John Phillip Sousa was sitting in his hotel room on a summer evening when he heard a hand-organ on the street just below his window. The organ grinder was playing Sousa’s famous march, “The Stars & Stripes Forever.” But Sousa found himself greatly irritated by the way the song was slowly dragging out of the organ. Finally, he couldn’t stand it any longer and dashed down to the street. “Here, here,” he said to the slothful grinder, “that’s no way to play that march.” Then Sousa seized the handle of the organ and began working feverishly as the song’s proper power and purpose surged from the instrument. Afterwards, the grinder simply bowed low and smiled.
The next night Sousa heard the same hand-organ playing the same march again, but this time the tune was sounding forth in the right tempo. Mildly amused, Sousa looked out the window and to his surprise saw a great crowd gathered around the organ grinder. He went down to investigate and saw that the grinder had now placed a large card over his organ. At the top of the card, written in large letters, was the grinder’s name. Underneath his name, written in equally large letters, were the words: PUPIL OF JOHN PHILIP SOUSA.
The Bible has much to say about Christian discipleship, and the word “disciple” literally means “learner.” Sadly, even though every disciple is a Christian, every Christian is not a disciple. You see, there is a considerable difference between Jesus merely being your Savior (as eternally vital as that is) and Him being your Teacher. So tell me, Christian, can you truthfully write under your name “PUPIL OF JESUS CHRIST”? If you can’t, I’d say it’s past time you enrolled in school.