Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Follow the Rabbi

There was an old Jewish saying that said to follow a rabbi was to "be covered with the dust of his feet."

I came across an interesting website for people who want to follow Jesus so closely that they are covered with the dust of his feet. Check it out - and don't forget to look at the animated Follow the Rabbi logo! The pic right is not from this site, but it is a bumper sticker that I really like.


Carol L. Douglas said...

This is really cool. I like the "Think Hebrew" interactive page. It's worth listening to the audio clips on this page. I will peruse over the next few days since there's a lot of substance here.

Thanks, Paul, for the cool link. I loved the bumper sticker, but could never put such grammar on my car (should be "this closely" but you knew that).

Today is Independence Day in the United States. Always worth musing about the liberties secured for us by our ancestors, but also worth remembering that their ultimate author was our God.

Panda said...

Hi Carol, just look what you can do with Windows Paint! Now the grammar is correct (I hope)
To be honest, I didn't know that it had to be closely... but this is the bumper sticker that I found with Google. Thanks!
And yes, isn't it good to be free, FREE indeed? (In Christ, I mean - of course)

Carol L. Douglas said...

Gosh! Even though I think the adverb "closely" is formally correct, it confuses me when I see it on the bumper sticker, because it seems clunky. I asked my husband, who is a grammar master, and he said that he thinks either form is right. He also chuckled at the bumper sticker, which is the more important thing.

To say that something HAS to be so in English is a bit of a stretch. It's a fluid and fast-changing language, and things which would have made my English teacher blanch are now common currency. Of course, she WAS an old fusspot.

Panda said...

I am a Dutch teacher (and a History teacher - by education, not by profession) and I am not very strict when it comes to grammar.
I agree, languages are always developing and history is constantly changing and we all need to adapt to a certain extend.

First and foremost I want to communicate with language, but I also like to play with words, be creative and have some fun.

In our publishing house we also stick to what is ‘commonly accepted’ when it comes to spelling and grammar. We follow descriptive language rules, not prescriptive language laws.

But don't worry - when it comes to following our Master’s rules, we are less flexible! Although you could argue that the same thing is true for religious ‘laws’: we must not become legalistic because our Master also is our Liberator:
”Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-3).

So what have we learned today? (Please excuse me, this is the old teacher speaking...)

Following our Rabbi means living in accordance with the Spirit!


“He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Corinthians 3:6).

So our life as followers of Christ is all about fellowship, sharing good news (and enjoying good meals), looking forward to an eternity of bliss while trying not to make too many mistakes right here and now…

And what do we do when we stumble and fall? (Or srew up, as some people say...) Then we stick to this strict biblical rule:
”If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.*” (1 John1:9)

So now you can see the connection between both topics (i.e. following the rules for grammar and being a good disciple). ;-)

* including language errors

Mike said...

This is great and is very much where my heart is at. We have lost our Hebraic culture. We no longer think like Jews, we think like Greeks. First century Jews used block logic in their thought process we use Greek linear logic.

I really believe we need to recapture our Jewish roots. This will lead to a greater understanding of the bible and a reformation of practise in life. Have you ever thought about truely keeping the Sabbath?

Panda said...

To be honest, Mike - no, I don't think that the Sabbath has the same meaning for NT Christians and I don't think Christ wants me to observe it like the orthodox Jews are doing. I do recognise the importance of rest and taking time-off, but for me this day of rest is a Sunday and the real rest and peace can only be found in Jesus. From the book of Hebrews:

"For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience." (Hebr. 4:8-11)

The apostle Paul wrote: "Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ." Colossians 2:16,17

However, I do have to say that we probably lost a great deal of our religious heritage by totally abandoning or ignoring our Jewish roots - as NT Christians (sheep from another sheep pen - John 10:16) I do want to know more about the Old Testament and about God's people, the apple of His eye! (Deut. 32:10)

Mike said...


Good point. I wasn’t suggesting that we embrace some legalistic practice. What I was suggesting is that by changing our lives and setting a sacred time aside called, Sabbath can be very beneficial. Like anything, a good thing taken to an extreme can become bad. It was Jesus who said “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”.

Anonymous said...

Great site. My daughter just married a young man who is a Messianic Jew. It has been very interesting to speak to this young man's father who is the Rabbi. My daughter is very happy with what she has been able to learn of the Hebrew teachings and traditions.

My daughter and I had a discussion recently about the belief that you have to hold Sabbath from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. I like your explanation and scripture to back it. I will have to do more study on this and show it to her. I sometimes think that there is a bit much legalism going on with her new family/friends, but I'd rather discuss things such as this with her than to have her walking away from the Lord.

Thanks for the link.

Carol L. Douglas said...

There are those in my house who believe that Paul actually never sleeps, or that the family pix are an elaborate cover for a team of writers... otherwise how would one person have time to write all this stuff? So the idea of him strictly observing the Sabbath is pretty entertaining.

BTW, one of the things which interests me from "Follow the Rabbi" is that women were worship leaders in the ancient synagogue. We left a liberal church for a more conservative church a year ago. The new church doesn't ordain women and I find that Scripturally problematic. So I'd like to learn more about that aspect of the synagogue during Jesus' lifetime.

Panda said...

@ Carol - no it's just me! ;-)
There are some very simple explanations for my productivity:
1) I am passionate about Jesus
2) I love people
3) I like to write and share
4) I don't watch TV that much