Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Life In The Body part 31 – Romans, part 206

Romans 14:1 Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of disputes about opinions.  

Today, we begin our study of Romans, chapter 14.  We are nearing the end of a trilogy of three chapters each (9 chapters in total).  First, we studied Romans 6, 7, & 8, which form a treatise on individual deliverance from sin.  Next, we progressed to Romans 9, 10, & 11, which is a study on the value God puts on including Jewish people in His family, a fulfillment of His promises to our Patriarchs.  Then, finally, we arrive at Romans 12, 13, & 14, which form Paul’s treatise on living life together in the body of Messiah so that we reflect His character in every situation of life.

Another way to express this summation is the first 3 chapters on living in victory individually, and the last 3 chapters on living in victory as a community.  The middle 3 chapters (or meat of the sandwich) is the eternal promise of God’s love for the children of Israel.  God wants us to be as committed as He is to the purpose of including Jewish people in the body of  those who believe in the Jewish Messiah.

Whew!  That sets the stage for our opening line, “Accept the one who is weak in the faith.”  Do we wait for people to mature before we “accept” them,  or do we accept them to help them grow in the faith?  As the chapter goes on, we will see that our calling is to help people mature, but here we are told that maturing is not done through arguments.

Picture the road to Jerusalem as the journey of faith everyone must travel.  We all start traveling this road at the same spot, as new believers, when we come to faith.  There are trials along the road and there are no short cuts.  If the road were a real road and we were really on it, it would be impossible for any two of us to be in the same place at the same time.  Yet, all too often, our response is anger and upset over that very reality.  We tend to get angry when someone isn’t where we are in the journey of faith.

I hate to jump all the way to Paul’s conclusion.  It will be another few weeks before we actually get there, but I’m a “bottom line” guy.  Here is Paul’s point… Romans 15:7 Therefore accept one another just as Messiah also accepted you, to the glory of God.  We don’t accept sin, but we do accept people in a way that helps them see the character of God, who is righteous altogether.  There is much more to write, and tomorrow is another day (credit Annie), so let’s close with this….

Psalm 19:8 The Torah of Adonai is perfect, restoring the soul. The testimony of Adonai is trustworthy, making the simple wise. 9 The precepts of Adonai are right, giving joy to the heart. The mitzvot of Adonai are pure, giving light to the eyes. 10 The fear of Adonai is clean, enduring forever. The judgments of Adonai are true and altogether righteous. 11 They are more desirable than gold, yes, more than much pure gold! They are sweeter than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. 

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Tue 7-Nov -2023 23rd of Cheshvan, 5784
Ge 24:10-26 Jdg 5 Ps 28 Mt 22:23-46 (Ro 6)