“Is this going to be on the test?” Have you ever said that phrase to a teacher or professor? I always cringed inwardly when someone in my classes raised their hand and said such a thing. The implication is clear: “I only care about what I need to get the grade and get out of here” or “What you’re saying only matters to me insofar as I need it to get a passing grade.” This attitude may be ugly in the classroom, but it’s uglier in the Kingdom of God. While no one explicitly says “is this going to be on the test?”, the questions asked of Jesus often boil down to such a query. Many in our world and many in our faith are seeking out the minimal entry requirements. What is the least I have to do to be saved? We’re going to visit a minimal entry requirement before the end of our message this week… but rest assured we’ll take the long way there.
There’s another kind of student: the one who drinks in information and may not even care so much about a grade as gathering understanding, or even being in the presence of the teacher. Consider the story of Mary and Martha in Luke chapter 10:38-42. Here we see a student (Mary) that will even forgo that which is considered to be her primary cultural and social obligation just to learn from the Master… to sit as his feet. Jesus says to a worried Martha:
“Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part [that which is to her advantage], which will not be taken away from her.”
If you are Jesus’ disciple, you are His student (literally his “learner”). Have you chosen the good part? Will you do so in 2021? Ask yourself this earnest question today: “What kind of student am I?”