Jesus was the Master Teacher. He excelled in giving Bible studies. He reveled in the one-soul audience. He first caught the attention; then the interest was aroused and that led to conviction. Jesus loved His listeners. His great heart yearned for them. Just before He entered the final scenes of His life, He prayed for those for whom He had labored. He looked deep into the hearts of individuals and drew them to Himself.
So, as we consider and study the methods of the Master Teacher we, too, will strive to excel. We will love the one being taught and pray for conviction. We will persevere with a yearning that can be satisfied only as we see those for whom we labor fall in deep consecration at the feet of Him who died for all.
One day the ambulance siren whined to a stop. A patient was carefully lifted out and taken quickly to the third floor of the hospital. There was a buzz of activity until he was made comfortable and all records taken. Then I was told the circumstances surrounding this man in room 340.
He had been ailing for some time, but when he grew so much worse that he had to be in bed, his doctor told him he had cancer and could live but a very short time. This seemed to unnerve him, and after a few days he wrote two letters—one to a nephew who lived in a distant city, the other to his housekeeper. To the nephew he wrote of his condition and said that he did not have the courage to go on and endure the agony in store for him. He planned to end his life, and by the time this letter would reach him he would be gone. The housekeeper's letter contained instruction concerning his belongings if she should find he had slipped away quickly, as the doctor thought might happen. When he placed the letters in the envelopes he got them mixed, and the housekeeper received the suicide note in time to call the doctor and prevent the act anticipated.
I am sure this mixing of the letters did not just happen, for God knew this man's heart and his need.
After hearing this story I went in to see this patient in room 340. He was a thin, small man of seventy-five years. There was no response as I greeted him—only a look of complete hopelessness. As I talked to him he just stared. Then I said, "Shall I pray for you?" He looked at me and in a very cold and sarcastic tone replied, "If it will do you any good." I did pray—prayed that God would come very close and comfort.
The next day and the next the experience was the same. Then a change came creeping in. There was a smile, a look of interest, a soft expression in his eyes, as we talked of heaven and of Jesus. Day after day we talked of the wonders of that heavenly home being prepared for those who love Him. We talked of the near coming of our Saviour and how we must make preparation every day to meet Him. When the time would come for me to leave he would say, "Don't forget to pray." Several weeks passed, and each day the patient grew weaker physically, but stronger spiritually, and at last one night he fell asleep in Jesus.
Do you see why the letters were mixed? Can you understand why he was brought to our hospital? Do you realize the responsibility God has placed upon each of us who have entered His work?
Soon Jesus will come in the clouds of glory, and if we are faithful, we will meet those for whom we have labored.