Caroline and her friends—a good group of guys and girls—sometimes tease and mock one another. It’s almost always in jest and often fun. But one day at lunch, they started making fun of Caroline for something she did, and it hurt.
A high school sophomore who lives in Arizona, Caroline meets weekly with a group of students and a mentor to work through lessons in a Person of Jesus—Student Edition study.
“We had recently talked about the story where Jesus was at a dinner party and told the guests they had chosen the wrong seats and told the host he had invited the wrong guests,” shared Caroline. “The thing that struck me was that he saw wrong treatment and behavior and spoke up about it. The people were thinking of themselves and trying to be in the ‘inner ring’ and Jesus lovingly told them the truth about what they were doing—he gave them a gift of honesty.”
Jesus lovingly told them the truth about what they were doing—he gave them a gift of honesty.
While Caroline describes herself as a person who cares what others think of her and tends not to speak up, seeing Jesus inspired her to risk giving a gift of honesty. She reached out to one of the guys whom she was closer to but who nonetheless participated in the mocking to share, kindly, how the it had made her feel.
“I was very scared about how he would answer. He is kind of stubborn and has too much confidence so I didn’t even think he would listen or try to understand, but he did. He told me he knows he needs to mature. Since then, everything’s been a little better, and the mocking had been more contained.”
Stories like this are part of why Robert Row, author of the study that Caroline and her group were piloting (then, in draft form!) is excited about teaching students how to slow down and watch Jesus. Robert describes it as “becoming an apprentice of Jesus,” and he loves watching how it impacts students like Caroline. “Jesus’ honesty surprises students in a thousand good ways!”
Jesus’ honesty surprises students in a thousand good ways!
In our podcasts on Jesus, particularly in his passion, we’ve described him as a “Love Ninja” – meaning he pivots seamlessly from one “move” to another (this episode in particular). But as we study his honesty, we see those same ninja skills at play.
As Robert puts it: “One of the ‘aha’ moments for me was to see how brilliant Jesus is as he crafts particular honesty for particular people and situations. For example, Jesus asks questions of the Rich Young Ruler that slowly but surely reveal the man’s heart, but in the scene with the woman caught in adultery, he crouches low, sketches in the dirt, and says just a few words that diffuse the situation. He is a master!”
Join us in giving thanks for Jesus’ gift of honesty, and pray that students would be “surprised in a thousand good ways” as they experience this study! You can check out the study that inspired Caroline here.