Patience Learned

Being patient can feel tough. See how Jesus' patience with his disciples helped one teacher exercise patience with her own students.

By Genelle Austin-Lett

Categories: Guidance

The Bible is such an amazing teacher. As an educator, I have found that looking to Jesus as the master teacher has helped me be more compassionate with my students. One particular instance of Jesus' remarkable teaching stands out to me from the Passion Week.

Jesus is hours away from the pseudo trials imposed by the Jewish theological hierarchy and the ultimate life sacrifice of crucifixion when his disciples say they don't know the way to the Father or even who the Father is (John 14:2-8). My first thought was purely judgmental -- how can they be so uninformed? Then I realized that's just how my students act before a quiz. They ply me with questions I know I've answered many times. It can make me feel that I haven't sufficiently prepared them. Their hopes are that I'll postpone the quiz one more day.

How Jesus dealt with his students' questions changed my approach in the classroom. The disciples weren't unprepared; they were bewildered and frightened men who had been told what was about to happen. Were the disciples, instead, just trying to postpone the inevitable? Perhaps if they didn't know the way to the Father or who He is, that would be enough for Jesus to postpone the crucifixion.

I so appreciate Jesus' compassion for his disciples. He doesn't say, "Look I've told you over and over again who the Father is." He recognizes their grief and fear of the unknown and tenderly brings them back to the messages of the first Passover. At supper, they had just read the account of Moses asking God who he should say sent him to deliver the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. God's response was to tell the people that "I Am." Jesus was reminding his disciples, too: "I am the way" (John 14:6). Jesus had taught them that he was the road map to the Father. If they had any doubts, all they had to do was think of all he had taught them and be confident in that forever message.

I used to get annoyed with the students' attempts to stall the tests, but now I approach those moments with patience and love. I have found fewer questions being asked because they know that I am willing to listen to their concerns.

I'm so grateful for God's Word that transforms us moment to moment.