Jesus the Youth Minister?

Jesus the Youth Minister?

sandals 2I love working with teenagers for many reasons.  I love their passion and the way they believe they can change the world.  I love their desire for sincerity and their openness to learn and grow.  I believe this generation of teenagers are a part of a revolution that will indeed change our world for the better.  I am truly blessed to work with a large group of teenagers and then a smaller group of teen disciples (talmidim).

It’s cheap MLB jerseys no wonder that Jesus chose those he did to change wholesale MLB jerseys the world.  Maybe you’ve never thought of it this way, but I would suggest that Jesus was…a Youth Minister.  Let me explain.

While it may sound strange to some, Jesus was a Jewish Rabbi who would have been called Rabbi Yeshua.  His Hebrew name literally meant “salvation.”  While the term “rabbi” did not become a formal title until after the time of Jesus, during His day it simply meant “my teacher” and was used to describe those respected enough in the community to teach from the Torah.  Rabbis taught as master teachers and they called disciples (talmidim) to follow them.  These talmidim knew that their ultimate goal wasn’t just to learn information from their Rabbi but to be just like him.  They followed their Rabbi everywhere and sought to be just like him by following him so closely that they became completely “covered in his dust” (as one ancient Rabbi suggested).

From ages 4 until 12, Jewish boys dedicated their schooling to memorizing the Torah (the first 5 books of the Old Testament).  The best of these students went on to a second level of schooling from ages 12-15 to be a taught the oral Torah which was the equivalent of studying modern day commentary on the Scriptures.  Only a few of these elite students would then go to a Rabbi and ask to follow him.  If the Rabbi believed they had what it would take he would invite them to “come and follow me.”  Most students however would not receive this great honor and would move on to learn the family business.  They might become fishermen or tax collectors or maybe a stone mason.

One of  the most radical things about Jesus was that He didn’t choose the best of the best talmidim as the other Rabbis of His day would have done. Sports  The very fact that He finds Peter and Andrew on the shore as fishermen means that they weren’t good enough to be talmidim of any other Rabbi.   And because you could become a fisherman or could be working full time with your father by age 13, the talmidim TALMIDIM that  Jesus chose could have easily been teenagers as young as 13!  In fact, an even more significant clue into this is when Peter asks Jesus in Matthew 17 if he should pay the two drachma temple tax.  According to Exodus 13 you weren’t required to  pay this tax until you reached 20 years Wholesale of age.  What did Jesus tell Peter?  Go fish.  Jesus told him that the first fish that he would catch would have a four drachma coin in his mouth (don’t you wish it worked this way with the IRS today?).   What’s the point?  Let’s do the math.  Jesus is probably around 30 so he needed to pay a two drachma tax.  Peter is probably over 20 because he’s married and Jewish men usually didn’t marry until at least age 20.  So Peter needs a to pay a two drachma Miami Dolphins Jerseys tax.  So Jesus + Peter = 4 drachma tax.  What about the tax for the other 11 disciples?  Matthew 17 clearly states that ALL of the disciples are present but Jesus says nothing about their tax. If he’d wanted to pay their tax plus his own then we’d be talking about one really valuable fish carrying 26 drachma in his gills.  How old are these guys!   Apparently, with the exception of  Peter, they are all under 20 and therefore do not need to pay the tax!

Rabbi Jesus takes these 11 teenagers that no other Rabbi chose, along with 1 very imperfect young adult, and uses them to change the world. How?

By making them talmidim.

And just before He leaves them, He tells them to go and make other talmidim (Matthew 28).  And they will.  Just read the sequel.  The book of Acts shows passionate disciples being made and the church coming alive with a fire that is passed from Jesus to His talmidim and then ignites a revolution.  That revolution was the early church that has survived for 2000 years.  And it A all started when one man took a young adult and 11 teenagers and said, “Follow me!”  You might call that JESUS Driven Youth Ministry.

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