My Professor, My Mentor

The Lord God has given Me the tongue of those who are instructed
to know how to sustain the weary with a word.
He awakens Me each morning;
He awakens My ear to listen like those being instructed …

In truth, the Lord God will help Me;
who will condemn Me?
Indeed, all of them will wear out like a garment;
a moth will devour them.           Isaiah 50:4,9 (HCSB)

Lectionary texts for Palm Sunday: Isaiah 50:4-9a, Psalm 31:9-16, Philippians 2:5-11, Luke 22:14-23:56

When you hear the word “teacher” or “coach,” does someone specific come to mind? Until I was in the sixth grade I thought all teachers were wonderful. I trusted them and thought they were there to make me better. Then I met a teacher who told me, in front of the class, that I would go to hell if I continued to go to church with my father, who was of a different denomination. Now I didn’t have any knowledge of the Bible or theology but how could it be wrong to go to church with my dad, and he with us, when we worshiped the same God in many of the same ways. I was so hurt and even frightened. It was the only time I ever heard my parents say that a teacher or someone in authority was “wrong.”

Fortunately most of the teachers I had throughout my life have been dedicated to their profession and want to be excellent influences on the lives of their students. The best ones I had did not present themselves as “I teach – you listen – I am the expert” but instead they wanted to give me tools so that I could learn and grow in my exploration for knowledge and wisdom.

And My Professor Jesus is all that is good in a teacher. He knows hundreds of ways to teach me a principle. Believe me, if I do not understand or accept a principle teaching that He gives me, He will sign me up for another class! He won’t force me to attend but He is always ready to meet with me on a flexible schedule to teach. Am I willing to listen? Am I willing to study and keep at it to achieve a prize I can’t begin to appreciate?

When the difficult problems, tragedies, and questions are battering at my door, trying to condemn me for my weaknesses and lack of – whatever, my Teacher is there to not only teach but lead me. But I think even maybe more importantly, Jesus wants to teach me before I have need of the knowledge and wisdom. He wants me to be prepared. Too often I want the quick answer when I am a crisis and not put the time and effort into daily spiritual exercise.

And Jesus is more than a teacher. He is also a mentor. To me that means that He is invested in my life and its victory. He is there 100% of the time and always with me.

The Teacher is ready – right now. Will He find me present or absent in His class?

In Your Presence written and sung by Paul Wilbur





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