Jesus didn’t want people to merely know truth but to live it. Consequently . . .
He moved beyond theory to relating what He said to their every day lives.
Think of how He used objects and terminology familiar to people’s lives to get His points across to help them understand the implications for life. (farming, fishing, sheep, etc.)
He took people beyond the familiar to higher levels.
Rather than simply rehearse the commandments with them, He helped them understand the ramifications of lust to adultery, anger to murder, etc. He made the familiar commandments seem more real to their lives. They might not murder someone but they could easily get angry. (Matt. 5:20-29)
He went beyond seeking verbal commitments or good intentions to steps people could take immediately.
When Jesus asked people to follow Him, He expected them to immediately leave what they were doing. He questioned the intentions of people who wanted to turn back for some reason and do something else first. (Matt. 4:19-20; Lk. 9:57-62)
Obviously Jesus didn’t just like to hear Himself speak when He communicated with others. He wanted to see changed lives. He wanted to build up the lives of those with whom he spoke.
Implications for Us in Ministry:
Guard against “Christianese” language. Speak in terms and with illustrations people can relate to so there will be more likelihood of them understanding. People usually do not act on what they do not understand.
Get beyond the particulars to the broader principles of specific truths. People won’t tend to act on something they do not feel relates to them.
Be practical in helping people understand what they can do to line up with God and His Word. People will be more likely to apply truth to life when they have a plan.
Think through the implications of this for the teaching-learning process. Bible teachers can get help through the Application: It’s God’s Idea, Not Merely a Good Idea Worksheet.