I love this post from “The Heaton Family” regarding Beit Simcha - “House of Rejoicing”
Last post I wrote about Yahshua’s words to us not to raise up disciples for ourselves, rather raise them up for Him. Now I’ll share a bit on what it meant in First Century Judaism to be someone’s disciple. You see, long before the days of Yahshua, discipleship was already a well-established part of religious culture. All the great sages and rabbis had disciples.
Here is a little Hebrew lesson:
The Hebrew word for disciple is talmid, which means student. The plural is talmidim, which means students. Talmidim is translated as disciples.
A talmid’s job was to learn everything that his Master had to teach, with the result that they learned to be just like their teacher. What did the master teach? This included stories and lessons, of course, as would be expected in a teacher-student relationship. And this is what most of us today think of. But it went way beyond this.
For example, the talmidim also learned to eat the foods that their teacher ate, and even would eat the way their teacher ate them. Of course, all the Torah teachers would only eat clean foods, but within the parameters of Torah, they would have preferences. The disciples, too would gravitate to these particular foods.
They learned how to keep Torah (God’s commands) the way their master did. If the master kept Sabbath in a particular way, they would too. Remember Luke 4:16? What did Yahshua do as a custom on Sabbath?
If the master prayed a certain way, so too would the disciples.
Additionally, the disciples followed their teacher everywhere he went, so that they would learn as much from the master as possible. The master taught not only with words, but with his very lifestyle.
A disciple’s job was to become like his or her teacher. “Every disciple fully trained will be like his teacher.” (Luke 6:40).
Can you image the bonds that formed between the teacher and disciple? I don’t think we in modern society have a clue of the relationship between these two, because we do not have anything like it now. Disciples regarded their teachers higher than their own fathers, and at that time, fathers were regarded by their children in higher esteem than they do today. (sadly)
Here is how it is described in Rabbinic literature: the sages say that your Teacher is to be accorded higher honor than your birth father, because your birth father brought you into this world, but your teacher brings you into the next world. (Bava Metsi’a 2:11)
Matthew 10:24 compares it to the servant-master relationship. “A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.
Every detail, every nuance, every interpretation of scriptures, every tiny meaning drawn out, every parable and story used - all these were of extreme importance to the talmidim. Details were important and were considered as precious as jewels if they came from the master. These things were guarded and treasured, his words were memorized.
So what about us today? What about us who have been redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb in these modern times? Aren’t we also His disciples? Well, the invitation is there, if we take it. And you know, our ‘job’ being a disciple today is no different than was the job of a disciple in the First Century.
It is still our job to memorize His words.
It is still our job to learn and do His traditions.
It is still our job to learn and live by His interpretations of scripture.
It is our job to imitate his actions.
And as I wrote yesterday, it is our job to raise up more disciples for Him.
So how about it? Will you sit at the Master’s feet and learn from Him alone? I’m in!