Saturday, February 08, 2014
The Case For Authority
Yesterday, we finished taking notes in all five of my classes about Jesus clearing the temple of those who were, the Savior claimed, turning it into a den of robbers. I made the point that the religious leaders in their accusations did not accuse Jesus of doing anything wrong. I would have to believe the market atmosphere in God's holy house must have made many of these men cringe. Instead, they demanded to know where He got the authority to purify the Court of the Gentiles. There is a big difference. I made the point that I would never go to another teacher's classroom and give a detention to a student who was under the supervision of another adult. I also asked their reaction if I should happen to come to their house for dinner and I ground them for being disrespectful to their parents. They laugh and tell me I don't have the authority to ground them. I ask 'what if I'm right about the disrespect?' The kids reply that it doesn't matter: I still don't have that authority..... and I absolutely agree with them.
The favorite example I used had to do with something most of them are familiar with- referees and umpires. Most youngsters play a sport at some time in their lives and are very aware of the officials in stripes (basketball/football) or blue as in baseball and softball. I ask how many of them hear people in the stands/bleachers officiating free of charge- all of them do. (Undoubtedly included in that group would be some of their moms and dads!) So, I ask them what would be a game be without any officials. They rightly respond, a fight. Then I inquire what would happen if every person entering a basketball game was given a whistle so they could officiate from the bleachers. They laugh as they try to imagine the scene but they correctly surmise that there would be no game under those circumstances. Several officials in charge trump three hundred refs who come with built-in biases and prejudices towards one team or the other. I tell them how hard it is to referee. During the spring, I am going to require all of my middle school girls to officiate one of our three on three games in our morning practices so they will discover the difficulty of trying to control a contest by blowing into a small piece of plastic. The concept I pray that my students ultimately grasp is that someone has to be in charge; we have to cede authority to others in arenas of our lives. By inference, I hope they will come to acknowledge it should be Jesus. And not just if they happen to be in the temple.
Applicable quote of the day:
"The trouble with referees is that they know the rules, but they do not know the game."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Steve Hawley at 9:48 PM