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Jesus the teacher

I was sat watching an old movie recently called “Dead Poets Society”, a film where Robin Williams plays an inspiring teacher, and I was left thinking about my school days.  After quickly recognising that I was never really that bothered by school, that I was more than happy to do the bare minimum to get by, I started to think about my teachers: the strict ones, the funny ones, the ones for whom I played up.  A memory of one of my English teachers came to mind, and of one moment in particular.  Now this moment is very simple and may not seem significant to many, but it spoke to me then and it still does now.

We had previously been told we were going to start studying a new book and had been given a copy.  We were expected to read the book ourselves so that we could then discuss the book as a class and draw out any important or interesting points. I remember reading the book on my own in preparation.  It was one of only two that I actually read from the six that we were meant to within the two year course.  As it happens, I only read the other because the same teacher caught me out for having not read it and told me I would be tested on it.

After reading the book I went into the lesson ready to start.  We were asked to give our impressions of the main characters and I duly gave my opinion.  I can remember what I said but I won’t bore you with the details.  At this point the teacher picked up a brand new book out of the box, cracked it down the seam and proceeded to write in the margin the comment that I had made.

Reflecting back this teacher would have known the text inside out, would have had his own annotated copy and been able to think about it at a much higher level than me. He may have thought that my opinion was only partly right, or it may have been a viewpoint that he had heard and taught a hundred times before.  But in that simple moment he made me feel that what I had to say was valued.  I felt like he would be going through the text with us, with fresh eyes, ready to learn and excited by the discussion.

As I was thinking about my English teacher and pondering on Robin Williams’ portrayal of a teacher, my thoughts moved to an even greater example of a teacher. In the Bible Jesus is often referred to as ‘Teacher,’ and that is very much my experience of him. When I read the Bible, I read about people who are basically the same as me; the same failings, the same hopes and dreams. And I read about Jesus the teacher, who walked alongside them, asking questions and listening to their responses, encouraging them, guiding them, making them feel valued. The more familiar I become with Jesus the teacher, the more I want to know and understand what he is teaching.

And finally to quote a line from the film mentioned earlier, “The powerful play (of life) goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

This entry was posted on Friday, May 4th, 2012 at 10:20 and is filed under Blog Posts, Blog Posts.

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