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Good morning!  Welcome-or welcome back-to Renaissance Woman where I am continuing my study of Isaiah 45:7 specifically the word “peace” which is the Hebrew word shalom.  Shalom is spelled Shin (ש) Lamed (ל) Mem (ם) and, this week, I am continuing to look at the Lamed.

The word Lamed means “to learn, study, become familiar with” and also means “to teach”.  Over the past few weeks, I have written about the importance of having the Holy Spirit as our teacher.  Teachers, Pastors, and Church Leaders are important but it is the Holy Spirit alone who leads us into the truth that is Jesus Christ (See John 16:13, John 14:6).  Jessica Hottle recently posted to her social media “let Jesus guide you. Not people!” and that made me chuckle.  She made the same point I’ve been trying to make over multiple posts and thousands of words but she managed to do it in six. No one has ever accused me of brevity!  I agree: let Jesus be our guide.  In Matthew 11:29 He bids us come to Him and learn of Him and, as I’ve meditated on the meaning of the Lamed, I’ve been wondering just how in this day and age we learn from Jesus.

Interesting, the word Lamed spelled Lamed (ל) Mem (מ) Dalet (ד) but pronounced Lim-mood means “a disciple, one who is taught, a follower”.  I have heard people lament the age in which they have been born and heard them wish they’d been alive during Jesus’ day.  What would it have been like to walk with him on the shores of the Sea of Galilee! Oh, to sit at his feet, to walk with Him, to listen to His words as He spoke them!  Oh, to be one of His disciples!

I have a book on everyday life and customs during Bible Times and, out of curiosity, I looked up what it would have meant to be a disciple.  I read: “In Old Testament times, young men had the chance to become pupils of the prophets and priests.  Samuel, for example, was given to Eli while he was a small boy and trained by the priest.  The prophet Isaiah gave private teaching to a group of disciples.  These disciples lived with their masters, learning from them throughout the course of the day.  They sometimes sat at their feet, learning by lecture and discussion.  At other times they learned by their teacher’s example, or from object lessons that presented themselves throughout the day.  They would quiz their students, checking to see if any light bulbs were going on in their heads.  This one-on-one relationship was the best way to instill learning in the next generation…when Jesus walked upon the earth, he called disciples to his side, and for three and a half years they lived at his side and learned from his teachings.  Sometimes they sat at his feet (Luke 10:39), or learned from his example (John 13:15).  Many object lessons were presented to them (Mark 4:2), and Jesus quizzed them to see if they understood what was spoken (Luke 9:20). 

I laughed a little at the anachronism of “light bulbs going on in their heads” but zeroed in on the necessity of the one-on-one relationship.  I understand the desire to have been there in person at the beginning but I cannot help thinking how limited walking with the man Jesus would have been.  He couldn’t have a one-on-one relationship with all of his disciples at the same time.  I read through the gospels and find the crowds getting smaller and smaller until it’s just the Twelve.  Of the Twelve, only Three saw His transfiguration and, of the Three, only One laid with his head on Jesus’ breast.  Not everyone experienced the same level of closeness so I personally do not look on the days when Jesus walked this earth as a man as halcyon days.  Indeed, Jesus Himself said: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth.  It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7).

Those days of Jesus’ ministry were limited to a tiny segment of the planet and, even if I’d been alive and living there and then, it would have been impossible to choose to be His disciple.  I don’t necessarily mean my gender would exclude me but rather that the custom of the day was a disciple would choose which Rabbi he wished to follow.  Not so with Jesus: He did the choosing.  It’s better to be alive in this moment because now we live in a day of no limitation.  The call to all mankind now is “Come!” (Matthew 11:27-29, John 7:37-38, Revelation 22:17). We don’t have to run after Him and ask Him where He’s staying because we know He sits at the right hand of the Father and we know we are in Him. 

 Luke 6:40 says, “A disciple is not above his teacher but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.” What an amazing thing it would be if all we had today was the same as that possessed by Old Testament and Jesus’ disciples.  We can read the Red Letters in our Bibles and learn from the very words of Jesus.  What an example He left for us to emulate!  How tremendous that His words and example are not all we have!  We do not live alongside Him but abide in Him and we know He abides in us because of His Spirit (1 John 3:24).  We do not have to strive to follow His example for His very life is in us and it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us.  We do not have to try to be like Him because His Spirit is the first fruits within us and we can know His promise is sure: when He is revealed, we shall be like Him. 

While studying the Lamed, I watched a video on the Shivimpanim channel.  The Rabbi mentioned the Hallel which are special prayers said on Holy Days and pointed out there are two Lameds within the word.  Hallel is also one of the root words that comprise Hallelujah, a phrase that means “Praise the Lord!”  The Lameds in the word Hallelujah are a beautiful lesson.  I know that I will be like my Teacher Jesus Christ because I see Him.  I see Him because His Spirit is within me opening my eyes.  With my eyes opened to behold Him, I cannot but shout, ”Hallelujah!” because I see Him, I know Him, and I have learned from Him.  This learning and knowing is at the very center of my peace.

Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  Amen.

Unless noted otherwise, all Scriptures are quoted from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee, 1982

Spiritual Mentor and Christian Life Coach – Jessica Hottle

 References

Everyday Living: Bible Life and Times, MJF Books, Thomas Nelson Publishers, New York, New York, 2006

(3) Secret of the Hebrew letter Lamed – YouTube

(3) LAMED – Secrets of the Hebrew Letters – YouTube