Whereas Jesus’ Kingdom message was for everyone, the calling to full-time discipleship could be answered only by a few.
Four Soils Interpretation
In the Four Soils interpretation Jesus explained the meaning of the imagery in the Four Soils parable.
Call of Levi
In the Call of Levi story we learn about Jesus’ attitude toward sinful persons and about his relationship with the Pharisees.
Sending the Twelve: Apostle and Sender
The Apostle and Sender saying (Matt. 10:40; Luke 10:16) not only gave assurance to Jesus’ emissaries as he sent them out on their first healing and teaching mission, it also offers us an extraordinary glimpse into Jesus’ high self-awareness as the shāliaḥ, or official representative, of Israel’s God. In this segment of the Life of Yeshua commentary, David N. Bivin, JP’s editor-in-chief, and Joshua N. Tilton envision how Jesus’ Apostle and Sender saying may have been worded in Hebrew and explore the Jewish backgrounds of this profound saying.
Sending the Twelve: Conduct on the Road
In this segment of the LOY commentary David Bivin and Joshua Tilton consider the command to avoid Gentiles and Samaritans and the prohibitions against bringing travel gear for the apostles’ journey.
Choosing the Twelve
One day Yeshua called his disciples together and chose twelve of them to be his emissaries to Israel. Their names were Shimon Petros and Andrai (his brother), Yaakov, Yohanan, Pelipah, Talmai’s son, Matai, Tomah, Yaakov Halfi’s son, zealous Shimon, Yehudah Yaakov’s son, and Yehudah from Keriyot, who was a traitor.
Not Everyone Can Be Yeshua’s Disciple
When three eager prospective disciples asked permission to follow Jesus, Jesus responded to each of them with a riddle. Why would God allow Jesus and his followers to sleep on the ground when he provides safe places even for the animals to sleep? How can the dead bury a corpse? Why would a disciple set his hand to a plow when Elisha had given up plowing in order to follow Elijah? These riddles would have to be puzzled over before their meaning was fully understood. But each of the riddles were ominous, and it appears that each of the three prospective disciples reconsidered his desire to join Jesus.
Tower Builder and King Going to War Similes
The Tower Builder and King Going to War similes explain why Jesus thought full-time discipleship was not suitable for everyone.
Demands of Discipleship
“Anyone who wants to join me but puts family ties or love of self ahead of me cannot possibly be my full-time disciple. Anyone who is not prepared to die cannot possibly be my full-time disciple. Anyone who does not renounce his possessions cannot possibly be my full-time disciple.”
The Jewish Roots of Discipleship
In this lecture, David Pileggi examines the Jewish origin of discipleship, which is founded on the principle of the imitation of God. Pileggi shows how discipleship is related to the repeated statement in Leviticus, “Be holy, for I am holy,” and discusses how this biblical theme informed the teachings of Jesus.
On “Blood” in the Apostolic Decree (Acts 15:19-20)
Flusser and Safrai’s premise is that “blood” in this passage does not refer to the consumption of blood but rather to murder. They conclude that the apostolic decision prohibiting eating meat sacrificed to idols, fornication, and blood is equal to the rabbinic decree that under penalty of death a Jew may violate any of the commandments of the Torah with the exception of idolatry, adultery and murder.
My wife, Lenore, and I have dealt with a great many people who, because of various circumstances in their life, are unable to feel loved—by God or anyone else. In fact, they often describe how they feel as “numb” or “empty.” They often view themselves as unattractive, unlovable, and worthless. This is in spite of the fact that many of these people are considered successful in their chosen field.
Gentiles Demand All These Things
Jesus’ homily on worry (Matt. 6:25-34 ∥ Luke 12:22-31) is compared with two other ancient Jewish texts. All three sources describe gentiles as people obsessed with the basic necessities of food and drink and clothing.
Covered in the Dust of Your Rabbi: An Urban Legend?
Some months ago, pastor-blogger Trevin Wax posted an article called “Urban Legends: The Preacher’s Edition.” There he lists several “urban legends” that he’s heard floating around lately in sermons. Like Internet rumors that people forward on ad infinitum, these preaching illustrations don’t have much grounding in fact.
David Bivin and Joshua Tilton envision how the Lord’s Prayer might have been formulated in its original language and explore the ancient Jewish context to which the Lord’s Prayer belongs.
Cataloging the Gospels’ Hebraisms: Part Two (Luke 9:51-56)
Relatively few of the suggested Semitisms underlying the Greek New Testament constitute clear-cut proof for a Hebrew undertext, but a high density of Hebraisms in a given passage increases the probability that it is “translation Greek.”
The Jewish Cultural Nature of Galilee in the First Century
The prevailing opinion among New Testament scholars is that first-century Galilee was culturally and spiritually deprived, and that, therefore, Jesus came from an underdeveloped and backward Jewish region of the land of Israel. Professor Safrai here presents massive evidence against this view.