Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Jesus the way, the truth and the life

I'm rereading the new, excellent book, Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith, by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg. I will review it in the near future.

This book reminds me that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. Our salvation is found in a person: Jesus. Because of his unique person, the God-Human, and because of his unique work in his life, death and resurrection.

This book reminds us well that it's not just truth about Jesus, but that Jesus himself is the truth. We are mistaken if we think that knowing certain true things about Jesus is enough. We need to come to know Jesus himself. And we need to see him as our Rabbi, which means Master and Teacher. So that the truth in Jesus is becoming a part of who we are, not only something we "know" or believe.

Jesus is also the way. Yes, he provided the way in his death for us. A way not just to get to heaven someday, although our resurrection hope is not only beyond the grave, but actually beyond heaven, to the new heaven and earth in the new creation. But Jesus is himself the way for us, the way to live here and now. Given to us by the Spirit and in community with his people in God's mission of love to the world.

And in all of this Jesus is our life. Both in giving us new life, so as to partake in his very life. And in helping us live out that new life day by day by the Spirit in the world. Something we do dependent on Christ and interdependent on each other in Christ, as we live it out in our daily existence.

I love the emphasis in this book- it certainly lives up to its title- on the Jewishness of Jesus and why that's important for us. It has well been said that truth is more caught than taught. We tend to see learning as gathering information from a lecturing teacher. But the kind of learning that God has for us in Jesus is more like an apprentice living with the one who is teaching them a trade. Like the disciples did with Jesus as their Rabbi. In our case we're living with Jesus by the Spirit, day after day. A life lived in community with other Jesus followers, and before the world in all our God-given unique expressions of it.

This is challenging yet uplifting to me. To think that I'm not on my own. It's a God-thing, a Jesus-thing, and not just he and I, but he- I and- others in him. The way he lived, but this way given to us to live out in him in a fresh dynamic way, by the Spirit.

Great teaching and stories in the book. And suggestions in helping us begin to see our faith transformed in Jesus. More to come on it. And an encouragement to me that I face life, the problems and challenges, not by myself, but as one among others learning life from the greatest Rabbi of all- Jesus.

What thoughts would you like to add here?


Diane said...

Good thoughts Ted!

nannykim said...

True, thanks

Halfmom said...

I think it's hard to get the "in a person" into your head sometimes because He's not physically here to look at. Kind of crazy when there's not doubt that He's really here - just seems hard to me sometimes without someone to physically visualize.

Got the blogs migrated. You'll find me at halfmom from now on.

Anonymous said...

i does sound like a good book. i hope to read more of your experience of reading it.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Diane!

Ted M. Gossard said...

And thanks, Nannykim!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Halfmom, Susan,
Thanks. Yes, I have you linked.

You're right. Does remind us of that passage in Peter, though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you don't see him now, you rejoice with an inexpressable joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

But it is spiritual, and somehow that will carry on when we do see him face to face, though heaven and earth will then be integrated as one.

Jesus seems especially present when we're gathered as his people, at times. I take that by faith, but sometimes it does seem evident. I'm sure you agree, but would be interested in hearing what you have to say on it.

Ted M. Gossard said...

You will! Thanks.

Ted M. Gossard said...

I should have added, though you don't see him now, you believe in him, etc.

I should look up those passages!

preacherman said...

Wonderful post Ted.

I want you to know that I am doing better. I am undergoing hypnotherapy and have not had a migraine in 7 days. God is so good. Thanks for your prayers everyone.

Ted you and all the other bloggers are such an encouragement.
God bless each of you.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Kinney. I'm glad you're feeling better! Glad to be among those who pray for you, and thanks for your continual encourgement.