Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, July 8, 2020
See, I wasn’t making it up… https://vfinews.com/en/news/july-7-2020/young-israel-condemns-anti-semitism-at-black-lives
This is the last of the affirmations of TJCII. 25 years ago, God gave Marty Waldman (founding rabbi of Baruch HaShem Messianic Synagogue in Dallas) a vision. It was a glimpse into the heart of God for what Paul Harvey would have called, “The rest of the story.” This is to “close the loop” on bringing Jewish people back into the family of God through His Son, Yeshua HaMashiach.
You might say, “Haven’t there been Jewish believers all throughout history?” And I would answer, “Yes.” But, for most of that history those Jewish believers had to stop being Jewish in order to live among the predominantly Gentile believers. TJCII is a vision that Jewish believers can thrive and be welcomed in their Jewishness as part of the family of God. Here is the 7th affirmation of that vision.
7. Finally, we affirm that as Jewish and Gentile expressions of life in Jesus grow organically side by side with distinct identities that God will be glorified; that the Kingdom of Heaven will be advanced and that the vision of “the one new man” in Ephesians 2 will unfold as part of the original Abrahamic blessing to the nations.
What is the “one new man” vision? Clearly, from this affirmation statement, it is not one homogenous soup of Jewish and Gentile humanity. When the Bible speaks of the tearing down of the middle wall of partition (Ephesians 2:14a), it is not speaking of erasing distinctions. The first Jerusalem council decided that everyone doesn’t have to become Jewish to follow Yeshua. The second Jerusalem council will decide that everyone doesn’t have to become Gentile to follow Yeshua.
The “one new man” vision allows the “enmity” to be done away (Ephesians 2:14b). Each can appreciate the other. Diversity is God’s delight and we too should delight in diversity. Think of Jewish and Gentile diversity as a marriage between a man and a woman. They become one flesh, but stay in their distinctive differences, mutually complimenting each other to the glory of God.
We are all made in God’s image. If we disrespect each other or devalue one another, we are disrespecting and devaluing God and His handiwork.
1 John 4:11 Loved ones, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God abides in us and His love is made perfect in us.
Lastly, I want to say a word about loving the “not-yet-believing” people of Israel. A lot can be learned about a people by the way they refer to themselves. Israelis refer to one who is born in the land of Israel as a “Sabra.” A “Sabra” is an edible cactus (prickly pear) that is indigenous to Israel. The self-image of Israelis is prickly on the outside and tender and sweet on the inside.
To love Jewish people is analogous to hugging a cactus. Ouchy!!! It hurts to hug a cactus, but that doesn’t mean we should stop. When we get on the inside, not only does it not hurt, there is a blessing from the most high. Hear the word of the Lord… Genesis 12:3a My desire is to bless those who bless you. Vaya con Dios muchachos!
Memory Verse: Deuteronomy 29:28(29) “The secret things belong to Adonai our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever—in order to do all the words of this Torah. TLV
136 7/6 Monday: Esther 5-7
137 7/7 Tuesday: Esther 8-10
* 138 7/8 Wednesday Nehemiah 1-2
139 7/9 Thursday: Nehemiah 3-4
140 7/10 Friday: Nehemiah 5-6
Question of the day: How did Nehemiah answer the questions that were asked of him at the end of chapter 2, by Sanballat and Tobiah? Jeremiah 2:19b “What is this you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?”
Answer: Nehemiah knew something about authority. There are spheres of authority (as explained in Asher Intrater’s book “All Authority.”) So, Nehemiah answers with understanding. He could have said, by authority of the king (who had sent him with letters and with an army to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem), but instead, Nehemiah chose a higher authority.
Nehemiah 2:20 I responded to them saying, “The God of heaven will bring us success. We His servants will arise and build. But you have no part, right, or historical claim in Jerusalem.”
This relationship with Sanballat, Tobiah, and occasionally Geshem takes a number of twists and turns. These enemies of the Jewish people offer to help, but that offer is wisely refused. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Today, we are only dealing with Jeremiah being submitted to God’s authority which give him the right to call on that authority. The same is true for us.
The Bible makes this point. The flesh cannot submit to God. Romans 8:7 For the mindset of the flesh is hostile toward God, for it does not submit itself to the law of God—for it cannot. 8 So those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9a However, you are not in the flesh but in the Ruach—if indeed the Ruach Elohim dwells in you.
The point is this… we submit to God (by doing His will) and He will fight against our enemies for us. That is “Tachlis” (Hebrew for “the bottom line”).