Back to School Parables

Back to School Parables

1. Parable of the unproductive school

There was a school that was fully staffed and had adequate resources. However, year after year none of their students were successful in external examinations. This situation was brought to the attention of the highest authority who initiated an immediate investigation.

The Principal blamed the teachers and the teachers blamed the Principal and gave numerous reasons for the continued failure. The authorities became frustrated with the whole situation and decided to close the school with the aim to start anew with a totally new team.

2. Parable of the wayward teaching staff

Over time, parents became concerned about the example that the teachers was setting for their children at a popular school. A student who needed to go to the staff room late one afternoon found 2 teachers in a compromising position. Another student who lived close to one of the teachers was shocked at what was going on at the teacher’s home.

The reports of unprofessional conduct and unseemly behaviour grew steadily.
Yet, these teachers had a reputation for being harsh with their disciplining of students. They came down hard on the slightest hint of misbehaviour, refused to listen to explanations and showed no mercy. They demanded the highest level of discipline and behaviour from the students.

3. Parable of the unprepared teacher

There was a teacher that was responsible for preparing students for external exams. However, despite being in the post for some time, it was clear that he had not mastered the subject. He could not answer questions that were posed by students. He had great difficulty explaining important concepts. He did seem to even know what the syllabus covered.

Students lost confidence in him. They were reluctant to accept that what he said was really so and they tuned out during his classes. They started to seek other sources of information.

4. Parable of the misguided student

There was a student who started out by getting good grades. His parents and colleagues praised his academic prowess. This caused him to become overconfident. He stopped listening to his teachers and questioned everything that they did. It seemed that nothing that those in charge did could be right in his eyes. He always had a complaint or figured that things should have been done differently.

Gradually his grades began to slide and in the final analysis he was not able to successfully complete his external examinations.

5. Parable of the absentee student

There was a student that was duly registered for classes. When the report cards for the term were being prepared, the teacher noted that the student was absent almost as much as she was in class.

On reflection, the teacher noted that the same student did not participate actively in class. She just came sat and left. In fact, the teacher felt that there was almost no difference whether she attended class or not.

Also, while others would participate in other activities of the school this student was never available for those events.

6. Parable of the wise student

There was a student who got an opportunity to escape from really bad personal circumstances. He was fortunate to get into a very good school that achieved excellent results.

Mindful of the chance to put his past behind him and to secure a bright future, he listened keenly to the instructions that he was given. He studied diligently and took care to ensure that he was obedient.

He resisted all distractions and moved steadfastly to the ultimate goal of getting his external certification. There was much joy when he completed the journey and stepped forward to claim his award.

1. A. Parable of the unproductive school – explained

You may recall that this was a school that was fully staffed and had adequate resources. However, year after year none of their students were successful in external examinations. This situation was brought to the attention of the highest authority who initiated an immediate investigation.

The Principal blamed the teachers and the teachers blamed the Principal and gave numerous reasons for the continued failure. The authorities became frustrated with the whole situation and decided to close the school with the aim to start anew with a totally new team.

The school is the congregation that has members, a place to worship Bibles and hymnals. They meet and worship but there are never any new disciples.

Mark 16: 15 15He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

Baptisms are not in evidence and consequently they are not adding to the number of the saved. Discussions abound as to who is to blame and what needs to be done. Everyone points to someone else. In the final analysis, God loses patience with the entire body.

Rev 3:1″To the angel[a] of the church in Sardis write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits[b]of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God.3Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

2. A. Parable of the wayward teaching staff – explained

You will recall that the teachers were behaving unprofessionally and unsatisfactorily while holding the students to the highest standard of behaviour. They showed no mercy and came down hard on the students with draconian punishment.

The teachers represent those who are in the church but are failing to live up to its principles. They take pleasure in engaging in sinful behaviour in private while being pious in public. They are quick to condemn those who are not in the church and are ready to call down judgement on them.

Yet, their own lives cannot bear scrutiny. They give the church a bad name and lead people to believe that all Christians are hypocrites who live by double standards and are devoid of mercy.

Mat 23:27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

3. A. Parable of the unprepared teacher – explained

You may recall that there was a teacher that was responsible for preparing students for external exams. However, despite being in the post for some time, it was clear that he had not mastered the subject. Students lost confidence in him. They were reluctant to accept that what he said was really so and they tuned out during his classes. They started to seek other sources of information.

This teacher represents the Christians who have been in the church for some time. Yet, they continue to be babes in the Faith. They are not able to explain what it is that they believe and why they believe it.

They are unable to answer frequently asked questions from those to whom they are charged to guide to Christ. Soon those seekers turn to other sources for information and run the risk of being misled and guided to eternal damnation.

Heb 5:12 Warning Against Falling Away
11We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. 12In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

4. A. Parable of the misguided student – explained

Recapping, this student became overconfident and stopped listening to his teachers and questioned everything that they did. It seemed that nothing that those in charge did could be right in his eyes. He always had a complaint or figured that things should have been done differently.

Gradually his grades began to slide and in the final analysis he was not able to successfully complete his external examinations.
This student represents some members of the church. They get to a point where they believe that they know more than those who are charged with leadership. They find fault with every move that is made and think that things should be done some other way.

They resist every initiative and strive to impose their will on the group. There is a better way they say, and I know the better way. They are disruptive and add little value to the group despite their protestations.

Ultimately, they get frustrated and their commitment wanes until in the final analysis they lose their souls.

Apostle Paul’ s challenges with the Corinthian church is an example of this type of behaviour. Read 2 Corinthians to see the kinds of issues that Paul had to address.
Think also of the potentially strong brother or sister who after a good start has fallen away because they could not get their own way. Think also of those members who hop from one congregation to another as soon as their views are not accepted.

5. A. Parable of the absentee student – explained

The story here is of a student that was duly registered for classes. However, she was absent almost as much as she was in class. Even when she did come to class she did not participate actively. She just came sat and left. Also, while others would participate in other activities of the school this student was never available for those events.

This student represents a high percentage of church members. Their attendance record is atrocious. They claim that they are members of the body but they show up when they feel like it and play no meaningful role in the mission of the church.

Even when they do come, they are like virtual zombies. They go through the motions and cannot wait to slip away until weeks after they come by to salve their consciences and keep up appearances. There is little point in discussing their attendance with them as they are quick to be defensive about it and ready to use that as an excuse for staying away.

As with the absentee student, we are left to wonder what results this type of church member will get in the final examination.

6. A. Parable of the wise student – explained

To recap, there was a student who got an opportunity to escape from really bad personal circumstances. He was fortunate to get into a very good school that achieved excellent results.

Mindful of the chance to put his past behind him and to secure a bright future, he did all that was required of him.

He resisted all distractions and moved steadfastly to the ultimate goal of getting his external certification. There was much joy when he completed the journey and stepped forward to claim his award.

This student represents the individual who is trapped in a life of sin. Sin has enslaved them and their life is without hope. A dutiful Christian invites him to worship and he sees the light. He sees that a great opportunity has been opened to him to have his live transformed.

He learned that in order to be saved from his life of sin he needed to follow a carefully laid out plan.

He had to take care to understand and follow each of the 6 steps:

What must WE do to save our souls?
1. Hear the Word – the Gospel

John 6: 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

2. Believe

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

3. Repent

Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.

Luke 13: 1 Now there were some present at that very season who told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And he answered and said unto them, Think ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they have suffered these things? 3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish.

4. Confess Jesus is Lord

Matt 10:32 Every one therefore who shall confess me before men, him will I also confess before my Father who is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father who is in heaven.

Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

5. Be baptized for the remission of your sins

Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
1 Pet 3:21The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

6. Remain in Christ

John 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

1 Pet 2: 1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.

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