"A Failing Grade"
May 11, 2015
And Jesus answered, "O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to Me." Matthew 17:17
Irwin Horwitz is a teacher at Texas A&M. He is also a teacher with two decades' experience.
Now any teacher who has been at it for 20 years has seen some profound changes in the students, which have been entrusted to his care. We shouldn't be surprised. Over the last decades we also have seen changes in the world, its attitudes, and its morals.
Sadly, Professor Horwitz has found himself overwhelmed by the negative attitudes of his students. He says many of them had felt quite comfortable lying, cheating and swearing at him ... both in class and outside of it. He reports false rumors had been spread about him, and it had become difficult for him to face and teach those students. Indeed, things became so strained between the professor and one of his classes the school brought in security guards.
Last month the professor reached the breaking point and decided to do something.
In an e-mail to his class, Professor Horwitz wrote he, "will no longer be teaching the course, and all (of you) are being awarded a failing grade." He also told the class they lacked "honor," "maturity," "competence," and a "desire to do ... the work necessary to pass the course."
Justified or not, the students went ballistic and complained to the university. As of this writing, the school's administration has said, "None of them (the students) have failed until the end of the class, meaning the only reason a student would fail (is) because he or she has not performed the expectations for that particular class."
Now I have no way of knowing if the professor's charges are justified or not.
On the other hand, there is no doubt the Lord's negative and punishing judgment against sinful humanity is fully warranted. All of us have disobeyed His holy will and, as Scripture says, "the soul which sins will die" (Ezekiel 18:20a). God's decision could never be overturned by a higher authority. There is no higher authority than the Lord. There is no possible appeal.
Seeing that we were going to get a failing grade and be destined for eternal punishment, the Lord had mercy.
So we might be forgiven and saved the Lord sent a Substitute into this world. His Son, our Savior, came and did all that was necessary to give us a passing grade. By fulfilling the Law and resisting every temptation Jesus passed the tests we had failed. His third-day resurrection from the dead says He graduated with honors and all who believe on Him will, on Judgment Day, do the same.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You were not content to fail sinners for their transgressions. May I always show my gladness for the Savior's sacrifice and His success in giving me a passing grade. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries