Christ As Teacher -- By: Gary L. Cate

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 10:4 (Winter 1967)
Article: Christ As Teacher
Author: Gary L. Cate

Christ As Teacher

Gary L. Cate

Jesus Christ has been called the greatest teacher who ever lived and has been exalted as the perfect example of what a Christian educator should be.

In 1884, John Milton Gregory, a Baptist minister who was to be the organizer of the University of Illinois, published The Seven Laws of Teaching. This book was considered for years a classic in the field of education. Gregory set as the goal of true education both the acquisition of knowledge and the development of the powers of the individual. To achieve this goal, Gregory lists seven factors which should be involved in the true teaching process.

The seven laws are demanding upon both the teacher and pupil. How does Jesus Christ meet the challenge of the requirements of a true teacher? Recognizing that Jesus was the God-man, this survey is a study of Christ as a man in the position of a teacher.

I. The Law Of The Teacher.

“The true teacher is richly laden with the lesson he desires to communicate, inspired and inspiring by the clear vision he has caught of the truth.” Jesus received much of His education at home, as was the Jewish practice. It was His custom to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath (Luke 4:16). The Lord was so familiar with every part of the Old Testament that it fell from His lips as naturally as His speech. Jesus built His teaching on the Scriptures and commended the Jews for reading them, for they “bear witness of Me.”

The methods of teaching current in Jesus’ time were highly formal and scholastic. The study of the Rabbis and scribes centered about the Mosaic Law. An emphasis upon the letter of the law resulted in a fantastic system of allegorical interpretation. There

was an increasing disregard of originality, the fundamental elements of morality, and, above all, the abiding presence of God. Jesus’ voice was like a fountain in the desert. Jesus’ method was perfectly informal and natural. His naturalness is reflected in such phrases as, “And when He sat down, His disciples came unto Him, and He opened His mouth and taught them”; “And he answered them saying.” His method was strikingly simple, spontaneous and free.

Matthew 7:28, 29 records the astonishment of the people because the Nazarene taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes, who merely rehearsed the sayings of others. His certitude was not derived from others; it was His own. “Verily, verily, I say unto you,” and, “But I say unto you,” trumpeted forth His authority....

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