MORE than two thousand years ago, a very special child was born who grew up to become the greatest man who ever lived. No one living way back then had airplanes or automobiles. There were no such things as televisions, computers, and the Internet.
The child was given the name Jesus. He became the wisest man ever to walk the earth. Jesus also became the best teacher. He would explain difficult things in ways that made them easy to understand.
Jesus taught people everywhere he met them. He taught them at the seashore and on boats. He taught them in homes and when traveling. Jesus did not have a car, nor did he travel by bus or train. Jesus walked from place to place, teaching people.
We learn many things from other people. But we can learn the most important things from the Great Teacher, Jesus. It is in the Bible that Jesus’ words are found. When we hear those words from the Bible, it is just as if Jesus were talking to us.
Why was Jesus such a Great Teacher? One reason is that Jesus himself had been taught. And he knew how important it is to listen. But to whom did Jesus listen? Who taught him?— His Father did. And Jesus’ Father is God.
Before coming to earth as a man, Jesus lived in heaven with God. So Jesus was different from other men because no other man lived in heaven before being born on earth. In heaven Jesus had been a good Son, one who listened to his Father. Jesus was therefore able to teach people what he had learned from God. By listening to your father and mother, you can copy Jesus.
Another reason why Jesus was a Great Teacher is that he loved people. He wanted to help people learn about God. Jesus loved grown-ups, but he loved children too. And children liked to be with Jesus because he would talk to them and listen to them.
One day some parents brought their young children to Jesus. But his friends thought that the Great Teacher was too busy to speak with little children. So they told them to go away. But what did Jesus say?— Jesus said: “Let the young children come to me; do not try to stop them.” Yes, Jesus wanted the young children to come to him. So even though he was a very wise and important man, Jesus took time to teach little children.
Do you know why Jesus taught children and listened to them? One reason is that he wanted to make them happy by telling them things about God, his heavenly Father. How can you make people happy?— By telling them things that you have learned about God.
One time, Jesus used a little child to teach His friends an important lesson. He took the child and stood him in the middle of His disciples, who were His followers. Then Jesus said that these grown men must change their ways and become like this little one.
What did Jesus mean when he said that? Do you know how a grown man, or even a little older child, should become like a small child?— Well, a small child does not know as much as an older person and is willing to learn. So Jesus was saying that his disciples need to be humble, as small children are. Yes, we can all learn many things from other people. And we should all realize that the teachings of Jesus are more important than our own ideas.
Another reason why Jesus was such a Great Teacher is that he knew how to make things interesting to people. He explained things in a simple, clear way. He spoke about birds and flowers and other ordinary things to help people understand about God.
One day when Jesus was on a mountainside, many people came to him. Jesus sat down and gave a talk, or sermon, to them, as you can see here. This talk is called the Sermon on the Mount. He said: ‘Look at the birds in the sky. They do not plant seed. They do not store food in houses. But God in heaven feeds them. Are you not worth more than they are?’
Jesus also said: ‘Take a lesson from the lilies of the field. They grow without working. And see how beautiful they are! Even rich King Solomon was not dressed more beautifully than the lilies of the field. So if God takes care of the flowers that grow, will he not also take care of you?’
Do you understand the lesson Jesus was teaching?— He did not want us to worry about where we would get food to eat or clothes to put on. God knows that we need all those things. Jesus did not say that we should not work for food and clothing. But he said that we should put God first. If we do that, God will see to it that we have food to eat and clothing to wear. Do you believe that?—
When Jesus finished talking, what did the people think?— The Bible says that they were amazed at his way of teaching. It was very interesting to listen to him. What he said helped people to do what is right.
So it is very important that we learn from Jesus. Do you know how we can do that?— Well, we have his sayings written in a book. Do you know what that book is?— It is the Holy Bible. This means we can listen to Jesus by paying attention to the things that we read in the Bible. In fact, the Bible has an exciting story about how God himself told us to listen to Jesus. Let’s see what happened.
One day Jesus took three of his friends high up into a mountain. Their names were James, John, and Peter. We will learn a lot more about these men later on, since all three of them were close friends of Jesus. But on this special occasion, Jesus’ face began to shine brightly. And his clothes became as brilliant as light, as you can see here.
Afterward, a voice from heaven was heard by Jesus and his friends. It said: “This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved; listen to him.” (Matthew 17:1-5) Do you know whose voice that was?— It was God’s voice! Yes, it was God who said that they should listen to his Son.
What about us today? Will we obey God and listen to his Son, the Great Teacher?— That is what we all need to do. Do you remember how we can do that?—
Yes, we can listen to God’s Son by reading the Bible accounts of his life. There are many wonderful things that the Great Teacher has to tell us. You will enjoy learning these things that are written in the Bible. And it will also bring you happiness if you tell your friends the good things you learn.
For more fine thoughts about the good things that come from listening to Jesus, open your Bible and read John 3:16; 8:28-30; and Acts 4:12.