Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, October 20, 2022

Note: We have some new RR subscribers from among my new hospital chaplain friends at Tenwek Hospital in Bomet, Kenya.  For their benefit, and everyone else too, may I remind you that all the past RR devotionals are online.  You can find them at syknox.org/blog and then scroll down.  There are over 1,400 of them from the last 4 years.

Today is a national holiday in Kenya.  Happy Mashujaa Day everyone.  Mashujaa is Swahili for ‘Heroes’ and as such Mashujaa Day is also known as Heroes’ Day. It is a public holiday to honor all Kenyans who have contributed toward the struggle for Kenya’s independence.

While I’m at it, my Swahili is improving (from nothing to a few words).  Na Om Ba Magi is “water please.”  Next is “where is the men’s room” but I haven’t learned that yet, and I gotta go.  Good thing most everyone speaks English here.  (The British only left about 60 years ago, but they still drive on the left.)

Seriously, I’m enjoying my time with the hospital chaplains.  There are a corp of about a dozen.  Because this is a missionary hospital, they don’t have to be circumspect about proclaiming their faith.  They hold daily chapel services in each department and waiting room, also rounding to pray individually and collectively in the various wards.

They are serious about their craft with many opportunities for continuing education.  They even have their own chaplaincy school here.  They are not shy about asking me to preach a message on the spot either.  I’m testing my hypothesis that you can preach the gospel from any verse of Scripture.

Rabbi Trail:  I just played “Russian roulette” with my Bible and landed on Romans 8:37 But in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. It works.  End RT.


The Upper Room Discourse (part 56 of ???)

John 16:26 In that day, you will ask in My name—and I’m not telling you that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from God. 28 I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”

There is nothing new in these verses.  Yeshua is coming to the end His time of teaching the disciples.  Like every good presentation, He is recapping the important points He already told them.  The central point is LOVE.  Father God loves us because we love His Son.

Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of time came, God sent out His Son, born of a woman and born under law— 5 to free those under law, so we might receive adoption as sons.

Loving God (our love for Him – going up, and His love for us – going down) is represented by the vertical beam of the Cross.  That vertical beam supports (or upholds) our love for each other, represented by the horizontal beam.  They intersect over the heart of Yeshua as He hung on it.

1 John 4:20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For the one who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that the one who loves God should also love his brother.

Love is the essence of Yeshua’s teaching, and it is coupled here with another word/concept, believe.  Love and believe are connected.  John 16:27b …you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from God.  Belief is also connected to trust and trust is connected to obey.  Believe, trust, and obey are all links in the chain of love.

John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

There are two great commandments, and they both involve love.  Matthew 22:36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Torah?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

As Messianic Jews, we say the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4) recognizing that Yeshua (God the Son) is not taking the place of God the Father, but is One with God the Father and the Holy Spirit.  This is not a competition but a glorification.  It is mutual blessing, and the good news is that we are included in God’s chain of love.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Thu 20-Oct-2022 25th of Tishrei, 5783
Ge 2:20-3:21 Jos 5-6 Ps 5 Mt 3 (Jas 3)

Week 43
Memory Verse: Romans 1:16 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. 17 In it the righteousness of God is revealed, from trust to trust. As it is written, “But the righteous shall live by emunah.”

211 10/17    Monday:         1 Corinthians 15-16
212 10/18    Tuesday:        2 Corinthians 1-2
213 10/19    Wednesday:   2 Corinthians 3-4
214 10/20    Thursday:       2 Corinthians 5-6
215 10/21    Friday:            2 Corinthians 7-8