After 10 weeks of HaYesod sessions, a baker’s dozen of students appear to have a better appreciation of the Jewish context of the Gospel.
I hosted the sessions, which were actually held over a span of 12 weeks. But even though I was the host, that doesn’t mean I was the teacher. I learned plenty from the sessions, which were created by First Fruits of Zion and featured teachings by Boaz Michael, Daniel Lancaster and Toby Janicki.
We had a good mix of students: young, middle-aged, and older; men and women; families and singles; charismatics, evangelicals, Reformed, and Sabbatarians. The discussions, which were scheduled to follow the video presentations but sometimes ended up taking over the breaks as well, were always lively. There was not 100 percent agreement with the material; neaither was there 100 percent agreement among the students. But there was 100 percent willingness to hear each other and to hash out the implications of what was being taught. And that may have been the most encouraging aspect of the program (besides the incredible snacks).
The disagreements with the material simply meant that students were taking the teachings seriously enough to wrestle with them and voice their concerns or objections.
One question was: If God’s covenant from Sinai with the Jewish believers in Messiah is still in force, what does this mean for Gentile followers of Messiah? (FFOZ’s response to that in the final episode, “Our Walk–His Path,” was that Gentiles are invited to engage in the observance of that covenant through Shabbat, dietary practices, and in other ways, but that they shouldn’t assume they are “replacing” Jews.) Other concerns were with the teachings on covenants and how that should be understood.
But the basic goal of the HaYesod program–to help believers in Messiah come to a fuller understanding of Him and the Apostles in their Jewish contexts–was, I believe, achieved. I think there are now 14 (I’m including myself) disciples of the Master who will be better disciples because of HaYesod.