I love these observations that Daniel came up with after reading the book of Mark. I think his last point about Jesus sharing His authority with His disciples is an especially good point to consider. How should Jesus’ example affect our parenting?
I just read the Gospel of Mark. My goal was to note every action of Jesus. During this study, I kept noticing details about how Jesus teaches (for one thing, He teaches a lot!) I hope His example will inspire you. Here are ten “tips” for being a successful teacher:
1. Proclaim the gospel.
The message Jesus taught was the gospel. That gospel is the good news that Jesus has defeated sin and saved us from it. He rules, and He calls us to follow Him. This truth must be the foundation of everything we learn and do. This is the truth that changes lives. (Mark 1:14-15)
2. Use stories and word pictures to illustrate truth.
Jesus often taught with stories and word pictures. This helped His listeners pay attention and remember what He taught. (Mark 4:1-34, 12:1, 13:28-29, 14:22-25)
3. Challenge people to be devoted to God.
A rich young man came to Jesus asking for advice. Jesus loved him and knew what was best for him, so he challenged him to give everything away and follow Him. Jesus asked fishermen and tax collectors to drop their work immediately and follow Him. They did it. We don’t know what happened to the rich man, but we know that God worked in the lives of the disciples, they rose to the challenge, and their lives were changed forever. (Mark 10:17-22, 2:14, 16:15)
4. Communicate clearly, if you want to be understood.
When speaking to His disciples, Jesus made a point of speaking very plainly and communicating thoroughly. He told them what He would do, and what He expected of them. (Mark 4:13-20, 8:32, 10:32-34, 11:1-3, 14:13-15)
5. Speak with authority.
People were astonished at Jesus’ teaching, because He taught with authority. He knew biblical truth, and He pointed people to it. Apparently the scribes did not teach with this kind of authority. (Mark 1:22, 2:2)
6. Encourage righteousness, rebuke wickedness.
Both are important. Jesus encourages those who obey, repent, or answer wisely. He also rebukes those who sin, whether Pharisees or His own disciples. (Mark 8:33, 12:34, 16:14)
7. Lead by example.
Jesus asked twelve men to come with Him. They followed Him constantly, watching everything He did for three years. This is a powerful way to teach. (Mark 1:17, 2:14, 10:42-45)
8. Don’t ignore or belittle those who need you most.
The teachers of the day apparently were not doing a good job teaching those who needed to be taught. The people who needed Jesus most were the tax collectors and the sinners, people the Pharisees despised. Jesus had compassion on the crowd, because He saw that they were like sheep without shepherd. He also let children come to him, even when his disciples thought He was too important for them. (Mark 2:15-17, 6:34, 10:13-16)
9. Find a quiet place to pray.
Jesus was intently focused on His mission. He was teaching almost constantly (sound familiar?). And yet, Mark says that Jesus occasionally went off alone to pray. He went to a “desolate place” or “up on the mountain.” He told his disciples to “remain here” while He went on alone. Jesus even rose up “very early in the morning, while it was still dark,” so He could have this time. (Mark 1:35, 6:46, 14:34-35)
10. Be willing to share your authority in order for others to learn and grow.
Jesus gave authority to His disciples. He gave them a mission to accomplish, even though He could have done it all Himself. He knew they would learn and grow in the process. He counted His own greatness as nothing, and became their servant. (Mark 6:7, 10:45, 16:15-20)