Jesus the Rabbi

by Rev. Sean Finnegan on December 17, 2017
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Rabbi: my lord, or my master; title of honor, generally associated with a master of the Torah...The master of Torah, whether disciple or teacher, would demonstrate his mastery not merely through what he said in the discussion of legal traditions or what he did in court but also by how he sat at the table, by what ritual formulas he recited before eating one or another kind of fruit or vegetable, by how he washed his hands, and so on--by performing all mundane acts according to “Torah.”...Long ago, it was taught that the master took the place of the father. The father brought the son into this world; the master would lead him into the world to come. (Dictionary of Judaism in the Biblical Period p. 516)


In what follows we will consider three of Jesus’ teachings on the subjects of authenticity, humility, and love.

Authenticity
Matthew 6:1-18 Jesus teaches us to do righteous deeds for God rather than for people. Then he provides three examples to illustrate what he means:
1. Matthew 6:2-4 giving
2. Matthew 6:5-15 prayer
3. Matthew 6:16-18 fasting

Humility

Mark 9:33-37; 10:13-16, 35-45 The disciples argue about who is the greatest, but Jesus teaches them the first must be the servant of all. In another incident he explains that the kingdom of God belongs to those who are like children.

Love

Mark 12:29-34 The greatest commandment is to know and love God with everything. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself. The key then, is to remove the focus from yourself and put it on others.
John 8.31-32 “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’”

Are you truly his disciple?



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