Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Preparing for Discipleship - Part 2

In Preparing for Discipleship - Part 1, I blogged my thoughts on “community” after viewing the Ray Vander Laan video series That the World May Know. Today, I give you my perspective of other building blocks mentioned in Faith Lessons: In the Dust of the Rabbi.


This one seems simple. If we are going to be a disciple or follower of a specific teaching, it would be wise to know the teaching. Do we do that in other areas? I’m not sure. How often do people vote based on political party instead of spending time learning about the life of the candidate?

Disciples of any Rabbi in Jesus day, where expected to study and know scripture for themselves. They needed to know it well enough to debate it. They did not just listen and nod (or nod off) as the Rabbi taught. It was interactive instruction.

Do you truly want to be a disciple of Christ? Know his teaching for yourself. Be able to discuss it with him. Can you represent his teaching in discussion with others? Questions are the best way to learn. Don’t be afraid to ask questions as you read scripture. Just be sure to ask someone who is also a true disciple of Christ. Find a small group or Bible study that focuses on scripture more than on life issues. Let scripture be a pre-requisite to life issue discussion groups.


As I understand it, all Jewish boys had a certain level of schooling. At a certain age, many would end the formal education and join their father in his work. Those who desired to become disciples of a Rabbi continued in formal schooling.

Are you settling for the minimum amount of schooling in scripture? Do you just attend preaching and worship weekly or maybe less often? What is your desire? Does work and leisure occupy more time than sitting under the instruction of a more learned disciple of Christ?

God’s thoughts and ways are so much greater than any human thoughts, we can never learn all there is to learn about his ways in this lifetime. Children’s Bible Stories are for children. Is it time for you to begin searching for the significance of those Bible stories?

Being a disciple of Christ is not like math and science. It is a way of life. We continually grow in our understanding of the meaning and purpose of God’s ways as we sit under the instruction of those “who want to be who the Rabbi is”. (That is the definition of disciple from Part 1.)


Those who know me, know that I really like the word passion. To me, passion is the difference in existing and living. The Passion of the Christ movie sparked my fascination with the concept of true passion. It is the fuel for Determination.

According to Ray Vander Laan, those who wanted to be disciples of a Rabbi were so passionate about it that they would spend as much time with him as possible. Sleeping, eating, walking. They wanted more than just to know what the Rabbi taught. They wanted to live as the Rabbi lived.

Are you passionate about being a disciple of Christ? Do you set out with determination to read your Bible but then fail? Do you determine to pray for others then fall asleep trying – if you remember to pray at all? Do you make resolutions to join a Bible study but then let your fears or busy-ness keep you from doing so? Quit being determined on your own strength. Get passionate about Christ. Seek more than to just do the “right things.” Sleep, eat, walk and talk with the one you want to be like.

This is where mentoring comes in. We have Rabbi’s among us even in the protestant church. Look around. Who do you want to be like? Approach her/him. Ask if you may be her/his disciple. It will be as rewarding for her/him as it is for you.

Jesus’ Disciples

There were some differences between the disciples of Christ and other disciples. The typical process of becoming the disciple of a Rabbi was to be in the right community, know scripture, continue with additional schooling, become passionate enough to approach a Rabbi and ask if you could follow him.

Jesus did things a little different. Jesus went to a small town. Selected five of his twelve disciples from this common village. They were not well schooled. It’s doubtful they were passionate about Jesus – they were a bit skeptical from time to time. And most encouraging to me, Jesus asked them to follow him. They did not ask Jesus.

Preparing to be a disciple of most Rabbis took a lot of work before you could attain the status of disciple. Christ doesn’t require any preparation. He offers on-the-job training. "Follow Me," He told them, "and I will make you fishers of men!" (Matthew 4:19)

I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from My Father. You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit, and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.

John 15:15b-16

No comments:

the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

Copyright 2005-2010 Lisa Biggs Crum
Email for reprint permission