Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Proficiency Exam

Here in Nevada the high school students have to take proficiency exams.  It doesn't matter if they made straight A's, if they can't pass the exam, they flunk. No matter how good they were.  These tests mean the difference between moving on or staying back.  Passing or failing.  Effort in the class means nothing if they can't pass this test.
Now let's say those high school students are in a class with a teacher who is not only an expert on the subject, he actually IS the subject (think William Faulkner being the teacher in Faulkner English or William Shakespeare being the teacher in a class on Shakespeare).  But not only is he the subject, he truly wants his students to pass.  He doesn't want a single student to fail.  Not one.  So, he decides to do something completely radical.  Since he's the one who wrote the test, he decides to give out the answers ahead of time.  He doesn't do it in secret or to just a select few, he readily gives them to anyone who is willing to listen.  He puts out an invite, "Answers to the proficiency exam will be given the next 3 nights at 6PM.  Anyone who comes will be given the answers to the test."
He waits.
A few people start to trickle in.  Most people think it's a joke at first, or a trick.  Surely the author of the test wouldn't readily hand out the answers to the test.  But it's no trick.  He tells them exactly what will be on their proficiency exam.  Exactly what they have to know to pass.  The exact questions and the exact answers to those questions.  And then he does something even more amazing.  He says, "Now go tell everyone else who didn't show up."
Now the ball is in those students' court.  They have a choice to make.  They can choose to keep the answers to themselves, after all, they were the ones who made the effort to come listen, the others chose not to, right?  Or, they could do as the teacher asked, they could tell their fellow students.  Most chose to go tell the other students.
The ones who went out to tell others the good news got mixed reactions.  Some people were really excited.  Seriously?!?  You have the answers to the final exam?  If I just do this I'll pass?  Nice!  They took the answers and even helped spread the word.
Others scoffed.  Yeah, right!  Why would the teacher just willingly hand over the answers to the test?  It's too easy!  It's a trick!
Still others said, "that's nice, but I don't like those answers.  I've been studying and I've come up with different answers.  I think mine are better.  Why can't there be multiple answers?"  
You try to reason with those people.  "It's no trick."  "Yes, it's easy, but that's the way the teacher wanted it."  "No, there cannot be more than one answer." "Why?  Because the one who wrote the test said this...this right here was the answer.  See, he had me write it down.  It's in black and white."  "No, I didn't write it down wrong.  I didn't hear incorrectly.  He said this was what was on the test, and this was the only way to pass."
Still some chose not to listen.  They went into the test unprepared. Every single student who didn't have the answers the teacher had given out flunked the exam and by extension the class.  They failed.  

"For God so loved the world He gave His one and only Son, that anyone who believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world might be saved through Him.  For anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he does not believe in the Name of the one and only Son of God."  John 3:16-18

"Jesus told him, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6

"If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."  Romans 10:9

"For the Lord does not delay in His promise, as some understand delay, but He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but all to come to repentance."  2 Peter 3:9

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word WAS GOD."  John 1:1 (my own emphasis added)


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