Jesus and his disciples went to Capernaum: and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)
From my own time in a school I remember one young teacher wore black every day, had her hair pulled tightly back, never smiled, and made her pupils go in and out of the classroom until they could do it silently and then stand quietly in front of their desks. She achieved total control over her classes, but it's not how most of us want teachers to behave surely? We want teachers to be innovative and creative, enthusing their pupils to greater achievements.
One of the best teachers I've ever known was my mother. She had no formal teaching but was taught by her mother, who had been to a "dame" school. She could teach anything that she had herself learnt. Such teachers are amazing people. They can explain things in ten different ways, adapting themselves to their pupils learning styles, and often have the patience of a saint.
At the beginning of St Mark's Gospel we see Jesus returning to his adopted home town of Capernaum. On the Saturday he goes to the synagogue, and as a visiting Rabbi is invited to speak. All are amazed at his teaching. The scribes were accustomed to quoting what others had said, and were rarely bold or outspoken, but Jesus taught using stories and encouraging people to use their imagination. Of course it helped that he also brought a message from God!
we thank You for the way You
taught the people,
using examples they understood,
and stories that we still use today.
Help us to continue to learn from You
by reading our Bibles,
and getting to understand
Your word for us.
Look up some of these stories and illustrations that show Jesus' unusual teaching: