Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, January 15, 2022
Hope 30 – Hope for the Messiah’s Body by David Harwood
You are a participant in what God is building: a transnational, transtemporal, community of believers. He has plans for the Messiah’s Body. Therefore, we can have hope for the Messiah’s Body. Let’s expect the Lord to restore His Body in the areas of corporate character, community, charismata, and calling.
Having a Hope-filled vision of the worldwide Messianic Community’s destiny is important. Our Hopes in this regard help guide our decisions and efforts in daily life. These Hopes enable us to chart the direction of our futures.
Personally, I don’t think we expect enough. Do you? For instance, do you Hope-expect that today – I mean, the day you are reading this – you will do greater works than Yeshua? I confess, I don’t. I do think it is a remote possibility, but I could not say that I have a vibrant anticipation for this to be fulfilled in my life, today. Neither do I expect it to be the common testimony of the transnational Body of the Messiah, today. From my observation, although there are remnants of people contending for this reality, most believers have given up. They have “decide(d) against God’s promises (Romans 4:20 CJB).” If they ever believed this promise, Hope deferred weakened their hearts. In fact, many try to explain away what Yeshua promised. Here are the words of God Incarnate:
Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I say to you, I do not speak on My own; but the Father dwelling in Me does His works. 1Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me—or at least believe because of the works themselves.
12“Amen, amen I tell you, he who puts his trust in Me, the works that I do he will do; and greater than these he will do, because I am going to the Father. 13And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:10–14 TLV)
Take a look at a promise that is embedded in this section of Scripture. Do we expect this?
And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:13–14 TLV)
These verses are enough to make me lament and cry, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24) In fact, I can call on the Lord and confess the corporate nature of this unbelief. Still, despite all disappointments this principle remains:
“And whatever you ask in prayer, trusting, you shall receive.” (Matthew 21:22 TLV)
It is obvious that many have given up on these promises. The cry for the Kingdom has become a sigh of resignation. Now, the Messiah said that if a city does not heed the proclamation of the Kingdom His disciples should shake the dust off their feet. (Matthew 10:14) That reminds me of a resiliency necessary to renew our faith in His words and decide to expect God to answer. At the very least we should wipe doubt’s dust, born of disappointment, from our souls and reach out to God once again.
Those who have labored in prayer for the apparently impossible can get exhausted.
But I said, “I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and futility. (Isaiah 49:4a TLV)
However, the second half of that verse shows a resilient Hope.
Yet surely the justice due to me is with Adonai, and my reward with my God.” (Isaiah 49:4b TLV)
Also, and this is important, God said that seeking Him is not a useless activity.
I have not spoken in secret, in some hidden place. I did not tell Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain!’ I am the Lord, the one who speaks honestly, who makes reliable announcements. (Isaiah 45:19 NET)
It is worth mentioning that, like those climbing to the summit of Everest, there are believers who – at different points in their lives – have believed and received the outcome of these promises. I refuse to allow the Messiah’s words to be disregarded in my own life. I will continue to contend. I have Hope that these words will yet be fulfilled throughout the world through His Body. I have Hope for the Messiah’s Body and challenge us to consider God’s ability to perform His word. He promised and He will fulfill His word (Numbers 23:19)
I have hope for the Messiah’s Body. I believe the Messiah’s people will fulfill the Messiah’s mandate to bring the Gospel to all nations.
And Yeshua came up to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Ruach ha-Kodesh, 20teaching them to observe all I have commanded you. And remember! I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:18–20 TLV)
We are God’s means to bring in the fullness of the Gentiles. I have hope for His Body because He is with us to empower us to accomplish this.
… a partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in … (Romans 11:25b TLV)
I have hope for the Messiah’s people. Yeshua has given gifted people to His Body to bring us to maturity.
He Himself gave some to be emissaries, some as prophets, some as proclaimers of the Good News, and some as shepherds and teachers— 12to equip the kedoshim for the work of service, for building up the body of Messiah. 13This will continue until we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of Ben-Elohim—to mature adulthood, to the measure of the stature of Messiah’s fullness. (Ephesians 4:11–13 TLV)
These ministries are being restored by the Ruach ha-Kodesh and the Lord is using them to restore His Body. I confess that at times I’m distressed by some crass immaturity in their expression. However, I am not dismayed. These beginnings are like a cloud the size of a man’s hand (1 Kings 18:44) and I Hope-anticipate that there will be a deluge of liberating, empowering, equipping of the Messiah’s Body.
Speaking of a deluge, I have Hope that this process will be accompanied by the renewed outpouring of the Ruach all over the world.
‘And it shall be in the last days,’ says God, ‘that I will pour out My Ruach on all flesh.’ (Acts 2:17a TLV)
As a result, I have hope that His Body will come into an expression of fullness which can provoke Israel to jealousy.
… Moses says, “I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, with a nation empty of understanding I will vex you.” (Romans 10:19b TLV)
I anticipate a world-stunning return of the Jewish people to God through the Messiah Yeshua.
12Now if their transgression leads to riches for the world, and their loss riches for the Gentiles, then how much more their fullness! … For if their rejection leads to the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? (Romans 11:12–15 TLV)
I have hope for Yeshua’s people to hasten the Day of God. I expect there will be a generation of believers who experience the Lord Yeshua’s return.
… what kind of people should you be? Live your lives in holiness and godliness, 12looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God. In that day the heavens will be dissolved by fire, and the elements will melt in the intense heat (2 Peter 3:11b–12 TLV)
How many have had Hopes to see the Messiah’s Body come together in a manifestation of spiritual unity? Jesus prayed for this. Spiritually, we are risen and seated with the Messiah (Ephesians 2:5-6). This has already happened. Should we not believe that we will see this unity in the earth? Here is the record of His prayer.
… that they all may be one. Just as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You, so also may they be one in Us, so the world may believe that You sent Me. (John 17:21 TLV)
Note the outcome. It is upon the basis of this love, forged in the fire, that there is a promise of a universal acknowledgement of Yeshua’s Lordship. Let us Hope for this. Let’s have our lives conform to this Hope. Hope for the Messiah’s Body.
Our ultimate Hope for the Messiah’s people is that at the return of the Lord we will enter into realization of our experience of God’s glory. (Romans 5:2) His return is truly our “blessed hope.” (Titus 2:13)
I have Hope for the Messiah’s Body to become and experience all God has in mind. His promises and purposes will come to pass.
Faithful is the One who calls you—and He will make it happen! (1 Thessalonians 5:24 TLV)
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and shalom in trusting, so you may overflow with hope in the power of the Ruach ha-Kodesh. (Romans 15:13 TLV)
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Sat 15-Jan-2022 13th of Sh’vat, 5782 Parashat Beshalach
Ex 17:1-16 Jdg 4:4-5:31 Rev 19:11-21