Explore Jesus’ Principle of Teaching and How to Apply it for Yourself

As you were taught in school, learning happens when you obtain knowledge about something. Knowledge of a subject brings understanding as you begin to comprehend what it means. As you develop your knowledge and understanding, you can then dive into deeper levels of the topic, and have meaningful conversations about it with others. All of this allows you to take that learned subject and apply it to your life, gaining skill and experience, and therefore effecting change in others around you, and the world.

Comprehending a subject comes in a variety of forms: auditory, visual, kinaesthetic, and reading and/or writing.  Most often, I would say that training in any area is best done when you are using all your senses to experience the situation to the fullest. You can research something all day long, but if you never learn to apply it, then the subject you’re studying will always be in theory to you. Testing either by someone else or yourself putting you into situations that are beyond your perceived abilities causes you to stretch into deeper understanding.

For example, if you hire a personal trainer at the gym, he is not going to keep you in a weight range you find easy to lift. If he did, you would never progress. No, he’s going to make you lift more pounds than you think you’re able. Most likely, you’ll struggle for the first few times of doing it, but you’ll adapt to it after a while. Then, when you’re mostly comfortable, he’ll increase the weight again.

That’s the point of training – always pushing yourself to the next level so you continue to grow. And when you reach any depth of understanding of a subject, you can then turn around and teach someone else what you know.

But you say, “I just started a month ago, so I don’t know enough yet to teach anyone.” Respectfully, I would tell you that you’re wrong. By teaching someone else what you’ve already learned, it will make you research it more which in turn will give you confidence. The greatest student of a subject is the teacher because it forces him/her to study the subject in depth, in order to provide answers to the student’s questions. The teacher won’t have all the answers, but will be able to guide the student better. They both learn and gain from the experience.

Training in exercise, education, in a job, or anything else can be difficult. At times, it has you questioning why you’re doing it in the first place. Why put yourself in a situation that’s going to challenge you? You do it because you know it’ll help you become better at that position and in your overall life. Discipline and hard work pay off every time.

If you’re a Christian/disciple of Jesus, then you are in constant spiritual training until the day you join Christ in heaven. On this earth, you are called to love God, love others, and follow His commands. How do you know His commands? By His textbook, the Bible. By studying it, you can gain knowledge and understanding of His instructions and how He wants you to follow through with them.

God’s word gives you all the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom needed to live for Him. But, like I said earlier, you can study the theories of something your whole life but only know it as just that: theory. However, if you learn to train in it and apply it in your life and with others, to have a relationship with Jesus, then you get to experience the reality of it. And oh, how powerful it is to enjoy the experience of God and His Word at work in your life.

The best example of how to do this is by studying and training under the very life of Jesus Christ. There are three important principles by which He ran His ministry: He taught, He healed, and He rested. Sometimes you can see the clear order of this in Scripture; other times, it is scattered throughout the New Testament in varying degrees.

It’s interesting to think of these three principles in Jesus’ life, but what’s the point in studying these for yourself?

Jesus called you to live in the same manner He did by the help of His Spirit’s guidance. Not everyone has the gift of teaching or healing. Not all know the balance of rest. Regardless, all Christians are called to train by these things.

Following this way of life is also important in order for you to endure as a Christian, and not get worn out serving others by your own understanding and strength. These pieces are essential for you to learn how to live a healthy life with the Lord, and others.

Mark 1 gives a summary of Jesus’ baptism and time of temptation in the wilderness, as well as recruiting the first four disciples. Then it shares the beginning of His ministry.

“They went into Capernaum, and right away he entered the synagogue on the Sabbath and began to teach. They were astonished at his teaching because he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not like the scribes.” Mark 1:21-22

Jesus didn’t waste time touring the city for fun. He knew His time was limited and there was work to be done. Immediately, He began teaching as soon as He entered the synagogue. That is one example of His teaching – imparting knowledge through information.

Another aspect of this teaching principle is by discipleship; modeling the way of another’s life. By Jesus living among His disciples, asking them questions, challenging their understanding of things, counseling them through difficult situations, praying for them, and guiding them, they had a good sense of what Jesus required of them, how to respond in varying situations when He wasn’t with them, and in turn desiring to commit every aspect of their lives in service to Him, even to the point of desperately wanting to become like Him in every way.

There’s just one more element to this teaching principle in a spiritual sense that makes everything permanently transformational. Can you guess what it is? The work of the Holy Spirit within you.

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26

Studying and understanding the Bible is easy in one sense, but eternally complex in another. None of us would be able to comprehend any depth of it if it weren’t for God’s Spirit guiding us. What a gift to know that when you pursue Jesus, you have God Himself living within you, teaching you His truth, and directing your steps.

This is the power within you as a citizen of heaven under the leadership of Jesus Christ, King over heaven and earth. Because Christ reigns over all, He has blessed His people with the gift of Himself. This training you are going through is preparing you for an eternity of spiritual maturity and delight with the King of Kings. So, though the process may seem arduous at times, it will be the most rewarding thing you’ve worked for in all your life.

Next week, we’ll explore the principle of Jesus’ healing and how that translates to you. In the meantime, I leave you with this question: Who are you allowing to teach you, and who are you teaching in return?

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