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An earthly rabbi taught the Word of God. He interpreted and explained it, applied it and tried his best to make it come alive for his disciples. But our rabbi is the Word of God. Rabbi Jesus is teaching Jesus to us.

By the time a young man could present himself to a rabbi as a potential disciple, that young man would have been through the Jewish educational system. He would have memorized, word-for-word, the entire Scripture from Genesis through Malachi. He would know every word.

Individuals did not own personal copies of the sacred Scriptures, but they devoted their lives to hiding the Word in their hearts. Rabbi Jesus is every word. Paul wrote, quoting from the Old Testament, "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart" (Rom. 10:8).

My friend, is there anything that you would not lay aside to be a disciple of Rabbi Jesus? Is there anything that holds its value when compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Him?

When you hear Him call you to be His talmiyd—His disciple, His follower, His learner—is there anything your flesh has to offer that can outweigh the riches of His kingdom?

Count the cost and then count the reward. What is the cost of discipleship? Ultimately, it costs you nothing, and it gains you everything.

Read a companion devotional.

Jennifer Kennedy Dean is a conference speaker and author.

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