Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, February 7, 2020 

(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

Ever been to a Bar Mitzvah?  Ever been to a Messianic Bar Mitzvah?  This Shabbat is your chance.  Philip Taylor is celebrating his Bar Mitzvah with his family and friends this week.  It’s possible Yeshua’s was commemorating His own Bar Mitzvah when he stayed behind in the Temple.

Luke 2:42 When He became twelve years old, they were going up according to festival custom…. 46 After three days they (Yeshua’s parents) found Him in the Temple, sitting in the center of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all those hearing Him were astonished at His understanding and His answers…. 52 And Yeshua kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Although becoming Bar Mitzvah is called “becoming a man,” it is really something quite different.  When a young man reaches the age of knowing the difference between right and wrong, he becomes responsible in the community of God for how he acts and what he says.  

Hey Philip (and the rest of us), let me give you a hint along those lines….  Treat everyone with respect (both God and man) and you’ll do just fine.  Here is another way to say the same thing.

Mark 12:28b “Which commandment is first of all?” 29 Yeshua answered, “The first is, ‘Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. 30 And you shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

Come to Shomair on Shabbat morning and celebrate with the Taylor family.

Pillar Five: The Kingdom is Expressed in a Life of Character – part 3

Here’s a statement that should stand on its own.  “Character is measured by the commandments of God.”  Since Yeshua is the Word (for evidence, read John 1), He is the living representation of the commandments of God.  The very last phrase of 1 Corinthians 2:16b But we have the mind of Messiah.

If we allow our sins to separate us from this destiny (in Messiah Yeshua) we are in the same trap as non-Yeshua following rabbis.  We will be “performance based” slaves to sin.  God is calling His people to a grace filled life in His presence.  Yeshua’s mind is comfortable and secure in the presence of an all knowing and all powerful God the Father.  

Dan Juster uses a concept repeatedly.  It’s the concept of applying the commandments from the Hebrew Scriptures with a New Covenant lens.  This requires the presence and ministry of the Holy Spirit.  John 16:13 But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth.   

Character is never separated from truth.  Another way to say that is that good character is always consistent with the message of Scripture.  God cannot contradict Himself.  He will never lead you down a path that separates you from Him or His righteous principles and standards.

Let me sum up for today with these thoughts.  Since we are His ambassadors, we must always say and do the things that will bring glory to His kingdom.  In every situation we must be Yeshua’s representatives.  The further we are from home, the easier that assignment.  In other words, we are put to the greatest test by the people we love the most.  Our true character is manifest at home.  Shabbat Shalom.

Week 6
Memory Verse: Genesis 50:20 Yes, you yourselves planned evil against me. God planned it for good, in order to bring about what it is this day—to preserve the lives of many people.

26    2/03      Monday:         Genesis 48-49

27    2/04     Tuesday:         Genesis 50, Exodus 1

28    2/05     Wednesday:    Exodus 2-3

29    2/06     Thursday:        Exodus 4-5

* 30 2/07      Friday:            Exodus 6-7

Question of the day:  What’s the “deal” with Exodus 6 & 7?

Answer:  God is offering us a covenant (such a deal) in these two chapters.  It’s not usually mentioned or as famous as the other covenants, but it is a covenant none-the-less.  Let’s examine the structure of the covenant.

First, it’s a grace covenant.  That means we are grateful recipients, but have no consideration (other than to receive it).  We have no “skin in the game.”  The title of the covenant is found in Exodus 6:1.  We could call it the “Now you will see” covenant.  

Where as: (verse 2) “I am Adonai” (this is continued in verse 3).

Where as: “I established my covenant” with your forefathers. (verse 4)

Where as: “I have heard the groaning of B’nei Yisrael” (verse 5)

Therefore: (4 parts corresponding to the 4 cups at every Seder meal) (1) I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. (2) I will deliver you from their bondage, and (3) I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. (4) I will take you to Myself as a people, and I will be your God. You will know that I am Adonai your God. (verses 6 & 7).

Here is another breakdown of the 4 parts: 

  1. Sanctification or separation.  We may have been separated from the Egyptians, but the greater reality is found here.  Jeremiah 51:45 Come out of her, My people! (quoted in Revelation 18:4)
  2. Judgment on your enemies.  Even God’s judgment is full of grace.  (I may write about this tomorrow.). 
  3. Redemption or salvation.  Isaiah 53:1 Who has believed our report? To whom is the arm of Adonai revealed?  That’s right, Yeshua is the savior who is the Arm of the Lord.
  4. Rejoicing or praise to God.  We are His people and He is our God.  Let’s celebrate the ultimate relationship, the wedding feast of the marriage supper of the lamb.  

Revelation 22:17 The Ruach and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come—let the one who wishes freely take the water of life!

Shabbat Shalom (again).