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When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching…

Matthew 7:28

Why it matters: The Sermon on the Mount is one of the New Testament’s most significant leadership lesson plans. Jesus is our great teacher. We are His disciples, learners, and apprentices. When Jesus was speaking to this mass of people, he was reflecting upon the group dynamics.  Jesus shared lessons that could be understood by adults and children alike. Jesus taught with authority.

God’s goal: God’s goal is for us to learn. To do that, we must learn, listen and act on what Jesus teaches us. We are to be disciples, i.e. learners.

The teaching style of Jesus held the attention of those he was speaking to. Matthew wrote,

The teaching style of Jesus drew the attention of massive crowds. His style was also one that showed he had authority.

The common people were astonished. He was not a scribe. He had no religious credentials. Yet he spoke like a king. His sayings were a new Sinai. The scribes quoted authorities; he spoke with authority. They loved tradition, and no rabbi won a hearing unless he could prove that his word was based on past wisdom; so the scribes drew stale water from closed cisterns. But the words of Jesus were like a spring, clear, fresh, with power to slake the soul’s thirst.

(The Interpreter’s Bible, New Testament Articles, Matthew and Mark, page 335)

  • John 1:38 (CSB) — 38 When Jesus turned and noticed them following him, he asked them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
  • Matthew 16:14 (CSB) — 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.
  • Matthew 23:10 (CSB) — 10 You are not to be called instructors either, because you have one Instructor, the Messiah.
  • Matthew 26:25 (CSB) — 25 Judas, his betrayer, replied, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” “You have said it,” he told him.
  • Mark 9:5 (CSB) — 5 Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it’s good for us to be here. Let us set up three shelters: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—
  • Mark 10:51 (CSB) — 51 Then Jesus answered him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Rabboni,” the blind man said to him, “I want to see.”
  • John 13:13 (CSB) — 13 You call me Teacher and Master—and you are speaking rightly, since that is what I am.
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