We are watching Behold the Man DVDs by Dwight Pryor on Saturday morning. This is my 3rd or 4th time through. It is awesome!I wish I could afford to buy a set for every one of you.
From a article by Dwight:
Jesus’ apostles and Jewish disciples came to know him first as a Rabbi and only later as the risen Savior. For second-generation and subsequent believers, however, the process was reversed. First they encountered in faith the risen and reigning Son of God, and only later – if at all – did they come to learn in any depth about the man, Yeshua MiNatzeret (Jesus of Nazareth).
So it is with many Christians today. The centrality of Yeshua’s death and the radiance of his resurrection, emphasized in the New Testament epistles, can overshadow the importance of the historical Jesus as a gifted Jewish Rabbi. Notice, for example, how most sermons preached in evangelical churches draw upon the epistles of Paul, Peter and James far more than the synoptic gospels of Mathew, Mark and Luke.
Here is a clip
This is not a new phenomenon. Consider the Apostles’ Creed, which stresses that Jesus, “God’s only Son, was conceived by the Holy Spirit … suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified and died.” This classic formulation of faith, which served as a paradigm for subsequent creeds and a standard for believers through the centuries, skips right from Jesus’ supernatural conception to his sacrificial crucifixion. What happened to his life? Is not his life as foundational to our faith as his death and resurrection?
This is not to minimize the consistent witness of the NT scriptures to the atoning efficacy of Yeshua’s death and resurrection as the Son of Man lifted up. “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25). But what about the three years of his devout life and rabbinic-style teaching ministry prior to Calvary? Should not they be equally important to us?
I suggest they are – indeed must be – if we desire to be authentically Christ-like. The Bible bids us to a balanced view in this: Both faith in the Son of Man as well as the faithfulness of the man, Jesus. Neither aspect of our salvation should be ignored or minimized.
Yes, we should confidently confess that, “in accordance with the Scriptures, Messiah died for our sins” (1 Corinthians 15:3). But let us also vigorously affirm that prior to his death, Jesus devoted his life to teaching, illuminating and filling-full those very Scriptures – the Torah, the Prophets and the Psalms (Luke 24:44).
TWO MILLENNIA ago the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate derisively declared, “Ecce Homo” – “Behold the Man!” Today the Spirit of God is quickening Christians around the world to look afresh at the Jewish Sage, Jesus of Nazareth. In fact we are a blessed generation, given the unparalleled privilege to truly “Behold the Man!” with new eyes and appreciative hearts. With the restoration of Israel, the remarkable advances in archaeological discoveries and biblical studies, and the unprecedented cooperation of Jewish and Christian scholars investigating the Hebraic backgrounds to the life and teachings of Jesus – all this gives us fresh and impressive glimpses into the life our Lord.
We see a man who was thoroughly Jewish and operated comfortably and creatively within the culture, traditions and worldview of Second Temple Judaism. The Scriptures of Israel defined his identity, chartered the course of his ministry, and served as the inspired source for his teachings. The Sages of Israel bequeathed to him a rich legacy of learning and wisdom and interpretative tools with which to explicate and illuminate the Scriptures for us.
To “Behold the Man!” anew is to take his redemptive life as seriously as we take his redeeming death. It means at the very least to seriously study his teachings and follow his walk. Yeshua wants to be our Rabbi and Mentor as well as our Messiah and Savior. His mission as the Son of Man was to be lifted up on a cross for the sake of the world; his mission as a man was to “raise up many disciples.” In our going, therefore, we must imitate him by making disciples of the nations.
To behold anew the man Jesus in the fullness of his incarnation will reconnect us to the nourishing sap of the Olive Tree – the faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It will restore to us a deep affection for the Torah and a new appreciation of the Prophets. It will unite us in an abiding love for Israel, the land of our Lord, and a covenantal commitment to respect and support his brethren, the Jewish people. Echoing the words of Ruth to Na’omi, we will say to Yeshua: “Your God will be our God, and your people, our people.” This is our privilege; this is our responsibility. In the end it will be to the praise of our Father’s glory.
Six high quality DVDs include:
- Session 01: Quest for the Historical Jesus
- Session 02: The Jew, Jesus of Nazareth
- Session 03: You Shall Call His Name Yeshua
- Session 04: Healing in His Wings
- Session 05: He Spoke to Them in Parables
- Session 06: Our Hebrew Speaking Lord
- Session 07: Rabbis and Disciples
- Session 08: Rav Yeshua’s Teaching Methods
- Session 09: Filling-Full the Torah (Law)
- Session 10: The Divine Messiah
- Session 11: The Kingdom of Heaven Is At Hand!
- Session 12: Kingdom Priorities, Kingdom People
© 2010 Dwight A. Pryor and The Center for Judaic-Christian Studies. Used with permission.
About Dwight A. Pryor
Dwight A. Pryor is the Founder and President of the Center for Judaic-Christian Studies in Dayton, Ohio. He is also a founding board member of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research in Israel. While studying in Israel, he came to realize the critical importance of understanding Christianity’s Hebraic origins and dimensions.
From an Interview with Dwight Pryor:
“My strong conviction is that the Lord is restoring the Hebraic foundations of the Church so that together we all can move forward in greater faithfulness and maturity in the service of the Messiah and the Kingdom of God. Toward that end we should be Father-focused, Christ-centered and Spirit-saturated. We should stand with and pray for Israel. Our teaching should strive to be biblically balanced and theologically sound.”