Of all the words that could be used to describe a disciple, the one that I often find to be the most challenging is “teachable”.
If I’m being really honest, my flesh tries to reject it at every opportunity. Being teachable requires something that does not come naturally to me: humility. It confronts my hard-hearted pride and demands submission, not only to The Lord but also to others. It acknowledges that
I don’t have all the answers,
I can’t do this alone,
I need community.
When I read 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for
for training in righteousness,
so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
I see in myself that I would much rather
teach than be taught,
rebuke than be rebuked,
correct than be corrected,
train than be trained.
But at what cost?
If I believe God’s Word — and I do, this verse and others tell me that the cost is
being equipped to do good.
None of which are acceptable losses to me.
So, I persevere through the rigorous, daily, flesh-dying discipline of self-control, trying all the while not to grumble.
Now that I’ve recognized this desperate need in my life and prayed these words of surrender:
“LORD, speak for your servant hears.” (1 Samuel 3:10),
I feel like I am beginning to see the precious blooming of fruitful labor.
Every conversation, every interaction I have with someone, is an opportunity to sit at the feet of a rabbi and learn.
“Everyone capable of being a rabbi?”, you may ask.
Though I learn more from those in my own inner circle, everyone is created in the image of the one, true Rabboni: our Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ). And, it is from that image, reflected to varying degrees in each of us, that I learn. It is that reflection of God’s character in others that teaches me, shapes me, disciples me.
Like Mary did in the tenth chapter of Luke, I linger at my Rabboni’s feet, as I see His teachings mirrored in others.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have as many WWJD moments as I have WWJND moments by opening my heart and mind to learning this way. When I see an action modeled by a rabbi, I prayerfully consider What Would Jesus Do/Not Do as I zealously study God’s Word for evidence of an answer.
I think it’s important to note that any one of these learning styles would not be complete without the others:
Prayer – an ongoing conversation with God, our Father.
Bible study – a deeper understanding of God made flesh through Yeshua, His Son and our Messiah.
Discipleship – listening intently and obeying responsively to God’s Spirit leading me, as well as learning from others who do the same.
It is because of those other disciples that I know what grace and mercy look like, up-close and personal. I have seen peace, love, kindness, graciousness, long-suffering, tenderness, gentleness, warmth, joy, goodness, generosity…
And, every Spirit-filled word has a name and face attached to it.
But, I’m learning that we must, first, BE disciples before we can “Go, therefore, and MAKE disciples…teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20), knowing we are never alone in our efforts.
According to these words spoken by Yeshua, perfection isn’t a requirement for discipleship, but being teachable is. So, I linger as He molds me and shapes me into the creation He designed.
Won’t you linger too?
Adonai, my LORD, Master, and Rabboni, thank You that have created me with a heart that longs to be just like Yours.
“Who am I, that You have brought me this far?” With so far still to go…
And yet, I will keep searching to know You more.
Cleanse me from all unrighteousness, Jehovah-Tsidkenu.
Purify every part of me, Jehovah-M’Kaddesh.
Fill me with Your peace, Jehovah-Shalom.
Hem me in, behind and before, Jehovah-Nissi. May Your glory be my banner.
And, be with me always, El-Olam Immanuel.
In Yeshua’s precious name I come,