Jesus’ Teachings

Matthew 5:1-2 (NLT) says:

One day as He saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up o the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around Him, and He began to teach them.”

How to Read the Bible - The Parables of Jesus

The Gospel of Matthew - Part 2

What DID He Tell Us?

Do you follow … everything?

Towards the start of His ministry, Jesus sat down to teach His disciples. He started with the Beatitudes, but there was so much more.  

One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down.   His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them.

Matthew 5:1-2 (NLT)

It’s important to know what He taught, because after all we are His disciples, and we are told that His parting command to His disciples was to teach new disciples:

… to obey all the commands I have given you.

Matthew 28:20 (excerpt) (NLT)

Teach who?   These new disciples – us!   Teach us what?   To obey all the commands.   He didn’t say, some of the commands or a few of the commands, or just the most important of the commands, He said, all of the commands.   So, it’s important for us to know all that He taught.

Of course, Jesus taught in such a different way to everyone before Him.   His commands were not shouted out and everyone scrutinised to ensure that they were kept, with everyone being condemned if they were not.   He had a gentler, appealing, and welcoming approach.   When the people heard Him, they just wanted to follow Him; they felt compelled to follow Him; it was a choice that came naturally, effortlessly, intuitively, and obviously.   That is, if the heart and mind are open.   Not so the Pharisees or the other religious leaders of the day, whose hearts were hardened and full of pride and self-importance.

Perhaps that is true of us today too?   We need to ask ourselves often, what the church is for, and what is discipleship about, and why are we stuck behind four walls lamenting the fact that congregations are dwindling?   People were naturally drawn to Jesus and to the disciples once Jesus had left; they wanted to hear Him and what He had to say, and, of course, to see what He would do.

He would perform miraculous healings and He would speak forgiveness, in His gentle, endearing way.   Where are the miracles today?   Where is forgiveness today?   Some churches, sadly, criticise and condemn and treat people like lepers in today’s society.   Perhaps that is why we see so few miracles; perhaps we are so far away from God, that we don’t hear His voice, pray His prayers, or seek to do His will on earth.   Perhaps we are too self-seeking or too worried about how we look or how we will survive to follow His way.  

Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, if any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.

Mark 8:34 (NLT)

Is this why we struggle with miracles and healings today?   Because of our selfish ways?   Because we fail to take up our cross?   Because, when we don’t do those things, we cannot be His follower?

I ask to challenge, not criticise; they are questions that I ask myself often.   When I worry about the next bill that’s due in, or whether I can pay the rent at the end of the month, I ask myself, where is my trust?   Who do I follow: the worries of the world, or the Lord my God, who is also my provider?

And when we do follow Jesus, trust in His provision, or find ourselves on mission in a foreign land or even on our local streets, perhaps we will see miracles and healings with our own eyes.   Let’s pray that we experience all that God has promised us as we follow Jesus.

If we follow Jesus, then we should know all that Jesus taught us.   You will find this, of course, in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.   Here, let’s try to bring much of Jesus’ teachings together.   After looking at the teachings of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, we will look at His teachings as He travelled from town to town, which was often in parables.

What are Parables?

A parable (according to biblestudytools.com) is “a tale about a simple, common subject to illustrate a deeper, valuable moral lesson.”   Parables are simple but, oh, so complex and deep!   They are easy to understand on one level.   They speak of common ideas or stories that people can easily relate to and understand.   However, the deeper moral lessons are often so profound as to be hidden from the understanding of some.

This is the reason why Jesus taught in parables:

To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge.   But to those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.   That is why I use these parables.

Matthew 13:12-13(a) (NLT)

Jesus taught and gave more understanding to those who followed Him; but to those who were against Him, and who followed Him only to catch Him out, He confounded them.   They didn’t really listen to Jesus in the right way – they listened so that they could use what He said against Him in some way.   That was evident by the questioning of the religious leaders of the day, as they questioned Christ’s assertions, teachings, and His methods.   They were of the opinion that He “claimed” to forgive people of their wrongdoings!   He taught that the religious leaders’ should practice what they preached!   He “worked” on the Sabbath, by healing those who were in need.   The religious elite, the leaders of the day, were dismissed and discounted by Christ, and that hurt their pride, and provoked a spiritual confrontation.

If only they could have understood the parables, then perhaps they could have made other choices?   But this was God’s will and God’s way; it was “do as I do,” as well as “do as I say.”   Not so the religious elite; their message was, “do as I say, don’t do as I do,” because they didn’t think those rules applied to them in the same way.   They saw their righteousness as something of their status in the world, and in the church, not in their deeds or anywhere else.   They certainly did not think they needed any righteousness from Christ!   Can you see similarities in the world and in the church today?   Beware the yeast of the Pharisees!

Read the booklet below to read more about the Teachings of Jesus, including …

The Sermon on the Mount and His teaching on:
Salt and light 
The Law 
Anger 
Adultery 
Divorce 
Vows 
Revenge 
Enemies 
Giving to those in need 
Prayer and fasting 
Money and possessions 
Judging others 
Effective prayer 
The Golden Rule 
The narrow gate 
Tree and its fruit 
True disciple 
Serving others (later teaching in Matthew) 
Later teaching in Luke:
Humility 
Temptation, forgiveness, and faith 
The master and his servant 
The Parables:
Parables found in three Gospels
Fasting – three parables in one 
Parable of the sower
The mustard seed
The wicked tenants
The future in a fig tree
Summary of the parables so far
Parables found in two Gospels
Parables found in only one Gospel
His final words:
The wise and foolish bridesmaids 
The three servants and the talents
The sheep and the goats
Parables in John 

To continue reading in the booklet that opens, jump to page 9. See you soon, Be Blessed.

To read more, click the link below to VIEW RESOURCE. This will take you to an online copy of the booklet that corresponds to this section. You can access this free of charge online.

A pdf copy, which you can download to keep and read offline, is available for all those who sign up as Mercy & Mission Mates for a minimum of £4.32 a month, and anyone can buy extra copies from our website or on Amazon Kindle.

External Resources

Other articles from various sources:

The Parables of Jesus

Jesus’ 46 Parables

If you find any resources (or produce any resources) you would like to see here – please let us know.

Ministry Mates

Certificate of Completion

A Certificate of Completion is awarded to those who complete the Discipleship Programme. 

In order to qualify for a certificate, you must answer the questions asked at the end of each module, and send them to us at Misfits Ministries. 

Module 9 Questions

  1. What is a parable?
  2. How many parables of Jesus are there?
  3. Which is your favourite parable?
  4. Why?
  5. Which parable are you least familiar with?
Email your answers to disciple@misfitsministries.co.uk. Thank You, see you soon, God Bless.

Chosen Discipleship Groups – Go Deeper

Additional material and resources are available to those who are running Chosen Discipleship Groups to follow the Discipleship Programme.

You might also consider subscribing to the following reading plan on YouVersion prior to discussing this module:

The Essential 100® Bible Challenge–12–The Teachings Of Jesus | Devotional Reading Plan | YouVersion Bible