Questions are a powerful teaching method, especially when teaching a hostile crowd (like unbelievers). Questions stimulate critical thinking. Asking good questions makes the audience hungry to find the answers. If you want to preach like Jesus, ask a lot of questions. Do not reveal the answer immediately. Help your audience use their own brains.
I think we can all agree that Jesus is the greatest teacher to ever walk the face of the Earth. If there is anyone we should emulate in our teaching it is Jesus.
So how did Jesus teach?
Here are six of Jesus’ teaching methods that we can all learn from:
1. Jesus Told Stories
Jesus told countless parables (Mark 4:34). He pulled spiritual truth from everyday life. Not only did these stories make Jesus’ preaching more memorable, they also connected in a much more profound way.
Think about the parable of the Prodigal Son. Jesus could have proclaimed, “God loves you so much that He will welcome you back to Him no matter how far you have wandered away.” That is definitely true.
However, Jesus instead chooses to tell the story of a boy who disowned his family, partied away his inheritance, came home to beg for mercy, but was surprisingly welcomed with open arms by his father who waited daily for his return. Which is more powerful?
If you want to preach like Jesus, tell stories. Lots of them. Use examples from everyday life to teach spiritual truth.
2. Jesus Shocked People
Jesus often used hyperbole. He taught using outrageous examples, exaggerations, or shocking statements that got people’s attention. These statements were not all meant to be taken literally, but they definitely got the point across.
For example, Jesus didn’t really mean we have to rip out our eyes and amputate our hands for causing us to sin (Matthew 5:29-30), or else all Christians would be blind amputees.
He also didn’t mean that the people he spoke to literally had logs in their eyes (Matthew 7:3-5). Jesus was simply making a very clear point.
Jesus said things that shocked people and exaggerated the truth to emphasize His point. If you want to preach like Jesus, Shock people.
Exaggerate a little with your questions. Say outrageous things that aren’t meant to be literal, but grab attention and communicate the point clearly.
3. Jesus Crafted Memorable Sayings
Jesus spoke poetically. He often used catchy sayings and plays on words. This isn’t always apparent in English translations. However, in the original language, Jesus made it much easier for his listeners to remember what he said.