Sunday, May 24, 2015

This week's lesson (May 23-29): Jesus, the master teacher

This is what the LORD says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take of hold . . . for the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge me. -- Isaiah 44:24 - 45:4, NIV
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

"What is written in the Law?" Jesus replied. "How do you read it?"

He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' "

"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

In reply, Jesus said: "A man was teaching in a Christian school, and he did repeatedly abuse one of his students -- and when the child's parents heard of this, they did go unto their pastor, and the pastor did go unto the teacher, and he did counsel the teacher, and did pray with the teacher, so that the teacher did promise that nothing like this would ever happen again.

"But the teacher continued to abuse that student -- and many others besides . . . until the outcry of the children and their parents did reach the Superintendent of Christian Education. And the Superintendent of Christian Education did go unto that teacher, and did counsel that teacher, and did pray with that teacher. And when the teacher did promise that nothing like this would ever happen again, the Superintendent of Christian Education transferred that teacher to another school, so that he could "get a fresh start."

"But there arose a lawyer -- a lawyer who was not a member of that church or any other . . . and on behalf of the children and their parents, the lawyer filed a series of lawsuits against the teacher, and the school, and the pastor, and the church, and the Superintendent of Christian Education, and many others besides.

"And the lawyer did win those lawsuits."

"And the lawyer did collect millions upon millions of dollars in damages from those lawsuits"

"And because of those lawsuits, that teacher was fired -- fired, jailed, and not allowed to teach again . . . and policies were put in place to make sure that nothing like this would ever happen again to children (or if it did happen, then it would not be allowed to continue).

"So tell me," said Jesus, "which of the three do you think was a neighbor to the children who were harmed by this teacher: the pastor, the Superintendent of Christian Education, or the lawyer?"

The expert in the law replied, "The one who did stop the abuse."

And Jesus said, "Go and do likewise."

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