Jesus, the Great Teacher
JESUS CHRIST lived on earth nearly two thousand years ago. That is a long time in the past. It is long before your grandmother or grandfather were born. And it is long before men had cars or trains or other things of today.
People living back then were blessed to have a very wise man among them. In fact, Jesus was the wisest man ever to walk the earth. He was the best teacher who ever lived. He would explain difficult things in ways that made them easy to understand.
Jesus taught people everywhere he met them. He taught them at the seashore and on boats. He taught them in homes and when traveling on the roadway. Jesus did not have a car, nor did he travel by bus or train. Jesus walked from place to place teaching people.
We learn many things from other persons. But we can learn the most important things from the Great Teacher, Jesus. It is in the Bible that Jesus’ words are found. When we hear those words from the Bible, it is just as if Jesus were talking to us.
Why was Jesus a great teacher? One reason is that Jesus listened. He knew how important it is to listen. But to whom did Jesus listen? Who taught him? Jesus’ father did. And Jesus’ father is God.
Before coming to earth as a man, Jesus had lived in heaven with God. So Jesus was different from other men. For no other man lived in heaven before being born on earth. In heaven Jesus had been a good son who listened to his father. Thus Jesus was able to teach people what he learned from God. By listening to your father and mother you can copy Jesus.
Another reason why Jesus was a great teacher is that he loved people. He wanted to help people to learn about God. Jesus loved grown-ups, but he loved children too. And children liked to be with Jesus because he would talk to them and listen to them.
One day when parents brought their young children to Jesus, Jesus’ friends told them to go away. They thought that Jesus was too busy to speak with children. But Jesus told his disciples that this was not true. He wanted the young children to come to him. Jesus said: ‘Let the young children alone, and do not stop them from coming to me.’ So even though he was a very wise and important man, Jesus took time to teach little children.—Matt. 19:13, 14.
Why did Jesus teach children? One reason is that he wanted to make them happy by teaching them about God. You, too, can make others happy by telling them what you have learned about God.
Once Jesus used a little child to teach his friends an important lesson. Jesus took the little child and stood it in the middle of his disciples, who were his followers. Then Jesus said that these grown men must change their ways and become like this little child.
What did Jesus mean when he said this? How could grown men become like a child? A little child learns that he should respect a grown person. He can learn many things from other persons. So Jesus meant that his disciples should respect him as their Great Teacher. They should think that the teachings of Jesus were more important than their own ideas.—Matt. 18:1-5.
When Jesus taught he made it interesting to the people. He explained things in a simple and clear way. One day when Jesus was on the side of a mountain, many persons came to him. Jesus sat down and gave a talk or sermon to them. It is called the Sermon on the Mount. In this sermon Jesus spoke about the birds and flowers, and he used these to help people understand things about God.
Jesus told the people: ‘Look at the birds in the sky. They do not plant seed. They do not store food in houses. But God in heaven feeds them. Are you not worth more than they are?’
Jesus also said: ‘Take a lesson from the lilies of the field. They grow without working. And look how beautiful they are! Even rich king Solomon was not dressed more beautifully than the lilies of the field. So if God takes care of the flowers that grow, will he not also care for you?’
Thus Jesus taught that one should not worry about where he will get food to eat or clothes to put on. God knows that people need these things. So Jesus said that people should seek first the kingdom of God and do what God says is right. If they do, God will see that they have food to eat and clothing to wear.—Matt. 6:25-33.
When Jesus finished talking, what did the people think? The Bible says that they were amazed at his way of teaching. It was very interesting to listen to Jesus. What he said helped people to do what is right. What a great teacher Jesus is! It is very important that we listen to him today.—Matt. 7:28.
God himself says that we should listen to Jesus. God even spoke from heaven and said so! This happened one day when Jesus took his followers Peter, James and John along with him up into a high mountain.
While up there on the mountain, an amazing thing happened. A bright cloud covered the men, and a voice out of the cloud said: “This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved; listen to him.” (Matt. 17:1-5) That was God’s own voice that came out of heaven! God said that we should listen to his Son’s teaching.
Will you listen to the Great Teacher? You will become happy if you do. There are so many things that the Great Teacher has to tell us. You will enjoy listening to these things written in the Bible. And it will bring you joy to speak about these good things to your friends and to other persons.