Friday, February 08, 2008

Talmudim or Disciple?

Am I a “talmudim” or a “disciple”?

Is there a difference?

Well, first let’s look at a disciple. What is a disciple? A disciple is a student of a particular teacher or leader. Jesus had disciples. He said “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:27 KJV. So, it must have been something worthy of seeking after, otherwise Jesus would not have put such a qualifier on it.

So, then, what is a talmudim? A talmudim was a very close follower of a rabbi. Many referred to Jesus as rabbi. So that is an appropriate way to look at it. Biblical history tells us that talmudim would walk behind the rabbis and follow them wherever they would go. Now think for a minute about the conditions of the Judean desert. Hold that thought and I’ll come back to it in a minute.

So how do we get a better grasp on disciples and talmudim? Well, the best way might be to compare them in this way. Many religions and philosophies have students and disciples. And they are ardent and fervent.

Consider some of the great Greek philosophers like Plato and Socrates. They certainly had followers who wanted to be like them. They wanted to learn everything that Plato and Socrates knew. They wanted to absorb all they could from those great minds. They were disciples.

Now contrast that with a talmudim. He wanted not only to know what the rabbi knew. But he wanted to be what the rabbi was. Now there is a subtle yet undeniable difference. And that has great application to us as Christians and those who would seek to be Holy. I don’t want just to have an intellectual relationship with Jesus. I want to live my life for Him. I want Him to come and live inside of me. I want to be like him in all that I do.

OK, remember up above where I told you to hold the thought about following a rabbi around in the desert? Well consider the following Jewish saying:

The best English translation may be this. “May you be covered in the Dust of Your Rabbi!”

That is an odd thing to wish upon a friend. But back in the time that Jesus walked the earth it was a well wishing. To wish someone to be covered in the dust of their Rabbi was to wish them to become as righteous in the sight of the LORD as he appeared to be. Talmudim ~ Disciples of a Rabbi would walk behind him as they traveled along. In the Judean desert he was bound to kick up plenty of dust.

So I say to you in love this Hebrew phrase:

Halevai Sh'titkasea ba-avak shel harav shelcha Y'shua ha Maschiach!

May You be covered in the Dust of Your Rabbi Jesus the Messiah!

And your response as a talmudim is to answer:

Heve metabek bafar chamim!

May we be covered to obtain His Righteousness!

May I be covered in the dust of His Righteousness.

1 comment:

  1. Scott1:49 PM

    Some great thoughts there Kevin. When I see you in church, I can't wait to here you say this in Hebrew......

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