My understanding (possibly wrong) is that rabbis in Jesus’ day pretty much had memorized word for word the entire Old Testament and almost all normal Jewish boys memorized the Torah. There was another group of gifted boys who would study further and memorized the Law too. In addition there was a third group who were sort of the best of the best who went on to study  the rest of the Scriptures. Only the best of these boys would be considered  as possible rabbis.  They would then go to an existing rabbi and request to be their disciple or "Talmudim." If a rabbi thought he might be able to live as he did, he would accept him and begin training him to be a rabbi. Jesus bypassed this whole practice when he invited the fishermen to be Talmudim, but that also explains why they dropped everything so quickly to take advantage of a situation like this. It was an extreme honor to be considered for this kind of position.
     Anyway, all this is to say that I feel extremely honored to be able to sit in these classes with Dr. Loken. Last night, he did an overview of the entire Bible in a couple of hours. He never opened the Bible, and did it all by memory. He went over the structures of every book and discussed different points in each of them that I had no idea about. He even gave the specific verses in each where things took a turn or the theme of the book changed. I thought I had a pretty basic understanding of the Scriptures, but I don’t. I’m clueless. I don’t even have a foundation to build upon. I have something to build upon, but it’s certainly not a foundation yet. Rabbi Loken as I will call him seems to know everything there is to know about the Bible, but the crazy thing is that he doesn’t. God is so big. His Word is so expansive, that none of us will ever have a complete grasp on Him. Rabbi Loken (I still think it’s funny to call him that) is also very humble – as he was a couple weeks ago, he will be out of class next week for a conference to learn more. I hope that as I learn and grow in the Lord that I can remain humble and  teachable. I never wanna be that guy who acts like he knows everything.

Lord, teach me to be teachable. Keep bringing people like Dr. Loken into my life to expand my understanding of what it means to follow after you. Help me to remain inspired and encouraged to be faithful and attentive in these classes so I can continue growing. Give me extra energy to get all the homework done and allow me to even enjoy the process of it all. Guide me in balancing my relationship You, with my beautiful bride, my friends, my job, and these classes. Also, allow me to make some friends in Lake Jackson who would be willing to link arms with me as I go into battle. (I’m not planning any battles, but just need those kinds of guys in my life.) You’re so good to me Lord. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! AMEN!

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