Episode 117 – Rabbis and Disciples Pt 2: Jewish Educational System
Key Passage(s): Matthew 4:18-22
The Jewish educational system in Jesus’s day was astounding. Growing up in that culture was about total immersion in the Scriptures. It was about learning and memorizing God’s Word so that it shaped everything you did. It was also about learning to ask really great questions and debating with your teachers. But much like professional sports, only the best of the best got to keep going and eventually become disciples. Which raises some fascinating questions: What might the Jewish educational system of Jesus’s day reveal to us about his disciples? What might it teach us about God’s intentions for our discipleship? By the end of this episode, you’ll recognize the subtle hints in the Scriptures you’d missed all along and have a deeper appreciation for Jesus’s explosive words, “Come, follow me.”
Note: This is a jam-packed 25-min episode. There’s a lot of information in this one. With that said, our goal was to provide you with the single, best resource for understanding the Jewish educational system in Jesus’s day in its entirety. We think we did it. Enjoy!
- What was your biggest takeaway from the teaching?
- What did you find most surprising about the Jewish educational system?
- Why might memorizing Scripture be a powerful tool for shaping your life?
- How does it make you feel to know Jesus’s disciples weren’t the best and brightest but that he wanted them anyway?
- Instead of letting this Jewish passion for the Scriptures make us feel guilty about our own lack of Bible reading and study, how does it inspire you?
- How will you begin living out the truths of this teaching this week?
For Further Study
- The Jewish People in the First Century edited by Shmuel Safrai and Menahem Stern – Chapter 19
- Educational Ideals in the Ancient World by William Barclay – Chapter 1
- New Light on the Difficult Words of Jesus by David Bivin – Chapter 1
- Our Father Abraham by Marvin Wilson – Chapter 14
- Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg – Chapter 2
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