“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” -Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela grew up in a poor farming community, where there was no formal education system but there was a strong sense of family, community, tradition and religion. These values from his humble upbringing forged his character and developed in him a strong sense of helping people. Nelson Mandela was not born nor raised to be the first president of a free South Africa.

There was a pivotal moment in Nelson Mandela’s life when his mother came into contact with some Christian missionaries. Due to their proselytizing, she accepted Jesus as her Savior and began to worship in a Christian church. In her spiritual journey some of the missionaries began planting the seeds of education and hope for a better future. The missionaries suggested that her son should be enrolled in school so he could have new opportunities in life.

Mandela’s mother began the work of convincing her non- Christian husband into allowing their son to be enrolled in
school. Permission was granted and Nelson Mandela began his formal education. Through lots of hard work, discipline and
time, Nelson Mandela eventually earned a law degree that allowed him to help his fellow countrymen. From 1948-1991 people were abused, segregated and discriminated against because of the apartheid policies of the government. Nelson Mandela was instrumental in garnishing change.

“Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the Mine, that a child of farmworkers can become the president of a great nation.” – Nelson Mandela (Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela)

Education brought freedom to South Africa. Education brought change. Education helped Nelson Mandela make it through 27 years of imprisonment. Education helped Nelson Mandela lead the charge to abolish the apartheid government. Education helped Nelson Mandela become the first president of a free South Africa.

This week, as we continue our Colossians series, we will look at the freedom we can gain through education. This freedom however, only comes through a grounded and growing education in Jesus! Notice the counsel Paul gives, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8, NIV).

Education is powerful. Education in Jesus brings freedom! May we all grow in our education and may we all enjoy freedom in our Savior.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Geraldo