Rabbi’s, back in the days of old, had a process in taking on a disciple. I am going to list the three sections followed in discipling. This wasn’t a month or two long process, this process begun at the age of 6 and up to as young as 14.
Section 1: Bet Safar
Typically from the ages of 5 to 10. This was all about cramming. It was all about memorizing the scriptures. During this section a boy would actually memorize the Torah which includes: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. If a boy stayed faithful and committed he would typically have the complete Torah memorized by the age of 10.
Section 2: Bet Talmud
In this section the memorization continues as the young boy has to continue to study and memorize Psalms, books of the prophets and the rest of the Hebrew scriptures. So a committed boy by the age of 14 could have the complete Old Testament memorized. How crazy is that?! During this time a boy would also learn more how to ask questions and answer them as well. I heard an example as to how they would typically learn to answer the questions. For example if I asked you what is two plus two you would answer? 4!! Ok, this is definitely the right answer. A young boy following a Rabbi may answer it like this…what is the square root of sixteen? It not only shows the Rabbi that the boy understood the question but also shows the boy is thinking larger than just 4. The boy also understands four times four, what a square root is and that he understands so much more than just what two plus two is. Read Luke 2. It says Jesus was 12 at the time, He was sitting among the teachers asking questions. And then it also says they were amazed at His answers. I bet he was doing more than just answering….4. Right? Jesus also had a different way of asking questions and I think this explains it….
Section 3: Bet Midrash
At the age of 14 the best of the best would continue under their Rabbi. That student would take on the yoke of their Rabbi at that point. Now, a Rabbi’s yoke is the specific beliefs of a Rabbi. THere are curtain things in bible you don’t bend on and that is not to be at all messed with. But, a Rabbi may have certain things He believes and teaches that another Rabbi may have a different view point on. This is his yoke. In Matthew 11 you see Jesus stating that His yoke is easy. He didn’t have a list of rules and guidlines His disciples had to follow…..just….“follow me”.
Ok, so at 14 a student would ask the Rabbi if he could be his disciple. No…this student has not YET become a disciple. SO the Rabbi would quiz the student and decide weather or not to allow the student to be his disciple. It would actually be said “May you be covered in the dust of your Rabbi”. WHy? Well, a Rabbi would take his disciple with him as they traveled around. He would teach his disciple. At the end of the day a disciple was said to have been covered in the dust of his Rabbi because of “following him”. He was close enough to be covered by his Rabbi’s dust.
Look at the disciples. They were all working other jobs. Fisherman, tax collectors….etc. This means they probably didn’t make the cut. They were rejected by a Rabbi in that day. So, here comes this Rabbi and walks up and says…“follow me”. HUGE!!
So here’s my question. Do you feel you are following Jesus? Are you covered in the dust of Christ? Are you following so closely that if you were PHYSICALLY following Him would His dust from His trail be getting on you? Are you THAT dedicated to following Him? Is “following Him” your life? Or are you just satisfied with a 10 minute devotional in the morning? Do you think an hour and a half at a church building on Sundaymorning is good enough? A disciple was tested, tried, quizzed and PUSHED. Are you stretching? Or are you just sitting?
One last question…how can you disciple if you are not first a disciple yourself? Can you truly lead someone into the arms of Christ if you’re not LIVING there?
I want to challenge you. Allow the dust of your RABBI drench you. TRULY follow Him. The Rabbi of all rabbi’s. The King of all kings. The Lord of all creation. He longs to disciple you. He longs to be your Rabbi. But, it’s not just for you. At that point…you can leave a trail behind for others to be drenched in.