From Sitting At the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg, page 33-34
The mission of a rabbi was to become a living example of what it means to apply God's Word to one's life. A disciple apprenticed himself to a rabbi because the rabbi had saturated his life with Scripture and had become a true follower of God. The disciple sought to study the text, not only of Scripture but of the rabbi's life, for it was there that he would learn how to live out the Torah. Even more than acquiring his master's knowledge, he wanted to acquire his master's character, his internal grasp of God's law...
So often we focus on Jesus' mission on the cross to save us from our sins. As marvelous as that is, it's critical for us to grasp the importance of his mission on earth as a rabbi. His goal was to raise up disciples who would become like him. As followers of Jesus, we are still called to live out the adventure of discipleship, becoming like Jesus through the power of his Spirit at work within us.
You came to earth and slipped into skin to be that perfect living example of what it means to apply Your Word to our lives. I KNOW that was not Your complete mission. You didn't come here merely to be an example, Lord. You came to die as the perfect sacrifice for my sins.
Can I stop right here and shout a great big "HALLELUJAH!" Lord?
You came to die as the spotless substitute for my sins. YA-HOOO!
But You also came here to live. You spent some 33 years walking and talking among us. Eating and sleeping. Working and playing. You spent 33 years not only in sandals, but inside emotions and thoughts. You came as the Perfect Rabbi to not only teach us how to live. You came to live. You came to be the perfect example of the perfect life.
We're very visual creatures, aren't we? We need to see truth lived out in front of our eyes. So, You did it. You walked the hills of Judea like any other Rabbi would have done. You gathered twelve unlikely men close to Yourself so that they could watch You and listen to You and learn from You 24/7/365.
Thank You for letting us rub shoulders with You, Jesus.
Do you remember when M. was about two years old? How many times did you explain to him how to swing that little plastic bat at a ball? How many times did you bend his arms just so, and turn his body this way and his head that way? How many times did you stoop over and show him exactly how to do it? How many times?
Now he's a big boy, almost five, and he's doing much better at making that plastic bat make contact with that little plastic ball. And he's enjoying it, too.
Show and tell. That's the way people learn. Show them AND explain to them. So, that 's what We did, Little One. We came to earth as a carpenter to show and tell you how much We love you.
Just do like little M. and pay close attention. It'll take a life time of watching and listening. But someday in eternity you'll get it all right. You'll finally become just like Jesus.