Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, July 28, 2023
(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

One In Messiah part 26 – Romans, part 137

Romans 10:14  How then shall they call on the One in whom they have not trusted? And how shall they trust in the One they have not heard of? And how shall they hear without someone proclaiming?

Paul presents an interesting progression in this verse.  He’s working backward, but we’re going to work forward.  The progression of salvation starts with “proclaiming,” followed by hearing, trusting, and finally, “calling on the One.”

As we break down the chapter, verse by verse, it is easy to loose focus on the subject Paul is addressing.  He sets it up quite well in the first verse.  Rom 10:1 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for Israel is for their salvation.  In fact, the entirety of these three chapters, Romans 9, 10 and 11, is focused on Jewish people coming to know the Jewish Messiah as their Savior and Lord.

Our subject for the series on these three chapters is “One in Messiah.”  That oneness is an expression that the body of Messiah will be made up of Jews and Gentiles.  In Ephesians there is a difference.  Paul is writing on the inclusion of Gentiles into the commonwealth of Israel.

Ephesians 2:14a  For He is our shalom, the One who made the two into one and broke down the middle wall of separation…. 15b He did this in order to create within Himself one new man from the two groups, making shalom, 16 and to reconcile both to God in one body through the cross—by which He put the hostility to death…. 18 for through Him we both have access to the Father by the same Ruach. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.

That was a long quote from Ephesians, but I couldn’t shorten it.  Is the “one new man” (see Eph 2:15 above) intended to be “one homogenous soup?”  After all, there is this… Galatians 3:28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female—for you are all one in Messiah Yeshua.  Think about it… “there is neither male nor female,…” really?  Without any deference at all to the error of (what I call) the “alphabet soup,” yes, there is a distinct difference in male and female.

My wife and I are in a “one flesh” marriage.  Genesis 2:24  This is why a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife; and they become one flesh.  Yet, the more “womanly” she is the more I love it, and the more manly I am, the more she loves it (I know because I asked).

Likewise, the body of Messiah needs to have mutually complimentary Jews and Gentiles, who both give glory to God Who created them to provide flavor to His kingdom.  Matthew 5:13a “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt should lose its flavor, how shall it be made salty again?”  The “one new man” of the kingdom of God is not about one less Jew or one less Gentile, but about God, the creator of all, calling diverse people to Himself, as part of His (every tribe, every tongue) recognizably distinct body when He returns to the earth.

For Monday, I’ll write more on this same verse.  We didn’t even touch on Jewish evangelism yet.  Please have a blessed Shabbat Shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Fri 28 July-2023 10th of Av, 5783
De 5:22[19]-6:3 Ez 32 1 Ch 12 1 Th 4 (Jn 3)