us to pray“. (Luke 11:1)
… when they hauled in the great catch of fish … found a gold coin in a fish’s mouth … countless lives healed, transformed, turned around,
they smelled the fresh bread from His hands,
… tasted the multiplied fish,
… saw thousands fed,
… drank the very good wine at a wedding,
felt His tender hands wash their dirty feet,
and touched his resurrected body.
crucified .. and rose again, …. ascended up to heaven,
as He showed and tangibly demonstrated to them the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.
… the Lord who’s eye is on each sparrow that falls to the ground, … who cares even to the tiny details of the number of hairs left on our scalp … and, tirelessly goes to seek, search and rescue the lone stray frightened sheep …
The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep (John 10:11)
Jesus creatively & lyrically painted God’s grace, love, forgiveness, provision, care, etc in all His glorious fullness … through His daily life … for his disciples to experience in their lives … delighting their senses with many memorable, unforgettable moments etched upon their hearts … like an unforgettable sunrise or the smell of light rain on grass, … or a home-cooked meal from childhood.
And the Word became flesh
and dwelt among us,
and we beheld His glory,
the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,
full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (NKJV)
beyond cold facts, or Christianese jargon,
beyond just right answers on a Bible study sheet,
beyond being convinced of something,
living faith in a life-changing conviction of the Truth,
the Christ, the Savior,
beyond just talk … to a walk
with His fellowship, presence & power
Hebrews 8:10,11 (NIV)
10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel
after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
11 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
Learning under Jesus … was an experience,
creative, inspiring, … visual,
a shared memorable experience with Him.
When an expert in the law asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Instead of a dry textbook definition lecture,
… Jesus shared a timeless moving story, (a robbery on the road to Jericho),
that even little children can understand and share;
giving us the English idiom — “the good Samaritan”
When the Pharisees and Herodians tried to catch Jesus in His words by asking,
“Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”
Jesus asked for a physical denarius coin,
requested everyone to carefully examine it,
… and led them to the convincing rational conclusion,
“Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
When His disciples wondered, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
Jesus brought a little child in front of everyone,
and pointed to the child, “Whoever humbles himself like this child
is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
And, on another occasion, … Jesus washed everyone’s dirty feet.
Unforgettable snapshots! … seen & heard,
… inspiring, life changing experiences.
“The teacher has not taught
until the student has learned.”
— Howard Hendricks
His engaging, succint & crisp words,
arresting, insightful one-liners,
precise compassionate awe-inspiring acts,
framed in everyday life,
portrayed upon a down-to-earth canvas of practical examples, metaphors, experiences
that the people could easily relate with … understand … & remember.
… awakens one’s senses,
& inspires one to act
… to follow Him.
He took people alongside Him,
from where they were (with their questions, needs, hurts, concerns, doubts,etc)
… to where He desired them to be
just like the concerned friend who walked alongside the 2 disciples on the 7-mile road to Emmaus,
Luke 24:17, 27, 32 (NIV)
17 Jesus asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast.
27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
34 … “It is true! The Lord has risen“
downcast -> Word -> hearts burning ->”It is true! The Lord has risen”
From words, deeds, examples … to conviction … to worship … & fruit.
There’s never a dull moment hanging out with Jesus! 🙂
The living Word.
So many wonderful, memorable moments …
such that John wrote at the end of his gospel,
“Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down,
I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.” John 21:25 (NLT)
Hence, walking with Jesus was never boring for His disciples,
and each day as they woke up, they’re probably be wondering,
“What would Jesus do, .. today ?” 🙂
… God did not just send us … a teaching manual to read,
or a workbook to fill up with right answers,
The Word became flesh and blood, and
moved into the neighborhood. …
John 1:14 (MSG)
… but a man, … an example to follow,
the living Word 🙂
a living relationship, fellowship with Him.
And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, … (Matthew 4:19 NIV)
Furthermore, Jesus did not write a book.
And may be, that’s why the Bible is filled with stories of people who personally experienced the Lord through their everyday lives and challenges.
This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God,
and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17:3 NIV)
Jesus’ teaching and ministry was truly relevant and meaningful to His listeners, as it was framed within practical situations that His listeners experienced or could relate with, or felt about.
Through His teaching, He demonstrated His wisdom, authority and power to address everyday life situations, challenges and needs of the common folk, … as well as lift our eyes to see His Kingdom, and the state of our hearts.
Even today, … most of Jesus parables can be readily understood by a child.
As Jesus painted His parables and metaphors with His words,
his hearers would have imaginatively pictured Jesus words in their minds in colorful 3D,
His stories were simple, short, down-to-earth, and memorable,
His parables were mostly free of spiritual jargon or religious rituals,
… practical and accessible,
Across cultures and time, …& language translation, the essence remains the same.
Parables and stories are mental pictures that stay in the listeners’ mind. Mental pictures of truths or ideas that remain in their minds, long after they heard it.
Each parable is Truth captured in a story; God’s kingdom Truth.
Jesus, our Lord who tells memorable stories of Truth.
Matthew 13:34,35 (NASB)
34 Jesus always used stories and illustrations like these when speaking to the crowds. In fact, he never spoke to them without using such parables. 35 This fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet:
“I will speak to you in parables.
I will explain things hidden since the creation of the world.”
For example, what better way to describe God’s grace
… unearned, undeserved, freely given … for all of us,
than by the parable of the prodigal son,
or the woman caught in adultery (John 8),
or the parable of the lost sheep,
or Simon Peter who denied Him 3 times and restored again.
And we can easily share or paraphrase any one of these stories from memory to a friend or stranger, in less than 5 minutes!
Common stories for the common man and child,
that we can all relate, … easily, and clearly share
‘what did Jesus teach today?‘
with our family members and friends.
Not some deep philosophical, abstract discourse on ‘what is grace?’,
that requires a learned PhD to decipher,
leaving one wondering ‘what was the message really about?‘,
while lulling others asleep,
with dry, unfamiliar high-sounding words.
“The goal is not to make you a smarter sinner
but to make you like the Savior.”
– Howard Hendricks
In fact, one of Jesus’ first parable on the sower and the seed
is one of the first things children learn in science
— the life-cycle of plants :-).
not just reduced to a few bullet points,
DIY quick fixes, instant solutions,
but Truth that moves the heart to obey,
stirs up faith,
… to love the Lord,
Truth in a love letter,
The gospel is for everyday, ordinary folks, … like you and me.
one encounters the life changing Truth
of redeemption, restoration and reconciliation,
and like the woman caught in adultery,
… a testimony …
another story … this time a personal one!
For the woman in Samaria who had a chat with Jesus at the well,
39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because
of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” John 4:39 (NIV)
She was bursting to share her story of her meeting Jesus,
with her friends in her town —
How Jesus, … the Lord of all the earth,
… gently, patiently, respectfully revealed the Christ to her,
so that she can personally know Him,
Jesus stepped right into her daily chores, in the hot noon sun,
and chatted with her.
She personally experienced God’s grace that day,
despite of, or because of her past.
And it all began by Jesus asking her for a drink of water.
Here again (John 4), Jesus lived out what He said to Nicodemus in a previous night (John 3)
… For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16,17 (NKJV)
Stories and testimonies are the language of the heart.
Both children, and the child-like can readily understand and experience,
and look forward to hear from someone they know,
in wide eyed wonder and anticipation;
and through stories and life testimonies,
we … feel one’s pain, … see one’s mountains, … taste one’s longing, … touch one’s gripping perseverance, … sit amongst one’s warm company of charming characters along the way, … celebrate one’s summits and joys, … brining sunshine hope, … for others trekking up unbeaten paths and trails.
Each story capturing the heart of God.
Each testimony making the invisible God, … visible,
and His love — tangible, real, present, personal,
Immanuel, God with us.
After Jesus ascension, His teaching, His Word … like the seed,
fruitfully multiplied and propagated far and wide … and around the world,
… through stories, life-changing testimonies, healed hearts and bodies;
and its still happening … right at this very moment …
His-story continues to be written.
On a side note, in the marketplace,
companies and corporations recognise the power of story and narrative,
in communicating their brand through advertising, marketing & social media.
Similarly for media companies — the latest scoop, story, gossip, scandal, or movie blockbuster sells.
Stories of company founders, challenging projects, extraordinary customer service, customer’s moments of truth experience … all help to shape and embed the values and vision of the company for future generations; … through the retelling of these stories.
Recently, in some corporations, there’s even a Chief Story Officer 🙂 .
When observing a piece of art or performannce art, a company, a product, a building, a personality, etc … sometimes we wonder “What’s the inspiration? What’s the story? Who’s the author, composer, director?”
On another marketplace note,
mastery of a field is demonstrated by competence,
with fluency to distill the subject matter into
insightful, simple and memorable explanations,
filled with infectious passion for the subject,
humility to admit the things one has yet to grasp or understand.
On another note, the European movable type printing press was invented around 1439. The first high quality, low cost Bible was printed in 1455 by Gutenberg. (Source: Wikipedia).
Thus, the first 15 plus centuries of Christianity, personal Bibles and books were rare.
A world without techno gadgets and communication tools,
and fast inter-city travel conveniences of today,
… but, .. that did not stop the Word of God spread thru the Eastern and Western world by the Holy Spirit
Back to the greatest story … Jesus.
Throughout the gospels, Jesus was constantly meeting and personally engaging with people, … teaching and ministering to their needs … in their homes, wherever they’re at … living very full days.
Ministry was not just a Sunday event,
or teaching from afar,
… but, up close and personal.
He lived … tangibly & visibly demonstrated His message of redeeming, restoring and reconciling the world to Himself. His words and more importantly His follow-through acts captivated His audience to follow Him.
Finally … truly, the Christ is in our midst … in the flesh, … real and authentic.
In the gospels, we see Jesus personally went out to where the multitudes and individuals were, … He walked and sailed to seek out to seek and to save that which was lost.
He visited, He cared, He touched, He listened, He wept, He healed.
Immanuel, God with us.
Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” John 14:9 (NIV)
He touched and healed a leper, … crossed the sea to set free one abandoned demonised man living among the graves, crying out day and night … saved a poor prostitute from being stoned to death by the religious leaders, …. dined with a cheating, dishonest chief tax collector at his home (whom the whole town despised) … and he shared meals with those who did not agree with Him and His teachings, … and included Judas as one of the twelve disciples, even at His last supper, … who later betrayed Him.
… “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost”, …. “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” … when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed … (Luke 19:10, Mark 2:17, Luke 14:13,14 NIV)
He was not afraid of controversy, … He personally reached out to the outcast with acceptance and love. He touched and restored them.
He related with everyone,
avoided no one
– Jew, Gentiles, Samaritans, religious leaders, tax collectors, prostitutes, lepers, etc.
He walked to wherever the needs were,
actively engaged with everyday peoples’ lives,
not retreating from the world
in silent meditation.
He brought God’s power to those in need,
and set them free,
He brought solutions to their needs.
He brought God’s presence to the people.
Thus, Jesus divinely defined
what living a holy and righteous life,
is really like;
contrary to people’s interpretation through the ages.
17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking,
but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
A joyful Jesus who welcomes little children … Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these (Luke 18:16 NASB)
To the woman caught in adultery, Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,”
Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
John 8:10,11 (NIV)
When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things ….. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. (Matthew 14:14, Mark 6:34 NIV)
Moved by His compassion for the people He met,
He taught them, He healed them.
You know of Jesus of Nazareth,
how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power,
and how He went about doing good
and healing all who were oppressed by the devil,
for God was with Him.
Acts 10:38 (NASB)
God, the Holy Spirit, Jesus doing good in our midst,
setting the oppressed free from the devil.
Hearing his teaching and testimonies,
… & seeing the lame walk, the blind see, the deaf hear, bodies healed, the demonised set free, lives transformed,
His disciples testified,
“… we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard“ Acts 4:20 (NIV)
Seeing enhances learning.
Undoubtedly, seeing enhances believing.
They saw and felt first-hand … Jesus’ compassion in action,
moving their hearts to reach out in love.
Jesus loved the people He taught and restored,
and they knew it, … felt it, … and experienced it.
Seeing the people,
He felt compassion for them,
because they were distressed and dispirited
like sheep without a shepherd.
Matthew 9:36 (NASB)
He stepped into the sea of human need,
Luke 4:18,19 (NASB)
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed,
19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”
To set free those who are oppressed,
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.
Through His eyes of compassion,
He saw beyond our faults, weaknesses, sins, .. etc
to our need.
And He reached out and lifted us out of our need.
I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the Lord.
Psalm 40:1-3 (NASB)
Someone once said, “Students don’t care how much you know
until they know how much you care.”.
We learn the most from those who love us, and desire the best for us,
who spend the extra time to help us,
who stop by to care or encourage
or compliment our work;
… we look forward to their classes/sessions.
(Just think back to one’s favorite teacher in school, or a teacher that made a difference in one’s life, … where teaching’s not just a job or duty)
Jesus taught … and through His life and action … He inspired us to act and follow Him … moved by His love and compassion. His followers followed Him … out of His love and compassion, … not fear.
He is the message.
John 1:14 (NIV)
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son,
who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
And later, John wrote:
1 John 1:1,2 (NIV)
What was from the beginning,
what we have heard,
what we have seen with our eyes,
what we have looked at
and touched with our hands,
concerning the Word of Life—
2 and the life was manifested,
and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life,
which was with the Father and was manifested to us
30 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
Jesus said, “Come, follow me,”
And He demonstrated in action, living out His word,
in an unforgettable, and moving way
that was seen and heard.
Jesus taught us to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:44,45 (NIV)
On the cross He prayed, ” “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34 (NIV)
At the last supper,
Jesus taught, “the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves … I am among you as one who serves.”
Luke 22:26,27 (NIV)
And, … . Jesus poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
John 13:5 (NIV)
and He said, “ Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example
that you should do as I have done for you.”
John 13:14,15 (NIV)
Through words … and consistent humble action, ….in the real world,
Jesus earned our respect and submission,
as He drew us to Himself, with His love and compassion.
I am the good shepherd.
The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
John 10:11 (NIV)
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.
Isaiah 40:11 (NIV)
The Christ, the good shepherd we can truly follow,
whose Word we can trust,
who understands our weaknesses, our struggles,
whose love we experience through Him giving up His life for us,
to redeem, restore and reconcile us to God,
and whose power is demonstrated in His resurrection.
Emmanuel, God with us.
(Hebrews 4:15,16, 1 Peter 3:18, Ephesians 1:18-21)
“Historically, the church has understood the nature of Scriptures much the same as it has understood the person of Christ
— the Bible is at the same time both human and divine” — Gordon Fee
No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
John 15:15 (NKJV)
In addition to teaching His disciples,
Jesus empowered His disciples to put His teaching into practice, by sending them out in pairs to minister to others, to shine His light in the darkness.
Luke 10:1, 8, 16, 17, 21, 23 (NIV)
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.
8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you.
9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them,
‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
23 Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
John 4:1,2 (NIV)
Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.
Hence, His disciples ministered the Kingdom of God to others,
mirroring what Jesus taught and showed them,
replicating what Jesus discipled them.
Jesus called them,
He loved them,
He restored them,
He taught them, fellowshipped with them.
He showed them,
He inspired them,
He nurtured them,
He mentored them,
He empowered them,
and sent them,
to teach and disciple many others with His love and power,
following His example.
A disciple is not above his teacher,
but everyone who is perfectly trained
will be like his teacher.
Luke 6:40 (NKJV)
“You teach what you know,
but you reproduce what you are.”
— Howard Hendricks
Jesus taught the Word, by engaging His listeners
through hearing, seeing, & doing.
Jesus nurtured the Truth in His listeners hearts.
And, …. He sent His listeners to share with others, … what’s been written on their hearts & lives — of what they have heard, seen and experienced.
1 John 2:5, 6 (NIV)
5 But if anyone obeys his word,
love for God is truly made complete in them.
This is how we know we are in him:
6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
John 14:16,17 (NIV)
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. …
As He empowered His disciples,
He also allowed them to make mistakes, and learn from their mistakes along the way, … as He guided them along … for Jesus, no experience is wasted.
Just before His arrest, Jesus said to Simon Peter,
“I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail;
and when you have returned to Me,
strengthen your brethren.”
Luke 22:32 (NIV)
Hence, I believe Jesus’ discipling was like a magnanimous heart & skill mentoring apprenticeship, i.e.
Jesus patiently coached, nurtured and mentored each one,
to their full potential or ‘calling’ in Christ,
and empowered them with opportunities to grow, bloom and fruit,
to walk and minister like Him;
loving, guiding and praying for them along the way,
and picking them up when they stumble,
to be the people of His Kingdom.
But now, O Lord,
You are our Father;
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all we are the work of Your hand.
Isaiah 64:8 (NKJV)
At the heart of Jesus teaching method was building lives for His glory,
through experiencing God’s heart.
“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
In conclusion, …
Jesus discipling, teaching style was through
a 24/7 everyday, authentic, consistent lifestyle.
He was the message.
Beyond any doubt,
He lived out,
what He taught about!
For 3 years, the disciples saw Jesus’ life close-up, … zoomed in.
Every breath He took, Every move He made, 24/7,
from the moment He woke up … to the moment He slept.
Interestingly, in Deuteronomy,
Deuteronomy 6:6,7 (ESV)
6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
7You shall teach them diligently to your children,
and shall talk of them when you sit in your house,
and when you walk by the way,
and when you lie down,
and when you rise.
Deuteronomy 11:19 (ESV)
You shall teach them to your children,
talking of them when you are sitting in your house,
and when you are walking by the way,
and when you lie down,
and when you rise.
i.e. in casual, everyday life, everyday
(btw, children learn by copying adults around them)
Hence, whether we stand up and teach in church or not on Sunday,
we are the message.
We are all teaching through our lives to people around us 24/7.
our unspoken words, attitudes speak louder and clearer
than our spoken ones,
revealing what’s really in our hearts.
What’s others hearing when they observe our daily life messages?
Somethings are taught … somethings are caught.
A snapshot of grace is worth a thousand words.
“Out of 100 men,
one will read the Bible,
the other 99 will read the Christian”
— D. L Moody
Jesus was high touch, high impact.
Jesus said, “Come, follow me,”
“ I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”
“ Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”
(Matthew 4:19 John 13:15, Matthew 7:20 NIV)
Paul wrote, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”
We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help,
but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate.
Paul told them … and he showed them.
follow our example … a model for you to imitate,
i.e. mentoring, discipling
As a result of their ministry, Paul wrote:
“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts,
known and read by everyone.
You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry,
written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God,
not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
i.e. mentoring, discipling —> replication, propagation
not knowledge … but life … the Christ-like life.
“God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus”
(1 Corinthians 11:1, 2 Thessalonians 3:9, 2 Corinthians 3:2,3, Philippians 1:8 NIV)
We thank God for you always.
And that’s what we should do, because you give us good reason to be thankful:
Your faith is growing more and more.
And the love that every one of you has for each other is also growing.
1 Thessalonians 1:3 (ERV)
“Its not a word message we comunicate, but a life message.
When God wanted to communicate with us, he wrapped His message in a person.”
– Howard Hendricks
On the flip side,
Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying:
“Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
… but don’t follow their example.
For they don’t practice what they teach.
Luke 12:1 (NIV), Matthew 23:3 (NLT)
“You cannot impart what you do not possess.
The teacher has not taught
until the student has learned.
You can impress from a distance,
but you can only impact up close.
You teach what you know,
but you reproduce what you are.
The goal is not to make you a smarter sinner
but to make you like the Savior.
Jesus never asks people to memorise
and repeat answers back to Him.
He was content to trust the Holy Spirit
to guide them into all truth (John 16:13)
It’s a sin to bore people with the Bible.”
– Howard Hendricks
by 林弟兄, bro Lim
December 15, 2015
Copyright © 林弟兄 bro Lim, Laymanointing, 2014-2016 – All Rights Reserved
Creative Commons License