“The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!
“So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
- Matthew 10:24-33
The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts. The right defense against false sentiments is to inculcate just sentiments. By starving the sensibility of our pupils we only make them easier prey to the propagandist when he comes. For famished nature will be avenged and a hard heart is no infallible protection against a soft head.
- C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man
On 22 November 1963, C. S. Lewis died, about the same moment that John F. Kennedy was shot. If he’d lived for another week, he would have reached his 65th birthday. I think it fitting to use some of his quotes for a week.
C. S. Lewis is touted by some as one of the great Christian apologists of the Twentieth Century, but some purists of Christian apologies argue that he wasn’t an apologist at all. I’ll let others argue that point. What can’t be argued is that his day job for most of his life was that of a teacher. He wanted to be an Oxford Don, but after years of teaching there, it was Cambridge that offered him that honor and responsibility late in his life.
In his quote above, he proclaims a charge to all who would educate. This would include preachers from their pulpits, at times. It would include Sunday school teachers, industrial technical trainers, and school teachers from kindergarten to graduate school. Note that he warns about propagandists. The Abolition of Man was published in 1943. His intended audience at the time new full well to whom he was referring, for the time. Today, with the political issues in the United States, we need to listen to Lewis’ warning more now than ever. Every four years, the political shouting matches have gotten more vulgar. Each time, you don’t know what to believe. Yet, the campaign of a year ago is still raging, although the election is settled. For over 200 years, the side that lost put down their banners and pledged to cooperate – to a point. This time, there has been no cooperation, not even within the winning candidate’s party. It seems that we have broken the government. Who broke it? Not one candidate, one president, or one party. “We the People” have broken our government.
The question remains, will God step in and fix it? I’m sure He has enough duct tape, and God is smarter than MacGyver.
But Jesus was also a great teacher. Jesus was preparing His disciples in Matthew 10 for a rough road. Satan would be at every crossroad. Yet, Jesus said that they would be given all that was necessary. Their deserts would be irrigated. The Master of Lies, Satan, the greatest propagandist of all time, would not be able to destroy them or the message that they would carry to the ends of the earth.
Are you worth more than many sparrows? Is God calling you to shout His message from the roofs?
Then God will give you everything you need. Read His word. Pray and listen for His answers to your prayers. In the darkness, He will tell you what to proclaim in the light. What God whispers in your ear, you must proclaim in a loud voice for all to hear.
You may not consider yourself a teacher, but God will give you the strength and knowledge to irrigate the deserts along your journey of Faith.