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“How come Mrs. Bentley always chooses you to do stuff, Jessie?” Justin asked as he and Jessie munched on an after-school snack at Jessie’s house. “You got to be prayer leader yesterday, and you got to change the calendar today!”
“She asks you to do things, too,” Jessie replied. “You got to take out the classroom trash yesterday.”
Justin made a face. “Yeah, but I want to do something really important.”
“Taking out the trash is important,” said Jessie’s mom, sitting down at the table. “It’ll get stinky and messy if you don’t.”
Jessie thought for a minute. “Maybe if you’re careful to obey right away, Mrs. Bentley will give you more things to do.”
“You mean like I should put my crayons away as soon as she says to instead of finishing my picture first?” Justin asked.
“Yeah, that’s it,” Jessie replied.
“Obeying is always a good idea even if she never gives you a big job,” Jessie’s mom added. “But if you’re careful to obey, she’ll know she can trust you to do what she says.”
Justin chewed on his cookie. “Okay, I’ll try.”
All the next week, Justin was careful to listen and obey his teacher. Whenever he heard her give instructions, he stopped what he was doing and did what she said. One time, he was super close to finishing his dinosaur drawing. He just needed two more big teeth, but Mrs. Bentley said to put the crayons away. The dinosaur looked funny with two missing teeth, but Justin stashed it in his desk to finish later.
That afternoon, Mrs. Bentley stood up and said, “Class, I have to take care of something very important. I need someone I can trust to monitor the class for me.”
Everyone’s hands shot into the air. Justin stretched his hand up high. “Please choose me,” he said to himself.
“Justin,” said Mrs. Bentley, “you will be the class monitor.”
Justin was so surprised, he nearly tripped as he hurried to the front of the room. Jessie smiled. She was glad Justin finally got an important job.
Mrs. Bentley explained, “Now class, Justin is in charge while I’m gone. You need to stay in your seats and finish your math then work on your coloring pages. When I come back, Justin will tell me if anyone has been disobedient.”
Justin was proud to be chosen as monitor. He sat down in Mrs. Bentley’s chair and watched the other students as they worked on their math sheets.
After a few minutes, Justin heard whispering. “Psst! Hey, Justin.” It was Robert. “Do the monkey face, Justin.”
Justin shook his head. Everyone knew Justin could make a goofy monkey face that made them all laugh.
“Yeah,” said Michael, “do the monkey!”
Justin glanced at Jessie who was shaking her head “no.”
“Go on, do it.” “Please, Justin!” “We won’t tell.”
Suddenly everyone was begging Justin to show them his silly monkey face. But not Jessie—she quietly worked on her math.
Justin stood up and puffed out his cheeks. The class giggled. Then when he crossed his eyes and made funny grunting noises, the class hooted with laughter, “Ha, ha, hoo, hoo!”
One of the boys grabbed his lunchbox and gave Justin his banana. Justin hopped around holding the banana in one hand and scratching under his arm with the other hand.
“That’s great, Justin! You’re so funny!” The kids shouted as they watched Justin’s antics.
Jessie finished her math and began coloring. She glanced up at Justin and sighed. She was sad that he had listened to the other kids instead obeying Mrs. Bentley. Jessie was worried. What would happen when the teacher came back? It wasn’t too long before she found out.
Justin peeled the banana and jumped around in circles, listening to his classmates laugh and shout. But as he hopped and turned, he bumped into somebody. Suddenly, all the students gasped—Mrs. Bentley was back!
“Uh oh!” said Justin, swallowing the glob of banana in his mouth.
Mrs. Bentley stood staring at the class then turned to Justin. “Please go back to your seat, Justin. I think it’s time for our Bible lesson.”
The room was very quiet as the class listened carefully. Mrs. Bentley told them how young King Joash was rescued as a baby and how he grew up with a priest who taught him how to obey God. But after the priest died, others came and told Joash he didn’t need to obey God. Then Joash made a big mistake by listening to them.
“Justin,” said Mrs. Bentley, “do you think it was wise for Joash to listen to those who wanted him to disobey God’s instructions?”
Justin shook his head. “No, ma’am,” he replied.
“You’re right,” the teacher continued. “Joash started out well. He was careful to obey—as long as the priest was there. But once he was on his own, Joash disobeyed and did terrible things instead of staying obedient to God.” “What about when I was gone from the room. What should you have done, Justin?” asked Mrs. Bentley.
“I should have obeyed what you said and not made my monkey face,” Justin replied.
Then Robert spoke up. “I’m sorry, Justin. I shouldn’t have asked you to disobey.”
“Remember, class,” said Mrs. Bentley, “God wants us to be obedient to him always—for our whole lives—even if someone tells us differently.”
“We’re sorry, Mrs. Bentley,” the class said together.
“I forgive you, and I know you’ll do better next time I give you instructions.”
“And I’ll leave my monkey face for the playground,” promised Justin.
Justin & Jessie show kids how the Bible applies to real life! These weekly stories are part of Answers Bible Curriculum, our full-Bible, chronological Sunday school program for all ages.