Congregation Bible Study ‒ Week Starting March 9

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Study information for the book: Draw Close to Jehovah

CHAPTER 21

Jesus Reveals the “Wisdom From God”


His Manner of Teaching

9. What did some soldiers say about Jesus’ teaching, and why was this no exaggeration?

9 A second area in which Jesus reflected God’s wisdom was his manner of teaching. On one occasion, some soldiers who had been sent to arrest him returned empty-handed, saying: “Never has another man spoken like this.” (John 7:45, 46) This was no exaggeration. Of all the humans who have ever lived, Jesus, who was “from the realms above,” had the greatest reservoir of knowledge and experience from which to draw. (John 8:23) He truly taught as no other human could teach. Consider just two of the methods of this wise Teacher.
John 7:45, 46 the officers went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, and the latter said to them: “Why did you not bring him in?” 46 The officers replied: “Never has any man spoken like this.”
John 8:23 went on to say to them: “You are from the realms below; I am from the realms above. You are from this world; I am not from this world.

10, 11. (a) Why can we not help but marvel at Jesus’ use of illustrations? (b) What are parables, and what example shows why Jesus’ parables are so effective for teaching?

10 Effective use of illustrations. “Jesus spoke to the crowds by illustrations,” we are told. “Indeed, without an illustration he would not speak to them.” (Matthew 13:34) We cannot help but marvel at his matchless ability to teach profound truths through everyday things. Farmers planting seeds, women preparing to bake bread, children playing in the marketplace, fishermen hauling in nets, shepherds searching for lost sheep—these were things his listeners had seen many times. When important truths are tied in with familiar things, such truths are etched quickly and deeply on the mind and heart.—Matthew 11:16-19; 13:3-8, 33, 47-50; 18:12-14.
Matthew 13:34 these things Jesus spoke to the crowds by illustrations. Indeed, without an illustration he would not speak to them,
Matthew 11:16-19 whom will I compare this generation? It is like young children sitting in the marketplaces who call out to their playmates, 17 saying: ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance; we wailed, but you did not beat yourselves in grief.’ 18 Likewise, John came neither eating nor drinking, but people say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of man did come eating and drinking, but people say, ‘Look! A man who is a glutton and is given to drinking wine, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ All the same, wisdom is proved righteous by its works.”
Matthew 13:3-8 he told them many things by illustrations, saying: “Look! A sower went out to sow. 4 As he was sowing, some seeds fell alongside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Others fell on rocky ground where there was not much soil, and they immediately sprang up because the soil was not deep. 6 But when the sun rose, they were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them. 8 Still others fell on the fine soil, and they began to yield fruit, this one 100 times more, that one 60, the other 30.
Matthew 13:33 told them another illustration: “The Kingdom of the heavens is like leaven that a woman took and mixed with three large measures of flour until the whole mass was fermented.”
Matthew 13:47-50 the Kingdom of the heavens is like a dragnet let down into the sea and gathering fish of every kind. 48 When it was full, they hauled it up onto the beach, and sitting down, they collected the fine ones into containers, but the unsuitable they threw away. 49 That is how it will be in the conclusion of the system of things. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from among the righteous 50 and will cast them into the fiery furnace. There is where their weeping and the gnashing of their teeth will be.
Matthew 18:12-14 do you think? If a man has 100 sheep and one of them strays, will he not leave the 99 on the mountains and set out on a search for the one that is straying? 13 And if he finds it, I certainly tell you, he rejoices more over it than over the 99 that have not strayed. 14 Likewise, it is not a desirable thing to my Father who is in heaven for even one of these little ones to perish.
11 Jesus often used parables, short stories from which moral or spiritual truths are drawn. Since stories are easier to grasp and remember than abstract ideas, the parables helped to preserve Jesus’ teaching. In many parables, Jesus described his Father with vivid word pictures that could not easily be forgotten. For example, who cannot comprehend the point of the parable of the prodigal son—that when one who has gone astray shows genuine repentance, Jehovah will feel pity and tenderly accept that one back?—Luke 15:11-32.
Luke 15:11-32 he said: “A man had two sons. 12 And the younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that should come to me.’ So he divided his belongings between them. 13 A few days later, the younger son gathered all his things together and traveled to a distant country and there squandered his property by living a debauched life. 14 When he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred throughout that country, and he fell into need. 15 He even went and attached himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to herd swine. 16 And he longed to be filled with the carob pods that the swine were eating, but no one would give him anything. 17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, while I am dying here from hunger! 18 I will get up and travel to my father and say to him: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Make me as one of your hired men.”’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him and was moved with pity, and he ran and embraced him and tenderly kissed him. 21 Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quick! bring out a robe, the best one, and clothe him with it, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 Also bring the fattened calf, slaughter it, and let us eat and celebrate, 24 for this son of mine was dead but has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they started to enjoy themselves. 25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he returned and got near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants to him and asked what was happening. 27 He said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father slaughtered the fattened calf because he got him back in good health.’ 28 But he became angry and refused to go in. Then his father came out and began to plead with him. 29 In reply he said to his father, ‘Look! These many years I have slaved for you and never once did I disobey your orders, and yet you never once gave me a young goat to enjoy with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours arrived who squandered your belongings with prostitutes, you slaughtered the fattened calf for him.’ 31 Then he said to him, ‘My son, you have always been with me, and all the things that are mine are yours. 32 But we just had to celebrate and rejoice, for your brother was dead but has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’”

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