Master Teaching

a blog for teachers who follow the Master Teacher

Enlivening & Enlightening

Enlivening and EnlighteningMaster Teaching: a blog for teachers who follow the Master Teacher.

The Master Teacher started with a delay. By the time He arrived, Lazarus was already four days in the tomb, Mary was distraught, and Martha seemed a bit annoyed. With Martha, He interacted about the bigger picture. For Mary, He stopped to cry before getting the class back on track, and boy, was it a track! After His demonstration lesson, His students were enlivened.

The Master Teacher is all about life, the kind that requires death. Resolution took Him to Jerusalem. Surrender got Him through the garden and the awful weight of sin. And in the face of arrest, He declared: “I AM he.”[1]

Like a lamb, He didn’t open His mouth. At least, He didn’t demand His rights as Teacher or whine about ungrateful students. Instead, “Father, forgive them…”

For the good of His students, He freely denied Himself, took up His cross, and scaled the path of suffering. And so for us, He demonstrates the paradox: When out of love we give up our rights, for students and colleagues, friends and enemies, death gives birth to life and Life.

This time some bullies got things started. They were picking on someone. Yes, she was caught in adultery, the very act, but in their eyes, she was also the dirt beneath their feet. (Notice they weren’t accusing the man…It does take two to tango.)

Sin is a problem, a huge one. And so, the Master Teacher dealt with the bullies first, and whatever he wrote in the dirt—beneath their feet—put them soundly in their place. Then, without condemnation, He also sent the woman away for a second (or third or 490th) chance. That day His students learned important lessons about equality, respect, sin, and mercy. And so, His students were enlightened.

The Master Teacher is also all about light. I’m not talking about the piddly “truths” of synagogue rules and societal norms. I’m talking about Truth, the one that accompanies Life and leads right to Yahweh. Light that transforms lives.

You think your students are in need of transformation! His include troublemakers who don’t know any better and reprobates who should, the “synagogue”-goers who religiously abide by their “truths” while pridefully rejecting Light.

Whatever His students need and the moment warrants, the Light delays, rebukes, cries, forgives, or stoops to write. He picks right times and perfect points of acceptance to say:

I AM…Come out![2]

Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!…Go and sin no more.[3]

Maybe you’re like me and feel you have a long way to go to be like the Master Teacher, enlivening and enlightening. Maybe you feel like a sinful and insignificant teacher in an out-of-the-way place sprinkling—or more often it’s an inelegant plopping—miniscule drops in an ocean of need.

Remember these timely words of Light and Life spoken just for you:

Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me.[4]

[1] John 18:4-6, New Living Translation
[2]John 11:25-26 & 43, New Living Translation.
[3]John 8:7 & 11, New Living Translation
[4]Matthew 25:40

Further exploration

  • John 8:1-11; 11:1-44
  • Matthew 25:31-46

What’s your perspective?

  • How do you enliven or enlighten your students?
  • What words of encouragement has the Master Teacher spoken to you recently?

Post Author

Melissa K. Smith

Photo Credit: kevin dooley via Compfight cc

2 comments on “Enlivening & Enlightening

  1. Ken Smith
    June 10, 2015

    I had, of course, read this before. It was as good as ever.


    • Melissa
      June 11, 2015

      Why thank you for reading again, Mr. Smith. 🙂


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This entry was posted on June 9, 2015 by in ancient models for teachers, least of these, Melissa K. Smith.



Photo Credit: Eric Fischer via Compfight cc
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