This entry is part 1 of 10 in the series: ‘Teaching Techniques of Jesus’ (Horne)
In a book first published in 1920, Herman Harrell Horne writes: ‘It is essential in all effective teaching that points of contact be established between teacher and taught.’ In John 1:35-51, Horne notes that:-
1. Jesus walked where his presence could be noted by the Baptist.
2. He used his eyes. He “observed” Andrew and John coming after him, he “gazed** at Simon, he “saw” Nathanael approaching, and had previously “seen” under that fig tree in meditation, like Buddha under the Bo tree.
3. He opened up conversation, with the two, with Simon, with Philip, with Nathanael.
4. He asked questions. “What do you want?” “You are Simon, the son of John?” “You believe because I told you I had seen you under that fig tree?”
5. He invited companionship, “Come and see.” They stayed with him the rest of that day. “Follow me.”
6. He utilized the power of the name. We all like to be recognized, and called by name. Further, In handling the names lie took a personal liberty in an acceptable way with a sense of humor. “You are Simon, the son of John? Your name is to be Cephas.”
7. He understood character, and showed that he did. “Here is a genuine Israelite! There is no guile in him.” That astonished the doubting Nathanael. The open compliment was not lost on him. His pride was perhaps tickled as he recognized himself under the fine tribute. He began to capitulate. Somewhat bluntly, without address, he asked: “How do you know me?” The answer, showing that Jesus had noted him under that fig tree in pious meditation, appreciating Nathanael at his strongest points, led to immediate and unconditional surrender:
“Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the king of Israel.”
(The above list is verbatim, with added emphasis).
Horne invites us to observe also how Jesus established a point of contact with the Samaritan woman (Jn 4:8), with the disabled person at the pool of Bethesda (Jn 5).
Note further how Nicodemus (Jn 3:2) and the Pharisees and Herodians (Mt 22:16) sought to establish a point of contact with the Lord.
In the case of Zaccheus (Lk 19:1-10), contact was made by the two of them meeting half-way, as it were.
Then there were countless times when a shared meal formed an intimate point of contact.
After Peter’s denial, Jesus graciously re-established contact with him, Lk 22:61; Mk 16:7; Jn 21:15.