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How Jesus Taught

by David Kantor



  • He received a comprehensive intellectual and spiritual education during his early life
    • He asked questions. His parents answered his constant questions during his childhood -- "he was one continuous question mark." [123:2.3] Later he continued to ask "many embarrassing questions concerning both science and religion . . ." [123:6.6]
    • He established an active prayer life. After his regular prayers he would always have "just a little talk with my Father in heaven." [123:3.6]
    • His home life was structured around an established system of parental involvement in children's education. [123:2.5]
    • He took care of plants, drew maps, studied the stars, and became fluent in three languages. [123:2.7]
    • He was exposed to many truth seekers because his family possessed a rare copy of the scriptures. [123:3.1]
    • He early learned about prudent financial management by administering the funds derived from the sale of doves. [123:4.4] He later took over responsiblity for managing the family's affairs upon the death of Joseph. [126:2.2]
    • He received his moral and spiritual training at home, his theological and intellectual education from the Chazan at the Nazareth synagogue. [123:5.8]
    • He attended to the development of social skills. He spent a lot of time mingling with people and getting to know them. [123:5.6], [129:1.9]
    • He studied mathematics. [123:6.3]
    • He studied music. [123:6.5]
    • He interacted with religious leaders--the scribes and teachers in the temple.[125:4.1 through next three sections]
    • He took advanced courses in reading and was deeply involved in the intellectual and spiritual education of his younger brothers and sisters. [126:1.3], [126:3.3]
    • He developed a variety of vocational skills. [126:1.1]
      • A good summary of the real achievements of his early education may be found at [127:6.12 through the end of the section].

  • He prepared for his public ministry by engaging in personal ministry and travel
    • Tour of the Roman world and his personal ministry to more than 500 individuals. [Paper 130] See also comments about his personal ministry during this trip. [132:4.1 through end of section]
    • Caravan trip to the Caspian region and the Urmia lectures. [134:2.1 through end of section 6]
    • At Antioch, he lived for over two months, "working, observing, studying, visiting, ministering, . . . learning how man lives, how he thinks, feels and reacts to the environment of human existence." [134:7.3]
    • He spent time with God and critically evaluated his situation and opportunities. [134:7.1 through end of section], [134:8.1 through end of section]
    • Review Midwayer's comments about his perfected character, "The Acme of Religious Living." [100:7.1 through end of section]

  • Cosmic background for his career of ministry
    • Review background of his bestowal. [120:1.1 through end of Paper 120]
    • Review the basics of the Nebadon educational system. [37:6.1 through end of section]
    • Review the basic objectives of Jesus' ministry. [140:8.18 through end of section]
    • Review the objectives he had in training his disciples and apostles. [141:7.3 through end of section], also see "Four Months of Training." [137:7.1 through end of section]

  • Specific techniques and approaches used by Jesus
    • Review Jesus' "Instructions for Teachers and Believers" -- "In teaching the gospel of the kingdom you are simply teaching friendship with God." [159:3.1 through end of section]
    • His usual technique of social contact was to draw people out and into talking with him by asking questions. [132:4.2]
    • He used parables constructed around patterns and relationships in nature -- the vine and the branches, the mustard seed, the good shepherd.
    • He used symbols, particularly those which were associated with religious ceremonies in the minds of his hearers -- the light of the world, the living water, the bread of life.
    • He taught "as he passed by . . ." [171:7.1 through end of section]
    • His teaching was appropriate to the context in which he found himself; he did not overteach [137:7.14] Regarding overteaching, see comments about the approach used by the Prince's staff. [66:6.6]
    • He built on what his listener already understood, enhancing and uplifting their ideals. See his interaction with Gadiah and the story of Jonah. [130:1.2]
    • He did not attack the errors in his listener's beliefs; he was adept at enhancing the truth in scriptures or philosophies, wherever he found it. [132:0.4]
    • His teaching was "thrillingly dynamic," he "went about doing good." [141:3.6]
    • He didn't "grow weary" in his teaching; when he failed to reach the minds of all the apostles by means of one illustration, he would restate his message and attempt to use some other illustration. [141:4.3]
    • "Again and again he warned his apostles against the formulation of creeds and the establishment of traditions as a means of guiding and controlling believers..." [141:5.4]
    • First bring people into the kingdom; make sure they know God as their Father. After this it may then be appropriate to discuss matters related to the progressive advancement of the soul . [141:6.4]
    • He wasn't concerned about the association of his gospel with other teachings. When John forbade a stranger from teaching in the name of Jesus, Jesus said, "Forbid him not. . . how can you expect that all who believe this gospel will be subject to your direction?"
      [159:2.1]
    • He refused to use power to manipulate situations for spiritual purposes. [136:8.8]
    • He took his message to the people. He did not create a rarefied religious context or a movement into which he then tried to bring followers. He went to people where they were. When one approach failed, he tried another.
  • How can we participate in Jesus' mission?
    • By taking up his unfinished business of actualizing the kingdom of heaven in our world. Review "Christianity's Problem," and "The Future." [195:9.1 through end of Paper 195]
    • Review his last words of admonition prior to departing from our world at the end of his bestowal -- ". . . you shall begin the new proclamation of the gospel of the kingdom . . . Love men with the love wherewith I have loved you and serve your fellow mortals even as I have served you . . . By the fruits of your lives impel souls to believe . . . Remember all I have taught you and the life I lived among you . . . My love overshadows you, my spirit will dwell with you, and my peace shall abide upon you . . ." [193:5.2]

  • See also, "What Does The Urantia Book Have to Say About its Dissemination?"