Jesus was the master teacher. Thousands would gather to hang on his every word. People traveled far and wide just to hear him. The lessons he taught spread like fire and literally changed the world.
As pastors, if there is anyone we should emulate in our preaching and teaching it is Jesus! Right?
So how did Jesus teach?
Here are nine methods Jesus used that we can apply:
JESUS SPOKE BY HIS AUTHORITY
Other teachers quoted credible teachers or teachings to borrow authority. Jesus, on the other hand, boldly declared, “You have heard this, but I tell you…” (Matthew 5:22, 28, 32, 34, 39, 44).
The crowds were amazed because He taught as one who had authority, unlike other teachers (Mark 1:22).
Application: We cannot preach on our authority, but that’s OK. Jesus gives us his. Preach the Word. Our power and authority come from Christ alone.
JESUS TOLD STORIES
As you are aware, Jesus told countless parables. He pulled spiritual truths from everyday life. Not only did these stories make his teaching more memorable, they also connected in a much more profound way.
Think about the parable of the Prodigal Son. Jesus could have taught, “God loves you so much that He will welcome you back no matter how sinful you have lived.”
Instead, Jesus tells the story of a boy who disowned his family, partied away his inheritance, came home to beg for mercy, but was surprisingly welcomed with open arms by his father who waited daily for his return.
Which is more powerful?
Application: Tell stories. Lots of them. Use everyday life to teach profound spiritual truths.
JESUS SHOCKED PEOPLE
Jesus often used hyperbole. He used outrageous examples, exaggerations or shocking statements to get your attention. These statements were not all meant to be taken literally, but they definitely got the point across.
For example, Jesus didn’t really mean we have to rip out our eyes and amputate our hands for causing us to sin (Matthew 5:29-30). He was making a point.
Jesus said things that shocked people and exaggerated the truth to emphasize his point.
Application: Shock people. Exaggerate a little. Say outrageous things that aren’t meant to be literal, but grab attention and communicate the point clearly.
JESUS CRAFTED MEMORABLE SAYINGS
Jesus spoke poetically. He used catchy sayings and plays on words. This isn’t always apparent in English translations. However, in the original language, Jesus made it much easier for his listeners to remember what he said.
For example, Jesus memorably said, “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you” (Luke 6:37-38a, ESV).
Application: Craft sticky statements. As Andy Stanley says, “Memorable is portable.” If your people remember the lesson, they will carry it with them wherever they go.