Sarah looked up from her science textbook to find her classmate Justin Wilcox standing beside her. His face was streaked with sweat, and his dark, curly hair held the imprint of his baseball cap.
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14).
“Why didn’t you get mad?”
Sarah looked up from her science textbook to find her classmate Justin Wilcox standing beside her. His face was streaked with sweat, and his dark, curly hair held the imprint of his baseball cap. “What did you say?” she asked.
“When Terry said that you punched him in the arm and you didn’t, and then Teacher made you come inside for the rest of recess and you just came inside without saying anything, why didn’t you get mad?”
Sarah leaned back in her desk chair. “I asked my mom why Terry is mean to me. She said he’s angry because his dad left and probably won’t be coming back. So he goes around saying angry things because he feels sad inside. I guess he wants other people to feel sad too.”
Justin frowned. “So you lost your recess because you didn’t want to cause a problem for the guy who made you lose your recess?”
Sarah shrugged. “I guess so.”
“You should have punched him right in the arm,” Justin admitted. “Hey, he already said you did.”
Sarah laughed. “That’s not what a disciple does.”
“A disciple? What are you talking about?”
Sarah sighed. “I learned at my church that I should be a disciple for Jesus. Sometimes being a disciple means you have to think of others first—even when they tell lies about you. Terry is sad and angry, and I guess I don’t blame him. If I argued with him or told on him, he’d just feel worse. I didn’t want that to happen.”
Justin shook his head and headed for the door. “You’re weird, Sarah,” he called. “Good luck with the disciple thing.”
Sarah chuckled. “Thanks, Justin. I’ll need it.”
A couple of minutes later Sarah felt the presence of someone standing beside her, and looked up into the face of Terry. “I’m sorry,” the boy said. “I told Teacher what I did, and she said that I should come inside for the rest of recess. She said you can go back out if you want.”
Sarah thought for a moment. “What do you know about the moon?”
Terry frowned. “The moon?”
“Yes. I’m reading about the moon, and I don’t understand how it can make the ocean tides go up and down. You seem to know a lot about science in class. Can you explain it to me?”
Terry grinned. “I love the moon,” he said excitedly, seating himself next to Sarah. “You see, there’s this thing called gravity.”
While their classmates played outside, the sad boy and the disciple talked about the secrets of the solar system.
Getting Ready to Go
How do you think a disciple of Jesus would handle these situations?
- A new kid joins your class at school.
- A classmate who lives nearby is ill and can’t keep up with his or her schoolwork.
- Someone calls you a mean name during recess.
1 Unless otherwise noted, Bible texts are from the New King James Version.
2 Texts credited to NIV are from the New International Version.