Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, February 19, 2022
Shabbat Shalom *|FNAME|*,
Growing Love 4 by David Harwood
Our Lord, Yeshua, walked in holiness. He consistently, constantly, fulfilled the foremost command. He loved the God of Israel with all He was and all He had. I wish we had the opportunity to be around Him and watch how He loved and how He lived in the light of that love. We can know, a little. We have the Gospels and the testimony of those who knew Him.
Yeshua’s demeanor and actions exemplified true holiness. His love for the Creator never wavered, but we know that Yeshua’s love for Father was tested. We know these trials were morally, emotionally, excruciating. His experience at Gethsemane is a revelation of the measure of the Messiah’s love for Father revealed in trust and obedience.
And in His anguish, He was praying fervently; and His sweat was like drops of blood falling down on the ground. (Luke 22:44 TLV)
The apostolic testimony teaches that Yeshua was tempted to fall away from this love.
For we do not have a kohen gadol who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all the same ways—yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15 TLV)
Yeshua, tempted to leave this type of love?
Hebrews 4:15 reveals that He was tempted in all things, just like us. However, that same sentence says that He did not succumb to these temptations. He fulfilled the greatest command.
Why did He fulfill this command?
Maybe this was part of it: the Messiah knew that His love for the Father was meaningful to the Father. Therefore, because He loved His Father He remained in a relational place of faithful love to His Father.
Because He loved His Father
He steadfastly loved His Father.
At its heart, this command is relational. Yeshua’s love for God was not a robotic, unreasoning, will-power-fueled response to an ordinance. It was the godly response to revelation about Father that came to the Messiah through the Ruach ha-Kodesh.
What drew the Messiah’s love to God? Indeed, let me ask, why should we love God? Yes, I know, “we love because He loved us first”, that is certainly right, but that’s not the “right answer” I’m emphasizing. How is this? We are to love God because God is holy.
Let me offer my understanding of holiness. Holiness is the sum of all His attributes. Our God has moral attributes, such as goodness. He has non-moral (non-communicable) characteristics, such as omnipresence.
If we combine His moral and non-moral (non-communicable) attributes the sum of them is holiness. This holiness is revealed in the Messiah.
Part of the Creator’s holiness is His self-existence and being the source of life. Since that’s so, the resurrection of Messiah is a revelation of His holiness as the Life-Source.
Looking at another aspect: Father’s holiness, revealed in Yeshua, is manifest in love so strong as to provoke God to humility.
So much can be said about revelations of holiness… Let’s try approaching this topic from another angle. How’s this? His holiness, when manifest, is described as “glory”.
Here is a favorite verse about manifest holiness-glory:
You make morning and evening shout for joy. (Psalm 65:8b TLV)
It is written that the heavens declare His glory (Psalm 19:1). In nature, Sunset and Sunrise are silent visual equivalents of joyful shouts about God’s goodness. These shouts about the God of glory are glorious in themselves. Their splendors are hints of the God of heaven’s holiness. Twice a day, vibrant colors, patterns, and degrees of light and shadow provide variations on the same theme: God is wonderful! They are reliable, daily displays of glory.
When foolish humans and vile demons reject His beauty and goodness, sunrise and sunset defy their accusations. Such splendors do not proceed from moral ugliness. For those with eyes to see, they are the equivalents of advertisements of His virtues sponsored by our Creator. He approves of their message.
Why would God provide displays of glory to our senses? Why would He reveal aspects of His moral excellence in visual displays of beauty, or in His Word, or in His Messiah?
They are revealed to elicit our love.
Why would He seek to elicit your love? Why? Because… you are a creation whose love for the Creator is meaningful to the Creator. That is what the Great Command reveals.
Love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5)
Because He loves you and cherishes your love for Him.
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Sat 19-Feb-2022 18th of Adar I, 5782 Parashat Ki Tisa
Ex 34:27-35 1 Ki 18:1-39 2 Co 3