Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” – John 1:38
Rabbi. This has to be one of my favorite names of Jesus. The Rabbi doesn’t just teach facts, knowledge, and philosophy. The relationship between Rabbi and disciple is an intimate one. Jesus appointed twelve so that they might be with Him (Mark 3:14). Rabbi Jesus called these twelve to live life with Him, to see how He lived. Yes, he did teach them facts, knowledge, and philosophy, but His main purpose was to show them how to live in relationship with the Almighty.
Two Hebrew words for teaching found in the Psalms are lamad and yarah. We find the first in Psalm 25:4, “Teach me thy paths,” and the second in Psalm 27:11, “Teach me thy way.” Notice the Psalmist is not asking for knowledge. The Psalmist wants to know how to walk with God. Synonyms for these two words include train, educate, lay a foundation, establish with the connotation of aiming. Rabbi Jesus does this with his disciples.
When God told the Israelites to “be holy, for I am holy,” (Leviticus 19:2), they didn’t know how to do that. They could make sacrifices, but they couldn’t live out a holy life. The disciples didn’t know how either, but Rabbi Jesus came to show them how and He shows us how. He’s called us to be with Him. Sit at His feet and learn. Watch how He lived His life. See what was important to Him. Then, go and do likewise.
This relationship of Rabbi and disciple takes my mind and my heart back to Genesis when God walked in the garden with Adam and Eve. God was with them. They could see Him. They knew Him. “This is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God” (John 17:3). Rabbi Jesus makes this possible in our lives. He still opens our minds to understand the Scriptures (Luke 24:45). But, we must be with Him.
May we daily accept the invitation, the opportunity, to sit at the feet of Rabbi Jesus, walk the dusty roads of our lives with Rabbi Jesus, sit and eat a meal with Rabbi Jesus, end our day in conversation with Rabbi Jesus, stay with Rabbi Jesus.