Three men sat talking. Another man walked by.
“That’s the one I was talking about,” says one of the three. The other two start walking after the passing man.
He turns. “What do you want?” he asks.
Their first word, “rabbi”, says everything.
A rabbi was a teacher. Rather than sitting in a classroom with students showing up three hours a week, a rabbi lived and taught wherever. The students, the followers, the disciples, would follow all the time. They would watch what he said and how he said it. They would leave home so they could be near him all the time.
Imagine an internship with your most-admired business leader. Imagine being a personal assistant to your favorite rockstar, going on tour.
“I could never do that” we think. We have our lives to live and commitments to keep. As much as we would love to spend that much time learning to understand how our hero thinks, we just couldn’t.
But what if you could spend a week with David Allen, the guy who knows all about “Getting Things Done.” Yes, you can read his books, but what if you could watch him? What if you could point out what seems unrealistic, ask how he handles certain situations. Wouldn’t that be worth a week?
“Rabbi, where are you staying?” means that these two men want to spend some time with this teacher, finding out whether they want to follow Jesus.
Jesus offers a simple answer: “Come and you will see.” There is in this invitation an implied “I would like you to,” but there isn’t an obligation or pressure or threats.
There is merely an offer of relationship.
These two men had already committed their lives to learning from a master teacher. Now they found the one to follow.