What about a teacher who willingly gave up his life entirely for the good of his students? A few of us may have heard of someone like this, but it’s rare.
Yet there was One who did just that—the best example in all history. He was Jesus Christ—the Son of God, Savior, Prince of Peace, Carpenter, Healer, soon-coming King and … Teacher.
Not only did He offer up His life in the greatest sacrifice, but He was a wonderful and skillful instructor. Jesus used a variety of techniques to reach His students, the disciples.
To illustrate the importance of His main subject, the Kingdom of God, He used stories called parables to reach the hearts and imaginations of His disciples—albeit, they didn’t always catch on right away (see Matthew 13). He also took them on field trips to important locations that would underscore the meaning of His words (Matthew 16, 24; Mark 4-5).
Christ skillfully lectured to large audiences (and performed amazing miracles to heal and feed them, Luke 9:10-17 Luke 9:10-17 10 And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.
11 And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spoke to them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.
12 And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said to him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place.
13 But he said to them, Give you them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.
14 For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company.
15 And they did so, and made them all sit down.
16 Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and broke, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.
17 And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.
American King James Version×), but He could also insightfully counsel on an individual basis (John 4). He even had a sense of humor, using hyperbole and exaggerated imagery to make a point (Matthew 7:1-6 Matthew 7:1-6 1 Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why behold you the mote that is in your brother’s eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye? 4 Or how will you say to your brother, Let me pull out the mote out of your eye; and, behold, a beam is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of your own eye; and then shall you see clearly to cast out the mote out of your brother’s eye. 6 Give not that which is holy to the dogs, neither cast you your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
American King James Version×).
So what does this mean for us as students? It should help us see that both teacher and student must make great effort to achieve great learning! Understanding our instructors—the challenges they face and teaching techniques they employ—helps us receive a better education.