Former President Bush signed, The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (“NCLB”) into law on January 8, 2002 with overwhelming bipartisan support. In a nutshell, NCLB was the product of a collaboration between civil rights and business groups, as well as both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill and the Bush administration, which sought to advance American competitiveness and close the achievement gap between poor and minority students and their more advantaged peers.
I’m not going to delve into the various pros and cons of this piece of legislation because in 2015 the NCLB act was succeeded by a new law called Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”).
I believe the principles of both of these acts were grounded in the foundation that Jesus built nearly 2,000 years ago.
In Luke 15:3-7, Jesus shared the parable of the lost sheep. He said, “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
I believe this fable helped to influence both the former NCLB and the now current ESSA! God doesn’t want anyone of His children to be left behind. 2 Peter 3:9 confirms, “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”
Jesus tells the parable of the lost sheep to show that the Kingdom of God is accessible to all, even those who were sinners or strayed from God’s path. Jesus stresses that when the shepherd finds the lost sheep He rejoices over it more than the 99 who did not go astray.
The reason why we are here on this planet in a time such as this is to do our part fulfilling the great commission (Matt 28:20). No ONE should be left behind and this declaratory statement is what fuels my purpose to make it to heaven and to take as many “ONES” with me!
Will you join me?