Rabbi’s Reflections – Sunday, December 24, 2023
Shavuah Tov,

Love Each Other / Glorify God part 16 – Romans, part 241

Romans 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of anything except what Messiah accomplished through me, to bring about the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, 19 in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem and around even to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the Good News of Messiah.

While there is much that deserves our attention in Paul’s statement about his ministry, I want to focus on only two things.  First, Paul mentions the “power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit of God.”  Then he commends himself by saying, “I have fully proclaimed the Good News of Messiah.”  While these two are separate and independent, they are interconnected as well.

First, are signs and wonders for today?  In Acts 4, the early believers prayed for signs and wonders (Verse 29), and then their prayer was answered.  Acts 14:31  When they had prayed, the place where they were gathered was shaken. And they were all filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh and began to speak the word of God with boldness.  

Rabbi Trail:  We preach the Gospel (Good News) of the kingdom.  (And without a King, there is no kingdom.)  Most churches are preaching a Gospel of personal salvation.  It is a message focused on getting those saved persons into heaven.  The Gospel of the kingdom is a message focused on restoring this world back to the kingdom of God, where He alone reigns.  “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  In the Gospel of the kingdom, we are saved to establish His reign here on the earth, to match His reign in heaven above.  End RT.

There is a connection between healing and preaching the kingdom… Luke 9:2 He (Yeshua) sent them (the Apostles) out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.  Have you ever heard of “power evangelism?”  1Corinthians 14:24 But if all are prophesying and some unbelieving or ungifted person comes in, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all. 25 The secrets of his heart become known, and so he will fall down on his face and worship God, declaring, “God really is among you!”  We are all called to be empowered ministers, not just a select few “professionals.”

John Wimber and Kevin Springer, in their book “Power Evangelism,” (Regal, 1986, 2009) talk about the followers of Messiah being fishers of men.  Our “bait” is signs and wonders.  Once a person has a real encounter with the living God, dynamite could not blast him/her away from seeking to deepen his/her relationship with Him.  Paul put it this way… Romans 15:18a For I will not dare to speak of anything except what Messiah accomplished through me.  

So may it be for us… Psalm 68:2 Let God arise! Let His enemies be scattered!  Let those who hate Him flee before Him. 3 As smoke is blown away, may You blow them away. As wax melts before the fire, may the wicked perish before God. 4 But let the righteous be glad.  Let them exult before God.  Let them rejoice with gladness.  To God be the glory.  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarsson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Sun 24-Dec-2023 12th of Tevet, 5784
Ge 47:28-48:9 1 Sa 30 Ps 68 Lk 1:57-80 (2 Co 9)