Bible Trek | Galilee Series

Devotional



Jesus the Rabbi 


‘Learn from me.’ (Matthew 11.29)


Looking around 


Children in Jesus’ day learnt the Jewish Scriptures – essentially what we now call the Old Testament – from an early age. By their teens, the more gifted were ready to study the Law of Moses, its commandments and their interpretation, with expert teachers called rabbis.  


The Gospel of Luke records how, at the tender age of 12, Jesus was debating religion in the Jerusalem Temple and how, thereafter, he kept growing in wisdom. Evidently, Galilee, the region in which Jesus grew up, didn’t leave all the teaching up to the spiritual elite in the capital. 


Jesus and his disciples followed the rabbinic model of students journeying with, learning from and striving to become like the master. Yet, there was one crucial difference: Jesus wasn’t any old rabbi, but the Son of God, who taught with divine authority and made claims about himself that no other rabbi would have dreamed of making.  


Stepping closer 


‘Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future’ is a life coach's favourite saying. The company you keep matters. Who you surround yourself with, shapes and determines where you’re going and who you become.


There may not have been life coaches in Jesus’ day, but Jewish culture knew the power of company and influence. Rabbis in Jesus’ day had disciples. The Hebrew word is ‘talmidim’ and invokes the idea of an apprentice. ‘Clothed with the dust from the rabbi’s feet’, disciples desired the master’s teachings and practice to become their own. 


John 14 sees Jesus declaring himself to be ‘the way, the truth, and the life’ (v6): more than a highway to Heaven, but a way to experience his life here on earth.


A life coach will often ask, ‘What is the goal of your existence?’ What if your answer was ‘to be clothed with the dust from the feet of Jesus’? 


Being with Jesus. There’s no better life goal to have.