Jesus: His Teaching
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And they were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
I believe it might be easier to drink the entire Pacific Ocean through a straw than it will be to try to review the Teachings of Jesus in one 20-minute sitting. But that's our assignment today. Together, we will attempt to discover the essence of the teachings of the greatest teacher that ever lived. As your guide, I want to make a brief comment about His methods, then lead you to examine some of His core teachings that may not be getting adequate attention from many Christians.
Jesus, like other teachers of His day, was a pedagogical teacher. The world was His classroom and He used every opportunity He had to teach. He'd see a fig tree and teach His disciples something about the Kingdom of God. He'd have a conflict with a religious leader and would, in the midst of the conflict, teach the witnesses something about the Christian life. His teachings weren't structured or systematic, they were situational. He'd use any situation as an opportunity to teach. When he taught, he'd often move from the familiar to the unfamiliar-He had an uncanny ability to stretch people's understanding of reality and spiritual things.
He was not a propositional teacher, using evidence and logic to convince His listeners, instead, He preferred to tell a story, and let the people make up their own minds about what to believe. But He was more than a story teller, He'd often give great "sound bites" that His disciples could easily remember as slogans or motos.
His methods aside, what makes Jesus such a great teacher, was His message-it had a revolutionary tone to it. He was not just another Rabbi, He was the Son of God whose message could not fit in old "wine skins." He could not be contained by the structures and teachings of the day, His message wasn't just additional information to be added to the current understanding, it was revolutionary. He was authoritative.
For one thing, He didn't teach that people could please God by keeping the law; He taught the need for a radical conversion. When He chatted with Nicodemus about spiritual things one evening, He confronted him with the need to be born again, and not rely upon his first birth-his Jewish birth-for his salvation. John 3:3 KJV says, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
Salvation did not come by one's heritage, but neither did it come by legalistic works. Jesus clearly denounced the duplicity of the religious people of his day who sought salvation by works. Matthew 23:23 says, (NASB) "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.
Now there's another thing about this text that I need to mention. It
is popular today to say that all sin is equal in the eyes of God. You've
heard the teaching-murder is no worse than lust. But in Matthew 23:23,
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