My life has been taken over with a desire to learn Jewish culture and first century Jewish context, so as to better understand Jesus as the first century Jewish Rabbi that he was. I have been reading this amazing book, which I highly recommend, called, Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus can Transform Your Faith by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg.
I came to the chapter in this book titled, “Follow the Rabbi,” which talks about what it meant in the first century to be a disciple. Lois Tverberg explains discipleship as what we might think of as apprenticeship.
Jesus, as the master, taught the disciples not only how to interpret Torah correctly but also how to live in the coming Kingdom of God. By living with the Master, the disciples/apprentices were able to learn what the Master knew and how to live like the Master lived. The point was to become as much like the Master as possible, and then go and make disciples of their own.
Jesus taught them everything they needed to know about the life they had chosen, which God had chosen for them, and then let them try it out. In Matthew 10:1-15, Jesus pairs up the disciples, gives them explicit instructions on how to live His teachings, and sent them out to practice. Upon their successful return, Jesus continues to teach them, furthering their education in becoming like Him until His heavenly departure, when it would be their turn to take on apprentices.
It’s so easy for us to miss the point. The point is not to know about Him. The point is to know Him so we can be like Him. The furthest I was from God spiritually was when I went through Seminary. I was so wrapped up in knowing about God, that I forgot to know God. Students study the Bible in history classes all over the world, yet never meet God. We must study God’s Word with intention to be like the Master, and then work towards becoming as much like Him as possible: in compassion, in action, in love, in wisdom, in knowledge of God’s Word, in prayer and intimacy with the Father, in discipling others.
That is the only point worthy of Jesus the Master. It takes everything, and gives abundantly more. How I pray for the courage and outrageous passion it takes to become a true disciple of the Master.