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The Apprentice

Following Jesus the Master Teacher

What is an Apprentice of Jesus?

19 Sep 2004


The Apprentice TV SHOW

  • Your Fired!

We are all disciples—apprentices in life!

·         You are probably the disciple of many people.

    • Parents are first teachers
      • We learn basics of how to do life…they provide their maps of living
      • However, there maps are not always the right way, they are just their way
        • Laundry and Socks
    • Teachers and friends are next that we apprentice to
      • Teachers shape us in many ways, think of all the things you have learned from teachers
      • Friends
        • Friends are smarter than Dad
    • Cultural Icons
      • A consumer world
        • 254 advertising messages a day
          • You buy what you have often based on someone convincing you that you need it…even though you don’t. 
        • We emulate what we think about.
          • Children pretend to be their heros.
          • Teenagers dress like the sports stars or popular musicians they devote so much attention to.
          • Adults who concentrate on “making it to the top” read the books of those “at the top,” then copy their business style and personal habits.
        • We are Copycats…We want to “Be like Mike” or JaLo, or Brittany, or The Donald, or the people on Friends, or CSI, or ________________

We are all apprentices in Life, but do we apprentice ourselves to the Life Giver?

We must understand Jesus from within his first century jewish culture

Read John 1:35-39 and Matthew 4:18-22   NIV

John 1:35-39 (NIV)
35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” 37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour.

Matthew 4:18-22 (NIV)
18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Rabbi’s Background

  • God spoke to Moses and gave him the Torah, the first five books of the bible.  Subsequently, God have additional 42 oral instruction to Moses and this is known as the Oral Torah. * The Torah, both written and oral had been handed down from generation to generation from the time Moses received it.  Over time, the oral torah was added to and adjusted based on the interpretation of the written torah.  Sages would give judicial rulings which were often included in the oral torah.  All of the Torah was authoritative for the jew.
  • Rabbi’s were teachers of the Torah
  • Rabbi means “teacher” or “Master”
  • Rabbi’s were like Rock Stars or Professional Athletes
  • Education in the Torah was very important to the Jews, God had told them over and over to pass it down, pass it down, pass it down.
    • Synagogues would help provide schooling in the Torah and run organized schools

Bet Sefer—House of the Book …..Elementary school

  • Children from about 6-10 yrs would go to school and memorize the Torah—the written law
    • This did not mean they read it, they learned through reciting it.
  • After 10, they would return to apprentice to the mother and father and others to learn the family trade.
  • After Bet Sefer you would move to the next level of education

Bet Talmud—Secondary School

  • One would stay in the Bet Talmud and learn the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures, Moses through prophets and all of the Oral traditions.
  • Around 14 or so, if one was really outstanding, then they would begin to choose a Rabbi to apprentice himself to.

Bet Midrash—The House of Study…College

  • These were reserved for only the best of the best! 
  • The apprentice would sit at the Rabbi’s feet directly and begin to learn from him.
  • After a period of questioning and testing by the Rabbi the apprentice would either tell him to go back to the family trade or he would say “FOLLOW ME” in acceptance.
  • Those that Rabbi’s picked were like the cream of the crop!  It was a coveted place to have!
    • Paul for example was trained by Gamaliel
  • The disciple of the Rabbi would then go wherever the Rabbi went learning everything about him and how he did life.

Rabbi/Disciple relationship

·         Rabbi’s were travelers, often going from village to village

·         Rabbi’s or Sages would teach in fields, vineyards, on the road, in the marketplace, in homes, synagogues, and temple courts.

o   For the long-term disciple, learning from a rabbi meant considerable traveling.

·         Because they were fishing, they probably not currently accepted by a Rabbi to apprentice at his feet.

·         Jesus’ call for them to follow, informed them that they could be an apprentice of a Rabbi!

·         Jesus had faith in THEM!

The Call To Follow is for us today

  • Who are you following?
  • Who is your teacher?
  • You apprentice yourself to someone…you learn to do life from someone, Whose disciple are you?
  • Last week Jeff said that we usually can find someone that thinks like us that we can apprentice ourselves too.
      • Oprah, Rush, Jackie Collins, George Bush, Dr. Phil, Dr. Dobson, Chuck Swindoll, Jeff Funderburk, Cary Brown…
      • These are not necessarily bad, but they sure are not Jesus!

Some think that you can be a Christian without being a disciple of Jesus!  NOT!

A.W. Tozer said in his book called “I call it heresy”, 

 “Feeling that a notable heresy has come into being throughout evangelical Christian circles,  the widely accepted concept that we humans can choose to accept Christ only because we need him as Savior and that we have the right to postpone our obedience to him as Lord as long as we want to!”

Dallas Willard calls this “Vampire Christianity” where one says to Jesus,

I’d like a little of your blood please, but I don’t care to be your student or have your character.  In fact, won’t you just excuse me while I get on with my life, and I’ll see you in heaven.”

Do you think that this is how Jesus sees it? 

  • Conversion to Christ, in the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament, was inconceivable without a commitment to follow Him in life.  

What is an apprentice of Jesus?

1.     Someone who has: Responded to the Invitation of Jesus


Come—all who are thirsty, all who are weak,  come to the fountain, dip your heart into the streams of life

Let the pain and the sorrow, be washed away,

In the waves of his mercy, as deep cries out to deep,

  • Words from the song we sung together a few minutes ago
    • God wants your HEART…your Love…Adoration
    • God does not choose men because of what they do, but because of their person.
      • We all want to be wanted, want to be chosen for something, not because of what we do but just because I am Me!
      • Pharisees were mad at jesus because he accepted the sinners, tax collectors before they were cleaned up!
    • Invitation is to all to come and sit at the feet of Jesus…
    • Try discipleism

Considered the Cost

Luke 9:23-24 (NLT)
23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life.

  • Self Sacrifice—The hardest thing for us to do

o   We live in a ME culture

§  Everything communicates that YOU should do, have, say, buy, go, what you want

§  Don’t tell ME what to do, think, say, react, ….

·         We want to be BOSS

·         Shelly and Cary

o   We like the gospel of ME, this is not Jesus’ gospel

o   His gospel is about death to self

§  The majority of our time we spend thinking about ourself

·         Pleasing, honoring, reassuring, and propping up me!

·         I am what stands in the way

·         Our problem from the Garden!

·         Most pain and grief in life is because of selfishness!

o   You made a dumb self decision

o   Someone else made a dumb self decision that impacts you

  • Priority Adjustment—Jesus must become the most important thing in our life

Luke 14:26 (NLT)
26 “If you want to be my follower you must love me more than your own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, more than your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.

·         What our Lord means is that our love for Him must have precedence over any other. Our attachment to Him must be greater than any other.

·         You cannot serve two masters! 

Choose to Follow Christ

Repent—Matthew 4:17 “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

  • Repent from yourself!
    • Turn from the way you have been doing life—in sin and turn to a new reality of living in Him—Jesus
  • You have decided to do life differently!
    • We choose to sin,  NOW we choose not to sin

Surrender—to Jesus as redeemer and Master of your life

  • Believe that Jesus Christ is who He says He is
  • Sacrifice for sin, the Redeemer of man
  • Trusting Him to forgive your sins
  • Surrendering your way of life for His way of life
    • Christianity is more than a moment-in-time conversion; it is the radical transformation which leads to a whole new way of life.

To learn to do this new way of life, you have to sit at the feet of Jesus!

2.     Someone who is: Focused on learning from Jesus


Time—Spend time with Jesus is the only way you can learn from him

  • The disciples would spend all their time with their Rabbi
    • Disciple means “learner” or “pupil” or “apprentice”
    • Resposiblity of a Rabbi was to:
      1. Teach the Torah…and interpret it with good judgment
      2. Make disciples—pass the teaching on to as many as he could
      3. Put a Fence around the Torah
    • Jesus was different
      1. His message was about the new reality of the Kingdom of God
      2. His Authority
        • Most Rabbi’s taught in the name of another Rabbi * Jesus taught in his own name
          • “You have heard it said, but I tell you”
      3. His miracles !!!!  
    • Responsibility of the Disciple was:
      1. Memorize the teachers words #. Learn the teachers traditions and interpretations of the Torah
      2. To imitate the teachers actions
      3. To become a Rabbi and make disciples

·         One literally had to follow a rabbi and spend much time to learn from him.

“May the dust of your Rabbi cover you”

·         God created us to be with HIM, to spend time with HIM, to Learn from Him

John 15:5 (NASB)
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.

    • Spending time close to Jesus is how you will learn from Jesus
      1. Many of us are following but from a far, far distance #. You know more about migratory pattern of pinguines then the teachings of Christ.
    • What you spend most of your time doing is what you apprentice to
      • What do you spend most of your time learning and doing?  

Time leads to Trust, Teachability, Truth, Transformation!

3.  Someone who is: Walking in the way of Jesus

·         Not just learning it, but doing it!

    • Leadership vs. Followership a product of Individualism This is the whole thing…DOING LIFE LIKE JESUS WOULD IF HE WERE YOU!*
    • Not always easy * This happens over time as we MORPH
      • Taking off the old and putting on the new!
  • We are partnering with Jesus in bringing redemption into the culture
    • Servants to all, loving our neighbor and enemy!
    • Guarding and proclaiming truth
    • Givers of kindness, compassion, mercy, and grace
    • Caring for the orphaned, widowed, abandoned, oppressed
    • Shepherd others into Real life with Jesus

4.  Someone who is: Making disciples for Jesus

Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

  • This is not to make disciples of MEN but of JESUS
    • Parents, teach your children to sit at the feet of Jesus!
  • Teaching them to obey!
    • We teach the best by modeling truth not telling it
      • Have you heard, “Do as I say not as I do”
  • The best way to make disciples is to be one yourself!


·         Soren Kierkegaard said, “To become an ‘admirer of Jesus’ is much easier than to become a follower. 

·         Don’t just stand back and admire Jesus, His life, His teachings and His sacrifice and then return to following those that lead you back into captivity!


Donald Miller “Blue Like Jazz”

  • Story of Navy Seals going into rescue American Hostages

Jesus came to rescue you are you going to follow him?



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