Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Salutations and Summary, part 11 – Romans, part 261

I want to write several summaries as a review of the highlights from the last year of study on the Book of Romans.  Does the book give us (in a few words) why Paul is writing to the Romans?  What was he trying to accomplish?

Romans 1:5b …to bring about obedience of faith among all the nations on behalf of His name…. 15 So I am eager to proclaim the Good News also to you who are in Rome. 16 For I am not ashamed of the Good News, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who trusts—to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Rabbi Trail:  Did Paul just say, “To the Jew first?”  For most of the last 2,000 years, taking Yeshua’s message to Jewish people has been “not at all.”  In the current war against Hamas, at the height of the fighting, there were about 1,000 Messianic believers, or soldiers from Messianic families on active duty.  Think about all those soldiers and families praying in the name of Yeshua in support of Israel.

Prior to October 7, 2023, Israelis were fighting among themselves (over judicial reform).  Regardless of which side you were on, it was obvious that Israel was near to outright civil war.  Since the declaration of war against Hamas, Israelis have become unified and galvanized against their common enemy.  Not only that, I hear from friends in the land that there is a renewed zeal among non-believing, even secular Israelis for prayer seeking the help of God (B’Ezrat HaShem) against Hamas and for the return of the captives.

However; those prayers are not (yet) directed toward Yeshua.  But, let’s be thankful for hearts turned toward God.  Furthermore; let us be prayerful ourselves, that God will reveal Himself to all of Israel and fulfill His promise.  Psalm 94:14 For Adonai will not forsake His people. He will never abandon His inheritance. End RT.

In Romans, Paul took us through a call to righteousness (Romans 6, 7, & 8).  Then he gave us a lesson on the importance of including Jewish people in the body of Messiah (Romans 9, 10, & 11).  Following that, he gave us a lesson on honoring God and each other (Romans 12, 13, & 14).  These 9 chapters are the heart of the New Testament (and our hearts as well).

It is important when writing a message to do what I call, “Close the loop.”  In other words, come back around to restate your original point in a final effort to convince the reader.  Did Paul bring about obedience of faith to the Gentiles?  Hint: you know he did.  Romans 16:19 Your obedience has become known to all, so I rejoice over you—but I want you to be wise about what is good and innocent about what is evil.  Obedience mixed with wisdom… that’s a winning combination.  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
7 Sh’vat Wednesday 17-Jan-24
Exodus 11:4-12:20 2 Samuel 22 Psalm 89 Luke 14 Philippians 3