This is the last of 3 blogs which concentrating on 10 teaching techniques of Jesus. His teaching utilized techniques ranging from objects lessons to question/answer. These techniques allowed him to connect to his followers and address the skeptics. Let’s examine 4 more techniques below…..
Mark 2:25 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him.”
As the disciples of Jesus plucked heads of grain the Pharisees grumbled and steered their agitation towards Jesus asking him, “Why are your disciples doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath. Jesus employs the credibility technique by asking the Pharisees if they have ever read what King David did when he was in need and hungry.
Though the Pharisees base their argument on the Sabbath law, Jesus contends against their restrictive interpretation of the law. Essentially, Jesus indicates the Pharisees have not read the scriptures if their interpretation has led to the Sabbath becoming burdensome.
Jesus uses the credibility of the scriptures and of King David to explain his point. Drawing from the scriptures and the account of King David allowed for Jesus to avoid a broad statement about the Sabbath and secure an accurate description of the actions of his disciples. Credibility is everything if our goal is to persuade our audience to change their understanding and behavior.
Ask Questions Technique
Mark 3:4 And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent.
Jesus leveraged the Sabbath for several teaching moments. On this Sabbath day, Jesus went into the synagogue and while he was there, he healed a man with a withered hand. Jesus deliberately healed the man on the Sabbath when he could have waited for the end of the Sabbath. By performing this miracle and asking rhetorical questions he challenged their legalistic traditions.
His questions served to focus on the big idea of the love of God demonstrated in our love for our neighbor. The way Jesus framed his questions set up the intention of his argument to pull their hearts away from hardening. The Pharisees were watching Jesus to see whether he would heal the man on the Sabbath, they kept their eyes open, but their heart closed.
His questions were never answered by the Pharisees. They would rather guard their traditions than to witness the restoration of man and honestly answer the questions raised by Jesus.
Clear Explanation Technique
Mark 4:13-20 13 And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. 17 And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. 18
And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 20 But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
Jesus employs the clear explanation technique. Jesus explains the kingdom of God by using agricultural word pictures related to his audience. By using this technique, the thrust of his message is unpacked layer by layer. He draws the audience into his explanation of the Kingdom of God through a parable. The parable serves to grab their attention to aid in their understanding of the Kingdom of God.
As the parable plants vivid imagery in the minds of the audience it stirs their interest. Each element of the parable judged the hearts of the audience. So, as Jesus moved through the parable from explanation to illustration, he draws the listener into faithful application. The foundation of his application was set upon one who hears the word of God, accepts it and bear’s fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and hundredfold. This parable along with others helped his audience to understand the Kingdom of God.
Build the Bridge
Mark 4:30-34 30 And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” 33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. 34 He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.
When a preacher uses the build a bridge technique, he is building relational connections. By blending relatable content with his listeners, Jesus can convey the focus of his message. By using parables Jesus was able to constantly build meaningful bridges. His words were strategic and thoughtful, he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God or what parable shall we use for it? Strategically he is searching for the best way to communicate and build a bridge with his audience.
Jesus content is building on the safety of what the audience already knows. Knowing your audience as Jesus does allows for the preacher to adjust the approach of your message so the content is best understood. When Jesus uses the vocabulary of his audience he is intentionally starting from where they are at and taking them on a journey. By understanding the spiritual disposition of his audience, he builds a bridge through the spiritual struggle of his audience, so they know the gravity of the kingdom of God and repent and believe in Jesus Christ.