Jesus the Teacher Part 2

Jesus’s educational leadership inspired the faith of communities to make God’s presence visible by living the values of care, openness and respect. I believe Jesus demonstrated these values through both his words and actions.

 The story of the Blind Beggar, Bartimaeus is evidence of Jesus’ compassion and empathy towards others. (Mark:46-52) in the narrative Bartimaeus is sitting by the roadside in Jericho. So, he is visible to a large crowd with Jesus and his disciples walking towards Jerusalem.  Immediately, when he heard Jesus of Nazareth was coming, Bartimaeus shouts out “Son of David have mercy on me.” (Mark 10:48) He is rebuked by the many to stop calling out but calls out even louder. (Mark 10:49) How often because we are rebuked do we become less inclined to take risks when our voice like Bartimaeus needs to be heard? I think what this narrative points out is that Jesus always hears our voice.

 Bartimaeus is also a great example of persistence as he keeps on shouting despite the opposition from the crowd? Bartimaeus’ perseverance through his faith acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God and has the power to heal him. The healing will not only cure him from his blindness but also enhance his economic status and allow him to seek employment rather than continue to beg. Furthermore, this is why perhaps the crowd scolded Bartimaeus for asking for a healing due to his low economic and social status.

 Jesus then asks for the people to call him over and on hearing that Jesus wants to speak to him Bartimaeus springs up and comes to Jesus.

Jesus says, what do you want me to do for you? Bartimaeus replies, my teacher, let me see again. Then Jesus said, “Go your faith has made you well. Immediately, Bartimaeus regained his sight. (Mark:49-52) What I particularly like about this story is Bartimaeus’ asking for Jesus’ help. I would argue that Bartimaeus is a great inspiration to me to ask God for help as too often I try to solve issues myself. Jesus demonstrates through this narrative that no matter the circumstances his respect, care and openness to others through healing a poor, blind man illustrates that Jesus’ salvation is available to everyone.

The bottom line for me in my role as an APRIM is to imitate Jesus and follow his teachings. I believe I demonstrate this by witnessing my faith, listening to the needs of others and acting sensitively, graciously and compassionately with everyone I encounter.  Therefore, through being welcoming and inclusive of all staff, students, parents and members of the community I build relationships that are based on trust and openness. Ultimately, I make God visible within Holy Family by respecting and utilizing the gifts and talents of all and engaging each person in prayer, liturgies, masses and social justice. Thus, embracing the Gospel message of the Parable of the Sower and the narrative of Blind Bartimaeus to seek success for all seeds that fall in different areas regardless of their social and economic backgrounds and taking risks to share my faith even though I may endure hardship and failure. Isn’t that what teaching and learning is all about?


Jesus the Teacher Part 1


 would consider that Mark’s Gospel is a good example of Jesus as an educator and i believe this defines his mission on earth.

So, who is Jesus and what is he on about?

 In Mark 1:14 -15 I believe the writer shapes Jesus’ purpose on earth.

“Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the good news of God and saying, “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God has come near, repent and believe in the good news.”

 I would argue the good news that Jesus is proclaiming is the kingdom of God and this is accessible to all of us, all we have to do is believe in the possibilities that are God offers us.

Furthermore, Jesus is saying that despite the economic and political factors that affect your way of living God is a source of hope that can overcome all obstacles. The source of hope stems from what Michael Trainor called metanoia changing the way we think.

Another important factor that influences Jesus’ teaching is his background. Jesus was a peasant who aligns himself with the oppressed against the backdrop of a 1st Century Galilee occupied by Romans and where their rule over Jewish subjects is exercised by Philip the Tetrarch, (4BCE-34BCE son of Herod the Great). Thus, Jesus’ ministry is in an economic and political world of poverty that gives rise to social and political resistance movements. Any threat to social and political resistance leads to their leaders being executed. Additionally, the Jewish Sanhedrin Religion which redefined the Torah to create a powerful religious elite. Thus, for the Jewish people it was very difficult to challenge the social, economic, political and religious rule that created the chasm between the rich and the poor at the time. Jesus through his teaching and miracles was now offering them and alternative. Therefore, both the political and religious rulers were threatened by Jesus the prophet and teacher who offered a different view of economic and political affairs. His role humanized social, economic, religious and political situations by getting involved and renewing the life of the local people through confronting the authorities by his words and actions.

 For example, the Parable of the Sower talks about the social, political, religious and economic conditions of the time. This is my interpretation, the seed that falls on the path is God’s creation that has been trampled on by the Roman Occupation of Galilee, the religious leadership of the Jewish Sanhedrin through rewriting the Torah to maintain their power of their believers and the economic hardship of taxes needed to be paid to the Romans exercised by the Governor of Judea, Philip the Tetrarch.

 Next, the seed that falls on rocky ground is the social and political resistance that tries to overcome the hardship the people face in their everyday lives. The desire to strive for social, political and economic justice is threatened with possible execution. Therefore, they face the dilemma of speaking out against their oppressors as because of their numbers against the might of the Romans their attempt for a rebellion is doomed to failure.

 The seed that falls amongst the thorns is good grain but is choked by the Roman and Jewish rulers of the time. What should happen is that the farmer should be able to keep a fair share of his profits so he can sell it at cheaper price. In turn people will be able to afford to buy it and feed their families. However, what occurs is most of their income is paid in taxes to the rulers of Palestine. In those times, the Publicans were the tax collectors. The process was that the Publicans were Jews who bought tax collection franchises from the Roman government. Though, any amount that they collected over and above what Rome required, they could keep for themselves. So, if you really owed the Roman government a thousand dollars, the publican might tell you that you owed fifteen hundred. Hence, the publican would send the thousand you really owed on to the Roman government, and keep the extra five hundred for himself. Consequently, an unfair political and economic system leads to the people of Palestine being choked by those in power and the wealthy. Jesus doesn’t require money or people to be highfliers in society to be loved he teaches that God is available to us no matter who we are.

Eventually, the seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”(Mark 4:8) These are the people that embrace the good news that Jesus is proclaiming and strive to live according to the Gospel values. Subsequently, enabling them to experience God through believing in the good news. A transformation that leads to a strong faith due to a relationship with God that can endure the difficulties of the time.