Principles of Jesus Teaching
From a broad review of the content of Jesus’ teaching and instructional methodology, together with Horne’s excellent summary, it is possible for us to identify five principles of Jesus; teaching practice that can guide our own practice.
by Robert W. Pazmino.
- Jesus’ teaching was authoritative. Jesus taught as one who had authority ( Mark 1:27), a fact demonstrated by his actions and words. His authority was authenticated by the content og his teaching and by who he was as a person. The content of his teaching was the revelation of God, for he spoke with the words of God the Father ( John 14:23-24). In addition, Jesus’ life and ministry authenticated the authority of his teaching.
- Jesus’ teaching was not authoritarian. While being authoritative, Jesus’ teaching was not forced or imposed upon his hearers (John 6:60-69). Jesus specified the costs and demands od discipleship and encouraged his followers to make personal commitments of their choosing. Once having delivered the message, he allowed the individual to confront the truth and come to his or her own conclusions.
- Jesus’ teaching encouraged people to think. Jesus stimulated serious thought and reflection in his teaching content. He expected his hearers to carefully consider their response to the truths he shared. In response to many inquiries, he did not provide simple, ready-made answers to life’s problems. Jesus expected his students to search their minds and hearts in relation to his teachings and to consider the realities of life. In encouraging others to think for themselves, Jesus posed questions and allowed for questioning.
- Jesus lived what he taught. Jesus incarnated his message faithfully in his life and ministry. Before commanding his disciples to serve and love one another as he had loved them (John 13:12-17,34-35), Jesus demonstrated the full extent of his love by washing his disciples’ feet. He then further demonstrated his love by laying down his life for his friends (John 15:12-13). No one had ever personified or embodied instructional contents as much as Jesus.
- Jesus had a love for those he taught. Jesus loved his students, his disciples, in a way that indicated the deep longings of every heart for an intimate relationship with another person and with God. This relationship of love with Jesus was also characterized by an equal concern for truth as the Master Teacher communicated it.
These principles help us understand the character and nature of the Master Teacher and provide insights for us as w’e seek to further his cause of making new disciples of all mankind.