The authority by which Jesus spoke amazed the crowds, earning him the title “Teacher,” and his message, the “Good News.” He engaged crowds on hillsides, in busy marketplaces, and at the crossroads. While rabbis stated, “It is written,” Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth” (John 3:3).

Jesus employed illustrative figures of speech such as parables, similes, and puns to help the crowd better understand his message. His frequent use of metaphors made known the things seemingly far off. Consider his phrase, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed” (Matthew 13:31) through which Jesus likens a concept so immense and unknown to a small, common sampling of nature one’s very hand may contain.

Jesus colored his claims with familiar scenery, referencing the carpenter’s shop, kitchen, fishing business, tax office, birds, cornfields, flowers, travelers, salt, table lamps, contractors, sparrows, bridesmaids, and businessmen. He asked his listeners to be like children, sheep, snakes, and doves.

He compared abstract principles, such as faith and grace, to moving mountains, pushing a camel through the eye of a needle, and offering bread to dogs. He drew upon what common people already knew and proved truth was neither unattainable nor boring. Jesus’ use of pertinent idioms helped drive home important principles: throwing pearls to pigs, cutting off a hand, plucking out an eye, and turning the other cheek. Simple poetry and parables helped listeners remember and share Jesus’ teachings. His methods of communicating did not detract the masses from the message but shined new light into their depth of understanding. The first temple guards who tried to arrest Jesus returned saying, “No one ever spoke like this man!” (John 7:46).

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