How did Jesus train His disciples?
Try to visualize Jesus standing in front of a lectern that is located in a large classroom. He is wearing a dark suit, a white shirt and a conservative tie. In one of His hands is a large wooden pointer and behind Him is a white screen.
He looks out over the lectern at His disciples. Each one is sitting on a wooden pew with a Thompson Chain Reference Bible in his lap, a writing pad atop the Bible and a pen in hand.
All of the disciples hope to take notes which will help them on any upcoming exams. And at the same time, they hope to focus their minds on Jesus’ message and not have their thoughts wandering to the roast beef dinners awaiting them afterward.
Jesus clears His throat. “Just a heads-up, there will be a pop quiz tomorrow over the first four chapters of the book of Mark,” He says.
The groans instantly slip out of the disciples’ mouths. Most had planned on spending the day relaxing with families, and maybe taking a catnap or two. Now, all would have their noses in books. Oh well, each thinks to himself, no rest for us weary disciples.
“Let’s begin, shall we?” Jesus says. “My lesson today is entitled The Seven Steps to Healing a Sick Person.” He pauses a moment to allow the disciples to write on their pads.
“Okay, slide one, please,” Jesus says to a servant at the back of the room.
A picture of a small flask appears on the white screen behind Jesus. He walks over to the screen and points His wooden pointer at the flask.
“Step number one,” Jesus says, “you must always carry a small bottle of oil with you at all times. I recommend the Gilead Balm brand because it contains myrrh, cinnamon, calamus and pure Israeli olive oils and is formulated according to ancient recipes. ”
Did Jesus actually train His disciples in this manner? No, of course not.
Then, why do we Christians insist on training believers this way? After all, the classroom style of instruction has been proven to be the least effective way of teaching students. At best, a retention rate of 5-10% can be expected and this retention rate will only last for a few days before it is completely forgotten.
So, if not in this manner, how did Jesus train His disciples?
(Continued in Part 13)