The Ten Commitments: What Does a Mature Disciple of Yeshua Look Like? Characteristics 8, 9, 10

August 15, 2018

These final three items complete the list I have been developing in seven previous blog posts. These last three are not highly developed here, but the ideas are clear enough that you can understand and consider them. Please do!

8. A mature disciple of Yeshua will commit to missional responsibility for the growth of Messianic Jewish families and communities through winning Jewish people to discipleship to Yeshua, and practicing paramissional responsibility for the progress of the good news in the non-Jewish world.

As is taught in my publications Christians and Jews Together, Son of David: Healing the Vision of the Messianic Jewish Movement, and Converging Destinies: Jews, Christians, and the Mission of God, and as based on teachings in Ezekiel 36-37 and Romans 9-11, the Messianic Jewish Movement, as part of the Jewish Remnant, should be engaged in its mission of being a sign, demonstration and catalyst of God’s consummating purposes for Israel, and also be supportive of its paramission, assisting the Church in its fulfillment of the Great Commissioin,  Similarly, the Church should be avid in its pursuit of the Great Commission, and its paramission to stand with the Messianic Jewish Movement in its pursuit of the Fullness of Israel, otherwise termed “the Greater Commission,” since Paul himself terms the consequences of the fullness of Israel to be “greater riches” than the salvation of the nations.

9. A mature disciple of Yeshua will commit to the Holy Spirit’s influence cultivating the fruit of the Spirit, a godly character that feeds harmonious, holy relationships.

We are not just workers. We are persons, not God’s worker bees. We ought to reflect the Divine image in our character and relationships, depending upon and cooperating with the Holy Spirit in cultivating the fruit of the Spirit, thus feeding harmonious and holy relationships.

10. A mature disciple of Yeshua will commit to the responsibility to mirror Yeshua’s character seeking justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly through the concentric rings of your societal responsibility.

Part of the Divine image is the pursuit of justice. After all, God is the Judge of all the earth. Therefore, we cannot afford to be indifferent to societal injustice in whatever sphere in manifests, familial, communal, regional, national, international. Ours is not to be an inward faith of retreat from the inequities of life. Instead. we ought to be visible as reflections of God’s passion for social justice. In the words of Ya’akov, Yeshua’s brother, “The religious observance that God the Father considers pure and faultless is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being contaminated by the world.”[1]

I invite you to go back over all ten of the commitments we discussed, some at great length and see how you measure up, and see this also: "What would you add?"

One comment on “The Ten Commitments: What Does a Mature Disciple of Yeshua Look Like? Characteristics 8, 9, 10”

  1. While I appreciate your attempt to keep your commitment to offer ten commitments, I sense a degree of ad-hoc disorganization among them. This is not unexpected in a series of blog essays, as distinct from a well-planned book or paper. For example, it seems to me that your #9 doesn't really differ from your #4; and your #10 is arguably merely a consequence of your #1. Nonetheless, I can envision a reorganization and reformulation of these notions that incorporates comments received in response to each one, which better addresses the goal of describing the commitments of a mature Jewish disciple, and by extension, of a gentile one as well.

    Your list so far has included the following:

    1. Commit to a lifetime of immersion in and submission to both Testaments of Scripture as the foundation and plumb line of truth and irreplaceable orientation to life with God, channeling His presence among us.

    2. Commit to Jewish covenantal identity.

    3. Commit to the stigma of being identifiable as Yeshua’s obedient disciple.

    4. Commit to exploring the mystery and majesty of engagement with and empowerment by Ruach HaKodesh (The Holy Spirit).

    5. Commit to exploring a lifetime of multi-styled prayer, knowing that it is in times of prayer, communication with God, that catalytic changes and events in our life with God are likely to occur.

    6. Commit to respecting and honoring God’s continuing work among the Jewish people and our leaders for the past 4000 years. In other words, surrendering a bias against tradition.

    7. Commit to familial respect for church bodies where Yeshua is honored, the Bible respectfully taught, and the ordinances reverently administered. [I.e., eschew reverse supersessionism.]

    Since my most substantive comments are about #8, let me list numbers 9 and 10 before it, saving #8 for last:

    9. A mature disciple of Yeshua will commit to the Holy Spirit’s influence cultivating the fruit of the Spirit, a godly character that feeds harmonious, holy relationships.

    [How does this differ from your #4?]

    10. A mature disciple of Yeshua will commit to the responsibility to mirror Yeshua’s character seeking justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly through the concentric rings of your societal responsibility.

    [I discussed this one in my first paragraph above, as it appears related to your #1.]

    8. A mature disciple of Yeshua will commit to missional responsibility for the growth of Messianic Jewish families and communities through winning Jewish people to discipleship to Yeshua, and practicing paramissional responsibility for the progress of the good news in the non-Jewish world.

    [Missional?! Here I have some more substantive observations. As Jews, we have an intra-communal responsibility to aid fellow Jews and to foster the well-being of the Jewish community, which ought to include discussion of Torah and the apologetical defense of Rav Yeshua's insights into it, as well as the midrashic insights of his early disciples regarding his role as the ben-Yosef messiah. The commission indicated in Pirkei Avot about "making many disciples", that applies to Jews generally, would therefore apply likewise to Rav Yeshua's Jewish disciples albeit somewhat more specifically characterized.

    Since the so-called "Great Commission of Mt.28:19-20 was commanded specifically only to Jewish disciples -- and gentile disciples didn't enter the picture until Kefa's vision in Acts 10, which was already a few years later, after Rav Shaul had been called in a vision though not yet commissioned to be the especially-designated emissary to gentile disciples -- the various nations to whom that great commission was directed represented the diaspora in which Jews were scattered and from which Jewish disciples would be gathered. Consequently, expanding it to command also gentile disciples to reach outward to the rest of the gentile world is an abstraction. Similarly, expanding it inter-communally for Jewish disciples to make more gentile ones is also an abstraction, albeit less so because the halachah outlined in Acts 15 does include the observation and expectation that gentile disciples could and should avail themselves of Torah teaching in readily-available synagogues each Shabbat. Hence the Jewish responsibility to teach Torah to all who seek it would obligate Jewish disciples likewise.

    Somewhat more problematic is the notion of gentile disciples trying to make Jewish disciples, because they are unlikely to be sufficiently-qualified to do so. A better role for them would mirror the prophetic picture of them carrying Jews back to the land and back to HaShem, and the financial support that Rav Shaul cited as a fitting response for the benefits to be obtained from HaShem in return for such a restoration and the benefits already obtained from their existing and prior Jewish teachers. Such a role might be deemed an indirect making of Jewish disciples by encouraging them to attach themselves to Jewish teachings from more mature Jewish disciples.

    In the early days of the modern Messianic Jewish Movement, some gentile disciples tried to fulfill a number of aspects of this sort of role without the benefit of any already-matured Jewish disciples -- because virtually none could be found -- and the result was that even a half-century later Jewish disciples are still struggling, and often failing, to express themselves and their theology truly and distinctively as Jews. Even the dozen or so Jewish luminaries of the century prior to those decades, that FFOZ has researched and elevated to greater common awareness, suffered from their immersion in Christian missionary environments. So also the Hebrew Christians, and other Jewish Christians, who tried to foster the fledgling Messianic Jewish Movement in the USA. On the other hand, it may be argued that even their inadequate efforts were better than no efforts at all. If one is lost in a forest and encounters someone who has been lost there even longer, at least one may learn from his experience which paths to avoid because they were not in fact the way to get out of that forest.]

    Nonetheless, I have found your essays, and the commitments they suggest, stimulating and thoughtful. And now the time has come for me to unplug for the duration of the Shabbat, and wish you and yours a very sincere "Shabbat shalom u'm'vorach".

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