Jesus Higher Thinking Sample Paper
The Bible portrays Jesus as a person who exercised tact and critical thinking in persuading his opponents and providing solutions to problems. Jesus did not try to force anything down on the people neither did he make his argument so explicit that people felt forced to accept his conclusion. Jesus employed the use of parables and deep talk to appeal and persuade his followers and opponents to accept his position. Through stories, Jesus wanted his listeners to actively evaluate his argument before making a decision. Jesus used questions, silence, parables, and stories to challenge people’s thinking. The present discussion examines Jesus’s methods of teaching, and in particular, how he leveraged higher order thinking skills to deliver His message.
Sermon on the Mount
The Sermon on the Mount is a collection of teachings from Jesus in which He used parables and stories to trigger thinking before action. One of the important Jesus’s teachings on the mount is the parable of the Good Samaritan, a story about a traveler who was attacked, beaten, and stripped of his clothes while on a journey and left for dead along the road. Many people passed him lying on the road without offering help. Only one person had mercy on him and picked him up.
Jesus used the parable of the Good Samaritan to challenge people to be mindful, merciful, and have kind hearts towards other people. The other important teaching of Jesus on the Mount was about the Law of Moses. In this teaching, Jesus stressed the importance of having ‘inward qualities’ and the idea of earthly fulfillment (Ferda, 2018). Through the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’s teaching uses a clear pattern of Bloom’s Taxonomy of creating, evaluating, analyzing, applying, understanding, and remembering the pertinent concepts around an issue of interest.
Engagement with the Pharisees
Jesus’s encounter with the Pharisees was often challenging. The Pharisees took every chance they got to challenge Jesus and his authority. Indeed, the Pharisees felt that Jesus was a threat to their success and survival. They knew that if Jesus continued to preach, he would turn the people against them. One way through which Jesus tackled the Pharisees is through parables and storytelling. In many cases, Jesus did not want a confrontation/fight with the Pharisees, he chose to engage them using tact and skills. Specifically, Jesus sought to use peace and diplomacy when dealing with the Pharisees.
He did not want to condemn anyone, instead, he wanted everyone to get the opportunity to change their lives for the better, and that includes his opponents. He chose to create original parables with deep meanings that he used to justify/support his action and stand. He used teachings to condemn and advise the Pharisees about their wrong-doing. Jesus knew that using confrontation would lead to undesired consequences.
The Book of John
The book of John contains critical teachings about life, Jesus, eternal life, and the Jewish Identity. A greater part of John’s teachings is about Jesus Christ where he narrates who Jesus is and what he did. Interestingly, the book of John does not have even one parable, however, it is full of critical teachings on life, humility, dedication to God, and the need to emulate Jesus. The Gospel of John is considerably different from the other three books in the New Testament because it uses a different approach.
For example, the Book of John is highly spiritual and symbolic in ways that are sharply different from the method of narration used in the other New Testament texts (Dinkler, 2017). Further, the book illustrates how Jesus used diplomacy in teaching. It uses examples of Jesus’s works and miracles to show people the essence and benefits of believing in Jesus.
Engagement with People who sought him
Jesus dealt with people who sought him in different ways. He used questions, silence, parables, stories, and rebuke to respond to their concerns, questions, and scenarios. Noteworthy is that Jesus accommodated everyone who sought audience with him and answered according to what he felt was right. In terms of questions, Jesus used a lot of rhetorical questions, especially in dealing with difficult people. By asking questions, Jesus demonstrated the qualities of a good communicator (Fincham, 2020).
In terms of silence, Jesus sometimes chose to remain silent when he thought that answering a question would not help the situation. While many people would interpret silence as a weakness, Jesus understood that being silent is sometimes a powerful weapon that leaves the opposition with more questions than answers. Through silence, Jesus demonstrated power and authority without uttering a word. The techniques of silence, questions, parables, and stories were used by Jesus to challenge conventional thinking.
Through his teachings, Jesus leveraged several techniques in his bid to challenge people to think differently about their lives and actions. While most of his teachings leveraged parables as a means of passing information, circumstances exist where Jesus used a lot of questions when responding to questions posed to him.
Asking questions meant that Jesus not only encouraged engagement with those he encountered but inspired greater reflection on the self and the world around them. Interesting, the best teacher also chose not to answer some questions by remaining silent, a technique that proved equally powerful in challenging the opposition into deeper reflective and analytical thinking.
- Dinkler, M. B. (2017). A New Formalist approach to narrative Christology: Returning to the structure of the Synoptic Gospels. HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies, 73(1), 1-11. doi:10.4102/hts.v73i1.4801
- Ferda, T. S. (2018). The Historical Jesus and the Law: The Form of His Activity and the Impact of Social Reputation. The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, 80(1), 62–80. doi:10.1353/cbq.2018.0003
- Fincham, K. (2020). The King James Bible: Crown, church and people. Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 71(1), 77-97. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022046918001318