October 27, 2013 – November 2, 2013
“In Their Mouth Was Found No Guile”
“The common people heard Him [Jesus] gladly.” Mark 12:37.
Study Help: Fundamentals of Christian Education, 236–241; The Desire of Ages, 167–177, 255.
“Jesus was the greatest Teacher the world ever knew. He presented truth in clear, forcible statements, and the illustrations He used were of the purest and highest order.” The Review and Herald, August 6, 1895.
1 CHRIST’S TEACHING METHODS
- Discuss the teaching method that Christ used in the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5:1–12.
Note: “The Sermon on the Mount is an example of how we are to teach. What pains Christ has taken to make mysteries no longer mysteries, but plain, simple truths! There is in His instruction nothing vague, nothing hard to understand.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 269.
- Why did parables play an important part in Christ’s teaching? Matthew 13:10–13.
Note: “Jesus desired to awaken inquiry. He sought to arouse the careless, and impress truth upon the heart. Parable teaching was popular, and commanded the respect and attention, not only of the Jews, but of the people of other nations. No more effective method of instruction could He have employed. …
“Christ had truths to present which the people were unprepared to accept or even to understand. For this reason also He taught them in parables. By connecting His teaching with the scenes of life, experience, or nature, He secured their attention and impressed their hearts.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 20, 21.
2 TOPICS FOR TEACHING
- What was the tenor of Christ’s teachings? John 1:17, last part; 8:32; 14:6.
Note: “He [the Saviour] said nothing to gratify curiosity, or to satisfy man’s ambition by opening doors to worldly greatness. …
“Christ did not deal in abstract theories, but in that which is essential to the development of character, that which will enlarge man’s capacity for knowing God, and increase his efficiency to do good. He spoke to men of those truths that relate to the conduct of life, and that take hold upon eternity.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 23.
- What is the great central truth of the Bible, and what priorities should we establish in preparing our discourses? John 1:29; 12:32.
Note: “The very first and most important thing is to melt and subdue the soul by presenting our Lord Jesus Christ as the sin-pardoning Saviour. Never should a sermon be preached, or Bible instruction in any line be given, without pointing the hearers to the ‘Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29). Every true doctrine makes Christ the center, every precept receives force from His words.
“Keep before the people the cross of Calvary.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 53, 54.
“Will not our ministers wrestle in earnest prayer that they may have a holy unction, that they may not bring unimportant, unessential things into their labor at this important time? Let them not bring into their ministerial labors that which can be heard in any of the denominational churches. Let them ever keep before their hearers an uplifted Saviour, in order to prevent their converts from attaching themselves to the man, to bear his mold and copy his ways in their manner of conversation and conduct. The Lord has a variety of workers, who must impress the people in various lines. One man’s ways are not to be considered perfect and to be adopted exclusively in any congregation. Christ is our Example.” The Voice in Speech and Song, 311, 312.
3 VISUAL AIDS AND ILLUSTRATIONS
- What type of illustrations did Christ use, and why? Matthew 6:26–30; 13:3–9. What should we do if we want to follow His example faithfully?
Note: “The ministers of the gospel of Christ, who are to watch for souls as they that must give account, will diligently study the Scriptures, and will often be found upon their knees asking for heavenly wisdom, in order that they may know how to ‘strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die’ (Revelation 3:2). Jesus says, ‘Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls’ (Matthew 11:29). Jesus was the greatest Teacher the world ever knew. He presented truth in clear, forcible statements, and the illustrations He used were of the purest and highest order. He never mingled cheap symbols and figures with His divine instruction, or sought to pander to curiosity or to gratify the class that will listen simply to be amused. He did not bring sacred truth down the level of the common, and the comical illustrations that some ministers of the gospel use were never uttered by His divine lips. Christ did not employ illustrations that would create amusement and excite laughter.” The Review and Herald, August 6, 1895.
- Why did Christ choose to preach outdoors most of the time? Why should we do more studying and teaching in nature? Psalm 19:1; Job 12:7–10.
Note: “He [the Redeemer of the world] generally chose the open air for His discourses. No walls could enclose the multitude which followed Him; but He had special reasons for resorting to the groves and the seaside to give His lessons of instruction. He could there have a commanding view of the landscape and make use of objects and scenes with which those in humble life were familiar, to illustrate the important truths He made known to them.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 579, 580.
“The book of nature is a great lesson book, which in connection with the Scriptures we are to use in teaching others of His character, and guiding lost sheep back to the fold of God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 24.
4 A SENSITIVE SAVIOUR
- Compare the voice and teaching methods of Christ with those of the Pharisees. Matthew 22:15–22; John 7:37, 38.
Note: “Christ addressed the vast crowds that thronged about him; and all, learned and unlearned, were able to comprehend His lessons.” The Review and Herald, May 18, 1897.
“Multitudes who were not interested in the harangues of the rabbis were attracted by His teaching. They could understand His words, and their hearts were warmed and comforted. He spoke of God, not as an avenging judge, but as a tender father, and He revealed the image of God as mirrored in Himself.” The Desire of Ages, 205.
“The Saviour’s voice was as music to the ears of those who had been accustomed to the monotonous, spiritless preaching of the scribes and Pharisees. He spoke slowly and impressively, emphasizing those words to which He wished His hearers to give special heed. Old and young, ignorant and learned, could catch the full meaning of His words.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 240.
“They [those who were sent to arrest Jesus] heard Him in love and tenderness speak encouragingly to the weak and afflicted. They also heard Him, in a voice of authority, rebuke the power of Satan and bid his captives go free. They listened to the words of wisdom that fell from His lips, and they were captivated; they could not lay hands on Him.” Early Writings, 160.
- While Christ preached to the multitudes, how sensitive was He to the needs of individuals in the crowd? Psalm 139:1–3; Matthew 9:36.
Note: “Jesus watched with deep earnestness the changing countenances of His hearers. The faces that expressed interest and pleasure gave Him great satisfaction.” The Desire of Ages, 255.
“The crowd that so often thronged His steps was not to Christ an indiscriminate mass of human beings. He spoke directly to every mind and appealed to every heart. He watched the faces of His hearers, marked the lighting up of the countenance, the quick, responsive glance, which told that truth had reached the soul; and there vibrated in His heart the answering chord of sympathetic joy.” Education, 231.
5 A PATTERN FOR CHRISTIAN WORKERS
- With what results did Christ present the truth to the varied educational and economic levels of society? Mark 12:37, last part. How can we follow His example? Romans 12:6–8, first part.
Note: “The greatest Teacher the world ever knew was admired for His simplicity; for He presented divine truth in such a way that even children could comprehend His words, and at the same time He drew the attention of the best educated and deepest thinkers of the world. By the use of familiar illustrations He made truth plain to the minds of the common people.” The Youth’s Instructor, May 4, 1893.
“Christ always used the most simple language, yet His words were received by deep, unprejudiced thinkers; for they were words that tested their wisdom. Spiritual things should always be presented in simple language, even though learned men are being addressed; for such are generally ignorant regarding spiritual things. The simplest language is the most eloquent. Educated and uneducated need to be addressed in the plainest, simplest manner, so that the truth may be comprehended, and find lodgment in the heart.” The Review and Herald, May 18, 1897.
- Outline the method Christ used to reach the heart of a proud, yet honest religious leader. John 3:1–17.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 List specific points that can be learned from Christ’s teaching methods as exemplified in the Sermon on the Mount.
2 Why is it important to make Christ the center of every discourse?
3 How can you study nature in connection with the Scriptures on a regular basis?
4 While witnessing, teaching, or preaching, how can you be sure that you are imitating Christ and not the Pharisees?
5 As you teach a group, how can you be sure that you are speaking directly to every mind and heart?
© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.