The world is like a classroom and God is our teacher.
After the first test, the teacher told the class that the passing requirement is 100%, but they could graduate if they joined his son’s study group. He had already graduated with perfection, but was resitting the class because he loved it so much.
Some students just protested and continually disrupted lessons. Yet the teacher allowed them to stay, hoping, as with all of them, they’d join his son’s study group. Some in the class just gave up and went into cruse mode, just making the most out of their time. Others paid attention and diligently followed their lessons.
The brains of the class worked really hard to apply all the rules and seemed to be perfect, but he berated the others, condemning them for how useless they were. He demanded they follow all the rules and go without rest so that they could pass even though their first test was imperfect. He told them “that didn’t matter – the teacher would have to change his requirements so that some could pass”. He picked on the teacher’s son and ridiculed his study group. He chanted “drop-out, drop-out” because the son was resitting the class. He shamed the son’s study group for their moments of laughter and frivolity when they were failing. “How can you not take this class seriously?” He picked on them all, causing some to leave the study group. He pressured them into joining his study group so that they could really pass, and he delighted in their bullying of the son’s group. But he followed the lessons perfectly – to the admiration of all of his classmates.
Graduation day came. Some were excited, others were nervous and others were outright fearful because they knew they’d not done so well. The brains was dancing, knowing he was the most perfect and therefore guaranteed graduation.
The teacher mounted his raised desk and sat down. One by one, he read out each person’s scores. 30%. 55%. 85%. The brains got 98% to the class’ amazement. He danced and mocked the others and danced some more, purposely bumping the son, to whom he sarcastically said “sorry”.
Then the teacher reiterated the criteria: “a mark of 100% is required to graduate”. The brains kept dancing, but the class’ stares were no longer admiration as he danced slower, and it dawned on him. “You must get 100% to graduate”. His dancing turned into stamping and fury. He swore at the teacher and the son as security dragged him away. The others became silently nervous.
When the teacher affirmed that those who were in the son’s study group would graduate. The cacophony that ensued morphed the exuberance of the son’s study group and the others’ anguish. Some had left the son’s study group because they were “just mucking around” Others had mucked around all year, but joined the son’s study group in the last week.
There were those who’d followed all the lessons meticulously. Some quietly left the room in resignation to their fate, while others were unceremoniously dragged away by security.
Those remaining stared at each other in amazement. They didn’t deserve to graduate – they’d all failed that first test and never passed any of the others either. They didn’t deserve it.
But the teacher had told them all the time, that they could graduate if they were in the son’s study group. The teacher loved these guys and how they worked together. He praised their endurance of the bullying of those who thought themselves better or those who treated them with violence. But most of all, these guys loved the son and the teacher.
In spite of having “failed”, they’d passed the real test – to recognize their inability to pass on their own merits and to rely on the son’s.
This story arose from conversations with my “daughter” as I suggested she investigate her understanding that the Bible says that the imperfect go to hell unless acquitted through Jesus’ sacrifice. The cost of not understanding this is too high.
My “daughter” wants to be part of the son’s study group – “It sounds cool”
I encourage starting to read the Bible with Mark’s account of Jesus’ life.