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Yeshua in Context >> Applying the Gospels , Community in Yeshua , Discipleship - Formation , Teaching of Yeshua >> Applying Yeshua Communally, Part 2

Applying Yeshua Communally, Part 2

See Part 1 here (and an explanation of these notes, which I will develop into a more fleshed out series or publication later).

SINCE . . . Yeshua called insiders who would remain close to him, form community, live out his teaching and example, and bring outsiders into community . . .

WHAT . . . are some overarching categories in Yeshua's instruction for disciple communities?
.......(1) Shared resources in the new family.
.......(2) Union with God.
.......(3) The new mission.

More after the jump.

RATIONALE: Considering the message of the four gospels and especially key sections of instruction in the synoptics and John, these categories encompass much of what Yeshua said, demonstrated, and accomplished.

SHARED RESOURCES IN THE NEW FAMILY: Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother (Mark 3:35). The new family concept comes up in various forms throughout the gospels. Yeshua's call to discipleship is a group call, not an individual call. The disciples are an inner circle (not just the Twelve). They are restored Israel. They are Yeshua's family. They are to form a certain relation which assumes some organization (elders, congregation, etc.). Yeshua is present in their midst. They are to love one another sacrificially that all people will know they are disciples. The simplest description of their activity is to share resources. In the age to come there will be no lack, the poor will be blessed, mourners will be comforted. Yeshua comforted, provided, healed, and delivered from evil. Disciples, to the degree it is in their collective power, are to heal, serve, comfort, provide, and deliver. The activity comes from a strong belief in and union with God and his purposes, which Yeshua describes as the kingdom which is both now and not yet. The "now" part, the seed that bears fruit in the Sower parable, is whatever makes this life like the life of the age to come for people.

UNION WITH GOD: This theme is expressed in surprising ways. Those expected to be already in union with God are charged with missing him completely. Those thought to be shut out are invited in. Union with God does not come through group affiliation, national pride, or any kind of presumption. It comes through beholding God and/or beholding Yeshua, repenting, receiving, following, and being filled. From our perspective it involves choice, learning, and committing. But the transaction from God's side involves things not in our power: being drawn, being forgiven, being filled. Following Yeshua by joining his new family and living his instruction is the entryway. Being filled involves many possible experiences and levels of awareness of the Presence and of empowerment for serving. Union brings peace, joy, strength, hope, knowledge of what is hidden, and the experience of love. Traditions involving repentance, humility, simplicity, service, and mystical awareness fit well with Yeshua's teaching.

THE NEW MISSION: God sends Yeshua. Yeshua sends us. Yeshua instructed some in his inner circle at various times to go on missions. They went to proclaim gospel (good news) about the kingdom. They went to heal and deliver. Yeshua spoke often of God's mission going to the gentiles. After his resurrection he sent his disciples to teach, baptize, and reinforce all that he commanded to form new communities.

IMPLICATIONS: Much religion in the name of Jesus (and/or Yeshua) is lacking in the qualities described in the gospels. The reality of evil and selfishness works against communities taking the sharing of resources seriously. Newer forms of presumption and group affiliation have replaced the idea of union with God. Mission for some groups has degenerated into mere proclaiming of a shallow gospel. In Yeshua's model, as those in community live for one another, outsiders are drawn in by the need for love and healing. In Yeshua's model, people find a connection with God that is mystical but real, which is for now and not just the life beyond. In Yeshua's model, mission means making outsiders welcome and serving needs to defeat evil and make this world like the one to come.

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Filed under: Applying the Gospels , Community in Yeshua , Discipleship - Formation , Teaching of Yeshua

One Response to "Applying Yeshua Communally, Part 2"

  1. Susan rhodes says:

    I just read the first chapter. This is the truth that I know in my heart. The greed of our generation is sad and cripples the church's ability to serve the Holy One.

    I read on in anticipation of your next chapter. Thank you.

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