Lessons From The Rabbi

"I have not departed from your laws,
for you yourself have taught me." Psalm 119:102 (NIV)

One of my favorite teachers in high school was Mr. Talbot. He was a living, breathing text book of American History--a subject that my father and, thus, I adored. Although Mr. Talbot was tough and demanded much of his students, he made archaic documents and long-ago battles come to life in class. I never worked so hard for my grades or had so much fun learning about any subject than in his classroom. He had a passion for history that seemed to ooze out of his every pore. In mid-sentence, he could suddenly catch me totally off guard with a heroic twist or patriotic act of bravery that took my breath away to hear the words coming from his mouth. Without warning, tears could fill my eyes or hysterical peals of laughter could tumble from my mouth based on his lessons. Although I was guilty of day-dreaming in many others classes, Mr. Talbot engaged my mind and interest. I left his class with a greater awe and respect for our country than when I first entered it. If a teacher's goal is to inspire passion for the subject he or she teaches to students, Mr. Talbot accomplished that objective brilliantly.

I have found that it is not necessarily the subject material that has to be interesting, but the teacher that determines whether what is being taught will be caught by the student. It's funny how the Bible used to be an archaic book that spent more time on the shelf than in my hands. It was merely a decoration on my bedside table for so many years. When I came, broken and desperate, to Christ ten years ago, I felt completely overwhelmed at the thought that I could ever be able to decipher any meaning out of those thousands and thousands of verses within those sixty-six books. But something radically changed when I found the right Teacher. I did not have a superior mind to grasp hard doctrinal truths, explain mysteries of eternity, or even very much faith. But I did have the willingness to learn, to sit at the feet of the one, true Rabbi (which means, "Teacher," in the Hebrew). I dared to ask Him to teach me--to work with this confused mind that desperately needed answers.

I had no idea at the time that the lessons I was asking to learn would involve such wholehearted devotion on my part to really "get" them. I have been blessed to have amazing parents who exalted the Word of God as the final and complete authority on all matters of life. I have sat under some of the most anointed women who have taught me God's Word so that I envied what they had that I did not. But I must say that the most precious and impacting lessons have been the ones that my Rabbi, Jesus, has taught me Himself. We all have tremendously private and aching needs that we do not even have the words to be able to articulate. When His Word becomes the balm for that pain, longing, or question that I have wrestled with so long, then I know that He Himself has taught me. He and I have had many private moments in His Word when He has literally peeled the scales from my eyes. No pastor or Bible study leader has been there in those times. Just my God and me. His passion, His love, His amazing ability to communicate to my deepest need is why Jesus is the One at whose feet I will remain to be taught till my dying breath on this earth.

Jesus, You Yourself have taught me. I cannot put a price on the lessons You have patiently given to me through so many seasons of life. And just when I think I have gained a new understanding that nothing could top in its thrill to my soul, You peel back a new layer. And I just stand in awe of You. You are my God, my life, my all. I am nothing without You. Your Word is my salvation. May Your passion ooze from every pore as I come in contact with others who need to be taught by You. You are the biggest blast. Thank You for taking this ignorant person and showing Yourself to me. Thank You for the unforgettable lessons that You Yourself have taught me.