There’s a common theme occurring throughout the Hebrew Roots/Messianic community recently — separation and regrouping. We also see in Scripture the recurring symbol of “cutting off” in an agricultural sense to talk about God’s action in improving the health of the “vine” of Israel. It’s OK when God cuts off parts of the vine to promote growth. It’s OK if there is a time of not producing fruit.
How are we living up to God’s instruction to make His words in the Bible “honorable”?:
“The LORD was pleased for His righteousness’ sake, To make the law great and glorious.” (Isa. 42:21)
As we enter into this related discussion to Yeshua’s “apocalyptic discourse” (Luke 21:34-22:6; Matthew 24:42-26:5; Mark 13:33-14:12), let’s ponder the ancient Chinese proverb “Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think.” This is an Eastern idea that you live for today because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring. J.R.R. Tolklein rephrased this and put it in the mouth of an antagonist in the Lord of the Rings series, “The hour is later than you think.”
Yeshua told a parable along these lines (Luke 12:16-28), to show us how to look at ourselves as people and how we fit into the timeline of the coming Kingdom of God.
We are to “regard one another as more important than yourselves” (Phil. 2:3). As the Messiah considered mankind more important than His standing with YHWH, so too, we should consider our brothers and sisters in faith worth our humbling ourselves. When God went to such lengths to make peace with us, we should be willing to go to great lengths to make peace and keep peace with others.
Last time, we discussed lashon ha-ra (evil tongue, i.e., gossip, slander and divisiveness) and how it is one of the latter-day plagues among God’s people.
In this excursus, we will explore a related principle taught in Torah by Yeshua and His apostles: proportionality. A number of Christians often consider “eye for an eye and tooth for tooth” an example of the “old covenant” not to live by anymore and cite one Yeshua’s supposed “six antitheses” — Matt. 5:38-39 — as proof that Yeshua did away with “eye for an eye” altogether. And cultural knowledge of Bible phrases has made this understanding common, even cliché.
We’re taking an excursus from our exploration of Yeshua’s “apocalyptic discourse” in Matthew 24-25, Luke 21 and Mark 13 to explore one of the most pervasive sins among God’s people today. It’s not the Sabbath. It’s not sexual deviance. This is a study about kosher — distinguishing between “clean” and “unclean” — and God’s judgment on the Day of the Lord.
Effective communication requires attentive listening and confirmation a message is received, perhaps via a reply or acting on the information delivered. The passages in Luke 10:38–11:13 and Matthew 6 contain lessons in effectively listening to God and talking with Him.
- Lesson 1: Rebel against distraction to absorb the words of God.
- Lesson 2: Get the will-ies when asking for God’s will to be done in forgiveness and ways God is re-establishing dominion on Earth.