Why we want to pay attention to this last thing Jesus talked about
Last May I stated classes to become a high school English teacher. Since then I’ve learned so much about how to create lesson plans, engage students, and implement classroom management procedures. I’ve discussed a lot, read even more, and one of the things that has really stuck with me is the idea that a good teacher always starts a lesson with the end in mind. Not only thinking about what the students already know, but also what they will need to know makes it easier to form a plan. Additionally, teachers can make learning easier by letting their students see what’s coming. Though the end goal may seem daunting to students at first, this is an important step because it will make every lesson they get more relevant.
Learning this teaching theory has been eye-opening for me in more ways than I can count. One of the coolest ways is recognizing this strategy in how Jesus taught his disciples, and in turn, how we can teach others about faith.
Rather than simply giving his disciples lessons, Jesus made a point to talk about the end goal.
One example of this is in Acts 1:3 where Luke wrote that Jesus “presented himself alive to them [his disciples] after his suffering by many proofs appearing to them during the forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God” (emphasis added).
Up until I began my studies, I’d always found this interesting--that in his final moments with his beloved followers, Jesus didn’t talk about what they would suffer (he’d talked about that before). He didn’t talk to them about rules and regulations, or how they should live. He talked to them about the kingdom of God.
This didn’t make sense to me for a long time.
However, looking at it now I can see that Jesus was being a good teacher. He knew that the disciples would still have many lessons ahead, and though the concept had to be a bit daunting and crazy to them, taking time to remind them of the end would prepare them for each lesson to come. They would come into the lesson with context and go through it knowing that it was a vehicle--a too--to get them from where they were to where they were going.
This week I sat and thought about what the kingdom of God is. I did some reading and research, then I asked my friend Crista who put it like this: “The kingdom of God is where everything is in place again. It’s the place where everything and everyone is renewed and whole and connected to the Father as it was in the beginning.”
In other words, the kingdom of God is everything we have to look forward to.
It's the end goal, the thing that makes every lesson we go through in life worth the struggle. It's where we're headed, and when we realize this, it’s no wonder why Jesus talked so much about it. Being a great teacher, he peeled back the curtain and gave us a clear picture of what’s to come, showing us that whatever we’re going through now is only going to prepare us for glory later on.
I'm so grateful that Jesus was such an amazing teacher, that the thought to help us in this way, we can do the same thing for others. When we talk about faith, it’s important to talk about the here and now, but it’s equally if not more important to let people know what’s coming. We can share the gift of great teaching by talking more about the kingdom, helping others the same way Jesus helped his disciples and is still helping us through his Word.