Monday, April 27, 2015

Jesus Christ Our Excellent Teacher

Jesus Christ is both a shocking revolutionary and an uncompromising challenger. He's also an excellent teacher. We see all three of these roles throughout Christ's earthly ministry, perhaps most clearly in the Beatitudes.

Even when he is teaching profound truths, Jesus speaks in a manner that is easy to understand. He sits on the hillside, selecting his words carefully. When we read the Beatitudes we are stunned by the simplicity and depth of what our Lord is saying. He's not trying to be a fancy orator. His is not a carefully crafted speech. He's certainly not standing behind a podium. Rather, Jesus just speaks the simple truth in a way that almost anyone can understand.

As we read Matthew chapter five we may have trouble digesting what Jesus says. This is because his ideas are so vastly different from those of the world. He challenges us where we are by giving us no loopholes or out-clauses. He expects his followers to live in a radically different way.

He's such a good teacher that we have no excuse. Let's be honest: we understand what Christ is teaching in the Beatitudes in particular and the Sermon on the Mount in general. His exquisite teaching assures this. It's the living-it-out part that gives us difficulty.

As we read through the gospel accounts we see a man who reaches people where they are. He speaks to them with an intent of being understood. For example, his discussion with Nicodemus in John three is significantly different from his interaction with the Samaritan woman at the well in John four. Jesus is discussing his good news with both of them, but doing it in differing ways so each will comprehend.

Our Lord is not a God of confusion. He has taught us well. The big question for us is what we will choose to do with his excellent teachings. Will we obey?

1 comment:

Aussie John said...

That first sentence sums it up well!

Very real problem in our neck of the woods is the presuppositions with which most approach Scripture, especially the Sermon on the Mount.