The Life and Teachings of Jesus – Part 16 – The Greatest Teacher That Ever Lived


Christians believe that Jesus as well as being the Messiah the Son of God, Jesus was also the greatest teacher who has ever lived. The greatest spiritual lessons humankind have ever known came from lips of Jesus Christ. He taught us to Love God with all our hearts and all our minds, and to love each other as ourselves.  He also taught us a way we could live life trusting in God for eternal life. The lessons he taught in what people call the sermon of the mount have become the standards underpinning all caring and compassionate societies ever since.

You may recall that prior to this passage, Jesus had sent out his disciples. They had been out on their first mission, and this passage begins by telling us that they had come back together again. Notice, they are now called Apostles, prior to this they were called disciples. The word disciple means student, one who is taught and follows a teacher.

But the word Apostle means one who is sent. In sense they had graduated and now they are out there out in the world applying what they had learnt. But now they are back, and they regather together again

Jesus response to this is to say, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while. They have come together telling Jesus and each other what they have done, and his response is, “you've been busy in your ministry, but now it is time to take a break and reflect In this situation the Apostles had been massively busy with their ministry and now they come to Jesus all excited and he says,  I want you to do he says, is go to a deserted place and rest and reflect. And that’s exactly what they do. (Mark 6: 32). The spiritual lesson for those in any form of ministry is very clear, come aside, and take a break now and then. We all need a break, so we can do a better job, physically and spiritually. There is one other important reason that as Christians we should take a break. We should take a break in order to be Christlike because that is exactly what he did If the Son of God, needed to set himself apart and rest, then we need to do so as well.

Lesson 1, Take time out. However, to spoil that for you let me add the caveat you only qualify to do lesson 1, if you have first been active in doing what is revealed in lessons 2, and 3.

Lesson 2, Teach the sheep;  Jesus and the disciples get in a boat and the crowd see them do this and the word spread, and they think they know where he is going. They didn’t have boats, so they run there around the edge of the lake. Now if the commentators and experts I read about this passage are correct, the place where Jesus and his disciples went to is just over 4 nautical miles by boat, but nearly 10 miles by land.  That’s quite a journey, overland for 10 miles to keep following him and it tells us that when Jesus got there Jesus was “moved with compassion, because they were like sheep without a shepherd”. His response was to teach them. Sheep without a shepherd cannot find direction too pasture, and sheep without a shepherd cannot find nourishment. Furthermore, sheep without a shepherd have no defence against the dangers that threaten them. Have you ever seen somebody, who appears to be a bit of a lost soul? How should you response be to that situation? Jesus response was to show compassion and then His compassion lead him to teach them. If you know the Lord, then you already know enough to help a whole lot of people who don’t know the Lord. Much of what we should teach people is just common sense, but more importantly you will always know more than they do about spiritual things.

In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul said,

Personally, I’ve been completely satisfied with who you are and what you are doing. You seem to me to be well-motivated and well-instructed, quite capable of guiding and advising one another. (Romans 15:14 The Message)

I would like to suggest that as a Christian you are competent to help both one another and any lost sheep you might come across. But you only competent to help if you are first moved by compassion.

There is third lesson in the passage, and that is to always trust the Lord to do these things. (Mark 6: 35-36) Translated into modern lingo the disciples said to the Lord, “look, we all need a break, let the crowd go off and get themselves something to eat”. Jesus’ response to this, now, this is quite startling.  He says to them, “You give them something to eat.”  “you feed them”, He says. Their response, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat”( Mark 6: 37). This figure of 200 denarii, is a lot of money the commentators I read came out with a figure of about a year’s wage. In other words, they are saying, we haven’t got the money to do that. We are later told there are 5,000 men + the woman and children here, so we should not be surprised to see them say, “we can’t afford to do that”.

Jesus prays and then he distributes the food. (Mark 6: 38-42) In that order. The miracle occurs between his hands and theirs. It just keeps coming. He started with just 5 loaves and 2 fish and ending up with 12 baskets full of crumbs left over. The big point here is he ended up with more than they started with, an amazing picture of a Lord who always abundantly supplies.

Three great lessons;

No 1 - Take a break. Maybe that’s the one most of you will remember the most and immediately decide to apply in your life. I have the Pastor’s permission to take a break, yes you do but you also have Jesus’ permission and that’s a whole lot more important.

No 2 - Teach the sheep. We are all qualified to council and help by teaching unbelievers.

No 3 is - Trust the Lord.

The final truth was about Our relationship with the Lord. The middle truth was about our relationship with each other, we love other people best by teaching others important spiritual truths. If you’re so busy doing the first two things, then, and only then, do you qualify to take a break

One final thing. What might it take to get you to learn to do these things and be blessed? There are some people who never stop and are too busy to listen to God and too busy to be blessed, and they never learn. What is it going to take? What is it going to take to get you to take seriously the call to stop and have compassion on other people? What is it going to take to get you stop doing stuff and to focus on sharing with other people? What is it going to take to get you to stop and trust the Lord.