“Jesus Teachin’”

In the first written of the four gospels, in the fourth chapter & second verse, Mark tells us that Jesus said, “Let those who have ears to hear, hear.” Did you ever think that Jesus might be talking about a different kind of “ears” than the two on each side of your head? Have you considered that Jesus has a very special message for you in any and all of the words in the Bible’s 66 books?

And … have you ever pondered the possibility that Jesus is speaking to you … always? Including right now? That He has a teaching moment customized just for you, right where you are? That He is waiting right now for you to hear Him?

Well, I believe all of this is true!

I believe Jesus teaches us to listen and hear Him through the many stories of the gospels. Each story has a universal and eternal truth in it, and if your ears are properly tuned … you can begin to understand how Jesus brings the words of scripture to life … and not just to life, but to your life in particular. And He is always teaching you!

Think about it: Everywhere he goes, He is teaching. Even at the end, with his greatest lesson of all … the cross. Consider some of Brian McLaren’s different methods Jesus has for teaching.

  • Signs & Wonders: healing blindness = God’s desire to give us eyes to see the world differently; healing paralysis = God empowers people who are weak or trapped; calming a storm = God’s desire to bring peace; casting out unclean spirits = God’s commitment to liberate and free people.
  • Public Lectures: a mass teach-in on a hillside near the sea; a neighborhood jammed into a single house, and spilling out into the yard and street; A weekly synagogue gathering; at the beach, sitting in a boat, with the people on the shore.
  • Surprising, Unplanned, Impromptu Moments: in transit from here to there; at a well along a road; at a dinner party with an uninvited guest; in the public space with critics trying to ambush Him with “Gotcha!” questions.
  • Private Retreats & Field Trips with His Disciples: some of His most important teachings; away from the loud and demanding crowds; personal mentoring from Jesus to those who will carry on His work.
  • Public Demonstrations: leading a protest march into Jerusalem – with a mocking demonstration of a royal entry; denouncing with His own tears the failure of Jerusalem to understand what will bring them peace; an act of civil disobedience on Temple grounds; a demonstration of an alternative economy to the masses, inspired by a young boy’s fish sandwich.
  • Parables: finely crafted works of short fiction; draws the ones who “hear” into deeper thought by engaging their imagination and inviting interpretation; teaches people as “children” who are more attracted to stories than arguments; listeners invited to give matters a second thought … ask questions … seek “meaning.”

I discovered these 6 teaching approaches of Jesus in Brian McLaren’s wonderful stimulating book, “We Make the Road by Walking.” In his book, Brian  develops in greater detail his modes of how Jesus teaches us. It all leads me to conclude … and hope … that Jesus is always teaching me, everywhere I go, at any time – day or night. Don’t you feel that way too? Don’t you hope that’s true?

It’s true: Life is really a classroom, and we are lifelong learners called disciples. And, as we stretch and grow, we build a kingdom of which the world can’t comprehend. Indeed, only those with the ears to hear … hear. I wonder what my next lesson will be about … don’t you?                                                                        

See you at school … Pastor Bob <><