1. JESUS’ EARLY LIFE
a. How does the Bible describe Jesus’ early life? Luke 2:40, 52.
“He who came from heaven to be our example and teacher spent thirty years as a member of the household at Nazareth. Concerning these years the Bible record is very brief. No mighty miracles attracted the attention of the multitude. No eager throngs followed His steps or listened to His words. Yet during all these years He was fulfilling His divine mission. He lived as one of us, sharing the home life, submitting to its discipline, performing its duties, bearing its burdens.”—The Ministry of Healing, p. 349.
b. How is Jesus’ humble reputation as a carpenter an example to every young person? Matthew 13:54–56.
“It is in His home life that [Jesus] is the pattern for all children and youth. The Saviour condescended to poverty, that He might teach how closely we in a humble lot may walk with God. He lived to please, honor, and glorify His Father in the common things of life. His work began in consecrating the lowly trade of the craftsmen who toil for their daily bread.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 74.
2. THE EDUCATION OF JESUS AND JOHN THE BAPTIST
a. What was meant in the question asked about Jesus’ education? John 7:15.
“The question asked during the Saviour’s ministry, ‘How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?’ does not indicate that Jesus was unable to read, but merely that He had not received a rabbinical education. John 7:15. Since He gained knowledge as we may do, His intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures shows how diligently His early years were given to the study of God’s word.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 70.
“His education was gained from Heaven-appointed sources, from useful work, from the study of the Scriptures, from nature, and from the experiences of life—God’s lesson books, full of instruction to all who bring to them the willing hand, the seeing eye, and the understanding heart.”—The Ministry of Healing, p. 400.
b. Why did Jesus and John the Baptist not attend the schools of their day? Matthew 15:9.
“Our Saviour did not encourage any to attend the rabbinical schools of His day for the reason that their minds would be corrupted with the continually repeated, ‘They say,’ or, ‘It has been said.’ Why, then, should we accept the unstable words of men as exalted wisdom, when a greater, a certain wisdom is at our command?”—Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 310.
“No one was regarded as qualified to be a religious teacher unless he had studied in the rabbinical schools, and both Jesus and John the Baptist had been represented as ignorant because they had not received this training.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 453.
c. What example did John give in his preaching and lifestyle? Matthew 3:1–4.
“It was [John’s] choice to forgo the enjoyments and luxuries of life for the stern discipline of the wilderness. Here his surroundings were favorable to habits of simplicity and self-denial. Uninterrupted by the clamor of the world, he could here study the lessons of nature, of revelation, and of Providence.”—Ibid., p. 101.
3. THE MASTER TEACHER
a. What was the result of Jesus’ great Sermon on the Mount? Matthew 7:28, 29.
“Jesus had nothing to do with the various subjects of dissension among the Jews. It was His work to present the truth. His words shed a flood of light upon the teachings of patriarchs and prophets, and the Scriptures came to men as a new revelation. Never before had His hearers perceived such a depth of meaning in the word of God.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 253.
“Christ sought to remove that which obscured the truth. The veil that sin has cast over the face of nature, He came to draw aside, bringing to view the spiritual glory that all things were created to reflect.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 18, 19.
b. What effect did Jesus’ method of education have on the disciples? Acts 4:13.
“For three years and a half the disciples were under the instruction of the greatest Teacher the world has ever known. By personal contact and association, Christ trained them for His service. Day by day they walked and talked with Him, hearing His words of cheer to the weary and heavy-laden, and seeing the manifestation of His power in behalf of the sick and the afflicted. Sometimes He taught them, sitting among them on the mountainside; sometimes beside the sea or walking by the way, He revealed the mysteries of the kingdom of God. Wherever hearts were open to receive the divine message, He unfolded the truths of the way of salvation. He did not command the disciples to do this or that, but said, ‘Follow Me.’ On His journeys through country and cities, He took them with Him, that they might see how He taught the people. . . . They saw Him in every phase of life.”—The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 17, 18.
“When He sent forth the Twelve and afterward the Seventy, to proclaim the kingdom of God, He was teaching them their duty to impart to others what He had made known to them. In all His work He was training them for individual labor, to be extended as their numbers increased, and eventually to reach to the uttermost parts of the earth.”—Ibid., p. 32.
4. JESUS’ METHODS OF TEACHING
a. Where did Jesus often teach His hearers? Matthew 5:1, 2. How did He make use of surroundings and familiar things?
“Jesus sought an avenue to every heart. By using a variety of illustrations, He not only presented truth in its different phases, but appealed to the different hearers. Their interest was aroused by figures drawn from the surroundings of their daily life. . . .
“Divine wisdom, infinite grace, were made plain by the things of God’s creation. Through nature and the experiences of life, men were taught of God.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 21, 22.
“As Jesus taught the people, He made His lessons interesting and held the attention of His hearers by frequent illustrations from the scenes of nature about them.”—Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 38.
“When the Lord was training Israel to be the special representatives of Himself, He gave them homes among the hills and valleys. In their home life and their religious service they were brought in constant contact with nature and with the word of God. So Christ taught His disciples by the lake, on the mountainside, in the fields and groves, where they could look upon the things of nature by which He illustrated His teachings. And as they learned of Christ, they put their knowledge to use by cooperating with Him in His work.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 24.
b. What special teaching technique did Jesus often use? Matthew 13:34, 35.
“In Christ’s parable teaching the same principle is seen as in His own mission to the world. That we might become acquainted with His divine character and life, Christ took our nature and dwelt among us. Divinity was revealed in humanity; the invisible glory in the visible human form. Men could learn of the unknown through the known; heavenly things were revealed through the earthly; God was made manifest in the likeness of men. So it was in Christ’s teaching: the unknown was illustrated by the known; divine truths by earthly things with which the people were most familiar. . . .
“Natural things were the medium for the spiritual; the things of nature and the life-experience of His hearers were connected with the truths of the written word.”—Ibid., p. 17.
5. JESUS’ USE OF THE SCRIPTURES
a. How did Jesus choose to enlighten the two disciples on the road to Emmaus? Luke 24:25–27.
“Beginning at Moses, the very Alpha of Bible history, Christ expounded in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Had He first made Himself known to them, their hearts would have been satisfied. In the fullness of their joy they would have hungered for nothing more. But it was necessary for them to understand the witness borne to Him by the types and prophecies of the Old Testament. Upon these their faith must be established. Christ performed no miracle to convince them, but it was His first work to explain the Scriptures. They had looked upon His death as the destruction of all their hopes. Now He showed from the prophets that this was the very strongest evidence for their faith.”—The Desire of Ages, pp. 796–799.
b. How did Jesus constantly direct attention back to the Scriptures? John 5:39; 17:17; Luke 16:31.
“Christ’s work as a teacher of truth was in marked contrast to that of the rabbis of His time. They dwelt upon traditions, upon human theories and speculations. Often that which man had taught and written about the word, they put in place of the word itself. Their teaching had no power to quicken the soul. The subject of Christ’s teaching and preaching was the word of God. He met questioners with a plain, ‘It is written.’ ‘What saith the Scriptures?’ ‘How readest thou?’”—Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 38, 39.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How did the world’s greatest Teacher spend his early life on earth?
2. Would Jesus or John the Baptist attend the schools of today? Explain.
3. How did Jesus’ teaching differ from the popular teachers of His day?
4. Describe some of Jesus’ methods of teaching and illustrating truth.
5. Why was it vital for Christ to establish the disciples’ faith in God’s Word?