Jesus was an extraordinary teacher. He used various instructional methods to impart his message to his disciples, his enemies, and the multitudes. All Christian Moms, Dads, and homeschool parents should pay attention to his effective techniques. One of Jesus' favorite techniques was the question and answer method.
Rhetorical Questions in Pairs
Jesus frequently asked rhetorical questions of his audience that were direct and penetrating. Often posed in pairs, Jesus' queries were designed to make his listeners think deeply about human problems. For instance, speaking to his disciples Jesus asks, " What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matt 16:26).
Questions Designed to Startle
Sometimes Jesus' questions were quite startling. For instance, after offering forgiveness to a paralytic, Jesus asserts his authority to the teachers of the law who were present by asking, "Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk?' (Matt 9:5). Afterward, Jesus commanded the paralytic to stand, and the man picked up his mat and went home.
Questions to Ellicit a Response
Jesus' questions always required his listeners to make a choice, especially when they concerned himself. For instance, when he was with his disciples on the way to Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asks, "Who do you say that I am?... But what about you? Who do you say that I am?" Peter's bold answer, "You are the Christ: was a pivotal moment, and set the stage for the final and culminating phase of Jesus' ministry: the Cross (Mar 8:27, 29).
Questions Answered With a Question
Jesus frequently engaged in open discussion with his disciples, and he often answered their questions with questions of his own. For example, when Philip asks Jesus to show him the Father, Jesus replied, "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? ...Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?" (John 14: 8-10).
In short, Jesus employed numerous teaching methods during his public ministry. One of his favorite and most effective modes of instruction was the question and answer method. As parents, we would do well to imitate Jesus' effective teaching techniques during our interactions with our children.
The Method and Message of Jesus' Teachings.
Related: "Were the Parables Meant to be Understood? Four Views" by ChrysalisUp Next—Bible Study: The Book of Enoch
Do you use a careful line of questioning during important conversations?
Photos: amanky & ccsdteacher (Flickr)