There was a certain
Professor of Religion named Dr. Christianson, a
studious man who taught at a small college in the Western United States.
Christianson taught the required survey course in Christianity at this
particular institution. Every student was required to take this course his
or her freshman year regardless of his or her major. Although Dr.
Christianson tried hard to communicate the essence of the gospel in his
class, he found that most of his students looked upon the course as
but required drudgery. Despite his best efforts, most students refused to
take Christianity seriously.
This year, Dr. Christianson had a special student named Steve. Steve was
only a freshman, but was studying with the intent of going onto seminary
for the ministry. Steve was popular, he was well liked, and he was an
physical specimen. He was now the starting centre on the school football
team, and was the best student in the professor's class.
One day, Dr. Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk
"How many push-ups can you do "
Steve said, "I do about 200 every night."
"200 That's pretty good, Steve," Dr. Christianson said. "Do you think you
could do 300 "
Steve replied, "I don't know... I've never done 300 at a time."
"Do you think you could " again asked Dr. Christianson.
"Well, I can try," said Steve.
"Can you do 300 in sets of 10 I have a class project in mind and I need
to do about 300 push-ups in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it I
need you to tell me you can do it," said the professor.
Steve said, "Well... I think I can...yeah, I can do it."
Dr. Christianson said, "Good! I need you to do this on Friday. Let me
explain what I have in mind."
Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room.
When class started, the professor pulled out a big box of donuts. No these
weren't the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra fancy BIG kind,
with cream centres and frosting swirls.
Everyone was pretty excited it was Friday, the last class of the day, and
they were going to get an early start on the weekend with a party in Dr.
Dr. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked,
"Cynthia, do you want to have one of these donuts "
Cynthia said, "Yes."
Dr. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten
push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut "
"Sure." Steve jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve
sat in his desk. Dr. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia's desk.
Dr. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, "Joe, do
want a donut "
Joe said, "Yes."
Dr. Christianson asked, "Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a
donut " Steve did ten push-ups, Joe got a donut. And so it went, down the
first aisle, Steve did ten push ups for every person before they got their
donut. And down the second aisle, till Dr. Christianson came to Scott.
Scott was on the basketball team, and in as good condition as Steve. He
very popular and never lacking for female companionship. When the
asked, "Scott do you want a donut " Scott's reply was, "Well, can I do my
own push ups "
Dr. Christianson said, "No, Steve has to do them."
Then Scott said, "Well, I don't want one then."
Dr. Christianson shrugged and then turned to Steve and asked,
"Steve, would you do ten push ups so Scott can have a donut he doesn't
With perfect obedience Steve started to do ten push ups.
Scott said, "HEY! I said I didn't want one!"
Dr. Christianson said, "Look, this is my classroom, my class, my desks,
these are my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don't want it."
And he put a donut on Scott's desk.
Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on
the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up
down. You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his
brow. Dr. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were
beginning to get a little angry.
Dr. Christianson asked Jenny, "Jenny, do you want a donut "
Sternly, Jenny said, "No."
Then Dr. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten more
Push-ups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn't want " Steve did
ten....Jenny got a
By now, a growing sense of uneasiness filled the room. The students were
beginning to say "No" and there were all these uneaten donuts on the
Steve also had to really put forth a lot of extra effort to get these push
ups done for
each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath
his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort
Dr. Christianson asked Robert, who was the most vocal unbeliever in the
class, to watch Steve do each push up to make sure he did the full ten
push ups in a set because he couldn't bear to watch all of Steve's work
all of those uneaten donuts. He sent Robert over to where Steve was so
Robert could count the set and watch Steve closely. Dr. Christianson
started down the fourth row.
During his class, however, some students from other classes had wandered
and sat down on the steps along the radiators that ran down the sides of
the room. When the professor realized this, he did a quick count and saw
now there were 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would
be able to make it. Dr. Christianson went on to the next person and the
next and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a
time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.
Steve asked Dr. Christianson, "Do I have to make my nose touch on each one
Dr. Christianson thought for a moment, "Well, they're your push ups. You
in charge now. You can do them any way that you want." And Dr.
A few moments later, Jason, a recent transfer student, came to the room
was about to come in when all the students yelled in one voice, "NO! Don't
come in! Stay out!" Jason didn't know what was going on.
Steve picked up his head and said, "No, let him come."
Professor Christianson said, "You realize that if Jason comes in you will
have to do ten push ups for him "
Steve said, "Yes, let him come in. Give him a donut"
Dr. Christianson said, "Okay, Steve, I'll let you get Jason's out of the
way right now. Jason, do you want a donut "
Jason, new to the room hardly knew what was going on. "Yes," he said,
me a donut."
"Steve, will you do ten push-ups so that Jason can have a donut "
Steve did ten push ups very slowly and with great effort. Jason,
was handed a donut and sat down.
Dr. Christianson finished the fourth row, then started on those visitors
seated by the
heaters. Steve's arms were now shaking with each push-up in a struggle to
against the force of gravity. Sweat was profusely dropping off of his face
and, by this
time, there was no sound except his heavy breathing, there was not a dry
eye in the room.
The very last two students in the room were two young women, both
very popular. Dr. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and
asked, "Linda, do
you want a doughnut "
Linda said, very sadly, "No, thank you."
Professor Christianson quietly asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so
that Linda can
have a donut she doesn't want " Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten
very slow push ups for
Then Dr. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. "Susan, do you want
a donut "
Susan, with tears flowing down her face, began to cry. "Dr. Christianson,
why can't I help him?"
Dr. Christianson, with tears of his own, said, "No, Steve has to do it
alone, I have given him this
task and he is in charge of seeing that everyone has an opportunity for a
donut whether they want
it or not. When I decided to have a party this last day of class, I looked
at my grade book.
Steve, here is the only student with a perfect grade. Everyone else has
failed a test, skipped class,
or offered me inferior work. Steve told me that in football practice, when
a player messes up he must
do push-ups. I told Steve that none of you could come to my party unless
he paid the price by doing
your push ups. He and I made a deal for your sakes. Steve, would you do
ten push-ups so Susan can
have a donut " As Steve very slowly finished his last push up, with the
understanding that he had accomplished
all that was required of him, having done 350 push ups, his arms buckled
beneath him and he fell to the floor.
Dr. Christianson turned to the room and said. "And so it was, that our
Saviour, Jesus Christ, on the cross, plead
to the Father, 'into thy hands I commend my spirit.' With the
understanding that He had done everything that
was required of Him, he yielded up His life. And like some of those in
this room, many of us leave the gift on the
desk, uneaten." Two students helped Steve up off the floor and to a seat,
physically exhausted, but wearing a
thin smile. "Well done, good and faithful servant," said the professor,
adding "Not all sermons are preached in words."
Turning to his class the professor said, "My wish is that you might
understand and fully comprehend all the riches of
grace and mercy that have been given to you through the sacrifice of our
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He spared not
only His Begotten Son, but gave Him up for us all for the whole Church,
now and forever. Whether or not we choose
to accept His gift to us, the price has been paid. Wouldn't you be foolish
and ungrateful to leave it laying on the desk "
10:9 I am
the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and
out, and find pasture.