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Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students

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    The Great Teacher

    Christ was the greatest teacher the world has ever known. He came to this earth to shed abroad the bright beams of truth, that men might gain a fitness for heaven. “For this cause came I into the world,” He declared, “that I should bear witness unto the truth.” John 18:37. He came to reveal the character of the Father, that men might be led to worship Him in spirit and in truth.CT 259.1

    Man's need for a divine teacher was known in heaven. The pity and sympathy of God were aroused in behalf of human beings, fallen and bound to Satan's chariot car; and when the fullness of time was come, He sent forth His Son. The One appointed in the councils of heaven came to this earth as man's instructor. The rich benevolence of God gave Him to our world, and to meet the necessities of human nature He took humanity upon Himself. To the astonishment of the heavenly host the eternal Word came to this world as a helpless babe. Fully prepared, He left the royal courts and mysteriously allied Himself with fallen human beings. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” John 1:14.CT 259.2

    When Christ left His high command, He might have taken upon Him any condition in life that He chose. But greatness and rank were nothing to Him, and He chose the most humble walk of life. No luxury, ease, or self-gratification came into His experience. The truth of heavenly origin was to be His theme; He was to sow the world with truth, and He lived in such a way as to be accessible to all.CT 259.3

    That during His childhood Christ should grow in wisdom and in favor with God and man was not a matter of astonishment, for it was according to the laws of His divine appointment that His talents should develop and His faculties strengthen. He did not seek an education in the schools of the rabbis, for God was His instructor. As He grew older He continued to increase in wisdom. He applied Himself diligently to a study of the Scriptures, for He knew them to be full of invaluable instruction. He was faithful in the discharge of His home duties; and the early morning hours, instead of being spent in bed, often found Him in a retired place, searching the Scriptures and praying to His heavenly Father.CT 260.1

    All the prophecies concerning His work and mediation were familiar to Him, especially those having reference to His humiliation, atonement, and intercession. The object of His life on earth was ever before Him, and He rejoiced to think that the gracious purpose of the Lord should prosper in His hands.CT 260.2

    Of Christ's teaching it is said, “The common people heard Him gladly.” Mark 12:37. “Never man spake like this Man” (John 7:46), declared the officers who were sent to take Him. His words comforted, strengthened, and blessed those who were longing for the peace that He alone could give. There was in His words that which lifted His hearers to a high plane of thought and action. If these words, instead of the words of men, were given to the learner today, we should see evidences of higher intelligence, a clearer comprehension of heavenly things, a deeper knowledge of God, a purer, more vigorous Christian life.CT 260.3

    Christ's illustrations were taken from the things of daily life, and although they were simple, they had in them a wonderful depth of meaning. The birds of the air, the lilies of the field, the growing seed, the shepherd and the sheep—with these things Christ illustrated immortal truth; and ever afterward, when His hearers chanced to see these objects, they recalled His words. Thus the truth became a living reality; the scenes of nature and the daily affairs of life were ever repeating to them the Saviour's teaching.CT 261.1

    Christ always used simple language, yet His words tested the knowledge of deep, unprejudiced thinkers. His manner of teaching should be followed by teachers of today. Spiritual truths should always be presented in simple language, that they may be comprehended and find lodgment in the heart. Thus Christ addressed the crowds that pressed and thronged about Him; and all, learned and unlearned, were able to comprehend His lessons.CT 261.2

    In every school the instruction given should be as easy to understand as was that given by Christ. The use of long words confuses the mind and eclipses the beauty of the thought presented. There is need of teachers who will come close to their students and who will give clear, definite instruction, illustrating spiritual things by the things of nature and by the familiar events of everyday experience.CT 261.3

    The Bible reveals Christ to us as the Good Shepherd, seeking with unwearied feet for the lost sheep. By methods peculiarly His own He helped all who were in need of help. With tender, courteous grace He ministered to sin-sick souls, bringing healing and strength. The simplicity and earnestness with which He addressed those in need hallowed every word. He proclaimed His message from the mountainside, from the fisherman's boat, in the desert, in the great thoroughfares of travel. Wherever He found those ready to listen He was ready to open to them the treasure house of truth. He attended the yearly festivals of the Jewish nation, and to the multitudes, absorbed in outward ceremony, He spoke of heavenly things, bringing eternity within their view.CT 261.4

    The Saviour's entire life was characterized by disinterested benevolence and the beauty of holiness. He is our pattern of goodness. From the beginning of His ministry, men began to comprehend more clearly the character of God. He carried out His teachings in His own life. He showed consistency without obstinacy, benevolence without weakness, tenderness and sympathy without sentimentalism. He was highly social, yet He possessed a reserve that discouraged any familiarity. His temperance never led to bigotry or austerity. He was not conformed to the world, yet He was attentive to the wants of the least among men.CT 262.1

    “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in His apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength?” Isaiah 63:1. With assurance comes the answer: “Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” 1 Timothy 3:16. “Being in the form of God,” He “thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:6-11.CT 262.2

    Teachers can gain efficiency and power only by working as Christ worked. When He is the most powerful influence in their lives, they will have success in their efforts. They will rise to heights that they have not yet gained. They will realize the sacredness of the work entrusted to them, and filled with His Spirit they will be animated with the same desire to save sinners that animated Him. And by their lives of consecration and devotion their students will be led to the feet of the Saviour.CT 263.1

    *****

    Students cannot afford to wait till their education is considered complete, before using for the good of others that which they have received. Without this, however they may study, however much knowledge they may gain, their education will be incomplete.CT 263.2

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