What follows is a profusion, a cornucopia, a plethora, a copious mass of thoughts about Yeshua’s life and message. But before I get into that . . . the eBook for Yeshua in Context is here!! You can order for the Kindle, iPad, or any other reading device. In fact, you can read eBooks on your computer (so it could just be a way for you to get the book cheaper, at only $8.99).
Click here to order the print version or the eBook version of Yeshua in Context: The Life and Times of Yeshua the Messiah.
The past few years, studying the gospels and reflecting on Messiah’s life, the meaning of his words, has made me wonder how many sublime concepts there could possibly be in four rather short documents (the gospels). It seems to me the supply is rather inexhaustible. Here is a random sampling of thoughts, some reflections on randomly isolated sentences from the book.
What is Yeshua planning to do with the band of disciples he is gathering? You could spend an entire day reading and thinking about this question. It would make a great discussion with a group.
Luke places the story of Yeshua’s coming to his hometown out of order. That is, Luke 4:14-30. Why is it brought forward in the storyline? What is the story saying?
Yeshua spoke of unexpected people finding help and healing. Do we see ourselves as the sort of people who should be healed? Are we the undeserving as well? Are we the unlikely redeemed?
Yeshua is a dynamic force arriving on the scene and causing a stir. Do we still allow this to happen? Have we tamed his presence? Can we contain his presence at times when he decides to break out in power? Shouldn’t we reflect on his coming with power?
The resurrection of Yeshua on the third day is the ultimate demonstration of the Age to Come… Do we understand that his life was healing and redeeming, but his resurrection is even more transforming? How high is our view of the coming life in the resurrected world?
If the healings were not to spread Yeshua’s fame and glory all over the hills of Galilee, what were they for? Are we guilty sometimes of reading Yeshua as if he were in need of affirmation? Do we understand that he called for faith-in-spite-of rather than faith-proven-by-signs?
The messianic secret is also a warning for those after the exaltation of Yeshua who might continue to misunderstand his mission. Has the common understanding of Yeshua’s mission improved much from the expectations of Israel in his own time? Are we still self-centered in our appreciation of Yeshua?
Yeshua’s zeal for the Temple will consume him . . . What are the kinds of things Yeshua died for? How do they matter to us?
If we have learned anything, it should be that Yeshua represents Judaism and not Christianity. What are the implications of this statement? How does a Jewish teacher become misunderstood as founder of a new religion (that does away with his own religion)? What should Yeshua be to the Church?
Yeshua’s view of impurity within is an ethic worth living. Do we want to understand what Yeshua meant about impurity coming out from within us?
Yeshua demonstrated his belief by his practice. Do we? Really?
The earth is the place that will be renewed. The coming kingdom is on earth. I will walk outdoors today thinking about the renewal and perfection of all the beauty that is already here.
But the wisdom is in knowing that the power that matters is not our own. It is freeing. It is something to remind ourselves of often. Blessed are the meek.
Yeshua spoke of a penultimate stage, a coming of the kingdom in part, an age to come being realized progressively instead of suddenly. Do we think of the now as irrelevant in light of the not-yet? Did Yeshua teach us to think that way?
Now, at the end, Yeshua says it himself. He is no mere prophet. He is the son whom the tenants will kill. How foolish does the oft-repeated claim sound, the claim that Yeshua did not own his messianic identity?
The divine realm breaks into the world below with mysteries from above. Was Yeshua a rationalist or a mystic? I know what I think.
To be born from above is not simply a rebirth, but a heavenly birth. Many things change us. One kind of change towers above all the other kinds.
It [the Presence of the Son] is unseen and unprovable, but capable of being grasped by those who would come to the light. Is this a reality we seek? Why or why not?
Who was this Son of Man who came to die and not to conquer? God’s way is beyond searching out. We see and believe and from there we seek to understand. We cannot arrive at the highest truth by starting with understanding, but by starting with believing.
The shout of Yeshua’s death is the lowest moment, the most innocent sufferer experiencing the greatest suffering. The paradox is overwhelming. If we think we understand, we do not. Infinity humbled is not something to understand, only to perceive.
It [the resurrection of Yeshua] is a fact that precedes understanding, a power that gives meaning rather than an event to be interpreted for its meaning. This is why the disciples were dumbfounded and unbelieving, even the women.
The life of God exists within the Yeshua community, the new family of Messiah, his mothers and brothers. Yeshua never envisioned or approved of individualistic faith. Do we comprehend the power of his Presence in the community that follows him? Can we look for it through the veil of human weakness? Is it that communities are failing to manifest this Presence, and if so, can we work for a solution?