Jesus is NOT Just a Good Teacher!
Probably the most common view of Jesus is that he was a good teacher. He showed up, had some good ideas, was a spiritual guy, promoted love and acceptance, and was tragically murdered. All in all he was a good person with good morals and good teaching techniques. He got his point across so well that we still quote his ethical code – love your neighbour as yourself – to this very day. But that’s about it. Oh yeah, and we throw in the “don’t judge” line when we are uncomfortable with our own faults. Thanks Jesus for that one!
But that is not the whole picture. Not even close, actually. True, Jesus was a good teacher. He was able to help people learn about God in ways that were amazingly insightful and practically helpful. His sermon on the mount is legendary and guides the morals of millions, perhaps billions, of people. His storytelling (aka “parables”) could drive a point home like nothing else. He was the master teacher like none other.
Yet what really made him such a great teacher was the authority he had. The crowds saw that he taught not like the other spiritual teachers of his day, but spoke as one who had authority (see Matthew 7:29). His teaching with authority seems to mean that he spoke as if what he said was the final say, that no other interpretation or opinion could usurp his.
Why did Jesus teach this way? It clearly comes from what he believed about himself. Jesus claimed to be God, as evidenced, for example, in Mark 2:1-12. There Jesus forgives a man of his sin, something only God can do. So it makes sense then that Jesus would teach with authority. After all, who has more authority than God?
Jesus was not just a good teacher, but he was in fact God in the flesh. And not only this, but his primary purpose was not to give moral instruction – his purpose was to die for sinners. Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). His death was meant to pay the penalty for sinners, so that anyone who trusts in Jesus can be forgiven.
Think of it this way – imagine that God sends out monthly bills, much like the phone company would. Every time a person sins, the bill gets bigger. And this keeps accumulating over months and years and perhaps even decades. You have two options. One is to pay the bill back yourself. The problem with this solution is that it can’t be done. The Bible says in Galatians 3:11 that “it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law”, meaning that no one can pay back God by trying to be a good person and keeping his commands. It just doesn’t add up. It’s impossible. God said so. If you try, you will die with debt still remaining.
So, the only alternative is to have someone else, who can pay back your debt, step forward and generously pay the bill. That is precisely what Jesus did. He lived a sinless life, and then “gave his life as a ransom” for anyone who is willing to believe in him and follow him. So Jesus is NOT just a good teacher…no, he is much more! Jesus is a Saviour. I should say, he is THE Saviour. He saves people from their debt of sin to God, and reconciles them back to God by removing their guilt before him. That’s why Christians believe in Jesus as more than a good teacher. He is a Hero, a Saviour, a Deliverer!
Friend, can I encourage you today to see Jesus as more than a good teacher? See him for who he truly is: God, Saviour, Lord, and Friend. Believe on him today for forgiveness and eternal life with God!