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Those Juniors, Part 3: Vital Knowledge

by Eric B. Hare

Last week: What is the true secret to power and success for those striving to influence their juniors for God’s Kingdom? They themselves must have a living, vibrant connection with Christ—an experimental knowledge of the true Source of power.

Another fundamental truth so self-evident that we could call it a spiritual axiom is that a thorough knowledge of the subject matter is necessary before we can speak with authority. Clothes and wealth may produce a superficial appearance of superiority, but they will not produce confidence. For that feeling of confidence that you know what you are talking about, there is no substitute. We must know.
John declares, “We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen.”1  The people were astonished at the doctrine of Christ, “for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”2  At the close of the class period the teacher who does not study will give the impression to his students that “there’s no more left.” His supply has run dry. But the teacher who studies till he knows ten times as much as he could possibly give in the allotted time will convince his students that there is still a great reservoir left, and they have but tasted of a great supply.

You cannot camouflage your amount of supply. The children will soon find out, and it makes all the difference between their interest or inattention, as well as your confidence or confusion. For a further study of this important topic of speaking with authority, I would like to refer you to Mary Hunter Moore’s two books, They That Be Teachers and A Workman Not Ashamed, and for the present I will simply crystallize their teaching into one sentence, the second great fundamental principle of junior evangelism that I would write large: A knowledge of the Bible is our source of authority.

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”3

As we study the methods and results of Christ, the Prince of teachers, we find that “He sought access to the people by the pathway of their most familiar associations. He presented the truth in such a way that ever after it was to His hearers intertwined with their most hallowed recollections and sympathies. He taught in a way that made them feel the completeness of His identification with their interests and happiness. His instruction was so direct, His illustrations were so appropriate, His words so sympathetic and cheerful, that His hearers were charmed. The simplicity and earnestness with which He addressed the needy, hallowed every word.”4 What magic was it that enabled Him to choose His illustrations aptly, to find words and expressions that charmed His hearers? It was simply this: Christ studied people. He knew how they lived, how they talked, how they thought, and this knowledge fitted His truths to their hearts and lives, and drew them to Him.

To the farmer He spoke of growing grain and weeds. To the housewife He spoke of leaven, candles, and brooms. To fishermen He spoke of nets and fishes. To the scholar He spoke of the mysteries of being born again. To the centurion He talked of authority. He met them on ground that was common to both. He talked to them on topics that they held in common. To the simple He spoke with such simplicity that “the multitude wondered, . . . and they glorified the God of Israel.”5 But He met craft and deceit with such subtlety that “no man was able to answer Him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask Him any more questions.”6

So for my third great fundamental foundation of junior evangelism, I write large—A knowledge of the pupil is the secret of applying the lesson to his life.

A knowledge of the pupil includes a knowledge of the laws of his mind, psychology; and a knowledge of the methods which have been successful in begetting knowledge in his mind, pedagogy.

To this fascinating study let us now repair.

(Next week: “Studying the Child.”)

1. John 3:11.
2. Matthew 7:29.
3. 2 Timothy 2:15.
4. The Ministry of Healing, pages 23, 24.
5. Matthew 15:31.
6. Matthew 22:46.

Copyright © 1973 by Eric B. Hare. Used by permission.

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