"And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, 'Rabbi, when did You come here?' " (John 6:25, NKJV).
The word, "Rabbi," is of Aramaic origin and is synonymous with "teacher" or "master." It was used as an expression of honor and deep respect in addressing teachers, masters, and people in scholastic circles. Only in the Gospel of John is Jesus addressed by this title. John uses the title six times. Two of the most memorable instances of the word in addressing Jesus are Nathanael's confession, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God!" (John 1:49, NKJV), and Nicodemus' respectful compliment to Jesus, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God" (John 3:2, NKJV).
According to John, it seems that during the early days of the disciples' association with Jesus, they generally called Him, "Rabbi." However, "with a deepening conviction that He is indeed the Sent of God, they later call Him 'Lord' (John 6:68; 11:12; 13:6, etc.). After the resurrection, the title 'Lord' is always used of Jesus (1 Corinthians 16:22), never 'Rabbi.' "--SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 909.
Certainly, no teacher or master in history was ever more deserving of the high honor and distinction embodied in this title. Nicodemus was correct; Jesus was indeed a Rabbi, a "teacher come from God" (John 3:2, NKJV). No teacher, scholar, or wise man could equal His knowledge, wisdom, and mastery of all things human and divine. From Him flowed life, wisdom, truth, knowledge, and power. To all who desire to learn the way of salvation, Jesus is the peerless Rabbi. Ellen G. White makes this beautiful comment: "Of one purpose only were they [the disciples] conscious. One presence filled their thought. They exclaimed. 'Rabbi,... where dwellest Thou?' In a brief interview by the wayside they could not receive that for which they longed. They desired to be alone with Jesus, to sit at His feet, and hear His words."--The Desire of Ages. p. 138.
My Prayer Today: Lord, like Nicodemus, I know You are the Rabbi "come from God," and like Nathanael, I confess, "You are the Son of God." Amen.