The great teachers (rabbis) during Jesus' day used a technique that was later called remez. In their teaching, they would use part of a Scripture passage in a discussion, assuming that their audience's knowledge of the Bible would allow them to deduce for themselves the fuller meaning of the teaching. Apparently, Jesus, who possessed a brilliant understanding of Scripture and strong teaching skills, used this method often.

For example, when the children shouted "Hosanna" to him in the temple and the chief priests and teachers of the law became indignant (Matt. 21:15), Jesus responded by quoting Psalm 8:2: "From the lips of children and infants, you have ordained praise." The religious leaders' anger at Jesus can be better understood when we realize that the next phrase in the Psalm reveals why children and infants offer praise, because the enemies of God would be silenced. The religious leaders realized that Jesus was implying that they were God's enemies.

Jesus used this teaching method again when speaking to Zacchaeus. "For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost," Jesus said (Luke 19:10). The background to this statement is probably Ezekiel 34. God, angry with Israel's leaders for scattering and harming his flock, stated that he would become the shepherd and would seek the lost ones and save them. Based on this, the people of Jesus' day understood that the Messiah to come would "seek and save" the lost. By using this phrase, knowing that his listeners knew the Scripture, Jesus communicated several things. To the people, he communicated, "I am the Messiah and also God." To the religious leaders, whose influence kept Zacchaeus out of the crowd, he said, "You have scattered and harmed God's flock." To Zacchaeus, he said, "You are one of God's lost sheep and he still loves you."

Jesus best fit the type of rabbi believed to have s'mikhah, the authority to make new interpretations of the Torah. Whereas most teachers of the law could only teach accepted interpretations, teachers with authority could make new interpretations and pass legal judgments. Crowds were amazed because Jesus taught with authority (Matt. 7:28-29), and some people questioned his authority (Matt. 21:23-27).