Updated: Dec 29, 2021
By Mark S Railey November 8, 2021
Does the Bible teach that the Almighty gives the gift of teaching? Yes. In over 100 places, we are clearly and directly taught that teaching is a gift from G-d and that it is His will that teachers are equipped to teach. One Jewish leader said to Yeshua, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” (John 3:2). In another place, Yeshua said, “But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.” (Matt. 23:8). Did Yeshua do away with the gift of teaching? No. What he was saying was “Do not lord it over your brothers, for you have one Lord, and you are all brothers.” He did not remove the gifts of the Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit. He did not do away with teachers, or in Hebrew - rabbis. Yeshua himself was a Rabbi. Paul was a Rabbi. All of the disciples taught and thus were Rabbis. So why do some of the Gentile followers of Yeshua today profess hatred for the rabbis? Do they equally hate all teachers? All preachers?
Sadly, they have grown hard of heart and wrongly judge every teacher as evil, because they found some rabbis, perhaps even many, who despised Yeshua. Why is that? Why do these “children of G-d” hate Jewish teachers? Well, they would say they don’t. And yet, if the Yeshua followers hate anyone, it would be the Jews. But to be fair, they may also hate many Christians. Why? Because the Jews and the Christians rejected them and perhaps even hated them first. (There is so much hatred in the world. It is truly sad.) Nevertheless, here is some good news: When the Messiah comes, he will restore all things not to the Jewish plan nor the Christian plan, but to His will and desire. There will be those who follow the Messiah who will be delighted, those shocked that they didn’t recognize him, there will be nations in rebellion and nations that submit to His teachings. The Messiah will sort it all out.
There is really not much difference between a pastor and a rabbi. The Talmud is a lot like the Catholic Canon except the Talmud is written within a different worldview from the legalese of the Roman Empire. The Reformers didn't want to do away with the Catholic church, they wanted to reform it. Yet, history is what it is.
It is time to set aside hatred and begin to trust the Holy Spirit to guide our thoughts to the gems within the sages and the church fathers and to apply that wisdom to today’s context.
An educated Jew knows the New Testament and the world of Christian thought. An educated Christian knows the Old Testament/Tanakh and the world of rabbinic thought. Education cannot happen if each side fears or hates the other. The prophecies say that the two branches will become one… that the Temple will be called the House of Prayer for All Nations… that the Eternal Judge will save whom He will save and thus we really cannot be the judge. So, let’s overcome our fear and learn to soften our hearts. Who knows? Perhaps, HaShem may yet pour out His blessing on our time; or, at least, knock some sense into us.