January 31, 2013
"Jesus called out to them, 'Come, follow me, and I will show you how...'" Mark 1:17 (NLT)
The accusing words jumped from my computer screen, feeling like a slap in the face. A concerned mother was sharing her thoughts about her child's performance in my class, and she wasn't happy.
I gathered my wits and reached for the rubric I had given my students. Had I miscommunicated something? No, my expectations for the project were carefully outlined.
Rubrics are assessment guidelines used in many classrooms. They communicate the teacher's expectations for a task by listing the subject matter that should be included in the final assignment.
That afternoon, mother, student and I met to discuss the assignment and desired outcome. With the rubric in the center of the table we agreed: it had been ignored. We decided the student would re-attempt the assignment, this time following the guidelines.
It filled my heart with joy to watch a secure young lady walk out of my classroom with her rubric. I had no doubt she understood the expectations. Her next project would shine and her confidence would soar.
Jesus, the greatest teacher who ever lived, also used rubrics. He never gave assignments without clearly laying out expectations. After all, any teacher's goal is the students' success. Success leads to confidence. And confident people become world changers, which is what Jesus called His followers to be.
I'm intrigued by Jesus' teaching methods and style. His classroom moved with Him, as He used daily occurrences as lessons. Jesus challenged His students to soar by using His rubrics.
Mark 1:17 invites us into Jesus' classroom. The Teacher's first words to His students clarify His expectations: "Come follow me." Then He says, "I will show you how ..."
Jesus is the rubric. His life is the subject matter we study. His ways guide our daily performance leading us to spiritual success.
In the midst of the teaching on the Beatitudes Jesus says, "Let your good deeds shine out for all to see ..." (Matthew 5:16 NLT) We know Jesus didn't simply tell what to do. He showed how to perform good deeds. He ate with sinners. He touched the sick. He spoke with outcasts.
We hear Jesus speak for the first time in Luke 2, shortly after His parents took Him to Jerusalem. Along the route on a return trip to their hometown, Mary and Joseph realized Jesus was missing. A search found Him in the temple "sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking questions." (vs. 46b NIV) In response to His mother's scolding, Jesus explained in verse 49b, "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" (NIV)
Here is our first rubric. As a student of Jesus, I clearly understand what is expected of me. He has shown me by His actions.
1. Spend time in the Father's house. In other words, attend church.
2. Sit with teachers, listening to them.
3. Ask questions.
God's rubric tells me exactly what to do. Jesus' life as chronicled in the Gospels is a perfect rubric for me, as I seek direction. Won't you join me this year as a student of the Teacher? Let's follow Him and let Him show us how to live.
Dear Jesus, You offer to show me and teach me how to live. Because of Your life I can live confidently, secure that my life has worth. In Your Name, Jesus, Amen.
Visit Van Walton's blog for spiritual rubrics found in God's Word.
From the Pound to the Palace, book and DVD, is a story illustrating for children the clear "rubric" of obedience and steps to an eternal relationship with the Teacher.
What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst
Reflect and Respond:
What is one area in your life you need direction and clarity in?
When we find ourselves at life's crossroads, we can be confident which direction to choose by looking to God's Word, His rubric.
Luke 6:47, "I will show you what it's like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it." (NLT)
John 14:26, "But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you." (NLT)
© 2013 by Van Walton. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 31 January 2013.