He Chooses You
Rob Bell spoke on the selecting process that rabbis would use to choose their disciples. At the age of six, children would begin to learn the Torah; this training was called bat-cipher. From age eight to ten, they would memorize the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. By the end of bat-cipher, most kids would go and learn their family trade, but the best of the best would advance to the next level. These with the most natural ability would then memorize Genesis to Malachi. After this, the best of the best of the best would then apply to a rabbi to become his disciple.
A disciple does not just want to know what his rabbi knows, but he wants to be like his rabbi and do what his rabbi does. But even after all this work, the rabbi might say to a trainee, "You love God and know the Torah, but you are not good enough to be my disciple. Go learn your family business." But if the rabbi thought the child was the best of the best of the best, the rabbi would then say, "Come, follow me." You would then leave your family, friends and your synagogue and village, and you would devote your entire life to being like your rabbi, learning to do what your rabbi does. This is what it meant to be a disciple.
In the gospels, we see Jesus calling Peter and Andrew to come and follow him. They are fishermen; they certainly aren't "the best of the best" by the day's rabbinical standards. Picture this: Jesus, a Rabbi, is walking along the beach and says, "Come and follow me." He is really saying, "You can do what I can do; you can be like Me."
A rabbi chooses his disciples based on their potential to be like him. But Jesus tells them that He chooses them, and they did not choose Him (John 15). Jesus must have faith in us, because he tells us to go and make more disciples. Jesus has faith that He can make you follow Him and be like Him; it is the foundation of our calling. Jesus says, through Him, you CAN listen, you CAN hear Him, and you CAN be like Him. May you believe in God, and may you come to see that God believes in you.
Source: Sermon Central Newsletter