** DISCLAIMER!! I am NOT a Master Teacher, but I do desire to be one some day.**
All quotes (except scripture) come from TEACHING: the heart of God’s redemptive program by Rev. James M. Hatch. I encourage you to read What is Teaching? PART 1 and What Should be Our Teaching Standard? Part 2 first.
If Jesus is to be the standard by which we all teach, then we should probably study how Jesus taught. Throughout scripture we learn that God cares more about who we are, than what we do. What is in our hearts is what is reflected through our actions, words, and thoughts. If a teacher is who he or she ought to be in Christ, then many teaching problems are solved.
I see this exemplified many times in my homeschool, and in the past when I was a classroom teacher. There would be times (and still are) when I would become so frustrated with the students. Either they would misbehave, or not seem to understand a concept I had been teaching over and over again. And once I got myself into a tizzy, I then realized that if I would just change one thing about my delivery of the subject, or my tone of voice, or my proximity in the room, the behavior of the students then changed. I had to change before I could get my students to change.
So how does one become a teacher like Jesus?
1. A Master Teacher realizes that he can do nothing of himself. Jesus, who is the Son of God, said He could do nothing of Himself (John 5:19). In fact, John 8:28 tells us that Jesus stated, “But as the Father taught Me, I speak these things.” Jesus, who is equal to God the Father, purposely places His glory to the side as if He were saying, “In order to show My disciples in all ages how to do everything including teach, I am going to do it the way they must do it. Though I have the ability as God I will not touch that. Not trusting My own ability I will trust the Father to work through Me.” (12)
2. A Master Teacher trusts the Lord with all His heart. “None of us is sufficient to change the life of another in the area of the things of God. Only God can do that.” (12)
3. A Master Teacher prays. I will never be able to pray as Jesus prayed until I come to the realization that I can do absolutely nothing on my own. I trust myself too much. I don’t spend nearly enough time on my knees praying for my children and our homeschool. Jesus would escape to the Mount of Olives and pray. Then early in the morning He would return and teach. The scriptures do no tell us that Jesus read books, except the scriptures. He didn’t scan the internet looking for cool websites and printables. He didn’t check off the scope and sequence. How much time do you spend preparing for a lesson for Sunday school? Bible study? Homeschool? Public school? Co-op? How much of that prep time is prayer? If I am to be a Master Teacher, then I must be “dependent upon the Lord instead of abilities, knowledge, or methods.” I must be a woman of prayer.
4. A Master Teacher teaches with authority. After Jesus finished teaching, the people were amazed and said “He taught them as one having authority, and not as one of the scribes.” (Matthew 7:29) “Here is a man that was absolutely convinced in His own soul that what He was giving was the truth.” (14) Books and commentaries on the Bible are great resources to have and use, but we must have experience with the Holy Spirit and God’s word. Only then can the Truth be “burned into [our] souls” so we can teach with authority and conviction. (14)
5. A Master Teacher exemplifies humility. In one of the greatest object lessons of all time, Jesus took off His cloak, grabbed a wash bowl, and proceeded to wash the feet of humanity. Jesus is the “heir of all things,” yet He washed the dirty, rough feet of men who would one day deny and betray Him.
We who want to teach, who feel the call to teach, in whatever avenue that may be, must be willing to show the Truth of Christ in every aspect of our lives. And when we fail, we must seek forgiveness in humility.
So how did Jesus interact with His pupils?
…To be Continued……………….
Anne Marie is a Bible Teacher and Bible curriculum writer with more than 25 years of experience. She has created Bible lessons and taught children about Jesus at churches, camps, Christian Schools, and conferences. She is the owner of FutureFlyingSaucers Resources where she helps busy parents and church leaders teach fun, flexible, multi-age, budget-friendly bible object lessons that enhance the spiritual growth of children. She lives with her husband and three children in South Carolina.