by Gayle Wheat
The Dusty Disciple
The teaching style of Rabbi Yeshua (Jesus) was in no way unique. Rabbis had taught students or followers in this manner, as part of a wider tradition in Judaism, going back centuries before Yeshua’s sojourn on earth. Yeshua didn’t require His disciples to to buy textbooks. He didn’t hand out a course syllabus. If you remember back to the stories of the Gospels he asked them to follow him--- literally to “walk after” Him. He invited them to journey the dusty roads of ancient Israel by His side, living life by His side and learning as they traveled.
Yeshua taught not only from Torah, but by being a living example of how to be obedient to Torah. He demonstrated to them in all types of situations how to live in obedience to Yahweh’s commands and to live in freedom, free from the destructive shackles of sin.
Out of this unique and rather unusual teaching method came a well known Judaic saying: One learned from a rabbi by “covering oneself in his dust.” In other words, students or disciples should follow so closely behind their teacher that as they walked the dusty roads with him their clothes would be covered in the dust his sandals kicked up.
In Hebrew, the word for “walk” is halakh. As with most of the Hebrew language halakh encompasses so much more than just “walk”. Your “walk” in life means your overall lifestyle, how you conduct yourself morally. A rabbi’s interpretation of Torah was called halakhah, how to “walk” by God’s Word. Yeshua called His disciples to “walk after” Him. They would literally walk in His footsteps, follow His teachings and take His message to the entire world.
So now you know why I write as “The Dusty Disciple”. I want to be covered in the dust of Rabbi Yeshua.
For the past several years I have been researching how I can enrich and better understand my faith by understanding the Jewishness of Christianity. After all, my boss is a Jewish carpenter and rabbi. He lived and taught just as the Jewish man that he was. In fact, His disciples were all Jewish, the early church leaders were all Jewish, the majority of the followers of the early church were Jewish and the B’rit Chadashah (New Testament) was written by Jews, with the possible exception of Luke, who was a Jewish proselyte. They ate kosher foods, followed the Jewish laws and celebrated the Jewish feasts just as Jesus did. So it makes perfect sense to me, that by immersing myself in this Jewishness I will enrich my Christian faith as well as help me understand my faith better. Messianic Jews, those who believe Yeshua is the Messiah yet are still Jews, have the best of both worlds. I would love to be able to attend a Messianic church so I could have that kind of faith and live more as Yeshua and His followers lived.
I struggle to follow Yeshua as do most of us Christians. Sometimes I am covered thickly with His dust and sometimes I am only spattered. Yet I trudge on joyfully hoping to bring others along on the journey.
Note: I highly recommend Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg and Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg.
First of all I want to thank my sister, Carol, for inviting me to write for her website. I am very honored, indeed!
Carol and I first met in 1999 at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. We have so many things in common that we hit it off right away and have been dear friends ever since. We are both only children so have adopted each other as sisters and we share the strong bond of being Army wives, each of us for 30 years!!!
I was born in Pampa, Texas in the Texas Panhandle, attended college at West Texas A&M in Canyon, Texas, where I earned a bachelor's degree in music, married my high school sweetheart in 1971 and traveled the world with him for 30 years as he served in the Field Artillery in the United States Army. We were stationed in such wonderful places as Germany, Israel and Alaska. My husband, Buddy, served in the first Gulf War and also in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan before his retirement in 2003. He retired as a full Colonel. He then decided to attend seminary, went to Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, PA and was called to two rural Presbyterian Churches in Juniata, County PA. In 2010 we began to have a longing to move back home to Texas and thanks be to God were called by the First Presbyterian Church here in Gatesville, TX a neighbor of Fort Hood.
I have taught band, worked as a music director for an Army Music and Theater Center in Aschaffenburg, Germany and worked in a bank in Northern Virginia while Buddy served at the Pentagon. I love to sing for the Lord and do solo work in whatever community I live in and in church of course. I love reading and I love to write although I have no formal education in it. My favorite subjects to expound on are religion and politics. I love living in my home state of Texas and I am proud that God saw fit to make me a GRIT...Girl Raised in Texas!!! I am an American by birth and a Texan by the grace of God!
Hope you enjoy my articles as a guest write and are occasionally even blessed by one of them. 😊