Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Pillar Seven: The Kingdom is Expressed in a Quest for Unity – part 1
How can we even begin a discussion of unity without involving Yeshua’s prayer in John 17? His prayer is actually part of a teaching that starts in chapter 13 with the preparations for Passover. At the end of the Seder (Passover meal) Yeshua was teaching His disciples when He looked toward heaven and began to pray.
The John 17 prayer can be summed up in this phrase which appears 4 times; John 17:21a …that they all may be one. But wait, there’s more. Yeshua was not only praying for His disciples, but for you and me as well. John 17:20 “I pray not on behalf of these only, but also for those who believe in Me through their message,”
In the kingdom of God, “oneness” is not uniformity. Read the context of 1 Corinthians 12:20 But now there are many parts, yet one body. Yet God’s oneness is His glory. Hence the verse, Isaiah 42:8a “I am Adonai—that is My Name! My glory I will not give to another.” In fact, God cannot give His glory to another, because if He did, it would no longer be His glory.
Remember, (because I just told you) His glory is His oneness. If He gave His oneness to another, it would no longer be His oneness. But God does give His glory to Himself (through Yeshua and the Holy Spirit) and then to us, (really it’s Him in us) who have received Him. Colossians 1:27b Messiah in you, the hope of glory!
Wait, what was that? Read the context of the whole verse. That is specifically spoken over Gentiles as a mystery of inclusion (oneness). The second greatest unity is between Jews and Gentiles.
Rabbi Trail: What about the first greatest unity? That is God connecting mankind to Himself. End RT.
Ephesians 2:14 For He is our shalom, the One who made the two into one and broke down the middle wall of separation. Within His flesh He made powerless the hostility— 15 the law code of mitzvot contained in regulations. He did this in order to create within Himself one new man from the two groups, making shalom,
Be honest. Did you think I would get through a discussion of unity without mentioning Ephesians 2? It was close, but we’ll pick this up again tomorrow. Blessings.
Memory Verse: Exodus 20:1 Then God spoke all these words saying, 2 “I am Adonai your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.
36 2/17 Monday: Exodus 19-20
* 37 2/18 Tuesday: Exodus 24-25
38 2/19 Wednesday: Exodus 26-27
39 2/20 Thursday: Exodus 28-29
40 2/21 Friday: Exodus 30-31
Question of the day:
Rabbi Trail: We skip 3 chapters (21, 22, 23) because; well, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because they only have commandments and we are following a chronological order. That can’t really be the reason, because we have several chapters that follow today about how to build the Tabernacle. They are not chronological either. Probably, it’s as simple as because we are only reading about 45% of the Bible (about 540 chapters out of over 1100. End RT.
Exodus 24:10a They saw the God of Israel, 11b So they beheld God, and ate and drank. Who saw God and what did they eat?
Answer: The Bible is specific about who saw God.
Rabbi Trail: I thought God said, Exodus 33:20 But He (God) also said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live.” This is a tough one. There are plenty of places in Scripture where God is seen. How can we see God without seeing God? Here is one possible spiritual explanation.
God can allow us to see His form without seeing His essence. He can appear as a representation of Who He truly is. I think this is what’s happening here. However; we believe we should exegete (not eisegete) the Scripture. To exegete is to let the Scripture speak for itself. When we eisegete, we read into the text what is not spoken, but our own ideas of what it means. End RT.
Notwithstanding the RT above, there were 70 elders, Moses, Aaron, Aaron’s two sons, Nadab and Abihu, and Joshua. They saw God. What did they eat and drink? Here is where I break my own rule. But before I do, we don’t know what they ate and drank because the Bible doesn’t say.
What if they ate and drank communion? Maybe they lifted up a piece of matzah and blessed God and then lifted up their cup and blessed the Lord.
Hard to imagine they saw God and ate with Him on the mountain only 40 days before they committed the most shameful sin in the history of Israel, the sin of the golden calf. By the time we get to chapter 32, the people get tired of waiting for Moses to come down from the mountain. Here is a word to the wise. Don’t get tired of waiting.
Jacob 1:4 And let endurance have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.