In the Greek society and culture, no profession was more respected than that of the teacher. One who had information that he was able to impart to another was on the highest rung of their social ladder. To speak of one who was a “Master Teacher” was to describe a person who had the capability of skillfully and interestingly imparting knowledge to others. While it may not always have been so, the term implied that this Master Teacher was careful in his way of life, so as not to tarnish the strength and application of those truths entrusted to him as a teacher.
The term “Master Teacher” has correctly been applied to Jesus of Nazareth, who was and is truly the Master Teacher in every area of life. By what reasoning do we describe Him as The Master Teacher?
He Was A Great Teacher
First of all, Jesus was a teacher; the Master of all Master teachers. The Greek text calls Jesus “teacher”45 times in the Gospel accounts. Also, that which Jesus did is called “teaching ‘ 45 times, and those who followed Him were called disciples (learners) 215 times. It is interesting to note that Jesus’ beloved Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) is described as a time when Jesus ‘opened His mouth and taught them” (Matt. 5:2). There is an element of teaching in any effective sermon, but an absence thereof diminishes its effectiveness, and may indicate an improper motive. He was, truly, The Master Teacher.
He Knew The Value of Teaching
Like it or not, Christianity is a taught religion. It does not come upon one without instruction in the Word of God but depends upon the energy, commitment and preparation of a teacher. And Jesus had all of the above qualifications. He taught under a tree, on a mountain, by a river, from a boat on a lake, in the synagogue, and in the streets and in the houses. He did what Ezra and the priests had done 500 years earlier, as recorded in Nehemiah 8:8: Jesus “read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.” Truly, He was and is a Master Teacher.
He Spoke Plainly
We must remember that teaching does not take place until learning takes place and Jesus spoke in such plain terms that no ‘one whose heart was honest could misunderstand. In John 10:24, we read that those who saw and heard Jesus wanted to hear plain language. People today still want to hear plain words. Obscure, ambiguous, convoluted, cryptic and complicated words may sound good in the college classroom and look good in academic papers, but people need to hear the truth, all of the truth, and nothing but the truth. Jesus spoke plainly to Nicodemus concerning his need to be born again, John 3:3-7. The woman of Samaria needed practical truths, not hollow, meaningless words, so He taught her that “God is a Spirit: and they who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). The scribes and Pharisees needed words that were clear and to the point, and Matthew 23:23 records Him as saying, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!’ If you want to be an effective teacher, start now by learning to speak plainly, clearly. Teaching does not begin until learning begins. Don’t forget it.
He Never Avoided Controversy
There may be some who go about looking for trouble, but that was not Jesus’ way. However, controversy followed Jesus in His years of teaching and preaching. It can be an easy maneuver to evade an issue, thereby avoiding controversy but little is accomplished by such cowardice. Jesus was neither cowardly nor contentious, but faced issues with manly courage and wisdom. When confronted with the adulterous woman in John 8, He was thrust into a dilemma, but instead of evading a difficult question, Jesus demanded that their deeds must be in harm my with God ‘s written law. Similarly, when asked about the propriety of paying taxes to Rome, Jesus said they should “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s and unto God the things which be God’s” (Luke 20:25). Jesus did not avoid the difficult questions.
His Material Was Practical
Jesus did not speak that which was merely philosophical, devoid of any practical use. Jesus parables were not used to show off His story-telling ability. His debates did not merely provide a means of boasting for Jesus, but opposition to error. His miracles were not merely an exhibition of magical powers but proved the validity of His words. His logic was utilized because God’s truth is rational and reasonable. And the Bible itself is the most practical book ever written. Jesus demanded something of His hearers (Matt. 7:21). To be Jesus’ disciple demanded total commitment to Him. And it still does even two thousand years later. He still teaches. He is The Master Teacher.