Study Five - Jesus the Teacher
New Testament - The Gospels

Though we are able to discern order and disorder in our world, to calculate cause and effect, to seek probe, analyze, and discover, we are little able to discover much of anything about the nature, purpose, and will of the Creator who has fashioned the world. This we cannot do, unless God reveals such knowledge to us. The thrilling claim of the Bible is that God has done just that!
  • Christ Unveils the Hidden and Makes Known the Unknown - It is the contention of the Scriptures that when we have seen Jesus, we have seen the Father. When we listen to the words of the Redeemer, we are confronted with the mind, heart, and thought of the eternal Deity. No wonder then that the words of Jesus had the ring of authenticity and authority upon them.
  • The Creator Is Sovereign of Heaven and Earth - God claims sovereignty over two kingdoms, Heaven and Earth. Mortals are meant to live under his rule in both domains. The Lord's prayer confirms it. "On Earth as it is in Heaven." We are not to put off obedience to God until some veiled moment in the future. We are called to server God now in this historical moment and in this vineyard. This is God's world and while we pass through one of his domains on the way to another, we are called to bear the standards of the King every step of the way.
  • Jesus Revealed God's Will and Purpose - Summarized in one brief statement:
      It was, is, and always shall be the will and purpose of God to bring his estranged children back into his waiting arms that they might live with him in eternity.
    This is the reason Christ came, the task he devoted himself to, the cause for which Christ died.
  • Jesus Revealed the Nature of God - Jesus revealed God's nature by the very manner in which he reacted to specific incidents. When Jesus saw a leper, he was moved with pity. When he saw people like sheep without a shepherd, he had compassion on them. When people hungered, he fed them. When Jesus saw people burdened by sin, he forgave them. When he was confronted with bigotry, hypocrisy, and the blatant misuse of good things, he was filled with anger and righteous indignation. What Jesus did not teach by attitude and act, he taught by word, by illustration, by epigram, by paradox, and by parable.
  • Jesus Revealed the Nature and Purpose of Man - We wonder if the distance we walk between birth and grave is ordained for a higher meaning than we have given it. Is the tenure of time afforded us meant to have purpose? Who are we? What are we meant to be? Behold the man Jesus and see a living, breathing demonstration of a man as God designed him to be. By word, by attitude, and by deed, Jesus declared that a rich life, full of meaning and purpose, belong to men and women by divine decree.
  • The Full Life Assumes God-Relatedness - Satan inferred that a gratification of the flesh and a concentration upon material things are the avenues which lead to happiness. Use God for your own ends and put your own wishes first. But Christ said that is peril. Love the Lord with all your heart. Hunger and thirst for righteousness. Choose the good portion and spend time listening to the Master's voice.
  • Be God-Related - Hear the word and keep it. Give God a return on the investment which he has put in you. Abandon the maze of false values which masquerade for life. Then to add weight and meaning to all that Jesus taught, he lived the truths which he proclaimed.
  • Jesus Identified the Adversaries That Threaten the Relationship - Christ was a realist. He encouraged mortals to seek a power from outside themselves to offset the weakness of the flesh. He warned against an unhealthy preoccupation with things of this world and declared that a total emphasis upon "this life" would issue in death. He called for the eviction of unholy thoughts and attitudes which reside in the heart lest they destroy the whole person. Jesus said that people must decide whom they want to serve - the devil, the flesh, the world, or God and then must live with either the curse of the wrong choice or the blessings of the right one.
  • Jesus Announced the Divine Responsibilities Characteristic of a Right Relationship - God's people are called to shoulder unique responsibilities:
    • The savior cautioned against doing the right thing for the wrong reason.
    • Do not love just to be loved. Invest blessings in others even if there is no return on the investment. Mount outlook towers, not to look for blessings, but to search for opportunities to be a blessing.
    • Have a tolerant and forgiving spirit in the face of human weaknesses. If your brother sins against you seven times in one day, and turns to you seven times, and says, "I repent", you must forgive him.
    • Have a willing to put God's will before self-will, to take up a cross, to play the role of servant, to bring the message of the savior to every last nook and corner of God's world, that all might be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.
  • Jesus Declared the Promises, Powers, and Blessings That Are Inherited by the God-Related - Those who walk with God shall know and experience the presence of the Holy Spirit who counsels, comforts, teaches, and empowers; a power over Satan; the forgiveness of sins; a victory over death; and the promise of eternal life. Shall we wait for a sign, that all these things are true? Shall we shout at God to prove it? No. The teacher himself said on countless occasions that the good gifts from God are appropriated by Faith. God has made his promises, has ratified them in the blood of Jesus, and has empowered all to believe the promises through the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Lesson 5 and its symbolism:
  1. Lighted Lamp - As a teacher, Jesus of Nazareth casts heaven's light upon the major issues that concern both living and dying.
  2. Parted curtains - He unveils the hidden and makes known the unknown.
  3. Great crown over world - He declares the Creator to be the Sovereign of heaven and earth.
  4. First diamond in crown - He proclaims the will and purpose of God.
  5. Second diamond in crown - He reveals the nature of God.
  6. Small crown near end of staff - He reveals the true nature and purpose of man.
  7. Beams from crown bathe kneeling figure in light - He heralds the theme that mortals must be God-related if they are to lay claim to the abundant life.
  8. Discarded masks - He prevails upon all to abandon the maze of false values which masquerade for life.
  9. Storm clouds - He identifies the adversaries that threaten the vital relationship between humankind and its Maker.
  10. Towel and basin - He announces the divine responsibilities characteristic of a right relationship between Creator and creature.
  11. Flower bed - He declares the promises, powers, and blessings that are inherited by the God-related.
  12. Diamond and key - He asserts that the divine treasures awaiting us are appropriated by faith.