As our knowledge of Jesus grows, we learn to see his life and teachings with new perspectives. New light of many different hues and shades is shed on his teachings and the lessons we apply to our lives. We experience new freedom as we learn to see the different shades of Divine Love.
Of the approximate 90 times Jesus is addressed directly in the New Testament, roughly 60 refer to him as “teacher,” “rabbi,” “great one,” or “master” (like a “schoolmaster”). What do those terms mean?
When it was originally written, the word “Rabbi” did NOT mean “Jewish clergyperson”. Nor did that term appear in the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament). It was JUST coming into existence as a term for use during Jesus’ time.
It meant “one who bore spiritual authority”. To be a rabbi in the first century meant to be a teacher who was crafting a new approach to Hebrew texts, traditions, and interpretations. And as a rabbi, Jesus was a radical revolutionary. He challenged their norms.
Teachers have “rules” that they live by. Jesus was no different.
But Jesus’ rules were all about one thing – Love.
Love God, Love Yourself, and Love Others.
Love makes room for more love.
- What religious rules are not grounded in love?
- Why might those rules be a barrier to God instead of a pathway?
Jesus did not issue a list of rules to be checked off a “list”. Instead, he embodied the rule of love as a way of life to be followed. Instead of telling us what to “do and not do,” he asked us to be Love as he was Love.
- What is a religious rule you wish didn’t exist?
- What is your favorite “rule” that Jesus broke as he loved all people?
- How might you embody that rule in your own life?