Growing up, we all had them. Some were better than others. A couple probably terrified us. And a few maybe perhaps even had a profound and powerful influence on our lives. I am talking about teachers.
Simply put, a teacher is a person who imparts knowledge or a skill set onto others. And if we stop to think about it, there are all different kinds of teachers. Not only are there grade school teachers, but there is also your kid’s piano teacher, your older friend who gives you advice based off of his 50 years of marriage, the political talk show host who tells you who is a detriment to society, and don’t forget about your yoga instructor. We all have teachers in our lives and these individuals, in one way or another, are passing along information or an ability onto us.
Mark 1:21 reports how Jesus, while in Capernaum on the Sabbath, “entered the synagogue and was teaching.” This verse simply portrays Jesus as a teacher. A quick survey of the Gospels depicts Jesus teaching on numerous occasions and in various environments; for instance, Jesus taught on a mountain (Matt. 5:2), on a boat (Mark 4:1-2), in a friend’s home (Luke 10:38-39), and in the Jerusalem Temple (John 7:28). It is apparent that Jesus loved to teach and took any and every opportunity to impart Truth onto others.
The readers of Mark’s Gospel are not told what Jesus specifically taught in the synagogue, but verse 21 does states that his listeners were “astonished” by his teaching. In the Greek, this term literally means, “to strike out, expel by a blow, drive out or away.” Those Jewish worshippers were rocked to their very core by whatever it was that Jesus said on that day. And specifically, the text states that what caught their attention the most was the “authority” with which Jesus taught (v. 21). They had never heard anyone before teach with such conviction and power. Jesus’ teaching proved to be second to none.
Jesus is not just a teacher among teachers, but the Teacher of teachers. His words carried some serious weight. In speaking with his students, Jesus declares in John 14:10b, “The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his work.” The authority associated with Jesus’ teaching emanated from the One True God. Through his teaching, Jesus was revealing Divine Truth and exposing others to the transformative power of God’s Word.
Jesus’s teaching is eye-opening and life-changing. His words are “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). As an individual becomes Jesus’ student that person’s world is rocked by the Truth. And through his teaching, a renewed perspective on life is passed along and instilled.
All of us are students. We are all learning something from someone. Who is teaching you? Jesus desires to be our teacher. He desires to teach us the Truth, the way to live our lives, and who God is. Will you learn from him? Are you willing to be Jesus’ student? If so, then you need to pick up the Scriptures, hear his words, and prepare to be truly astonished!