It may seem like a strange saying. After all, dust is considered old, dirty, of no use.
The other phrase, “Come, follow me.” is directive, self assured and compelling.
The first phrase was a saying among brothers, years ago: from one disciple to another disciple. It was meant as a compliment and a challenge.
The other phrase was a saying from a learned scholar, said to a wanna be student, because they believed the student had demonstrated potential.
The big idea as a disciple was to be as much like your Rabbi as possible. You wanted to know and do and be like the Rabbi. To be following so closely to your Rabbi, that as his foot left his footprints, your feet fell into his prints, and the dust kicked up along the way covered you.
The big idea as a Rabbi was that the student could and should be like him.
My Rabbi is Jesus. You can like that, not like it, think it backward, small minded, weak, bigoted, or brilliant. For me, I want to be covered in the dust of following what Jesus is alive and doing in our world today.
You may not see it, you may deny it, you may debate it, but I follow.
Jesus was able to meet people where they were at and love them. Not only did he meet them where they were at, but he believed in them and they knew it. From that love and belief, he was able to call them to be more than they were at the moment.
He has done that for me. I am more that I could be, because I am loved. I have someone who believes in me – not for what I am, but for the true reality that I have what it takes to be like Him.
Over 2000 years ago, Jesus called some teenage boys, that were drop outs of the current day’s educational system, and He said, come follow me. Someone believed in them, so they followed.
That is who I am called to be: a disciple of Jesus, who believes in the potential of others to become like the Rabbi.
This gives meaning to Paul’s words that he writes in 1 Corinthians 1:1 NIV “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” Paul is not an egoist, he simply understands the nature of discipleship. We follow our Rabbi Jesus to become more like Him, and we invite others to join our journey in following.
This is a new adventure for me in the blog-o-sphere. I begin my journey following, seeking to be covered in the dust of my Rabbi.