Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, June 27, 2022
Today is my 70th birthday. Thanks for all the birthday wishes, this one has been wonderfully memorable. I’m a year older (and finally out of my 60s). However; as my dad used to say, “birthdays beat the alternative.”
In this series of RR’s, which began on April 24th, we are studying our way through the Sermon on the Mount. (Any previous RR’s can be found at syknox.org/blog, going all the way back (daily) to June 2018.) In The Chosen (see the second RT below) (https://watch.angelstudios.com/thechosen) I like the way they refer to the Sermon on the Mount as the Big Sermon. It was Yeshua’s first major address to a large audience. The text is recorded in 3 chapters of Matthew (5,6 & 7).
Rabbi Trail: Tradition tells us it was delivered on the Mount of Beatitudes, so named because the Sermon on the Mount starts with 7 Beatitudes. After the first 7, Matthew 5:10 and 11 look like Beatitudes because they start with the words “Blessed are,” but there is a difference. These last 2 are not “attitudes” or character traits at all, but they describe something that happens to a person. Being persecuted or reviled in not an attitude. End RT.
Rabbi Trail: I highly recommend watching the first 2 seasons of “The Chosen.” (See the link provided above.) It is not the Gospel, nor is it intended to be, but it is thoroughly thought provoking. Jan and I have enjoyed watching it at least twice. The third season is due out this fall. We are looking forward to its release. They have 8 seasons on the life of Yeshua and His disciples planned. It is very well done. I love the character development of Yeshua and His disciples. Matthew is my favorite. End RT.
Matthew 7:6 Pigs and Questions
Matthew 7:6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls before pigs; otherwise they will trample them under their feet, then turn and rip you to shreds.”
Yeshua’s words give life and change hearts. They have the creative power of God which is unlike any other creative power. Let me explain what I mean. When a man creates something, it is finished and immediately begins to get old. When God creates, whatever He creates has sustaining power. More than “create” in the traditional sense, when God creates something, He puts it in motion and gives it life.
This is true with God’s spoken and written words too (but His written words were intended to be spoken aloud). Our subject verse recognizes that truth and at the same time, warns us not to waste God’s creative power. Paul proudly proclaims…Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the Good News, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who trusts—to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Then, he later writes to the Thessalonians… 1 Thessalonians 2:4 But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News, so we declare it—not pleasing men but rather God, who examines our hearts.
So which is it, to declare or not to declare? As with so many seeming contradictions in Scripture, “Yes, both!” Yeshua is admonishing us to use discernment. What is holy is likened to pearls. Those who will not appreciate the message are likened to dogs and pigs. I’m not going to go into the characteristics of dogs and pigs that led Yeshua to use them as bad examples of those who will not value the life-giving power of the gospel message. But I do want to deal with the question, how can we tell in advance who will value the message and who will not?
Yeshua gives us the answer. Watch how many times Yeshua leads a conversation with questions (some have counted 307 questions in the Gospels alone). Yeshua wasn’t asking questions because He didn’t know the answers, He was asking questions to determine how to best minister in a particular situation. Most importantly, His questions helped those who were answering to know their own need. God meets people at the point of their need. We need to seek the Holy Spirit and, like Yeshua, ask questions. This will help people understand their own need, and also help us understand it too.
Don’t “throw your pearls before pigs,” is an admonition from Yeshua to know the person to whom we are speaking. When we do, we can administer the healing power of Yeshua effectively, and allow His words to heal as intended. You wouldn’t give a person with a headache a bandaid. Questions are God’s opportunity to triage. Determine the mindset, need and opportunity, letting God do His marvelous work through you.
Philippians 2:13 For the One working in you is God—both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Mon 27-Jun-2022 28th of Sivan, 5782
Nu 16:14-19 Jer 46-47 Da 9 (Lk 2:22-52) 2 Co 11
Memory Verse: Zephaniah 3:17 Adonai your God is in your midst— a mighty Savior! He will delight over you with joy. He will quiet you with His love. He will dance for joy over you with singing.’
131 6/29 Monday: Zechariah 1:1-6; 2; 12
132 6/30 Tuesday: Ezra 7-8
133 7/1 Wednesday Ezra 9-10
134 7/2 Thursday: Esther 1-2
135 7/3 Friday: Esther 3-4