Tag Archives: rabbi

beginning to follow

First published January 22, 2010

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.

famJesus 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.

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Lent for Non-Lent People is available in paperback and for Kindle

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beginning to follow

First published January 22, 2010

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.

a teacher who recruits

College admissions offices spend enormous energy recruiting students. Most faculty members don’t. The faculty are part of the product that recruiters sell.

“If you come here, you will get to study with Dr. X. He’s the one who wrote that famous commentary on John. In fact, he was on the translation team.”

It’s possible that if you were to visit the campus, you would see Dr. X. He may even look at you, as part of a group, and say, “Come to our great school.” But he’s doing that primarily because the school has convinced him that he needs to help recruit.

In general, teachers teach. They don’t recruit.

That was true of rabbis, too. A student would ask to follow, would hope to be taken on.

And then there’s Jesus. He’s collected three followers: Andrew, Simon, and some player to be named later (probably John). He’s heading out of town. He goes looking for Philip, find him and says, “Follow me.” (John 1:43-44)

Philip was from the same town as Andrew and Simon. They may have known each other. But they don’t bring him to Jesus, Jesus goes to him.

Relationships with people matter. It’s one of the ways that Jesus uses to connect with people. But I’m pretty sure that sometimes Jesus walks up to someone and says quietly and directly, “The rest of your friends are in my school, learning to follow me. Why don’t you come along?”

We’re going to hear more from Philip as we read through John. In fact, if you want to hear Philip stories, this is the only book to read. It’s almost as if it was written by someone who knew him well, who noticed what he said, the way only a friend notices quiet people.

But Jesus recruited him. He matters.

beginning to follow

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.