(7.) Teaching Methods of Jesus – Conclusion

(7.) Teaching Methods of Jesus – Conclusion

(7.) Teaching Methods of Jesus – Conclusion.

Jesus was a businessman, and His business was discipleship. He was a true entrepreneur in His teaching ministry employing a wide variety of teaching methods as He went from person to person, crowd to crowd, village to village. He chose to labor long and hard in the role of teacher, inspiring listeners to become learners. Because He was the co-designer of the human mind, He instinctively knew how  to reach His audience. He knew inherently that He needed to capture the imagination, nurture the conscience, and sharpen the intellect of His disciples, His students. An important way for a Christian teacher to follow Jesus in the classroom is to consider the teaching methods He used in His ministry. We have discussed methods like these:

  • Capture the Imagination – Stories and Parables; Humor; Metaphor; Illustrations; Visual Aids; Wondering Out Loud.
  • Nurture the Conscience – Discipline and Accountability; Personal Example of the Teacher; Demonstration; Elbow Room for the Students; Moral Reasoning Out Loud.
  • Sharpen the Intellect – Good Questions; Variety of Discourse; Object Lessons; Guided Conversations; Test the Memory; Repetition; Thinking Out Loud.

What was Jesus aiming for in the lives of His learners? What did He want them to look like? What was His goal in teaching? I suggest He aimed for wisdom and love in His teaching of the truth. Wisdom, love and truth seem to have a profound interrelationship in the learning process. Truth is the target, the substance, the grist for the mill. Wisdom is truth-in-action. It is acquiring the knowledge that leads to moral understanding; it is the art of practicing the truth in daily life. Along with wisdom, love is intimately related to truth. According to Scripture, “Love takes pleasure in the flowering of truth;” “Love finds its joy in the truth.” (1 Corinthians 13:6). And, “Active, genuine love is proof that we belong to the truth.” (1 John 3:19). So I suggest that wisdom and love are the twin goals of learning. A teacher’s aim for students is that they become wise, loving, and filled with the truth. That’s how they can prove that they have learned at a deep level. There is no better way to reflect the heart of God. There is no more noble a purpose in learning. Following in the steps of Jesus, a Christ-centered teacher is wise and loving as s/he aims the students toward wisdom and love. Those two qualities are the underlying methods of the teacher as well as the ongoing purpose for the students.

The context for learning wisdom and love is relationship. Jesus chose to have an intimate classroom-without-walls of twelve disciples to teach, to show the way. The relationship between teacher and students is how truth is delivered, how learning is accomplished. Only students who trust and respect their teacher are able to give themselves to the learning process. Only teachers who establish relationships of mutual respect and trust with the students are able to engage at the deeper levels of learning.

So how did Jesus develop wisdom and love in His listening students? By capturing the imagination, nurturing the conscience, and sharpening the intellect of those who chose to follow Him. His public ministry was an extended, three-year-long teachable moment for those who chose to join His willing audience. May teachers and students alike create countless teachable moments in and out of the classroom.