a blog for teachers who follow the Master Teacher
Again, we’ve asked teachers around the world to answer the question: What does it mean to you to be a teacher who follows the Master Teacher? The set of answers you’ll read over the next few weeks are as different as the people who wrote them. However, a common thread runs through each, one that challenges us to love the uns and outs.
The Master Teacher had a special place in His heart for the ignored and forgotten. Even when common sense may have said otherwise, in spite of societal rules, no matter their religion, and regardless of their attitudes, the Master Teacher was a lover of the uns and outs.
The social outcasts: He went home with the dreaded tax collector, short though he was, sat by a well with the Samaritan woman, and made another Samaritan the hero of a story.
The unequal: He had a real conversation—as if she had something to contribute—with the woman at the well and invited Mary into His inner teaching circle.
The religious outsiders: He honored the centurion’s request and healed his underling.
The unsafe: Not just the scary centurion, but far worse was the violent and fear-inducing Gerasene man who was obviously controlled by evil. And He allowed him near.
The unlovable: The rich young ruler should perhaps have been called the rich young arrogant ruler, but the Master Teacher looked on Him with love.
The unclean, unseen and unheard, the untouchables: Yet, the Master Teacher touched them all or allowed their touch. Lepers, women—including bleeding or sinful ones, the blind and deaf, and even the dead. When people brought their children for Him to touch them and His disciples interfered, His response was an indignant, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
I cannot imagine what His attention meant to those who were used to being overlooked or how His hands felt to those who perhaps had not been touched in years. I wonder how it felt to be labeled not with uns or outs but instead “loved by Yahweh.”
In the coming weeks, when you read about Khotsono in her remote region of Ethiopia, picture how her loving service touches the religious “outsiders” and the “unsafe” she encounters in school and life. Imagine what Dale’s careful attention means to students who may feel marginalized because they come from a depressed area with a struggling education system. Imagine with Kenton what it’s like to be displaced and without advocate or Advocate. Then, as you read Jacob’s reflections on being incarnational, intentional, and personal, consider what that might mean to the “loved by Yahweh” in your classroom. Finally, join us May 4-11 for our next sore knees challenge when we will take our “loved by Yahweh” before the throne.
Some of the children I meet on book deliveries for the Eileen Smith Book Project are dirty. How can they wash clothing when they need their one and only set to stay warm? How can they bathe regularly when the family water supply is carried from a long way off? I hope a fear of soiling my clothes, getting bugs, or catching diseases never holds me back from reaching out my arms with the Master’s touch.
For the Kingdom belongs to such as these.
We welcome your comments on any of the ideas in this post or in answer to the questions below.