Master Teaching

a blog for teachers who follow the Master Teacher

Not fair, not fair

EzekielEzekiel’s wife died. No matter how many times I read through his book of prophecy, I always get stuck there. It just doesn’t seem fair!

Yahweh had already commissioned him for an impossible task. From the start, he was warned about students who wouldn’t listen or would but only with scowls and threats. They ended up treating him like an entertaining diversion and didn’t take him seriously. But if he’d refused to speak, he would have been held accountable.

Ezekiel saw visions and heard messages of uncomfortable—sometimes terrifying—truths that he had to communicate to his rebellious and irresponsible students. In some rather eye-popping and embarrassing ways. He had to create a model of Jerusalem and prophesy its destruction while lying on his left and then his right side. For more than a year. He cooked up a pot of steaming, spicy soup and then burned the pot. On purpose. He shaved his head. With a sword. He probably looked as crazy as he sounded.

I imagine he didn’t have many friends and often felt alone. In fact, his wife, his treasure as Yahweh calls her, may have been his only ally. And then, Yahweh took her. To teach hard-hearted and stubborn students a lesson. It just doesn’t seem fair!

Skip ahead a few centuries, and we find someone else dealing with rebellious students, abandoned and facing death.

In spite of His warnings to the contrary, His disciples had just declared their intention to follow Him to the end and beyond. Perhaps hoping He might just possibly be wrong, He took them along for a night of prayer. “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me,”[1] He said. Was He longing for their solidarity and support while He went off alone to plead for relief?

Not once, but twice they deserted Him to their dreams. Not one, not five, but all eleven of them disappeared into the night when the twelfth betrayed Him with a kiss. Then, for the sake of His hard-hearted and stubborn students, He died. It just doesn’t seem fair!

Skip ahead quite a few more centuries, and you may find yourself facing uncooperative students. You may feel alone and abandoned as you pour out your life for the hard-hearted and stubborn. It may not seem fair, where you are, who you work with, what you’re teaching. Plus all the extra tasks! And then the internet’s slow, molasses so, you’re sick all the time—or your kids are, and the cultural confusion gets you in trouble yet again.

Ezekiel pointed forward. We look back.

Remember the Master Teacher.

Embrace His cross.

Fellowship in His sufferings.

And hope in the power that raised Him back to life.


[1] Matthew 26:38, New Living Translation. (Italics added.)

Further exploration

What’s your perspective?

  • How do you handle the “not fairs” of teaching?
  • How do you fellowship with the Master Teacher’s suffering?

Photo Credit: ReneYoshi via Compfight cc

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This entry was posted on July 8, 2015 by in ancient models for teachers, Melissa K. Smith.

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