It has become popular to ask the question "What would Jesus do?" There is always a danger that such an inquiry leads to all kinds of speculation, especially if we try to make Jesus fit our view of life. But we are on solid ground if we think about what Jesus actually did rather than what he might do in some hypothetical circumstances.

As we look at what Jesus did he becomes a model for what we should do. And that includes being a model for childhood as well as adulthood. Children don't need to ask "What would Jesus do?", because we really don't know whether he would have chosen to play soccer or hockey. But they do need to ask "What did Jesus do?", for we are given enough of a glimpse into his childhood for that to be a relevant question.

As Christians, we say we want to be like Jesus. That means that little Christian boys should want to be like Jesus when he was a little boy. His perfect humanity included a perfect childhood. We don't know much but what we do know about his childhood, what Jesus actually did, is that he was obedient and that he listened. I guess that means that the only things the Holy Spirit wanted children to know, when he inspired the writers to make decisions about what to tell and what to leave out in their Gospel accounts, is that a child who does what Jesus would do is one one obeys and listens.

When we apply this insight to education, we have a model for what a pupil in an elementary school should look like. Imagine this: a 12-year old boy sitting and listening! We know that's what Jesus would do because we know that's what Jesus did. Not that he spent his entire education sitting at desks; part of his education was spent making desks! But in the one glimpse that we have into his childhood we see more than the posture of his body - we see the posture of his heart.

Boys will be boys. Christian boys will be boys like Jesus. In chapter two of "Pupils who can see" we explore what this principle looks like in the learning environment, and the expectations we should have in Christian Education if we are really interested in knowing what Jesus would do.



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