Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, November 17, 2020


I want to let you know that Jan and I have tested positive for COVID-19 (as of last Friday).  Compared to some, our symptoms have been relatively mild, cough, fever, aches and pains.  Needless to say our trip to Florida has been cancelled.  We are quarantined to our house in Maryville.  Please offer up a prayer for us that this will pass quickly.  We are in very good spirits.  Eyes on Him.  

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)

Tue 17-Nov-2020 1st of Kislev, 5781 Rosh Chodesh Kislev

Ge 26:13-22 Jdg 19 Ps 41 Mk 1 (Ro 12)

Reprinted from Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Shalom *|FNAME|*,

As I told you, Dan Juster was speaking at the Mid-Atlantic Tikkun Institute on developing leaders when he came to rest on these words of Scripture… Philippians 3:10 My aim is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the sharing of His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death—

Dan’s comment was how we all remember the promised blessing of the first part of the verse.  We all want the “power of His resurrection” in our lives.  But, there is an “AND” too.  

“And the sharing of His sufferings…”  You might ask, when did I sign up for that?  What, that wasn’t part of the altar call you answered?  Likely not!  You should have read the fine print.  You know what?  All things considered (as I’ve written to you before), Ayn Li Brerra, (I don’t have a choice).

2 Timothy 2:12a if we endure, we will also reign with Him…

Now let’s put that in context.  2 Timothy 2:11 Trustworthy is the saying: If we died with Him, we will also live with Him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He will also deny us; 13 if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

And one last word… 1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, “Things no eye has seen and no ear has heard, that have not entered the heart of mankind— these things God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Week 47
Memory Verse: Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not from yourselves—it is the gift of God. 9 It is not based on deeds, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship—created in Messiah Yeshua for good deeds, which God prepared beforehand so we might walk in them.

231   11/16    Monday:        Colossians 1-2

* 232 11/17    Tuesday:        Colossians 3-4

233   11/18    Wednesday:   Ephesians 1-2    

234.  11/19    Thursday:       Ephesians 3-4

235   11/20    Friday:        Ephesians 5-6

Question of the day:  Is this in your Bible too?  Colossians 3:11a Here there is no longer Greek and Jew.

Answer:  This has the potential to cause all of us (and especially me) significant trouble.  Why did I just say “especially me?”  Because my position is not popular or common in what we call “main stream Messianic Judaism.”  But please don’t make me get into that right now.

These words are not trying to erase distinctions, but rather they are used to point out that the distinctions are marginalized by inclusion in the family of God.  In fact, when we sing the “Shema” (Deuteronomy 6:4), declaring the oneness of God, we are also declaring our own oneness as the people of God.

In fact, allow Galatians 3 to make my point for me.  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.”  Although we read  “there is neither male nor female” would anyone doubt there are, in fact, male and female?

So when we read “there is no longer Greek nor Jew,” should there be any doubt there must be a deeper meaning than only the most literal understanding?  Significantly, yes there is a deeper meaning.  I’ll offer you part of Ephesians 2 as evidence and we’ll be done.  This is really good.

This perfectly tees up the following verses…  Ephesians 2:12 At that time you were separate from Messiah, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

Even the previous verse mentions “Gentiles in the flesh” as not having the circumcision made with hands, which is the people group being addressed here.

Ephesians 2:13 But now in Messiah Yeshua, you who once were far off (Greeks) have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. 14 For He is our shalom, the One who made the two (Greeks and Jews) into one and broke down the middle wall of separation. Within His flesh He made powerless the hostility— 15 the law code of mitzvot contained in regulations. 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.  (More on Ephesians 2:15a at a later time.)