Read Microsoft Word - Document2 text version

SittingattheFeetofRabbiJesus StudyandDiscussionGuideforIndividualsorGroups

ElisaStanfordbasedontheworkofAnnSpanglerandLoisTverberg ©2009Zondervan,AllRightsReserved Welcome to the study and discussion guide for Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus. Jesus lovedtotalkaboutGodandGod'sWordwithothers.Ifyouarereadingthebookinagroupor with a prayer partner, we are excited that you are continuing that tradition of becoming haverimbydiggingintothisbookwithotherpeople.Ifyouarereadingthebookalone,wepray thatyourexperiencewillenrichyourpersonalfaithinnewways. Howeveryouchoosetousethisstudyguide,beopentohowGodisdirectingyourreading and study. Feel free to spend more time on questions that particularly resonate with you or yourgroup.Wetrustthatthischapterbychapterexplorationofthebookwillhelpyoutakethe next step toward understanding Jesus' Jewish world. As we have discovered, it is a never ending,fascinatingjourney! Introduction UnderstandingmoreaboutthecultureandlanguageofJesus'timehelpsusknowmoreof Christhimself.WhenwehonortheJewishpeoplebylearningabouttheirheritage,Godblesses uswithadeeperunderstandingofourJewishMessiah. 1.DescribeyourexperiencewithJewishpeople,culture,andpractices(ifany). 2. The archaeologist Gabi Barkai once said, "Every day in Jerusalem is a day of discovery" (p.7).Whatdoyouwanttodiscoverthroughreadingthisbook?

Chapter1:JoiningMaryattheFeetofJesus AlthoughwemeetGodthroughScripture,sometimesthedifferenceinculture,time,and language makes the Bible seems distant or confusing. Studying Jesus' Jewish culture helps us "finetune our hearing" (p.13) so we can know the same power, controversy, and spiritual meaningthatJesus'originallistenersexperienced. 1. Describe a time when you had difficulty communicating across a cultural or language barrier. 2.Ratherthanunderminingourfaith,"lookingattheJewishbackgroundoftheBibledeepens our understanding of Jesus"(pp.18­19). What fears do you have, if any, about learning more aboutJewishculture?HowmightabetterunderstandingofJesus'timesdeepenyourfaith? 3. Give an example of a passage, verse, or concept in the Gospels that you find especially confusing. 4.WhatisyourfirstthoughtoremotionwhenyoucomeacrosssomethingJesussaidthatyou don'tunderstand? 5.IfyouwereliterallysittingatJesus'feetwithMary,whatisthefirstthingyouwouldask him?

Chapter2:WhyaJewishRabbi? As we learn more about the life of a rabbi, we can see why being a rabbi was a perfect vocationforJesus.Asthegreatestofallrabbis,Jesusfollowedtherabbinictraditionofstudying Scripture, using debate as a way of learning, teaching by telling parables, and raising up disciples.Morethanthat,hewasthepromisedMessiah,theSaviorwhomtheoppressedJewish peoplelongedfor. 1.Whenyouweregrowingup,whatwasyourimageofJesus? 2. In what ways do you personally identify with the excitement over biblical study that Lois describes(p.26)?InwhatwaysdoyoustruggletoengagewiththeBible? 3.Whatdoesitmeanonapracticallevelto"studytheBiblewithreverence"(pp.26­27)?In whatwaysdoesasenseofreverencemotivateustostudytheBiblemore? 4. Debate was a significant part of learning in Jesus' day (pp.28­29). When have you seen healthy debate foster greater understanding of a subject? How do people in today's church debateissues? 5.TheauthorswritethatthemissionofJesus,asofthosewhofollowhim,wasto"becomea livingexampleofwhatitmeanstoapplyGod'sWordtoone'slife"(p.33).Whomdoyouknow whofulfillsthiscalltobealivingexampleofGod'sWord?Whatimpactdoesthatpersonhave onyourfaith? 6.InwhatwaysdoesagreaterappreciationofJesus'roleasarabbihelpyouunderstandhis wordsandactionsmore?Forexample,howdoesknowingthatrabbisusedparablesinfluence yourreadingofJesus'parables?Howmightanawarenessoftherabbinicemphasisondebate, discipleship,andstudychangeyourperceptionofyourrelationshipsanddailypriorities?

Chapter3:StringingPearls LikeotherJewsofhisday(andtoday),JesusstudiedtheLawofMoses,theProphets,and the Psalms. As Christians, we recognize these books as our Old Testament (note that Roman CatholicandOrthodoxchurchesrecognizeadditionalbooksaspartoftheOldTestamentcanon incontrasttothesmallercanonacceptedbyProtestantchurches).JesususedtheJewishlove of Scripture to teach others about himself and to show how the Scriptures point to Jesus as their fulfillment. Today, some of Jesus' words may seem perplexing, but often they reflect a rabbi'swayofcommunicatingwithintheframeworkofScripture.Themoreweunderstandthe OldTestament,themoremeaningfulJesus'wordsbecome. 1.IfyouhadtochooseafavoritebookoftheBible,whichonewoulditbe?Why? 2.WhatisyourexperiencewiththeOldTestament?DoyouidentifywithLois'ssurpriseover learning how important the Old Testament is to understanding the New Testament? Why or whynot? 3.ThestudyofScripturewasvitallyimportantinJesus'dayandisstillconsideredahighform ofworshipforJewishpeople.WouldyousaytheChristianchurchtoday(andyourlocalchurch inparticular)hasasimilarreverenceforGod'sWord?Whyorwhynot? 4. Can you identify with Ben Azzai's words about Scripture passages coming together so perfectly that the words "burst into flames" (p.43)? Describe a time when a biblical passage cametolifeforyou. 5.Whatimagescometomindwhenyouthinkofashepherd?HowmighttheimageofJesus asshepherdbemeaningfulinyourliferightnow? 6.WhywasitimportantforJesustotellhisfollowers--includingus--thathewastheSonof Man?

Chapter4:FollowingtheRabbi InJesus'day,arabbi'sdiscipleslearnednotonlyfromwhatarabbisaidintimesofteaching butalsofromwhathedidineverydaylife.JustasElishalearnedfromElijah,soadisciple'stask wastobecomeasmuchliketherabbiaspossible.Thiswasalongyetfulfillingprocess.Ourgoal asdisciplesofJesusisthesametoday:tobecometransformedintothelikenessofChrist. 1. How did you learn your current vocation? Have you ever experienced a formal apprenticeship,asAngeSabinPeterdid?Whatwastheexperiencelike? 2.ThemastercraftsmantoldAnge,"Youcannotseparatelifefromwork"(p.52).Inwhatways doestoday'sWesternculturereflecttheoppositebelief? 3. Why do you think our culture places more emphasis on information than on transformation? 4. Describe a specific sacrifice you've made to follow Jesus. Was the fulfillment in such a choiceworththecost?Whyorwhynot? 5. What is one "ugly habit" (p.56) in your life right now that you would like Jesus to heal? WhatfearsordiscouragementsdoyouhaveasyouwaitforGod'sinnertransformation? 6.Describeatimewhenyourspirituallifedeepenedbecauseyouwereabsorbingtruthfrom someone around you--perhaps attending to someone as Elisha attended Elijah or simply watching someone's dailylife.Inwhatways did thepersonyouwerefollowing serveyou?In whatwaysdidyouneedtobeobedientandhumbleinordertolearn? 7.Whoislearningfromyoubywatchingyourliferightnow?Inwhatwayscanyouservethat person? In what ways might you be tempted to be selfimportant in your leadership? Does livingtransparentlycomeeasilytoyou,orisitastruggle?

Chapter5:GetYourselfSomeHaverim FollowinghisJewishtradition,JesusconsidereditvitaltolearnaboutGodinthepresence of other people. His instructions to his disciples and his own daily life affirmed his followers' needforcommunity.AsChristians,wecanhonorthistraditionofhaverimthroughintentional relationshipswithothersandanawarenessofourconnectednesswiththeJewishcommunityin theBible.Godcallsustolearn,love,study,forgive,andencourageothersincommunity,justas Jesusdid. 1. When have you learned something more deeply because you were studying or working withsomeoneelse? 2.ConsiderthestoryofPassover(seep.70).Howdoesyourunderstandingorappreciationof thispivotaleventinJewishhistorychangewhenyouthinkoftheJewishpeopleasyourspiritual ancestors? 3. Briefly describe your past experience with spiritual community and spiritual solitude. Do youusuallygetemotionalenergyfrombeingwithpeopleorfrombeingalone?Howdoesthis influenceyourspirituallife? 4.Howdoyouusuallyhandleconflictordisagreementinrelationships? 5. Do you view evangelism as something that happens mainly at the "fence" to get people intothepasture(p.76)?Whyorwhynot? 6.Thoughmanyofushaveacircleoffriends,fewofushaveanyonewhoreallypushesusin our spiritual life or energizes us to study the Bible more. Do you have a spiritual "jogging partner"(p.74),whochallengesyoutograpplewiththeBibleandhelpstorefineyou?Describe howthat relationshipdeveloped. Ifyoudon'thavethatkindofinfluenceinyour life, what is one practical thing you could do to develop a havruta relationship with someone or with a groupofpeople?

Chapter6:Rabbi,TeachUstoPray The Jewish customs of the day, including the rich customs of Jewish prayer, were a significantpartofJesus'everydayexperience.IntheLord'sPrayer,JesusreliedonclassicJewish themestoillustratewhattheessenceofprayer,thenandnow,shouldbe.Jesusistheultimate modelforusofkavanah,asenseofthepresenceofGod. 1. Consider the Jewish practices, such as wearing phylacteries and prayer shawls, that Ann encountered on herflight toTel Aviv.Whatritualsdo ChristiansusetostudytheBible,pray, andworshipGod?Whatspiritualpracticeortraditionisespeciallymeaningfultoyou? 2.Whatisyourcurrentexperiencewithprayer?Wouldyousaythat,foryou,prayerisusually atimeofjoy?Confusion?Guilt?Encouragement?Answers? 3.WhatdoesitlookliketoapproachGodwithreverencebutalsoasatrustingchild? 4.WhydoyouthinkprayerssuchastheShemaandtheAmidah(pp.80­81)involvesomuch repetition? What does Jesus' use of such prayers suggest about our need to remember our commitmenttoGod? 5.The"dailybread"oftheLord'sPrayerisareferencetoGod'ssustenanceasawhole.What isonethingyouwouldliketoaskGodtoprovideforyouthisweekasawayofsustainingyou spiritually,physically,oremotionally? 6. The Jewish theologian Abraham Heschel describes kavanah as being able to "sense the preciousnessofbeingabletopray,tobeperceptiveofthesupremesignificanceofworshiping God"(p.88).Howwouldadeepersenseofthepreciousnessofprayer,andGod'spresencewith youwhenyoupray,affectthewayyourelatetoGod? 7.Thinkofataskyoudoeveryday.Whatisonewayinwhichyourincreasedunderstandingof theJewishviewofprayermightchangethewayyoudothattask?

Chapter7:ForEverythingaBlessing JesusmodeledtheJewishtraditionofblessingGodforevents,smallandlarge,throughout the day. This habit of blessing God can transform our spiritual lives as we continually acknowledgehispresencewithus. 1.Whatisthefirstthingyouthoughtaboutwhenyouwokeupthismorning? 2.Whenhasintentionallydevelopingahabitchangedyouractionsorthoughtspermanently, eventhoughyousimplywentthroughthemotionsofthehabitatfirst? 3.Describeatimewhenyourattitudetowardasituationchangedasyouexpressedthanks. Describeatimewhenyourealizedyou'dforgottenGod'sinvolvementinyourlifebecauseyou hadforgottentothankhimforbeingwithyou. 4.Whatdoesitmeanto"givethanksinallcircumstances"(1Thessalonians5:17­18)? 5.LovingGodwithallourheartsmeanslovinghimnotjustwith"thepartofourheartthatis happy,butwiththeangry,sad,mourningpartofourheartaswell"(p.93).Whatwoulditlook liketoloveGodwithallyourheart--includingallyouranger,grief,andquestions--rightnow? WhenisitmostdifficultforyoutoexpressyouremotionstoGod? 6.DescribearecenttimewhenyouwerefilledwithadesiretoblessGod.

Chapter8:APassoverDiscovery Passover--themostimportantJewishfeast--isatimetorememberhowGodbroughthis peopleoutofEgyptandhowhewillredeemhispeopleagain.LearningaboutPassoverandtwo coincidingspringfeasts,UnleavenedBreadandFirstfruits,yieldsinsightsintoJesus'finalweek onearth. 1.Whatfamilystoriesdoyoutalkaboutwithyourchildrenoratafamilygathering?Whydo youthinksuchstoriesgetpassedaroundinyourfamily? 2.TheJewishpeoplecelebratedPassoverasawayofrememberingGod'sprovisionduringa time of change. Why is it important to commemorate past events? In what ways can such celebrationsbringusclosertoGod? 3.Doyouthinkweshouldmemorializetimesofpastsufferingaswellasjoy?Whyorwhynot? Howcanweallowpaintohaveapositiveinfluenceinourspirituallives? 4.PassoverisatimeofexpectationaswellasatimeofremembrancefortheJewishpeople. Whenhaslivingwithhopefulexpectationchangedthewayyouactorthink? 5. What difference does it make to you spiritually to consider that God knew about Jesus' redemptionwhenhebroughttheIsraelitesoutofEgypt? 6.Thinkaboutatimeofdifficultyinyourlife,atimeofdramaticchange,oratimewhenyou sawGod'sdeliverance.Whatcouldyoudotocommemoratethattime?Whatwoulditlooklike toconsiderthatcommemorationareminderofGod's"invinciblehope"(p.109)?

Chapter9:DiscoveringJesusintheJewishFeasts The seven biblical feasts of Leviticus 23 were observed in Jesus' time and are still celebratedtoday.Richinsignificance,theypointtotheredemptionofChrist;Jesususedtheir imagery to highlight his role as the Messiah. The feasts were tangible symbols of God's faithfulnessandremindersofhowGodledtheIsraelitesintothePromisedLand.Today,feasts areawaytocelebratethepast,toacknowledgeGod'sprovisioninthepresent,andtohopefor thefuture.Throughfeastsandtraditions,wecangetaglimpseofGod'splanforeternity. 1.Whatisthemostjoyfulcelebrationyouremember,eitherasanadultorasachild?What madeitsuchajoyfulexperience? 2. We all have different beliefs about what it means to be "Spiritfilled." What does that phrasemeantoyou?HowhaveyouseentheHolySpiritatworkinyourliferecently? 3.HowdoesourknowledgeofJesus'lifeanddeathaffecthowweconfessoursinstoGod? DescribeatimewhenaskingforGod'sforgivenessfreedyourmindandheart.(Note:Ifyouare inagroup,berespectfulofthosewhowouldprefertothinkaboutthisquestioninsilence.)Isit everhardforyoutoacceptGod'sforgiveness?Whyorwhynot? 4.Inwhatwaysdoesourcultureteachustoforget"thatlifeisfiniteandthateveryonemust be prepared to stand before the Lord at the time of death" (p.120)? How can the Jewish understandingofmortalityandGod'sjudgmentenrichourspirituallives? 5.Whatisyourexperiencewithfasting?Haveyoueverconsideredmakingitapartofyour spiritualdisciplines?Whyorwhynot? 6. Would you rather receive two hours of free time or twenty dollars? Why? How does keepingspaceinourlivesforSabbathturnourfocusawayfromtimeandmoneyandtoward God? 7.Taste,hunger,sight,clothing,andothersensoryexperiencesareimportantpartsofJewish commemorations. What are some things Christians do to make prayers, worship, and church experienceencompassallofthesenses?Whatcouldyoudotobringmoresensoryexperiences intoyourspirituallife?

Chapter10:AtTablewiththeRabbi Since ancient times, the Jewish people have considered the table a place of community, worship, joy, and reconciliation. A deeper understanding of this biblical tradition of table fellowshipandhospitalitycanstrengthenourownrelationshipwithGodandothers.(Note:If youarereadingthisbookasagroup,considerdiscussingthischapteraroundameal.) 1.Whatweremealslikeatyourhomewhenyougrewup?Whataremostmealslikeatyour hometoday? 2. Hospitality was often a matter of life and death in Israel. How might our Western self sufficiency,geography,andtypicalworklifeaffectourattitudetowardwelcomingothers?What rewardsarethereforaculture,church,orfamilythatplacesanemphasisonhospitality?Would yousayhospitalityisastrengthorachallengeforyou? 3.Whyissharingamealtogetherasignofmutualvulnerability? 4. In what ways has taking Communion enriched your life spiritually? Have you ever intentionally reconciled with someone before taking Communion? If you have never taken Communion,whatareyourthoughtsonthisideaof"sittingdowntodinner"withGod(p.140)? 5.Whenhaveyouseenamealbringpeopleclosertogether?Onamorepersonallevel,have youeverfoundyourselfmorewillingtoacceptorforgivesomeoneaftersharingfoodwiththat person? 6. Why was it significant for Jesus' Jewish disciples to share a meal with him? What would yourfirstresponsebeifJesusaskedyoutohavedinnerwithhimtonight? 7.ConsideringJesus'emphasisonsharingfoodwithus,howdoesadeeperunderstandingof what"table"meansinJewishculturedrawyouclosertoGod?

Chapter11:TouchingtheRabbi'sFringe Godprovidedthelaw,orTorah,totheIsraelitestoguidetheminthebestwaytolive.We seeChrist'sloveintheseJewishlaws--lawsthathonorhumanlife,offerpatiencetowayward followers, and call God's people to stand out as his children. When we view God's commandmentsinlightofhislove,evenwhenwedon'tcompletelyunderstandthem,weknow thejoyofobeyinghim. 1. When have you seen a seemingly small choice to do good make a big difference in a relationship,abusinessdecision,oryourspirituallife? 2. What is one spiritual rule or commandment that you have a particularly hard time following?Howmightitchangeyourperspectivetoconsiderthatcommandmentasareflection ofGod'sloveratherthanasaguiltinducingtraporlimitation? 3.WhydoyouthinkJewishpeopleconsiderperformingamitzvah--agooddeed--tobeajoy ratherthanaburden? 4. When have you asked someone to do something even though the person did not understandyourintent? 5.HaveyoueverobeyedGodwhilenotknowingwhyhewasaskingyoutodosomething?If so,didyoufindoutlaterwhyhewantedyoutoobey--that"hiddenwisdomthatwillonlylater berevealed"(p.149)?Ifnot,areyoustillgladyouobeyed?Whyorwhynot? 6.Byinstructinghispeopletoweartassels,Godwasencouragingthemtobeobviousabout theirspiritualcommitment.WhatmakesyoustandoutasaChristian--whetherathome,inthe workplace,oratagrocerystore? 7.Jesustoldhisfollowerstostandoutbutalsocriticizedthosewhoexaggeratedtheirpiety. Onapracticallevel,whatmakesthedifferencebetweenstandingoutbecauseyoufollowGod andstandingoutbecauseyoujudgepeoplewhodon'tfollowGod? 8.Godprovideddietarylawstokeephispeopleseparatefromtheculturesaroundthem.How canyoubeseparateinyouractionsandwordsthisweekbutstillreachouttopeoplewhoneed toknowGod?

Chapter12:JesusandtheTorah Jesus had no intention of weakening the Torah that had shaped generations of Jewish people.Infact,hecametoperfectlyobeyandperfectlyfulfilltheTorah.ButRabbiJesustaught thatwearenottofollowrulesforthesakeoffollowingrulesbutrathertoobeythemoutofa desire to model our lives on the character of God. All his actions and words were directed toward getting at the heart of God's laws--the one most important commandment that the Jewishpeoplewereseeking.AsJesusmodeled,God'slovefreesusfromlegalismandinvitesus tolovehimwithallourheart,soul,mind,andstrengthandtoloveourneighborsasourselves. 1.Weusuallythinkoflawsaslimiting.Whenhaveyouseenlawsorboundariesasfreeing? 2.Describe(a)atimewhenadecisiontoresistasmalltemptationkeptyoufromfallinginto sin,or(b)atimewhengivingintoasmalltemptationledtoagreatersin. 3. After reading this chapter, are you surprised at how much Jesus' words reflected the teachings of the Pharisees? Why was it important for Jesus to use the speaking styles of the Jewish people and rabbinic traditions? What does this suggest about how we talk to others aboutGod? 4. Jesus spoke with authority about the mind of God because he was God. When have you seenanauthor,painter,musician,orotherartistspeakmorepassionatelyabouttheworkheor shecreatedthanotherscould? 5.Whatdoesitmeanto"gobeyondtheminimum"(p.174)inlovingGod?Withthisinmind, whatwouldlovingGodwithallyourheart,soul,mind,andstrengthlooklikeinyourlifetoday? 6. What does it mean to "go beyond the minimum" in loving your neighbor? With this in mind,whatwouldlovingyourneighborasyourselflooklikeinyourlifetoday? 7.Whyislove"thebestinterpretationofthelaw"(p.178)? 8.Inlightofthischapter,whywouldyousaytheTorahmatterstoChristians?

Chapter13:TheMysteriousKingdomofGod ThekingdomofGodwasattheheartofJesus'missiononearth.Thiskingdom--orreign-- ofGodisbasedonforgivenessandatonement.ManyJewsofJesus'daywereuncomfortable withthismercifulviewofGod,butJesus'lifeandministryremindusthatGod'smercyisgreater thanhiswrath.ThroughthesacrificeofJesus,wecanenthroneGodrightnowinthekingdom ofGodwithinus. 1.JesusfulfilledGod'smissioninadifferentwayfromwhatpeopleexpected.WhenhasGod surprisedyouwithhowhedeliveredyoufromasituationoransweredaprayer? 2.TheJewishpeoplehadapassionatedesirefortheentireworldtoworshipGod.Howdoesa desire for others to follow God influence your life? What triggers that desire more than anythingelse? 3. Why would building a kingdom on forgiveness and atonement result in "purehearted followers"(p.191)? 4. Jesus revealed a compassionate God rather than a wrathful God. When have you seen compassionchangesomeone'sattitudeoractions?Whyiscompassionpowerful? 5. Why is it hard to forgive someone who has wronged you? Why is it hard to accept someone'sforgiveness? 6. How do you respond to the idea that "Jesus' kingdom is a living dynamic reality ... Our obedience is vital because it is a catalyst for the Spirit's work" (p.195)? In other words, what doesitmeantoyourightnowthat"thekingdomofGodiswithinyou"(p.193)?

Chapter14:BecomingTrueDisciplesofOurJewishLord When we approach Scripture and reputable historical information with humility, we can discover remarkable connections between Jesus, the Old Testament, and the rich Jewish culture.AsRabbiJesustaught,wearecalledtobeindaily,livingrelationshipwithhimandthen liveourlivesinsuchawaythatotherswanttobehisdisciplesaswell. 1.WhathassurprisedyouthemostaboutRabbiJesusasyoureadSittingattheFeetofRabbi Jesus? 2.Inwhatways,ifany,doyouthinkyouhavebeenjudgmental,elitist,orapatheticinyour view of the Jewish people? How do you feel about the idea that as Christians "we are but branchesgraftedintoaJewishtree"(p.201)? 3.Whydoeshumilityinfluencethewaywelearn? 4.InwhatwayshasSittingattheFeetofRabbiJesusmadeyoumorecuriousabouttheJewish rootsofJesus'words? 5.HowhasthebookchangedthewayyoureadtheBible? 6. In what ways has the book strengthened your faith as you discovered more about the connectionsamongJesus,theOldTestament,andGod'stimelessplanforhischildren?Howhas thebookenlargedyourunderstandingofwhoGodisandwhathethinksofyou?

Information

Microsoft Word - Document2

15 pages

Find more like this

Report File (DMCA)

Our content is added by our users. We aim to remove reported files within 1 working day. Please use this link to notify us:

Report this file as copyright or inappropriate

1042491


You might also be interested in

BETA
Ministry_2006.p65
Messiah Yeshua HaMashiach
A New Look at the Torah and the LAW of God
Manners and Customs fo Bible Lands
Last Supper