Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Dusty roads... not the wrestler

Today, I want to study discipleship.
Follow along as we venture into the world of the 1st century Jew.
I make learning fun!! :)

The Hebrew word for disciple is "talmid."
A group of disciples would be called "talmidim."

When a young Jewish boy reached the age of 15, he would apply to college. Actually, he would present himself to a rabbi and ask to become a talmid (which means disciple for those who skipped the previous paragraph).

The talmid's ultimate goal was to become like his rabbi. So these young men would apply to distinguished rabbi's in hopes of being able to follow him around. Sadly, only a few young men were chosen to be a talmid. The ones not chosen would learn the family trade. However, the best of the best would spend the rest of their lives following their rabbi from place to place and learning how he applied the Scriptures.

Jewish rabbi's would tell their "talmidim"to “Cover yourself with the dust of (your rabbi’s) feet.”

This idea came from the picture of a rabbi leading his disciples down the road to a certain town. We can imagine the disciples doing their best to keep up and stay close to their rabbi because they did not want to miss a thing he said. By the end of a day of walking, the disciples would be covered literally with the dust of their rabbi.

And this is a good thing...

Now think about what Jesus did. Jesus came on the scene walking by the lakeshore and asked some fishermen to "Come follow me." Why were these men fishing? Because they weren't the best of the best. They had been rejected. They were working at their family's trade.

Jesus comes along and reverses the process. Jesus is in effect saying, "The world judges you as not good enough, but I believe you can be like Me." Remember, the goal of the talmid is to be like the Rabbi.

The decision to follow a rabbi as a talmid meant total commitment in the first century. It still means total commitment today. A talmid was totally devoted to becoming like the rabbi. Jesus describes His relationship to His disciples in exactly this way. In Luke 6:40 Jesus says, “A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.”

Jesus looked at a group of guys whom the world had said was not good enough. HE looked at them and said, “Come follow Me. You can be like Me.”

Who wouldn’t want to follow Him? Jesus believes that we can be like Him.

Being like Christ is what discipleship is all about.
How closely are you following Jesus?
Are you covered with His dust?

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