At a time when attending school is so wrapped up in politics and fear I am struck with the idea of Jesus being the greatest Life Tutor of all. He is available 24/7 – both through remote learning and face-to-face. It’s no wonder the Bible was used as a teaching tool throughout history. Horace Mann, considered the “father of public schools” once wrote:
Our system earnestly inculcates all Christian morals and welcomes the religion of the Bible. The Bible is used in almost all the schools, either as a devotional or as a reading book.”Horace Mann
It wasn’t until 1962, following a Supreme Court decision, that the Bible was removed as a regular textbook from the daily teachings of our school children. It’s interesting to note that a lot of “Christian ideals” were attacked following that decision.
And yet Jesus continues to teach us. The beauty of His teaching is how tailored it is for each recipient. In one speech or story Jesus weaves many layers – and depending upon your relationship with Him, determines the layer meant for you. Even the apostles found themselves at different layers when listening to Jesus. Peter, the loyal bold one, missed so much of the subtleties of Jesus’ messages as he plowed through each situation. It wouldn’t be until Jesus’ death that Peter would sit in reflection and capture the entirety of their meanings. In John 13:36 Peter demands to know where Jesus is going and states he will follow him and lay down his life for Jesus in his defense. He wasn’t basking in the words of our Lord and learning the gentle messages of the coming resurrection. What he did learn, however, was so valuable. The gift of loyalty and love and reverence is woven throughout Peter’s life.
It heartens me when reading the multitude of times the disciples scratched their heads when Jesus spoke to them. They are like you and me – wanting a quick, simple answer to life’s problems. And Jesus does provide them. In the book of Luke, Jesus tells us to “Love our enemies, do not judge, do not condemn.” In Matthew, Jesus tells us to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.” And if we were to learn and accept those few simple lessons God would be pleased.
Today I praise Jesus, the teacher, who pushes those yearning to learn to a higher layer. The beauty of a parable is that it requires the reader/listener to arrive at their own “ah ha” moment. And Jesus loved parables. Entire sermons and books have been written on these simple parables. We would all be so exalted if a four-sentence blog we were to write lasted as a teaching moment for thousands of years.
I once did a study on the Beatitudes – the eight blessings Jesus spoke of and documented at the beginning of Matthew. The non-Christian world has misinterpreted many of these, just like the Pharisees misunderstood Jesus time after time. I love picturing Jesus running circles around the Pharisees and Sadducees. He was confident in what He spoke because it was directly of God. If only we could have the same confidence when speaking of our faith! But back to the Beatitudes. If you have never read them, take a moment to go through each. Write down what you think they mean. Then research them. Here’s one on-line source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-stories/beatitudes-bible-verses-and-meaning.html. You may find yourself rolling up and tossing out your initial notes. You will find yourself in the midst of an “Ah ha” moment. It’s like the many times I studied the works of Shakespeare. With the help of a good teacher I finally got the jokes, the political commentary or the messages of love.
Jesus, as the 24/7 tutor (and he’s free!), waits patiently for us to delve deeper into the Word of God. Your “ah ha” moments bring a smile to His face. He might even clap loudly with you and exclaim, “YES! You got it!” That’s why everyday should be “Jesus Appreciation Day.” But, learning like that takes desire. It takes commitment. It takes daily showing up to class. Will you be present when he calls roll today?
Add your praise below of what Jesus has taught you!