master teacher

At least four times over the years I’ve had the chance to lead a session at the Georgia Independent School Association annual conference. This past week my topic was Jesus the Master Teacher.

Having just witnessed twenty-five teachers being honored as ‘master teachers’ in the opening main assembly, I asked the group to name some characteristics of a ‘master teacher.’ After writing suggestions on the white board, I asked if Jesus demonstrated these qualities while He was on earth.

We had a great discussion. Every time I’ve led such a group, I am encouraged by how many teachers look to Jesus for wisdom and example. I asked participants to write on a card why they signed up for my session. One said she wanted “to better incorporate the love and knowledge of Christ within my classroom.”

Another wrote, “As a Christian teacher in a secular setting, I want to find more ways for Him to shine through me.” A coach replied, “Anytime I can discuss Jesus with someone, it is a great day!”

Here are the results of our discussion during the session. Of course this list is not exhaustive, but it is a good reminder.


  • Jesus was knowledgeable – He must have studied from youth as He often quoted Scripture; He taught about the Kingdom of God; He knew His Father and wanted others to know Him
  • Jesus was a good communicator – whether large crowds or His 12 apostles or one-on-one, He communicated His message with authority
  • Jesus was empathetic – He met people where they were; He was full of compassion
  • Jesus was willing to learn – He often asked questions, sometimes already knowing the answer, sometimes seeking to understand; He was humble
  • Jesus was flexible – Jesus interacted with individuals in ways that were needed; He answered His critics with wisdom; He was discerning
  • Jesus was relational – He came to restore relationship between man and God; He gladly visited homes of ‘sinners’ and ‘religious’, He called His disciples ‘friends’
  • Jesus was protective – He loved purely; He welcomed children and warned those who harmed ‘little ones’; He is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep
  • Jesus was engaging – He challenged people to believe; He praised faith; He used stories and other methods to cause people to think; He spoke truth in love even though He knew it would lead to His death

“When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at His teaching, because He taught as One who had authority, and not as the teachers of the law.” Matthew 7:28-29

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