This was the headline from one of my wife’s recent FaceBook postings. Noemi is a teacher, a great teacher. Her school, Barbara Bush Middle School, isn’t far from where we live. Noemi is very committed to her students, demonstrated by her working hard to get to know them personally and be the very best teacher she can possibly be. I am inspired by her.
At the close of every summer, just before the next school year begins we watch “teacher” movies, for motivation. We have a lot of favorites. They include Freedom Writers, Mr. Holland’s Opus, Emperor’s Club, Remember The Titans, and yes, even Dead Poet’s Society. Tonight, we saw Music of the Heart, the story of recently divorced Roberta Gaspari, a gifted teacher violinist. Gaspari finds her way out of personal tragedy by founding a violin academy in Harlem.
Initially, Gaspari had nothing in common with her inner-city students. Then, she moved into the neighborhood where her future students were growing up. Experiencing the context of their ‘home turf’ was essential to Roberta’s ability to connect with her students. Only then could she help them to see the potential that their lives held, potential that existed far beyond Harlem’s noisy streets.
Over time, Roberta and her students both discovered richer lives by making music together. This is a story of how one person to can make a huge difference in the lives of many. The whole community came together, because of one great teacher who made herself available for the benefit of others. Every time I watch this film, I cry. But then, I also cry at those cheesy Hallmark commercials!
In every one of the films mentioned above, the teachers had to leave a place of comfort and physically move into the communities of the students they sought to impact.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. – John 1:14 For Jesus to connect, He had to leave the comfort of heaven, take on the limitations of humanity, and demonstrate the limitless potential of lives that are entrusted to Him. For about three and a half years, Jesus could be seen walking the dusty roads of Israel, talking to His students about everything. Most of all, He told them about His Father.
No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten God…, He has explained Him. – John 1:18Since time began, when history’s first recorded words were spoken, it was always God’s plan to become Immanuel, God with us. Jesus stepped out of eternity and into humanity’s present. Never giving up His deity, Jesus was a Jewish man from the region of Israel known as the Galilee. To see Him in all His glory, to understand what He taught, and fulfill His purpose for creating you, you must learn from Him.
Follow Jesus? It is time to go back to school!
Israel College of the Bible, operated by One For Israel, is now offering two online courses taught in English. “The Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith” and “Jewish – Christian Relations” will equip you to teach others about Jesus as He is, the Jewish God/Man. You will be equipped for Bible based ministry to others in these tumultuous times. These courses can be taken for either Personal Enrichment or for Credit. Group discounts are also available.
Jesus wasn’t just a great teacher. He is the Teacher! For the last twenty years, Jesus has been teaching some of His Jewish and Arab friends at One For Israel what it means to follow Him. Now, as Jew and Gentile alike, we can sit together at His feet to learn from Him as one. It is time to go back to school. Please, join us today!
P.S. – Remember my confession, the one about crying at Hallmark card commercials? Seeing first hand what God is doing through One For Israel also brings tears to my eyes. Check it out for yourself. If you don’t get a little teary-eyed too, please, check your pulse!