But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.ESV.
Jesus was a rabbi. A super rabbi. Most rabbi’s are knowledgeable of the text but not all rabbis interpret the text. Jesus was the youngest of the super rabbis’ of his time and truly interpreted the Scriptures. When he approached Peter and Andrew and said if you follow me I will make you fishers of men, the youngsters drop their nets and left the family business to pursue the opportunity to become like their rabbi.
In Jesus’ time, it is estimated that one of 10,000 men had the gift to memorize the bible in its entirety. Those who didn’t have the gift went on to learn the family trade. With Andrew, Peter, James, and John, the family business was fishing. So when Jesus approached them and invited them to follow him, it was a honor that normally wasn’t available for those who weren’t gifted with super memory.
For when a Jewish lad turned twelve, it was then determined whether or not they were gifted to be a rabbi. Those gifted would have at least memorized word by word the entire first five books of the old testament. If one wasn’t able to recite the text accurately, they were led to follow their father’s trade.
So Jesus went recruiting disciples who initially didn’t qualify. The apostle Paul wrote later in 1 Corinthians 1:27 “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.” What most of us will eventually come to realize is the outcome depends more on God than us. When Jesus invited us to the table to become his disciple, he didn’t choose you because of your great beauty, memory, or skill-set. Instead, he chose you because he loves you and wants to prove to you and others that it is what God is doing and not what you are doing that counts. This is Jesus’ story. We are included in His narrative. We follow him because He is the super rabbi that we want to become like. He is our passion. He is our strength. He is our hope. In the end, it is a humble honor and privilege for us all to follow the Rabbi. How about you?
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