A Model to Follow Closely
1 Jesus unquestionably was the greatest man who ever lived. He set a perfect example for his disciples. Although we cannot measure up to his standard of perfection, we are urged to “follow his steps closely.” (1 Pet. 2:21) We should desire to be as much like Jesus as possible, zealously sharing the truth with others.
2 Jesus was more than a preacher; he was a superlative teacher. “The crowds were astounded at his way of teaching.” (Matt. 7:28) Why was he so effective? Let us take a close look at his “way of teaching.”
3 How We Can Follow Jesus: Jesus had been taught by his Father. (John 8:28) His motive was to honor Jehovah and glorify His name. (John 17:4, 26) In our preaching and teaching, our motive should also be to honor Jehovah and not to draw attention to ourselves.
4 Everything Jesus taught was based on God’s Word. He continually referred to what was written in the inspired Scriptures. (Matt. 4:4, 7; 19:4; 22:31) We want to direct our listeners to the Bible; thus we let them see that what we preach and teach is based on the highest authority.
5 Jesus used brief, practical, uncomplicated expressions. For example, in explaining how we can gain God’s forgiveness, he encouraged us to be forgiving of others ourselves. (Matt. 6:14, 15) We should try to explain the Kingdom message in simple, down-to-earth terms.
6 Jesus skillfully used illustrations and questions to stimulate the thinking of others. (Matt. 13:34, 35; 22:20-22) Illustrations about common, everyday matters can help people understand complicated Bible doctrines. We should ask questions that encourage our listeners to think about what they hear. Leading questions can help them come to right conclusions.
7 Jesus took time to explain difficult matters to those who asked for more information. Those truly interested, such as his disciples, were able to get the sense of what Jesus taught. (Matt. 13:36) We should likewise be helpful when questions are asked in sincerity. If we do not know the answers, we can research the subject and return with the information at a later time.
8 Jesus used object lessons to teach. An example of this was his washing the feet of his disciples, even though he was their Master. (John 13:2-16) If we show a humble spirit, those being taught will be motivated to apply what they are learning.
9 Jesus appealed to people’s hearts and to their love for righteousness. We want to reach hearts too. We try to appeal to the inborn desire of all mankind to worship a higher personage and to live with others in peace and happiness.
10 During December we can share with others the things we have learned about Jesus by offering the book The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived. Our imitating Jesus’ teaching qualities may motivate sincere ones to listen as we explain what he taught.—Matt. 10:40.