It was similar for teens back when Jesus was alive. Jewish boys & girls would often attend school until age 10 where they would literally memorize the Torah which is the first five books of the Old Testament. From this point only the best and brightest boys would go to the next level where they would study the rest of the Old Testament Scriptures until age 13 or 14. And finally, only the cream of the crop would be chosen to “follow” the local rabbi. This elite group of disciples would go where he went and eat what he ate—modeling their lives after the rabbi. Those who didn’t make the previous cuts would pick up the trade of their mother & father like carpentry, sheep-herding, or fishing.
Guys like Simon, Andrew, James, and John hadn’t made the cut. So instead of following the local rabbi, they were down by the docks, working the family business. It’s interesting that Jesus went after men the local rabbi had rejected. Instead of targeting the cream of the crop straight “A” students, Jesus offered His invitation, “Follow Me,” to former “C” students. They would become followers of the ultimate Rabbi.
Can you imagine schools like Harvard or Yale going after “C” students? Once again, this sort of ‘math’ wouldn’t fly in today’s competitive, dog-eat-dog society.
No wonder Matthew 4:20 says these guys ‘left their nets at once and followed Him.’ They were being given an opportunity they thought was lost. To follow a rabbi in Jewish society was the greatest of honors.
The qualifications for Jesus’ honor society are different…boy am I grateful!
CJ Hitz is the co-author of Forgiveness Formula: Finding Lasting Freedom in Christ, along with his wife Shelley. Visit their book website to check out the full virtual book tour schedule and special gifts with purchase at: www.TheForgivenessFormula.com