Dust of the Rabbi

Preached by

What if I told you there is a clear path to true meaning, purpose, and fulfillment in life? What if centuries ago, a people group cracked the code on instilling values of wisdom, morality, and virtue in the next generation? And what if fully walking in the footsteps of the greatest teacher in history was actually intended to be the norm for every one of his followers?

In today’s passage, we’ll uncover how the ancient Hebrews ingrained the principles of flourishing into children’s hearts and minds from the youngest of ages. We’ll see the intensive process rabbis used to create disciples that embodied their ways. And we’ll confront the sobering reality that when Jesus Christ calls us to “come and follow,” he expects nothing short of full imitation from us.

This has radical implications for what it looks like to be a fully-surrendered Christian in daily life. And it holds massive promise for the future, if only the people of God today will reclaim Jesus’ model of discipleship. Our congregation has a vision to walk this out – starting with examining our own lives, and then relentlessly pouring into future generations. The end goal is no less than transforming our communities through authentic, passionate followers of the Rabbi, Jesus.

  1. The “Torah” (first five books of the Bible) contains God’s instructions for living a fulfilling life. As children absorb things readily, teaching them the Torah at a young age enables them to internalize these wise principles.
  2. In Jewish tradition, around age 6 children would start memorizing and deeply studying the Torah under a teacher. By age 10 they would have the full Torah memorized. This showed the priority of instilling God’s Word early.
  3. When a promising teenage student wanted to follow a rabbi, the rabbi would rigorously test them with questions. If selected, the student would leave everything behind to imitate that rabbi in all aspects of life.
  4. As Christians, we follow “Rabbi Jesus” in the same way – leaving our old life behind to increasingly become like him. If we don’t, we aren’t fully his disciples.
  5. For the church’s vision going forward, people of all ages will disciple each other over 2-3 years to deeply know and emulate Christ. This will transform the community and develop strong followers of Jesus.
  6. Before discipling others, we must examine our lives and put away anything not matching Jesus’ teachings. We must resolve to fully follow our Rabbi in 2023. Walking in his ways is the only way to transform lives.

As we close, the choice before us is crystal clear, yet heart-wrenchingly difficult. Will we choose to truly walk in the Rabbi’s dust, selling out in every area of our lives to his lordship? Or will we shrink back into shallow Christianity marked by easy belief without life-altering obedience?

I plead with you – don’t miss your purpose! This world is dying for the revelation of Jesus through his people. Our young people are crying out for mentors who model the life they preach. No more excuses – the time is now.

Let this be the year you get serious with God, study Jesus’ ways, take up your cross, and call others to follow suit. Let this be the year our body commits to disciplining the next generation. Let this be the turning point for our community as Christ’s character radiates through us.

I can’t guarantee it will be easy. But in the end, you won’t regret living for an audience of One who sacrificed everything for you. Here and now, will you choose to walk in the Rabbi’s dust? Will you stand up and answer the call to follow Jesus?

All content is property of Jeff Vines and ONE&ALL Church.