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lesson 4


The Teachings of Jesus


                It is not easy to present the teachings of Jesus in a systematic way because He presented them in so many different situations and never in the form of a tract of basic teachings.  Therefore, when speaking of his "Method", we should not think of a rigid system but rather something full of spontaneity and freedom.  At the same time it is very important to emphasize that Jesus is much more than his teachings.  That is: "It is not the teachings of Jesus that saves us, but rather the Christ that they teach about who saves us."



I.      The Method of Jesus

              A.  Verbal; full of humor, exaggeration, and contrasts – Matthew 5:29-30; 7:3-5; Mark 10:25

              B.  He illustrated His teachings by relating them intimately to real life – Matthew 18:1-5; Mark 12:41-44; Luke 8:4-15

              C.  When He needed to debate a point, He based his arguments on the scriptures not on philosophy – Matthew 22:23-45;

                    Luke 6:1-5.  He also used the Old Testament in many other aspects of His teaching – Matthew 5:17-48; 12:40-42

              D.  He used questions and answers; forcing His hearers to think for themselves- Matthew 13:10-17; 16:26

              E.   He frequently repeated his teachings – Matthew 5:11-12 and Luke 6:27-28; Matthew 5:43-48 and Luke 6:32-35;

                    Mark 8:31; 9:31; and 10:33-34

              F.   He often spoke in parables – note the details that follow in the lesson.


II.    Some characteristics of Jesus and His teachings

              A.  He and His teachings were full of authority – Matthew 5:22,28,32, 39 and 44

              B.  He practiced what He preached – in this way He taught not only with His words, but also with a life that supported

                    His message.  For example:  The importance of prayer; service

              C.  He truly loved His disciples that He taught – John 15:12-17


III.   The Content.  (Main Points of His Teaching.)

              A.  His message was organized around Himself:  His position as Son Of God and Our Savior.

              B.  The Kingdom of God – This idea is central to Jesus' teaching.  The basic idea is the rule of God.

                          1.   Prophesied – Daniel 2:44 – the kingdom would be eternal

                          2.   Preached – In many texts, for example: Matthew 4:17; 6:33; 25:34; Mark 9:1; Luke 9:11

                          3.   Realized – On the day of Pentecost – Acts 2; Remember that Jesus said the kingdom would come with power

                                (Mark 9:1), which is what happened on the day of Pentecost.  Jesus made both Lord (King) and Christ after his

                                resurrection and ascension – Acts 2:36.  Note that before Pentecost the kingdom was referred to only in a future

                                sense (for example: Matthew 3:1-2; Mark 9:1), but afterward was spoken of as a present reality: Col. 1:13; Rev. 1:9

                          4.   The kingdom of God as the church – Most of the references to the kingdom in both the gospels and other portions of

                                the N.T. can be most easily understood as referring to the church established on the day of Pentecost or more

                                specifically God's rule within his church or kingdom.

                          5.   The Kingdom of God as a future reality – in addition to the many references to the kingdom as the church, there are

                                also some that link the kingdom of God with the "age to come" (see Mark 10:30) at which time God's rule will be

                                complete. Jesus taught extensively about this aspect of the kingdom as well – Matthew 7:21-21; 8:11; 25:31-46;

                                Mark 9:47; 10:23-25

              C.  The Future

                          1.  Final judgment – Matthew 25:31-34

                          2.   The second coming of Jesus – Luke 17:24; 26-35; Matthew 24:37-44

              D.  Parables

                          1.   What is a parable?

                                      i.      It is earthly story to illustrate a heavenly truth; a human tale to illustrate a divine truth; a material

                                              illustration about daily life to explain the spiritual; for example: Matthew 13:3

                                      ii.     Many times a parable's message was clear and easy for Jesus' hearers to understand without any further

                                              explanation – Luke 7:40-50

                                      iii.    Rather than explaining a truth directly to a person, a parable helped tem to discover the truth for


                                                  a.   How to study the parables

                                      iv.   Look for the main point or teaching of the parable – generally Jesus spoke a parable to teach only on

                                              spiritual truth.  It is very dangerous to force a message from every detail in a parable.  The details form a

                                              necessary adornment of the story in order that the principal teaching may be understood. If there should be a

                                              secondary point, it will only help to understand the main point and should not stand on its own.

                                      v.    Suggestions for interpreting parables

                                                  1.   Look for the main point (teaching).

                                                  2.   Pay attention to the introduction and the application if they are given.

                                                  3.   Make a natural and easy interpretation rather than a forced one.

                                                  4.   Try to understand (interpret) the unknown by that which is known (understood).

                                                  5.   Be careful that your interpretation does not conflict with other biblical teachings.

                                                  6.   Take into account the occasion and context in which the parable was given.


                                                                                The Parables



Kingdom of God

Service and Obedience


One’s Neighbor




Mt. 13:3-8

Mk. 4:4-8

Lk. 8:5-8


Mt.  20:1-16



Lk. 11:5-8

Good Samaritan

Lk. 10:30-37

Wedding Feast

Lk. 14:7-11

Rich Fool

Lk. 12:16-21


Mt. 13:24-30


Mt. 25:14-30


Lk. 18:1-8


Pharisee and the Tax Collector

Lk. 18:9-14

Great Banquet

Lk. 14:16-24

Mustard Seed

Mt. 13:31-32

Mk. 4:30-32

Lk. 13:18-19

Workers and Wages

Lk. 19:11-27




Shrewd Manager

Lk. 16:1-9


Mt. 13:33

Lk. 13:20-21


Lk. 17:7-10






Mt. 13:44







Mt. 13:45-46







Mt. 13:47-50







Mk. 4:26-29










                                                                        The Parables                                                                                               

                                                           Parables That Teach About God


About the Love of God

Gratitude for Forgiveness

The Lost Sheep

Mt. 18:12-14; Lk. 15:3-7

The Forgiven Depts.

Lk. 7:41-43

The Lost Coin

Lk. 15:8-10


The Prodigal Son

Lk. 15:11-32




                                                           Parables of Judgment and the Future


About the Return of the Lord

About What God Values

The Ten Virgins Mt. 25:1-13

The Two Sons Mt. 21:28-32

The Faithful Servant and the Wicked Servant

Mt. 24:45-51; Lk. 12:42-48

The Tenants

Mt. 21:33-34; Mk. 12:1-12; Lk. 20:9:16

The Homeowner That Travels

Mk. 13:34-37

The Barren Fig Tree

Lk. 13:6-9


The Wedding Feast

Mt. 22:1-14


The Unmerciful Servant

Mt. 18:23-35



Lesson 4  Questions

The Teachings of Jesus



1.     True or False


              a.______The teachings of Jesus are more important than who he was.


              b.______Jesus used many questions (and answers) when he taught


              c______Jesus had so much to teach about that he almost never repeated a teaching.


              d.______Jesus used many illustrations related to daily life in his teachings.


              e.______Jesus taught in a humorless way, almost never exaggerating.


              f.______Jesus was so good at debate that he never used the scriptures when arguing a point.


              g.______Jesus used many parables in his teachings.


2.     What are three (3) characteristics of Jesus and his teachings?


3.     When Jesus taught about the future, what two themes did he talk about?


4.     What is a parable?  Give a definition.


5.     T F The kingdom of God became a reality on the earth on the first day of Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus.


6.     T F The kingdom of God in the teachings of Jesus usually referred to the church.


7.     T F There is an aspect of the kingdom of God, which is future (in the age to come), when God's rule over the world will be


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