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             "Then He went out again by the sea, and all the multitude came to Him, and He taught them" (Mark 2:13). The final words of this passage of Scripture characterize the work and ministry of Jesus while upon this earth. "He taught them." There was no substitute for the fact that the people needed to be taught and part of what Jesus came to do was exactly that. The miracles of Jesus were important and had a purpose of demonstrating that he was the Son of God (Mark 2:10), and were done from Jesus' heart of compassion (Mark 1:41), but they did not supersede his work of teaching and the message taught. As the Scripture says, "He taught them."
            Jesus' teaching and message were so powerful that at the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount we find these words written of him. "And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes" (Matthew 7:28-29). The authority was not in his manner of speaking, but rather in the message or the content of his teaching. Jesus was not locked in to the traditional teachings of the Scribes and Pharisees and religious leaders of his day, but he simply taught the truth and he reminded the people, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free" (John 8:32). The Jews of Jesus' day were bound by the Law of Moses, but in addition to the Law there were thousands of human traditions bound upon then that literally took away the freedom that God had extended to them. "He taught them." Jesus taught as one having authority because he only taught the pure Word of God.
            Jesus emphasized the importance of his work and that the people needed to listen, learn and apply his message to their lives when he said, "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me..." (Matthew 11:28-29). When Jesus was about to leave the earth and return to heaven he also emphasized the importance of teaching the Word of God. "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations...teaching them to observe al things that I have commanded you..." (Matthew 28:19-20).
            Jesus is no longer on this earth physically, but the importance of continuing to teach has not diminished. The Lord's church has the responsibility of teaching and Christians also have that obligation and privilege (Mark 16:15). However, it must be remember that just teaching in and of itself is not the end for it is the Word that must be taught. "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and teaching" (2 Timothy 4:2) and "Hole fast the pattern of sound words..." (2 Timothy 1:13). The Word of God will be taught and the principle found in the book of Revelation applies to all who would hear, "He who has an ear, let him hear..." (Revelation 2:7). As it was said of Jesus, "He taught them."