If you missed the sermon on Sunday, here is a small recap for what we are doing in this series. We talked earlier in the year about the five ways of loving God and how balance in life is having each of the five ways to their fullest capacity in your life (You can see a description of these five ways on last week’s blog). Through this short series, I want to focus on why we need to study the Bible, not just as individuals, but also as a community. When I say, “study the Bible,” I don’t necessarily mean that we need to crack open a commentary and study everything around the Bible to then understand what is being said. There is a time and a place for that and I’ve spent all of my adult life digging into those conversations. There have been times in my walk with God that I have known a lot about God while not knowing God. I could tell you a lot of deep insights into the depths of the study of God but couldn’t tell you about the way I could see Him transforming me. So, here’s a recap of Sunday’s sermon and where we are going together as a Family.
Around 60 of the 90 times Jesus is addressed in the Gospel narratives, he is called teacher/rabbi. We don’t think of Jesus in this way very often and therefore we miss a huge part of what the call of Christ is when he says, “Follow me.”
Read Mark 1:16-20; 2:13-17; 3:13-15.
Jesus’ calls these 12 to follow him as their rabbi. Basically, what that means is, they are dropping everything to commit to being with Jesus 24/7 to learn everything they can from him. How he walks, talks, teaches, acts, reasons from scripture, addresses others, drives out demons, etc. etc. etc. They are to take on the identity of Jesus by observing his every move and by learning from him as they go from town to town.
In the first century world, only the best of the best of Hebrew boys would go on to rabbinic school. Who did Jesus call? Why?
When we read these passages in Mark, we see a pattern. In story after story, the invitation of Jesus was not “believe in me and you go to heaven when you die…” which is often what it sounds like in the American/Western Church. The invitation was to follow Jesus so that you might become like him. This is what the rabbis did with their disciples. They trained them so that they would then become rabbis and assemble their own disciples so that they would then become rabbis. The pattern is set that if you are going to follow Jesus, you drop everything to follow him, sit at his feet, observe his every move, mimic his voice, his theology, his teaching, etc. So, you will then walk in the way of your rabbi.
With this image of Jesus as rabbi in mind, we are encouraging everyone at QCC to read through Mark 8-10 over the next few weeks. Listen to Jesus. Ask hard questions of the text. Allow the text to ask hard questions of you. We want to read through this as a Family, as fellow followers, and hear what God is calling us to.
Read Mark 8-10 over and over again slowly. Read the whole thing on Monday and then take a section at a time. Ask these basic questions:
- Who do I most identify with in this story? What emotion comes with this?
- What does Jesus do that is remarkable?
- What is Jesus asking of me? What do I need to change based on what I see Jesus doing?
- What questions do I have?