Lesson 5-The Underteacher
“The Teacher and the Mind”
The Desire of Ages, 557-568
Our lesson unfolds at the house of Simon the leper. Christ had healed him of his leprosy and as a token of his gratitude; he invited Christ to a feast at his house. Also present were Lazarus, who had been recently raised from the dead, his sister Mary from whom Christ had cast out seven demons, Martha who was working feverishly serving the guests, the disciples, and others.
Mary comes to Christ, hoping to be unnoticed and she bestows upon Him a box of very costly perfume that she has purchased to show her appreciation of what He has done for her. The smell of the perfume alerts others to her actions. The focus of our lesson is how Christ responds to several of the individuals attending the feast.
“How did mean at the feast respond to godly acts poured forth under the direction of the Holy Spirit?
- Judas and others criticized
- Simon condemned
- Jesus commended
The Saviour dealt in the most remarkable way with each mind at this feast. His concern was that all would be freed from sin.”
Judas was irritated at what he considered a waste by Martha. He shared irritation and displeasure with the other disciples and soon many at the table were irritated and displeased as well. Judas pretended that He would have taken the perfume that she used on the Saviour and given it to the poor, insinuating that giving it to the poor was more important that giving it as a gift to Jesus. His thoughts were selfish and he was not even being honest about what he would have done with the gift. In fact he had already been stealing money from treasury bag over which he was in charge. “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and the bad, and bare what was put therein.”
Christ responded directly to Judas: “Let her alone; why trouble ye her?” She hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensover ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.” Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.”
Although Christ did rebuke Judas, He did it gently. “What a sharp lesson Christ might have given him who had dropped the seed of criticism and evil thinking into the mind of the disciples! He who reads the motive of every heart and understands every action, might have opened before those at the feast dark chapters in the experience of Judas.” “In commending Mary’s action, which had been so severely condemned, Christ had rebuked Judas. Prior to this, the Saviour had never given him a direct rebuke. Now the reproof rankled in his heart. He determined to be revenged.
Judas’ response to being rebuked by Christ had nothing to do with how Christ treated him. Christ was gentle with, but he refused to be corrected.
Simon was a disciple of Jesus. He was one of the few Pharisees that had openly accepted His teachings. “He acknowledged Jesus as a teacher, and hoped that He might be the Messiah, but he had not accepted Him as Saviour. His character was not transformed; his principles were unchanged.
With Simon, we see that he did not even verbalize his thoughts. He said within his heart “This Man, ifhe were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. Christ acknowledged that Mary was indeed a sinner: “Seest thou this woman? I say unto thee, her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much…” and then He contrasted Mary’s act of love with Simon’s. In Simon’s mind, he knew he was a sinner, but he thought his sins to much less than that of Mary’s. Christ used a parable to show Simon the error in his thinking.
“By the two debtors in the parable, Simon and the woman were represented. Jesus did not design to teach that different degrees of obligation should be felt by the two persons, for each owed a debt of gratitude that never could be repaid. But Simon felt himself more righteous than Mary and Jesus desired him to see how great his guilt really was. He would show him that his sin was greater than hers, as much greater as a debt of five hundred pence exceeds a debt of fifty pence. Simon now began to see himself in a new light. He saw how Mary was regarded by one who was more than a prophet. He saw that with keen prophetic eye Christ read her heart of love and devotion. Shame seized upon him, and he realized that He was in the presence of One superior to himself. ‘I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet; Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman (whom you despise) since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.’ “Plainly yet with delicate politeness, the Saviour assured His disciples that His heart is grieved when His children neglect to show their gratitude to Him by words and deeds of love.
In order for us to deal with the minds of our children and others in the way that Christ did, we must have a basic understanding of how the brain works, the differences between young impressionable minds and older, and the difference between the minds of boys and girls. The lesson provides us with a list of Right and Left Brain functions. “Notice how Jesus worked for each individual mind at the feast at Simon’s house, as parent-teachers can work with each of their individual children.