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Simple Education

"You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not let that open to us. He did not intend to." - C.S. Lewis

How many great teachers can you name? I am certain there are a few that come to mind when I ask you to think about the educators who invested in making you the person you are today. For some, it could be that third grade teacher who spent extra time making sure you were prepared for the standardized tests by having you and other students arrange for tutoring in the areas where you were struggling (looking at you, Mrs. Stevenson). For others, it might be that fifth grade teacher that caught you cheating, punished you appropriately, and then taught you one of the greatest lessons you have ever heard... "Scott, this is not who you are intended to be... you are made to be something better than this..." (thank you Mrs. Morrow). Still for others, it might be a high school Bible teacher who understood what it was like to be a freshman and knew that there were temptations coming at his students that they had never experienced before, so he went above and beyond in his teaching to remind you that "it's never right to do the wrong thing, and it's never wrong to do the right thing" when discussing the frozen pond of sin. (I still use that image Coach Pannell). Or perhaps, it was a college professor who required you to debate him on spiritual topics you had never studied before because he knew that it was important to know why you believed what you believed. (And I still didn't cry, Dr. Gilmore).

I am not certain who you would list in your "Hall of Fame" of teachers, but for me these are just the tip of the iceberg. I had so many wonderful educators and leaders who allowed me to become something better than that fifth grade kid who made a bad decision, something stronger than a crumbling freshman, even something more faithful than a Bible major who assumed he knew it all. These people did more for me from an educational standpoint than I could ever pay back, but what these teachers (and many others) did for me most importantly was teach me that they paled in comparison to the Master Teacher, Jesus Christ. As C.S. Lewis stated above, you can insult, disregard, discard, obey, trust, or love Jesus as Lord and God, but the thing we cannot do is try and simply call Jesus a "great human teacher." He goes beyond that to a level that only He can abide. When these other great educators taught me things, they always did so with an understanding of being a fallible human being. There were times in every class that I was in that the teacher would flub a word, stumble over some instruction they were giving, and even some times they would flat out get the information wrong and have to issue an apology and a correction. At NO point did Jesus have to do that... His words are not only absolute truth, they come with a 100% guarantee that you will never have to go back and correct them. This is why He stated in Luke 6:40 that, "A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher." This was a reminder and a teaching that puts us where we belong, never above Jesus, but hopefully learning to be like Jesus.

READ John 13:1-17

As you study this passage today, look at the simplicity of Jesus' message to His apostles found in verses 12-17 - "12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them."  This moment when Jesus explains the washing of their feet, He ultimately reveals what His role has been and will continue to be from this point forward - "Lord and Teacher". The question that we must face and answer is - "Is Jesus my Lord and my Teacher?" If the answer to that question is no, then you are placing the most important education in your life in the hands of fallible human educators, many of whom would beg you to rely on Jesus instead of them. If the answer is yes, then praise be to God for you will be blessed in ways that you cannot even imagine.


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