Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, March 1, 2023


1 Corinthians 5:8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast not with old hametz (leaven), the hametz of malice and wickedness, but with unleavened bread—the matzah of sincerity and truth.

Our community Seder will be held on Friday, April 7th beginning at 6PM and the public is invited.  We will gather at Rothchild Catering, 8807 Kingston Pike, in Knoxville.  The cost is $30 per adult (children 4-12 are $18) – early bird through March 17th (dinner and full color Haggadah included).  Please take advantage of the early bird discount and invite your friends.  Click here to register… https://shomairyisrael.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/1616545

Better Change Your Expectations – Romans, part 37

Romans 3:29 Is God the God of the Jewish people only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also. 30 Since God is One, He will set right the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then nullify the Torah through faithfulness? May it never be! On the contrary, we uphold the Torah.

I’ve thought a lot about this over night.  I feel like I’m walking through a mine field, and my next “step” could cause an explosion.  We’re talking about inclusion of the Gentiles (read the subject text) into the family of God.  That is not such a challenging concept. (Although there are many who might like to challenge it.)

It is the discussion of what level of observance we expect from our non-Jewish family members that is so challenging.  But first, shouldn’t Jewish people actually decide what level of observance to expect from themselves?  Are you starting to see the dangers?  These are the questions posed to the Acts 15 Jerusalem council.  It occupied the attention of all the leaders of the body of Messiah for about 30 verses (3/4 of the chapter), and their conclusions are still being discussed today as we try to understand their implications.

Some of the confusion is the product of unmet expectations.  Let me ask a question.  If God doesn’t meet our expectations, shouldn’t we should consider changing our expectations?  Do we really want to stand entrenched in our beliefs, expecting God to conform to our (now apparently false) expectations?

Jewish people have been expecting a savior who will lead the world into all righteousness (peace on earth – goodwill toward men) as described in Isaiah 9:6,7.  Yeshua addressed this Himself…. Luke 12:51 “Do you suppose that I have come to bring shalom on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.”  This led to most Jewish people missing the day of their visitation.  The Savior Who came, came as a suffering servant.  He will return as a reigning King.

Here’s another question that causes Jewish people to struggle.  Can God be a man?  Only God, Himself, could fix the “sin” problem.  It would take God, Himself, to be the sinless One.  Would you want to be the one who tells God, “You can’t come as a man?”  John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. We looked upon His glory, the glory of the one and only from the Father, full of grace and truth.

What God can’t do is change.  Hebrews 13:8 Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  It is our expectations that must change, not Him.  Yeshua came to earth, gave His life as our atonement, and He’ll come again to rule and reign.  The day of His return is called “the day of the Lord.”  1 Thessalonians 5:2 For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night…. 4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the dark, so that the Day might overtake you like a thief…. 6 so then, let us not sleep as the others do, but let us remain on the alert and sober-minded.

I have much more to say about this.  In particular, how none of this nullifies the Torah, but rather establishes it.  So, let’s get back together tomorrow.  Until then, shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Wed 1 Mar-2023 8th of Adar, 5783
Ex 29:1-18 2 Ki 25 Ps 149-150 Jn 21 (Heb 6)