Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, January 5, 2024
(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

Salutations and Summary, part 2 – Romans, part 252

Romans 16:3a Greet Prisca and Aquila, 4b Not only I give them thanks, but also all of Messiah’s communities among the Gentiles. 5 Greet also the community that meets in their house. Greet Epaenetus whom I dearly love, who is the first fruit in Asia for Messiah. 6 Greet Miriam, who has worked hard for you. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kin and fellow prisoners who are well known among the emissaries. They were in Messiah before me. 

Greet, greet, greet, greet.  Five verses and four greets.  There are mentions of couples, home groups, first fruit people, family, fellow prisoners, and those who came to the Lord first.  Sounds like Paul is covering all the bases.  Makes me want to ask the question, why does God put us in an organism called “His body?”

Rabbi Trail: Please note I said “organism” and not organization.  Organizations are man made, while organisms are God made.  Organisms are alive.  They grow, prosper, and multiply when God blesses them.  End RT.

1Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Messiah, and members individually.

In the Greek, “you” is plural, while the “body” is singular.  So, an amplified translation might read, “All y’all are one body of Messiah.”  Let’s pause here to review the greatest commandment.

Mark 12:29 Yeshua answered, “The first is, ‘Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. 30 And you shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

There is it… love God and love each other; this is a perfect image of the cross.  The vertical beam symbolizes our love for God, while the horizontal beam symbolizes our love for each other.  They intersect over the heart of Yeshua.  In his greetings, Paul is revealing this truth.

What I want to address even more is the false idea that this connection of being “in the body” can somehow be accomplished from a distance.  God wants us to mature, not just in our relationship with Him, but in our relationships with each other.  Relationships require communication.  The best communication takes place face to face.  Paul is urging those in the body to greet one another.

Yeshua had to submit.  Luke 22:41 And He pulled back about a stone’s throw from them, got on His knees, and began to pray, 42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

To be a Yeshua follower, we also must submit and be part of His body, a part that functions along with the other parts.  Think of your own body, how its parts function with each other.  If they were separate and apart from each other, that wouldn’t work, now would it?  By being connected, we are hastening the day of His return.

Ephesians 4:13 This 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.

What will continue?  The five-fold ministry of pastors, teachers evangelists, prophets and apostles.  How can that happen unless we have a body that is part of a greater body?  It would be most unusual for even a large body to have all 5 offices functioning at the highest level.  Let’s love one another as we love the Lord and faithfully wait for His return.  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Friday 5-Jan-24
Exodus 4:18-31 2 Samuel 12 Psalm 79 Luke 8:1-25 Eph 1