Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, September 20, 2022
The Upper Room Discourse (part 36 of ???)
John 15:16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I selected you so that you would go and produce fruit, and your fruit would remain. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name.”
Yesterday we experienced being chosen by God. Today, let’s deal with what Yeshua said about why He chose us. He said He chose you, “So that you would go.” Charles Stanley used to say, “God can’t drive a parked car.” Yes, “Go and produce.”
What is it about “going” that is hard to understand? In Spanish we say, “Vaya con Dios,” meaning “go with God.”
Rabbi Trail: Warning to us “Spanish amateurs” out there. This phrase can also be used in the negative, with a connotation that includes “get out of here.” Every language involves nuanced meanings. These are subtle, cultural expressions that go way beyond any possible translation. So, my warning here is to be careful when speaking in a non-native tongue.
My own Hebrew story of a similar nature is when I wanted to end a conversation, so I said “Gamarnu,” which means “we are finished.” However; the connotation in Hebrew is “we are kaput.” I didn’t mean that kind of “finished,” but that’s what was communicated. End RT.
Yeshua is telling us to “go and produce fruit.” The only way we produce fruit is to be grafted into the nourishment of the vine. This takes me back to earlier in this same chapter. John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for apart from Me, you can do nothing.” Yeshua is bringing us back to our dependence on Him.
However; now, twelve verses later, we go from doing nothing (without Him) to doing everything (with Him). John 15:16b “…Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name.” So I ask, “Is that really true?” Then why don’t I have a million dollars? After all, I asked! This is only the last part of an “if/then” statement, the type of which we find throughout the Bible. We can’t just grab the “then” part and separate it from the “if” (or conditional) part.
A better understanding would be, “If” you go and produce fruit that remains (long lasting), “then” you will ask. But what does it mean to ask “in Yeshua’s name?” A name is not just a label to which we answer when called. A “name” is a reputation. A “name” is the label of authority. To ask in Yeshua’s “name” is to be a witness to His authority, and we must use His delegated authority, which is His will, with wisdom.
So much of our Bible study seems purposed to “put God in a box.” We want to define His borders. We want to put God into space we can understand with our finite minds. But God is beyond us, He is infinite. Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far beyond all that we ask or imagine, by means of His power that works in us. He is able to do “far beyond all that we ask or imagine.”
The Bible indicates that God’s kingdom is a “World without end.” We only need to look at the next verse of Ephesians 3 to see it… Ephesians 3:21 to Him be the glory in the community of believers and in Messiah Yeshua throughout all generations forever and ever! Amen. “Forever and ever” is longer than just “forever.”
The Muslims have terrorized the world while shouting “Allahu Akbar.” It means “our god is greater.” But I have good news, the One true and living God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the One and only. Hu Echad, V’Ayn Sheni.” He is One and there is no two. Psalm 145:3 Great is Adonai, and greatly to be praised —His greatness is unsearchable. He showed His love for us when He chose us. And whatever He does, keeps on being done. He is still choosing us.
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Tue 20-Sep-2022 24th of Elul, 5782
De 29:15-28 Hab 1 2 Ch 18 (Ac 12) Rev 5
Memory Verse: James 1:2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
191 9/19 Monday: Acts 10-11
192 9/20 Tuesday: Acts 12
193 9/21 Wednesday: Acts 13-14
194 9/22 Thursday: James 1-2
195 9/23 Friday: James 3-5