As I was reading today’s devotion in My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, I was reminded of something I heard about Jesus that came alive for me.
Today’s devo talks about becoming a disciple of Jesus and all it means. Oswald talks about it being personal devotion to a person — Jesus — rather than devotion to a cause — Christianity. Being a follower of Jesus does not mean being devoted to Christianity, but being just what it says: a follower of Jesus.
As I thought about that, I was taken back to something I heard Rob Bell say, either in one of his books, or in one of the NOOMA videos (like the one I showed a few Mondays ago). I looked through his books that I have, trying to find the passage I wanted, but I couldn’t find it. Finally, I thought, “Maybe if I just Google the phrase I remember, I’ll discover where it is.”
So I Googled the phrase and there were 7,680 references to the phrase I remembered. Wow. And sure enough, there it was… in a version of NOOMA called “Dust”.
I don’t know if you’ve ever seen that video, but Rob Bell tells us about being a disciple and what it means while he’s shovelling snow in a driveway. He talks about how Jesus is refered to as “Rabbi” by those around him and what that meant.
You see, the Jews of that day (and current practicing Jews, for that matter) followed a certain rabbi and their teachings. Each rabbi had his own interpretation of the Old Testament, the Law, and one of the blessings of the day – as you were trying to absorb the teaching of your rabbi – was, “May you be covered in the dust of your rabbi”. This meant, “May you be following your rabbi so closely that you’re covered in the dust he leaves as he walks in front of you.” What a great picture that is! Following the teachings of a rabbi that he is virtually rubbing off on you! Imagine following our Rabbi, Jesus, so closely that we are covered in His dust!
Rob Bell goes on to talk about the disciples that followed Jesus. They were not disciples when Jesus found them… they were fishermen, tax collectors… they were not following a rabbi. They were cast-offs… not good enough… didn’t make the cut. But Jesus saw something in them that led Him to have faith in them… so much faith, in fact, that they were given “the keys to the kingdom.”
That encourages me. He has that much faith in a ragtag bunch, sort of like me and you… no wait… EXACTLY like you and me! He entrusts us with the keys to the kingdom. He sees that we’re growing as His disciples, following Jesus closely, trying to be more and more like our rabbi.
Rob Bell ends the video with this:
“May you believe in God. But may you come to see that God believes in you. May you have faith in Jesus. But may you come to see that Jesus has faith that you can be like Him. A person of love and compassion and truth. A person of compassion, and peace, and grace, and joy, and hope. And may you be covered in the dust of your rabbi, Jesus.”
(BTW… we discover the driveway Rob is shovelling is his next door neighbor’s)