Thoughts on Discipleship

Moses received the Torah from Sinai and transmitted it to Joshua; Joshua to the elders; the elders to the prophets; and the prophets handed it down to the men of the Great Assembly. They said three things: Be deliberate in judgment, raise up many disciples, and make a fence around the Torah.

—Avot 1:1

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

—Matthew 28:19-20

Yosi ben Yoezer of Tzeredah said: Let your house be a meetinghouse for the sages and sit amid the dust of their feet and drink in their words with thirst.

—Avot 1:4

Bind up the testimony, seal the Torah among my disciples.

—Isaiah 8:16

And Abram took his wife Sarai and Lot, his brother’s son, and all their wealth that they had amassed, and the souls they had made in Haran, and they left to go to the land of Canaan, and they came to the land of Canaan.

—Genesis 12:5

“‘And the people that they made in Haran.’ Rabbi Elazar ben Zimra said [the text should read]… ”these are the converts that they converted.” And if it is that they converted them, why does it say “make”? Only to teach you that all those who bring a worshipper of stars [i.e. a pagan] close [to God] and converts him, it is as if [the one who converts the other] created [the one who converts]”

(Genesis Rabbah 39:14).

This past Shabbat I taught a little on discipleship. This is a subject with which I have wrestled for several years. I have desired for a long time to be taken under the wing of someone to be discipled, so that I could truly disciple others, rather than floundering around and merely being a half a step ahead in trying to figure things out.

I’ve had several men come to me lately wanting at least my input, and some mentoring, and I have not had a method or plan. Since I currently do not have a mentor personally, I am currently having to reinvent the wheel (so to speak) and study out the Scriptures for methods of discipleship. I not only want to be a good teacher and able to disciple others, but I truly want to be a good disciple of the Master. I want to be what a real disciple should be. I want to emulate my Master, and product other disciples who will, in turn, be true disciples of the Master who will then disciple others.

I will probably have more to say on this in the future, but for now this will suffice. I have uploaded my (very sparse) notes from my teaching in the hopes that someone may find them of value.


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1 thought on “Thoughts on Discipleship”

  1. Nice post!

    I once ran into a guy in a youth hostel in Tel Aviv who told me he was studying discipleship at the moment. We spoke a few words and I said “so did you talk to some Rabbi’s?” He answered by saying: “why would I, I have the greatest Rabbi”. Although there is some truth in this, he was certainly missing out great opportunities, since the Rabbi’s are working in this way for centuries and would know all the ins and outs.
    As disciples of the Master we’re definitely in need of good discipleship (from the Hebraic point of view) so Im looking forward to your article on this, or perhaps a booklet:P I havent heard of a booklet on this from within the movement yet;)

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