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In this day and age, when a person desires to learn something new or become skilled in a particular field, he will seek some form of educational institution, be it a college or technical school, master¬ís program or certification. Years are spent, reports are written and book after book is studied, all to gain the desired knowledge.
But in ancient times, a different form of learning took place. Students lived with their teachers, learning directly from watching their lives, pulling valuable lessons and asking necessary questions from daily events. The home was the classroom; the textbook was living examples and events of the day.
Look through the Gospels and you will see that this is the way Jesus taught His disciples. Through everyday events, Jesus revealed what the Father God was like. Whatever came His way became His teaching material¬óa child¬ís illness, a crowd of hungry people, the woman caught in adultery, the disciples¬í dusty feet or a confrontation by the high priest¬ís troops.
Jesus¬í reason for taking 12 men to be His disciples was to teach them¬óthrough His example and the events of life¬óhow to live like Him and do what He did. And the Bible shows how effective He was in that. Consider the time when the disciples asked Jesus to teach them: ¬ďOne day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he fi nished, one of his disciples said to him, ¬ĎLord, teach us to pray . . .¬í ¬Ē (Luke11:1, NIV). And Jesus taught them!
But the teaching was not an end in itself. It was not knowledge for knowledge¬ís sake, but rather to spur them into action. And that¬ís just what happened¬ó¬ďCalling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits . . . . They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them¬Ē (Mark6:7, 12¬Ė13, NIV).