When Ed Dobson heard a radio interview with A.J. Jacobs, author of the bestselling The Year of Living Biblically, he was inspired. Touched by the dedication of someone whom isn’t a believer digging into the Word and literally living it out sparked a desire to do the same thing in his own life – only this time with a New Testament perspective. The Year of Living Like Jesus – Ed planned on taking 'What Would Jesus Do' to a new level for one entire year – while living with ALS.
From January through December Dobson sets off on a course to examine Jesus’ life and to do his best to follow in His footsteps. Written in an accessible, personal diary format, Dobson chronicles his journey and his reflections. He vulnerably shares both his triumphs (few) and his shortcomings and all-too-human shortcomings (many).
As a relatively new believer it was actually comforting in a sense to read of another’s struggles to follow Jesus as Lord while living in the flesh. Jesus is perfect, we’re not, and thankfully Dobson explores the deeper aspects of heart attitudes and temptations rather than leaving things at growing a beard and celebrating Jewish holidays.
Of course, there is a certain amount of that. Dobson sets out to do some fasting, dress modestly, keep the Sabbath, and much more, while aiming to read through the Gospels each week in an effort to more fully understand Jesus’ life here on Earth. His focus on keeping the Old Testament laws might be disconcerting to some, but Dobson is clear in his writings that believers are saved through faith and not through any obligation to keep the Law.
There is a groundswell of interest in the Church to recover her Hebraic roots. Believers are seeking to understand Jesus’ life as a Jewish man, the cultural understandings which shaped His parables, the setting in which Jesus fulfilled His calling. If you’re interested in doing the same I recommend Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus over this work.