Teaching Like Jesus, Part Three

JESUS TAUGHT TO DEVELOP CHARACTER

                        As is a consequence of Jesus’ purpose to develop character as a result of His teaching content; He therefore taught in a manner in keeping with His purpose.  It all added up and fit together as a seamless whole.

                        Jesus, as we have observed, was not interested in simply teaching to impart factual understanding.  Yes, He did indeed teach facts and knew their indispensible value.  He did, however, see facts or truths as a means to a larger, more fundamentally significant, goal.  He wanted receptive hearts to be transformed by His words.  He wanted people who would enthusiastically latch on to the values that characterize God.  He wanted people who would in their eager reception of the truth be dramatically changed from within.  We have no right to aspire to anything short of His lofty purpose.

                        Perhaps this is a good place to pause a moment and observe how the New Testament consistently encourages Jesus’ emphasis on character development.  Consider the implications of the following verses as they relate to the development of Christ-like character:

            1.         John 1:1, 14, 18

            2.         John 14:7-9

            3.         Matthew 11:27-30

            4.  Romans 8:9, 29

            5.  I Corinthians 2:10-16

            6.  II Corinthians 3:18

            7.  Galatians 2:20; 4:19

            8.  Ephesians 3:16-17; 4:11-16

            9.  Philippians 2:5

            10.  Colossians 1:24-29

            11.  I Thessalonians 3:11-13

            12.  II Thessalonians 3:3-5

            13.  I Timothy 1:5; 3:2a

            14.  II Timothy 2:15

            15.  Titus 3:5

            16.  Philemon 4-5

            17.  Hebrews 5:13 – 6:1a

            18.  James 2:14; 3:13-18

            19. I Peter 2:1-3; 3:15

            20.  II Peter 1:2-9

            21.  I John 3:3, 7, 10

            22.  II John 1-3

            23.  III John 11

            24.  Jude 20-21

            25.  Revelations 2:4-5

                        It is not that we are unaware of the existence of the passages listed above. Our problem is we sometimes do not give them their due weight.  In our teaching, we are not always practically focused on the content of our instruction. Everything we teach should relate to God’s overarching purpose of Christ-likeness.

                        In saying Christians have not always been as focused as we should be; I do not mean we have not taught meaningful truths – we certainly have!  What I mean, brothers and sisters, is we aren’t always as plugged into God’s overriding purpose for Christianity as we should be. Therefore, we are not always as purposeful in our content.  What and how we teach may not, consequently, always be expected to result in Christ-like character development.

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