THEY GET AN "A," YOU GET AN "A," WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT?
On the first day of class the professor says, "I have this very complicated Math problem, the solution of which shall constitute your grade for the entire semester. I'm giving you the problem now so you can start working immediately if you hope to pass the course. I want you all to make A's."
You want to do well so you get to work. You go to the library. You begin the calculation. To your surprise, you note that, even by mid-February, only a few of your fellow classmates have begun to work on the problem. Well, that's their business. They will be sorry come May.
The week before exams, you are proudly putting the finishing touches on your paper and the solution to the problem. Some in the class tell you that if they work hard over the next few days they might get it finished. There are others who haven't even begun. But, that's their problem.
On the last day of the semester, you proudly bring your work in person to the professor. To your surprise, everyone else has their work done as well. You're stunned. Then you begin to hear some comments. "Professor, thanks for helping me figure this out last week. Without your help, I would never have finished." "Here it is professor. All done, thanks to your kind assistance yesterday." "Thanks for coming by the dorm last night to help me."
Now you're really stunned. No wonder they finished; while you were hard at work, on your own, the professor was all over campus spoon-feeding it to everybody -- everybody but you, that is. So you tell the professor what you think of this. She replies, "Why do you begrudge my generosity? The goal of class is to get people to finish the problem. You were able to finish it on your own. Fine. The others needed a little special attention. You get an A. They get an A. What's wrong with that? Am I not doing you right?"
--William Willimon, Pulpit Resource, Vol. 21-3, pg. 50
Related Sermon Illustrations
Contributed by Dale Pilgrim on Aug 25, 2005
A man wanted to see Buckingham Palace. His guide took him to the gate. “Oh, I don’t mean here. I want inside.” “I’m sorry sir,” replied the guide, “I don’t have ...read more
Contributed by Michael Mccartney on Jun 8, 2005
a.Fools are defined by Holman’s Bible Dictionary as: FOOL, FOOLISHNESS, AND FOLLY Translations of several uncomplimentary words which appear approximately 360 times throughout the Old and New Testaments to describe unwise and ungodly people. The words are especially predominant in the Wisdom ...read more
Contributed by Mark Engler on Oct 12, 2005
Terry Bowland in his book Make Disciples – Reaching The Postmodern World for Christ writes this: “Many today balk at the teaching of the church. ‘Do you mean to say,” they ask, ‘that all those outside the church have no hope whatsoever? What about all the sincere folks who never come to Christ? ...read more
Contributed by Thomas Black on Jan 28, 2005
A woman decided to have her portrait painted. She told the artist, "Paint me with diamond rings, a diamond necklace, emerald bracelets, a ruby broach, and gold Rolex." "But you are not wearing any of those things," he replied. "I know," she said. "It’s in case I should die before my husband. ...read more
Contributed by Bruce Ball on Oct 24, 2005
A lady called the police and said she had a skunk in her basement and she needed help getting it out of her house. The police said to lay a trail of bread crumbs from the basement to outside in the yard and then leave her doors open. Sure enough, the skunk followed the bread crumbs and left. ...read more
Contributed by Sam Mccormick on Aug 14, 2017
God's grace as the avenue of salvation is sometimes seen as being in conflict with obedience of the believer as a requirement, without which salvation cannot be obtained. Which is it, or is it a combination? Can this dichotomy be satisfactorily resolved?
Contributed by J Jeffrey Smead on Jul 6, 2015
Paul declares we have been redeemed through the blood of Christ. The word redemption is a commercial term borrowed from the marketplace where human beings were offered for sale. Our only hope of redemption is in Christ Jesus. Updated July 2018.
Contributed by Scott Kircher on Jan 27, 2014
Grace. It is something we all want yet struggle to give or we struggle to see those who really don't deserve it, receive it. The fact is that we don't really understand grace then. What is Grace and how can it affect our entire life when we receive it?