Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, January 4, 2024

Salutations and Summary, part 1 – Romans, part 251

Romans 16:1 Now I recommend to you our sister Phoebe—who is a servant-leader of Messiah’s community at Cenchrea— 2 so you may receive her in the Lord, in a way worthy of kedoshim, and help her in whatever matter she may need from you. For she herself has become a patroness of many, including me as well. 3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Messiah Yeshua 4 who risked their own necks for my life. Not only I give them thanks, but also all of Messiah’s communities among the Gentiles.

Paul officially closed his letter to the body of Messiah in Rome at the end of (what is now) chapter 15.  Romans 15:33 Now may the God of shalom be with you all. Amen.  Following that ending, Paul has some parting thoughts.   There are elements in all of them that are worthy of our attention.  There are lessons to be learned here.

Romans 16:1a Now I recommend to you our sister Phoebe—who is a servant-leader of Messiah’s community.  What’s this?  Lesson one is that women are perfectly suited to be servant leaders in the body of Messiah.

Rabbi Trail:  There is some well founded disagreement on the full meaning of women in leadership.  I, myself, have grown in this area in the last few years.  Both men and women are well suited to become servant leaders in the body of Messiah… HOWEVER; every precaution should be taken so that men do not have the opportunity to form an “unholy alliance” with women, and women do not have the opportunity to form an “unholy alliance” with men.  Let me explain.

By “unholy alliance” I’m speaking of an unauthorized attachment between men and women that can (and does) happen when there is private communication.  This is especially risky when a person is in a position of leadership.  Policy safeguards must be in place to protect both parties.    End RT.

Romans 16:3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Messiah Yeshua, 4a who risked their own necks for my life.  At some point, serving Messiah may become life threatening.  Are we prepared for that?  It is certainly easier to believe today that we are in the beginning of birth pangs than it was only a year ago.

Matthew 24:8 But all these things are only the beginning of birth pains. 9 Then they will hand you over to persecution and will kill you. You will be hated by all the nations because of My name.

Luke 21:16 But you will be handed over even by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—and they will put some of you to death. 17 And you will be hated by all because of My name.

But the prophesy doesn’t end there.  Yeshua promises that those who endure will receive salvation.  Luke 21:18 Yet not a hair of your head will be lost. 19 By your endurance, you will gain your souls.  Yeshua gave us hope when He promised to return.  John 14:1 Do not let your heart be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to Myself, so that where I am you may also be.

That ought to gladden our hearts.  1Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive, who are left behind, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air—and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Thursday 4-Jan-24
Exodus 3:16-4:17 2 Samuel 11 Psalm 78 Luke 7:24-50 Galatians 6