There is no power whose attraction is greater than an authoritative word. Of Jesus it was said, “The multitudes were astonished at his teaching; for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes” (Matthew 7:28-29). When we consider the amount of space given in the gospel accounts to the recorded sayings and teachings of our Lord, it makes it imperative that we study the characteristics and scope of His teaching in order to make us more effective teachers.
The authority with which Jesus spoke. In Matthew chapter 7 the Lord’s teaching is contrasted with that of the scribes who basically had no message. They talked about trivialities and never spoke with conviction. Bible teachers today make a mistake when they appeal to man’s opinion and judgment. Authoritative teaching makes an appeal to Scripture (1 Peter 4:11; 1 Corinthians 4:6) and not human opinion. We would do well to follow Micaiah’s decision: “As the Lord liveth, what the Lord saith unto me, that will I speak” (1 Kings 22:14).
The boldness with which Jesus spoke. His contemporaries stated that He spoke openly and none could successfully dispute Him (John 7:26). He boldly exposed the sham of hypocrisy (Matthew 23), corrected religious error (Matthew 22:29), and tenderly pointed out moral deficiencies (John 4:17-18). Christ is the perfect epitome of a man of steel and velvet with the courage and love to be bold, yet winsome. What an attractive quality for all teachers to develop!
The simplicity of Jesus’ teaching. He was profound, yet “the common people heard him gladly” (Matthew 12:36). Frequently He taught by parables, illustrating great and sublime truths with very ordinary things. Is our teaching simple, or is it above the heads of the people?
It is impossible within the scope of this article to consider the substance and scope of our Lord’s teachings, but just think of the variety of themes upon which He spoke with authority. The words of other great teachers have long been forgotten. Christ’s words will abide forever (1 Peter 1:24-25). No doubt our teaching will greatly affect the lives of other if we also teach authoritatively, boldly, and simply.