The Rabbi from Nazareth didn’t need a
blackboard to teach eternal lessons.
by Tami Rudkin
Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God” (John 3:1, 2a, NIV).
Chalk dust, blackboards, and bells. Desks, colored pencils, and paper. Teachers, students, and grades.
Bring back memories?
Can you smell the musty books just out of storage, hear the shuffling of paper, feel the excitement?
Do you remember the first time you could solve that algebra problem? Or the thrill of putting together a line of poetic words? What about the moment you first learned of prejudice and hatred in our world?
The gift of learning — discovering something we never knew before — is one of the greatest gifts. Teachers are the givers of such life-changing gifts.
Jesus was called Rabbi, the teacher. Many sat at His feet to learn the wonders of life. Unlike our teachers today, Jesus had no blackboard as His backdrop, but He did have a hillside. Rocky, warm, and inviting.
Jesus had no chalk to sketch His illustrations, but He did have nature. Sparrows, lilies, and the soil served as examples to teach of God’s love, His desire for our lives, and our responsibilities.
Jesus had no desk to lean upon, but He did have a bobbing fishing boat set to the rhythm of the waves upon the sea.
Jesus had no colored pencils to outline with, but He did have the purple-blue sky, the snow white clouds, the earth’s deep brown, and the emerald green sea.
Jesus had no bells to interrupt His teaching, but He did have the sunset. Colors He had created in the beginning of time were thrown across the skies to draw lessons from dramatic conclusions no one could ever forget.
Jesus was a master teacher.
He changed lives because He was wise and was enthusiastic to impart His wisdom to others.
He changed lives because He took life’s dilemmas and addressed them with thought-provoking stories. He changed lives because He asked His hearers questions and encouraged them to draw their own conclusions. He changed lives because He stood among them, not behind a massive desk. Jesus touched His students. He hugged them. He laughed with them. With His students He explored the wonder of knowing life’s greatest lessons: forgiveness brings life, unconditional love brings harmony, and God brings all.
Jesus had all kinds of students during His three years of teaching. There were those who were skeptical from the beginning, those who adored Him only because He mesmerized the crowds, and some who, from their hearts, wanted to understand Him.
I wonder where we are? Always questioning His deity? Following because spiritual is in? Or do we want to know Jesus?
He welcomed all. He expected all. Like any good teacher before and since, Jesus wanted His students to take their newfound knowledge and allow it to change their lives. Will His teachings change our lives today? Will His words fill our being until we can actually live their truths? Will His Spirit invade our minds, our hearts, our deepest souls?
His words still echo off the rocky hillside just as the warm water of the sea still splashes against the shore. Will you hear the Teacher’s words, engrave them upon your heart, and live them outside the classroom? He desires new life for you.
Wait a second. Look to the sky: Do you see those thin, feather-like clouds? I think I see an A+.
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