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Recently, I was listening to a teacher by the name of Rob Bell and he spoke on the selecting process that Rabbis would use to choose their disciples. At the Age of 6, children would begin to learn the Torah, this training was called Bat cipher, from 8 to 10 they would have the torah by heart, memorized, (Gen – Deu) by the end of bat-cipher, most kids would go and learn their family trade, but the best of the best would advance to the next level, the ones with the most natural ability would then memorize (Gen to Mal), after this the best of the best of the best would then apply to a rabbi to become his disciple.

A disciple does not just want to know what his Rabbi knows, but he wants to be like his rabbi, and do what his rabbi does. Different rabbis had different sets of interpretations, which were called a Rabbis’ yoke. So you would then apply to the rabbi, the rabbi would grill you, the rabbi wanted to know if this kid can do what I can do, can he spread my yoke, but after the rabbi grills you, he might say you love god and knows the torah, but he is not good, then he would say go learn your family business, but if the rabbi thought this kid has what it takes, he is the best of the best of the best, the rabbi would then say come follow me, you would then leave your family, friends and your synagogue and village and you would devote your entire life to being like your rabbi, learning to do what your rabbi does, this is what it means to be a disciple.

All this has huge implications to Jesus. In the gospels, we see Jesus calling Peter and Andrew to come and follow him. If they are fishermen then they are not following another rabbi. That means that they are not the best of the best. The Bible says, they dropped their nets and followed after Jesus. Of course they would have done that because in those days rabbis were the most honored and respected people. Picture this, Jesus, a Rabbi, is walking along the beach and says come and follow me. What He is really saying, you can do what I can do, you can be like me, then the story continues, with the men fishing with their fathers That means they are learning there families business and that means they did not make the cut, they were not considered the best of the best to any other rabbis.

But Jesus tells them that He chooses them and they did not choose Him (john 15). A rabbi chooses his disciples on the basis that they have the potential to be like him. God believes in us, you know. The question is what about Jesus’ faith in us, He must have faith in us because he tells us to go and make more disciples, what if He actually believes that we can be like Him and live like Him. Jesus has faith that you can follow him and be like him, he believes it and that is what the foundation of our calling should be based on. May you believe in God and may you come to see that God believes in you. That is, why He chose you!

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