When Jesus taught, He continually looked at His Father. He lived in continuous fellowship with His Father. This inward, spiritual fellowship was the source of everything in His life and ministry – including His teaching.
… My teaching is not My own. It comes from the One who sent Me. (John 7:16)
… I do nothing on My own but speak just what the Father has taught Me. (John 8:28)
… the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing … (John 5:19)
By Myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear … (John 5:30)
Inwardly, Jesus listened to God, waited on God, relied on God. He did not merely teach out of His own understanding.
Thus, Jesus revealed not simply His own life but the life and Person of His Father to the world:
If you really knew Me, you would know My Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him … Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father … (John 14:7-9)
In the relationship between Jesus and His Father, we find a parallel to what our own relationship with God can be.
Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me. (John 6:56-57)
… He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him … My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. (John 14:21-23)
But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is Mine and make it known to you. (John 16:13-15)
Jesus looked at the Father and listened to His voice and thus perfectly revealed Him to the world. The Holy Spirit now looks at the Son and listens to Him and thus reveals the Son of God to us. We are then to reveal His life to others.
This revelation – this expression of the nature and being of God – is the nature of our teaching.
As this divine fellowship was the source of Jesus’ teaching, so your experience of divine fellowship will be the source of your teaching.
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Cor. 3:18, NKJV)
… If a man abides in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
This is the simple nature of true Christian teaching: union with Jesus, and teaching from His indwelling life.
This means that to the extent you are living in union with Christ you will have life and power in your teaching. If your teaching is not changing people’s lives, then your solution is not just to study harder and learn more. Your solution is not just to learn new teaching techniques or incorporate technology into your presentations. Your solution is to find God more deeply – to know Him, to love Him. When you experience His life, you will have life for others. The fruit of your outward ministry will never exceed the depth of your inward life in Christ.
About Transformational Teaching, by Malcolm Webber:
The teaching of the Word of God must be central to everything Christian leaders do. Moreover, our teaching should be transformational, not only informational.
This book describes the nature of the teaching ministry – what it means to teach the Word of God, and how you can do that effectively and in a way that brings life to God’s people. We do not focus so much on issues of biblical interpretation or techniques of teaching but on the deeper issues of the life of the teacher from which his teaching proceeds.
This book has 40 chapters. Each chapter is a somewhat independent thought. Prayerfully read one chapter per day. In 40 days your teaching ministry will greatly improve!
Transformational Teaching is available for purchase here. To purchase more of our books, visit https://www.strategicpress.org/.