Who is Testing Whom?

When students are challenged in the classroom, their first impulse is to avoid being tested by attempting to test the teacher. Is the assignment difficult? There must be something wrong with the teacher. Is it hard to understand? It must be the teacher’s fault. Am I failing the class? Surely, the teacher has credibility issues. I could go on, but you get the point. A student avoids responsibility for his or her failures by blaming the teacher. Worse, the same student delights in gossip about the teacher instead of delighting in the teacher’s knowledge.

In the Gospel of Mark the miracles of Jesus are given not as proof of his credibility, but as a test of his students’ faith: do the Pharisees and the Lord’s disciples trust in the Torah? Do they delight in the Lord’s precepts, or do they seek signs and wonders as proof of his credibility? “Do you not yet see or understand?” (Mark 8:17b) Twice I fed you in the wilderness and still, you refuse to get the message. Alas, no sign will be given to you except the Bread of my Father’s teaching; and you had better study it, because the final exam is just around the corner. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Mark 8:11-26.

Listen: http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/5701513/TBAL%20Episode%20170.mp3

Episode 170 Mark 8:11-26; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Long Stroll” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/


  1. On the podcast you often say that you respond to questions and comments on your facebook or website. However I have not found that to be the case. At least with the clarifications and questions I pose. I understand that FPNT (PBUH) only accepts clarifications, not questions, so I was surprised that on your podcast you welcome questions. It is the answers to the questions (or the lack of answers) that I find puzzling. Could/would you please clarify if you are interested in having folks ask questions or not? Thank you.

    1. Yes, I have heard you discuss some questions on your podcast. That is a welcom addition. I was referring to question on the facebook page possibly being responded to on the FB page itself. I was vey happy to hear that you believe that teachers are included in the set of “eveyone.” It was a clarification I have waiting 150 episodes to hear you mention. So the school of Father Paul Nadim Tarazi (Peace be Upon Him) believes that the “teachers” often referred to in the podcasts are not outside the “set” of the everyone the podcasts refers to, so the teachers are bounded by the teaching that is presented by the teachers, school and hopefully also the Gospells. Truely glad the truths of the Gospel included the teachers of the school of FPNT (PBUH).

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