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’ve 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 ancient Jewish educational system in Jesus’s day in its entirety. We think we did it. Enjoy!

Discussion Questions

  • What was your biggest takeaway from the teaching?
  • When was the last time someone spoke into your life in a meaningful way (like the letters written for Brad’s son)?
  • How would you describe your relationship with the Bible?
  • How would you describe the difference between devotional Bible reading and digging deep Bible reading?
  • What are some of the barriers keeping you from discussing God’s Words with others?
  • What is one way you’d like to grow in becoming more intentional with God’s Word?
  • How will you begin living out the truths of this teaching this week?

For Further Study

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  1. Keith Sheridan December 20, 2020 at 10:49 am - Reply

    If Jesus became a Rabbi, then does that mean he studied under a Rabbi? Who was his earthly Rabbi?

    • Brad Gray February 10, 2021 at 12:07 pm - Reply

      Hey Keith, I posit later in the series that perhaps his father initially served as Jesus’s rabbi. There is no evidence for that, but it’s a possibility based on Jesus’s family being “Tektons” – something we tackle later in the series. Good questions!

  2. Randy Langley December 26, 2020 at 8:55 am - Reply

    Brad… I never made the connection before, that cousin Eddie from National Lampoon’s vacation movies was based on a historical figure from Jesus’s time. You referred to cousin Eddie as the possible cause of Jesus getting separated from his family… interesting that NP’s cousin Eddie’s character flaws could have been taken from Jesus’s own cousin…

    I might be reading too much into this…but if the movie writers used their characters to represent biblical characters…who, out of the Bible, would you say the other NP movie characters represent? Will this be in another mini series of teachings?

    Another level to this… the Hot Rock Hogs, refer to J-Bird as cousin Eddie…are we then really saying that he would cause Jesus to get lost?

    Thanks for always helping us go deeper… you said it’s ok and actually favored upon to ask good questions right? …on second thought… are these actually good questions?

    • Brad Gray February 10, 2021 at 12:06 pm - Reply

      Haha! This is awesome, Randy. That cousin Eddie was off the cuff and I’m sure I had Christmas Vacation swirling around in the brain 🙂 Too fun.

  3. Bill December 31, 2020 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    Soo it’s not about getting “saved” but since “the word TORAH became flesh, then Jesus is TORAH in flesh and the drive should have always been to eat and sleep TORAH but church fathers kept us from going there as they were deceived as Eve and Adam were so give them a break and change ones direction about TORAH! Eat it sleep it love it and do not be afraid of it! It will change your world, your relationship with YEHOVAH and your faith now has something to build on rather than being a vague denominational idea!

  4. Jo Stone February 7, 2021 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    I’m so blessed by this. Thank you for sharing your gift of teaching with us!

    • Brad Gray February 10, 2021 at 11:45 am - Reply

      It’s an honor and joy to do so, Jo. Thank you!

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