In first century Jewish culture, if a Jewish man wanted to become a disciple of a rabbi — or teacher — he had to receive an invitation, only after he was learned enough and ready to do so proving to said rabbi.
Now, here’s where it gets crazy. The man was then expected to leave his family, and his whole way of living behind, and follow this rabbi everywhere.
The new apprentice, or student — or disciple — would follow his rabbi every place he went. He would study with him, work with him, teach with him… you get the picture. They were in an inseparable bond.
According to tradition, the family of the man leaving them behind to follow the rabbi would offer the man a blessing:
“May you be covered in the dust of your rabbi’s sandals.”
The idea is this: the student was to follow so closely behind his teacher that he was to be “covered in the dust” of his teacher’s feet.
So, a question for us:
Are we allowing ourselves to be covered in the dust of Jesus’ sandals?
How closely are we following the ways of Jesus?
The student followed so closely to his rabbi that he began to become more and more like him.
Are we becoming more like Jesus? Or do we just like the idea of Jesus, and try to do and say and believe the right things the best we can?
That sounds a whole lot like religion to me.
But Jesus invites us to follow Him — truly follow Him. To be covered in the dust of His sandals.
Here are 3 ways that we can be covered:
What we see in the Gospels is that Jesus’ heart was saturated with the Scriptures. At every point or crossroad, or decision, or trial, Jesus was quoting it. If Jesus was in the Scriptures, how much more should we be? Let us be a people who are steeped in the living and active Word.
Intimate prayer characterized Jesus’ life. Often — as it states in Scripture — Jesus would go off alone, to a mountainside or a solitary place and just be with the Father. It is in prayer that we get in tune and in sync with God’s will. But, more so, it’s where we just have a conversation with Him: Father and child. What wonders and revelations could He be waiting to speak to us? Let’s be with Him and taste and see!
Jesus made it a priority as His ministry began to surround Himself with other men to walk and do life with. He even had an inner circle of just a few more intimate relationships. Jesus outlined for us — as does Scripture at many points — the great and wondrous value that is in Spiritual connection, fellowship, and community. May we seek these types of people out in our lives! We need accountability, we need encouragement, and we need to gather around bonfires and meals and laugh and cry and hope and dream together. God has given us each other to do so. Through brothers and sisters in Christ, helping us along the way, and guiding us and speaking to us truth, we become more and more like Jesus. It happens in that environment and context — by design.
Paul writes in 2nd Corinthians 3 that “the Lord — who is the Spirit — makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into his glorious image.” (emphasis mine)
We become more and more like Him the more and more we are with Him.
May you be covered in the dust of your rabbi — Jesus’ — sandals.