From Siting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith bu Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg, page 204-205.
Discovering new insights about the historical reality of Jesus is fascinating, and it can greatly enrich our understanding. But what should we do with our new found knowledge? One of the most important things we can do is to realize that Jesus is calling us to be his disciples, his talmidim. Millions of Christians throughout the world and throughout the ages have viewed Jesus primarily through the lens of the Apostles' Creed, which begins this way:
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord:
who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried...
They understand Jesus as Savior and Son of God, believing in his atoning death and resurrection. Vital as these beliefs are to our faith, many of us still do not realize that there's more to Christianity than assenting to a creed. We are also called to be in daily, living relationship with Rabbi Jesus, becoming his talmidim and then sharing our lives with others so they, too, can become his disciples. To emphasize salvation and neglect discipleship is to miss the point of why Jesus came to earth and lived as a rabbi.*
*from Dwight Pryor, "Walk After Me!" Jerusalem Perspective 55 (August-June 1000): 10-11, online at http://www.jerusalemperspective.com/ (accessed June 24, 2008).
Dear Father, my Father, I know I am saved. I know I am Your child because I repented of my sinfulness and asked Jesus to live in my heart and take over my life. And that is the point of Your sojourn on this earth, isn't it? That You built a bridge, a living-dieing bridge to close the gap between my filthiness and Your holiness. You made a way in the wilderness for me to have a personal, daily, living relationship with You, my Father, and Your Son, my Savior, and Your Spirit, my teacher, comforter and guide.
Thank You! Praise You! Help me, Father, to stay close to Your side through this broken world into Your everlasting life.
I pray also for the readers following these words, Lord. I pray they will seek a daily conversation with You. I pray they will surrender to be Your talmidim, also.
There is no better way to walk, to converse, to journey through your life on earth, Little One, than snuggled up close to Me. And there is NO other way to enter eternity except through Jesus.
Jesus is the only bridge, that's true. And He is the one and only door to eternity with Me. But He is also the only door to life on your plane with peace, joy, contentment and purpose.
He stretches His hand across the ages and beckons to each of you, "Come, follow Me," He whispers. Are you near enough to hear?