I don’t entirely know why, but today I was pondering on the similarities between a good teacher and farming. Much to my surprise, the similarities are striking. Consider this; the pupil can be equated with the earth. The lesson can be equated with the seed. With this in mind notice how:
A teacher plants seeds
Good teachers wont spoon feed you, rather they will plant seeds in your mind, that will make the pupil ask questions. The best teacher of them all did this often. In fact, Jesus was notorious for making seemingly bizarre statements and then allows people to struggle with what he said. A perfect example is Nicodimus and being born again (His story is found in John 3:1-21. Jesus basically said, “You can’t enter the kingdom of God unless you are born again”. To which Nicodemus was like “um, what? Born again? Like enter the mother and come back out again?” Jesus had him hooked.
A teacher waters the seed
After a teacher plants the seed, they proceed to water it. Every seed needs water, nourishment, and care in order for it to germinate. The water is like a tease if you will, meaning it promotes the seed to start developing. It is not the full explanation, rather, just enough information to bring some knowledge out. Going back to Jesus and Nicodemus, Jesus did this as well when he proceeded to explain to Nicodemus that “you had to be born of water and of the spirit”. By this time Nicomdemus was like “how can this be? This is crazy!?! But I want to know more!
The seed grows a root
After some informational teasing, the implanted seed starts to grow a root. It important to understand that it’s the root that grows first and not the branches since the root will feed the branches. The root is like foundational information. It is not necessarily the main point, but it’s essential to have in order to arrive at the main point. Jesus does this by telling Nicodemus “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life”. Believe it or not, this if foundational to what Jesus wanted from Nicodemus not the main point.
The seed grows the trunk
Now the seed is shooting up its trunk wrapped in folded leaves. This is represented by the teacher allowing the information/lesson to take hold and guiding the student to formulate a though and reasoning. It may not be a completely coherent reason, but it will be some form of reasoning nevertheless. This can be seen when Jesus was asking his disciples “who do the people say I am?” (Mark 8:27). The disciples gave several answers…I.E. The trunks wrapped about with leaves.
The seed unfurls its leaves
Eventually, the lesson will sink in and your pupil will have that “Aha” moment. This is represented by the complete, unfurled plant that proceeded from the seed. This is the moment most teachers strive for; that “Aha” moment. Peter had that “Aha” moment when he realized that Jesus was the Christ (Mark 8:29).
The plant grows
Just because knowledge is unfurled does not mean that the lesson is over. Plants grow. They create new leaves, branches, heights and eventually even fruit, flowers or some form of duplication. It’s the same with students. Knowledge grows as they internalize the information given by the teacher. They test the information, they learn something new about the information, they add to the information and eventually, they duplicate the process by teaching it to someone else. This happened with the disciples as they went about preaching the kingdom of God and bringing people to Christ.
So what’s the application? I really don’t know. Maybe one of you guys is a teacher (well, actually in some form or another we all are). Maybe we need to see this and realize that our lessons have a deeper impact than we think.
But whatever it is, I hope you guys can get some fruit from this post.