I am enjoying a book for class on the life of Christ. “Sitting at the feet of Rabbi Jesus” gives some clarity on the significance of the first century context in which Jesus did ministry. Reading on discipleship, this struck me:
“To follow a rabbi meant something other than sitting in a classroom and absorbing his lectures. Rather, it involved a literal kind of following, in which disciples often traveled with, lived with, and imitated their rabbis, learning not only from what they said but from what they did – from their reactions to everyday life as well as from the manner in which they lived. The task of the disciple was to become as much like the rabbi as possible.”
I think this has multiple implications. First it is the overall realization that we are to be disciples of Jesus. We follow him and go where he will take us. In the process we become more like him. Perhaps more practically for us though is how we interact with the thought of what it means to make disciples.
My encouragement for life on life mentoring and relationship is nothing new to most readers, but here I think we are called to evaluate what we believe it means to make a disciple (as Jesus commanded in his first century context). Making disciples is more than making converts. Making disciples is relational and experiential. The disciple sees all of us, good and bad – and is encouraged to pursue Christ because we do. This truth should infect the way we do ministry, life and community.
Following a rabbi was about walking the way they did. I imagine the number of people we are discipling in this way is small. But this is how we should be making disciples that make disciples. Think on this and then invite someone into your dust trail.