Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, June 5, 2023

Victory Over Sin part 38 – Romans, part 99

Romans 8:17  And if children, also heirs—heirs of God and joint-heirs with Messiah—if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

This is great news, for which we must be thankful.

Rabbi Trail:  Let me tell you a story.  About 20 years ago I was participating in a roundtable meeting of about 20 Messianic rabbis in Northern Virginia. As I looked around the room, I noticed that exactly half of the assembled rabbis had Jewish backgrounds, while the other half had non-Jewish backgrounds.  As is always the case, the conversation turned to the subject of inclusion of gentiles into the Messianic Jewish movement.

Interestingly, it was the Jewish background rabbis (JBRs) who spoke up for full inclusion, while the non-Jewish background rabbis (NJBRs) took the position of not wanting to intrude into our “Jewish space.”  Near the end of the discussion, one of the NJBRs specifically addressed me with this question.  “Tell me, if the “rock” is Israel, do I own a piece of the rock, since I wasn’t raised Jewish?”

He didn’t really want to know my opinion, he had already made up his mind that he was excluded, and would forever be looking at Israel from the outside.  However; that question was settled in the Jerusalem conference 2,000 years earlier.  The question then was (paraphrasing), “How do we include non-Jewish people into what God is doing in the world today?”

The minutes from that meeting are recorded in Acts 15.  Acts 15:7-9  After much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers,… (it is) God, who knows the heart,… giving them (Gentiles) the Ruach ha-Kodesh—just as He also did for us (Jews)….  He made no distinction between us and them.

Then, James (Jacob), Yeshua’s (half) brother, who was leading Messiah’s community in Jerusalem stood to have the final word as he quoted Amos 9:11.   Acts 15:16  ‘After this I will return and rebuild the fallen tabernacle of David. I will rebuild its ruins and I will restore it, 17  so that the rest of humanity may seek the Lord—namely all the Gentiles who are called by My name—says Adonai, who makes these things.  

He could have quoted, Isaiah 56:6  Also the foreigners who join themselves to Adonai, to minister to Him, and to love the Name of Adonai, and to be His servants—all who keep from profaning Shabbat, and hold fast to My covenant— 7  these I will bring to My holy mountain, and let them rejoice in My House of Prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar. For My House will be called a House of Prayer for all nations.”

Then they sent a letter of the minutes of the meeting along with Paul and Barnabas, who gave a personal witness to the proceedings.  And this was the reaction of those who received it…. Acts 15:31 The people read it and rejoiced over its encouragement.  So the answer is “Yes!  Non-Jewish people own a piece of the rock.”  The government of Israel may not allow it today, but there will be a time in the future when God’s government will allow full citizenship (probably in New Jerusalem) to those from the nations who have turned to God. End RT.

I want to bring this to a close today with a brief examination of what it means to “be glorified with Him.”  God’s glory is His oneness.  Isaiah 42:8a  “I am Adonai—that is My Name! My glory I will not give to another.”  This is right after the great Messianic prophesy… Isaiah 42:6  “I, Adonai, called You in righteousness, I will take hold of Your hand, I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations.  In these scriptures, Isaiah is prophesying the unity of the Father and the Son.

But wait, this gets even better.  God created the world so that He would have a place to love people (and we would love Him in return.)  That loving relationship is manifested in Messiah Yeshua, and through God’s Son, we also are included.  Galatians 3:29  And if you belong to Messiah, then you are Abraham’s seed—heirs according to the promise.

There you have it.  If we know Yeshua (Jews or non-Jews) we all are a piece of the rock.  That has be the last word.  Is there anything better?  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Mon 5 June 2023 16th of Sivan, 5783
Nu 8:15-26 Jer 26 Dan 3 1 Co 9      (Mk 10:32-52)