Jesus used many methods to teach His hearers all about Himself, God, the Holy Spirit, and how to live life the way God intended it to be lived by His people. The first method Jesus used was adaptability; the ability to adapt His message depending on His hearers at the time. For example, Jesus would speak to a Pharisee much differently then He would speak to the common man in the crowd. Second, Jesus' cleverly used the method of rhetoric; the ability to use questions to cause people to think closely about what was asked, or the ability to turn the question back around to the questioner for answering. For example, when the Pharisees and/or Sadducees tried to force Jesus to answer their questions in order to get Him to slip up and condemn Himself, Jesus put the question back on their heads to answer. Third, Jesus used other logical devices which were types of arguments to get the hearer to see how unthinkable a man-made belief was when taken to its logical conclusion. For example, Satan casting out demons would mean that Satan's kingdom is divided amongst itself.
Fourth, Jesus used repetition to solidify His message in the mind of those who heard it. For example, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus' use of "Blessed is he who" helped people to remember the words that came next. Fifth, Jesus used many illustrations to paint a picture of His meanings so that people could remember what He said long after He had left their town. For example, He is the Lamb and we are the sheep; He is the seed, we are the soil. Sixth, Jesus used many poetic forms, using different types of parallelisms to get His point across to the masses. For example, light as opposed to darkness, or sheep as opposed to goats. Seventh, Jesus used illustrations from the Old Testament when He was speaking to those He knew had knowledge of the law and of the prophets. For example, Jesus would speak of Solomon or Lot's wife turning to salt because she looked back on what she had instead of the future that was ahead of her to show that the Old Testament was still relevant in that time.
Finally, we come to Jesus' most prolific method to teach: the parable. Jesus used this method because it was the easiest way for people to remember what He taught long after they had left His presence. Jesus knew that there would be those who still wouldn't get His meaning, which is why He usually said "Let those who have ears hear, let those who have eyes see" after each parable to make the people think harder about what He had just said. Those that walked away with an understanding of the parable walked away knowing that they had witnessed great teaching, such as they had never heard from any other prophet before Jesus' time. For example, Jesus spoke of the woman who wore down the judge with her constant visitations until he did her bidding to show that they may pray to God with confidence, and that He will hear and answer their prayers in due time. The parable of the talents was to show that those who use the gifts that God had given them would be, not only rewarded, but also increased in power; but if they did not use these gifts then God would take them from them and give them to someone else who would use them to the glory of God.
In all of these above methods, the greatest attribute that Jesus exemplified was the authority He had from God to proclaim all that He did. When He spoke, people not only listened, but also responded in faith, as in the case of Nicodemus and the twelve disciples, all of whom doubted who Jesus was at first, but then saw the truth in not only Jesus' words, but in Jesus Himself. Jesus gave us great examples in how to teach those around us by showing us many different ways to reach different people. If we use them properly, the Kingdom of God will continue to subdue the earth and its population of citizens would increase all to the glory of God.
Guthrie D. (1970). A shorter life of christ. Grand Rapids, MI: Academie Books.
Bobby Bruno was saved 15 years ago in a way that left him no doubt that Jesus wanted him to reach others with His great and abounding love. He started writing at the age of 12 and hasn't stopped since. He achieved Associates Degree in Biblical Studies from Ohio Christian University in early 2014.
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