“Tell Us More!”
IN Nezlobnaya, Russia, a high school literature class was studying the works of the Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov. Among the works was a novel that describes Jesus Christ in a disparaging way, while it portrays Satan as a hero. After the class discussion, the teacher assigned the class a written test based on this novel. However, one of the students, a 16-year-old Witness of Jehovah named Andrey, politely asked to be excused from taking the test because his conscience did not allow him to study this type of literature. He offered instead to write an essay that would explain how he viewed Jesus Christ. The teacher agreed.
In his essay, Andrey explained that while he respects the opinion of others, he has found that the best way to learn about Jesus is to read one of the four Gospel accounts. By doing so, “you will learn about Jesus’ life and teachings as based on the accounts of eyewitnesses.” Andrey added: “Another concern is how Satan is portrayed. Some may find it amusing to read a book in which Satan is a hero, but I do not.” He explained that Satan is actually a powerful wicked spirit creature who turned away from God, bringing wickedness, affliction, and suffering to the human family. Andrey concluded his essay: “I do not believe that reading this novel will benefit me. Of course, I have nothing against Bulgakov. But personally, I would rather read the Bible to learn the historical truth about Jesus Christ.”
Andrey’s teacher was so pleased with the essay that she invited him to prepare an oral report on Jesus Christ. Andrey readily agreed. During their next literature class, Andrey read his report in front of the entire class. He explained why he felt that Jesus is the greatest man who ever lived. Then he read a chapter about Jesus’ death from the Bible book of Matthew. Since the allotted time for the report was running out, Andrey wanted to conclude it, but his classmates urged him: “Tell us more! What happened next?” So he continued reading from Matthew’s account about Jesus’ resurrection.
When Andrey finished, his classmates asked him many questions about Jesus and Jehovah. “I had prayed to Jehovah for wisdom, and he answered my prayer,” says Andrey. “I was able to answer all their questions!” After class, Andrey gave his teacher a copy of the book The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived, * which she eagerly accepted. Andrey commented: “She gave me high marks for my report and praised me for having my own convictions and not being ashamed of them. She also said that she shares some of my beliefs.”
Andrey rejoices that he decided to follow his Bible-trained conscience by not reading material that dishonors Jehovah and his Son, Jesus Christ. Such a stand not only protected him from unscriptural views but also opened up a marvelous opportunity to share vital Bible truths with others.
^ par. 5 Published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.