Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, December 14, 2023

Love Each Other / Glorify God part 8 – Romans, part 233

Romans 15:8 For I declare that Messiah has become a servant to the circumcised for the sake of God’s truth, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs 9 and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy. As it is written, “For this reason I will give You praise among the Gentiles, and I will sing to Your name.”

The kingdom of God is inclusive!  Not in a way that demands we all become some unnatural homogenized soup of humanity, but that each people group should take that which is holy from their own culture and bring their own “flavor” of humanity into God’s kingdom.  God created diversity and He wants to enjoy His creation.
That said, let’s deal with the Messianic version.  You know, “Jew and Gentile, one in Messiah.”  Then we read the context of 1Corinthians 7:20 Let each one remain in the calling in which he was called.  To explain the mixture of Jewish and non-Jewish people in Messianic Judaism, let’s ask a question.  “Are there different standards of righteousness within our community for Jewish and Gentile people?”  Straightforwardly, the answer is, “No, there is only one standard of righteousness for all of God’s people within our community.”

Then, how much Judaism should Gentiles, who have become a part of our Shomair Messianic community, practice?  (For that matter, how much should the Jews practice? – But that’s a question for another day.)  Answer: Everything, except to call yourself Jewish.  You can even call yourself grafted in, but for a Gentile to call himself Jewish is another form of “Replacement Theology.”

God’s plan, from the beginning, is to include Gentiles in His family.  Acts 15 is a report of the first Jerusalem Council that specifically addresses the inclusion of Gentiles.  Hear the words of Jacob (aka James)… Acts 15:14 “Simon has described how God first showed His concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for His Name. 15 The words of the Prophets agree, as it is written, 16 ‘After this I will return and rebuild the fallen tabernacle of David. I will rebuild its ruins and I will restore it, 17 so that the rest of humanity may seek the Lord—namely all the Gentiles who are called by My name—says Adonai, who makes these things 18 known from of old.’”

Rabbi Trail:  The second Jerusalem Council is to be a discussion among church leaders on how to incorporate the Jewish people, who have turned to God and received Yeshua as their Lord and Savior, into the family of God’s people.  Do they (we) have to become Gentiles, or can they (we) remain Jewish.  Church history teaches us the Gentiles have mostly had, what Coach Bill McCartney (founder of Promise Keepers) calls a Blind Spot (in his book by the same name) regarding this issue.  See this addressed in tjcii.org.  End RT.

Yeshua quoted the prophet Isaiah (56:7) in Mark 11:17a And He began to teach them, saying, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations?’”  This is inclusion at the highest level.  Without regard for what “flavor” of humanity you come from, there is no higher calling than to be called a child of God.

Tomorrow I want to write more on the fallen tabernacle of David.  Until then,  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Thu 14-Dec-2023 2nd of Tevet, 5784
Chanukah: 8th Candle (Thursday night)
Ge 42:19-43:15 1 Sa 20 Ps 60 Mk 14:1-26 (2 Co 1)
Nu 7:48-53, 1 Macc 13-14