Friday, August 31, 2012

The Blessing Part 7

We have been studying "the blessing" over the last week. By now, whether you feel it or not, the evidence that you are in fact "blessed" from G-d's point of view should be enough to convince you that it is a spiritual fact. You are blessed simply because He says you are. Yeshua redeemed you from the curse of sin that the blessing of Abraham would come upon you (see Galatians 3:13-14).

What did you receive when you received Abraham's blessing? For an explanation you must look at Genesis 12:1-3: "I will bless (Hebrew barak "endue with the power to be successful, prosperous, and fecund") you and make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless ("endue with the power to be successful, prosperous, and fecund) those who bless you...."

As you go about your day, commit to practice two things:
1. Consciously receive and confess you are blessed;
2. Bless (endue them with the power to be successful and prosperous) someone else who has been redeemed from the curse (don't forget to start early so look for someone in your family)!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Blessing Part 6

Today we are going to look at another aspect of "the blessing." Earlier we saw that the word barak (Hebrew for "bless") meant to be endued with power for different attributes, for example success, prosperity and fecundity. Fecundity means to be very productive or to be creative intellectually. It has been pointed out by others that no country needed a patent law until it received the Gospel message. There is something about following Yeshua that does something to your mind. You begin to walk in a power that enables you to be more than you ever thought possible. The Bible says that those in Yeshua have His mind (1 Corinthians 2:16). Confess that you have the "mind of Yeshua" today. If you make a mistake it still doesn't change the fact that you have His mind.

Do you find this hard to believe? Have you allowed what others have said or are saying to persuade you that you are inferior in some way intellectually? Well guess what; one that is intellectually perfect (the Word of G-d) has declared that He (Yeshua) is your wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30). Now don't stop there because this is not a place of arrogance, it is a place of great humility. Verse 31 says "Therefore, as it is written: "Let those who boast boast in YHVH." Today, know that you are intellectually blessed and make sure that you give Yeshua the credit (not man)!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Blessing Part 5

Over the last several days, we have been focusing on the different aspects of "the blessing." Do you realize that the first words that Adam heard in the Garden of Eden were, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion...." Now there was other talk in Genesis 1, but the above words were the first said to Adam. Does that increase your understanding of the importance of the blessing to G-d? He could have said many different things to Adam, for example, "Good morning Adam, I am Elohim and I have created you to serve me." He could have warned Adam about the serpent that was going to tempt him; He could have discussed Adam's role in the Garden. No; Adam's primary job was to be blessed!

Do you see the connection? Your primary role in relationship to G-d (you have a role in relationship to others but that comes after your relationship with G-d) is to be blessed! (To receive the blessing and maintain it, you will have to be obedient in every area of your life to His will, but more on that later). G-d wants His kids to be blessed, that is endued with the power to be successful and prosperous (don't think money) for His Esteem not our own. Never think that the blessing is for your selfishness; it is for His Esteem!

Tell Him today that you have heard His Words to be blessed and you receive the blessing today for His Esteem.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Blessing Part 4

"The blessing" on you also includes the power to prosper. Don't fall into the trap that limits this word to money. It includes financial blessings but also much more. The word usually translated "prosperity" is the Hebrew word shalom. Shalom means "peace, prosperity, wellness, health, completeness and safety." Psalm 35:27 says in part: "Let YHVH be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant."

Did you catch that? G-d takes pleasure when your life is blessed and prosperous! Too often we are asking Him to give us something we already have. We already have the blessing. I have been married to Susan for over 15 years. What would you think if at the next prayer meeting I said, "Please pray for my situation; I want Susan to be my wife. If she will become my wife I will be the happiest man on the face of the earth." You might look at me and wonder what is wrong with me. You might properly say, "Barry, Susan is already your wife. You already have what you seek." In the same way, G-d says "you are blessed. I have already given you the blessing. Now go and enjoy it!" Say: "I have the blessing."

As you pray today, thank Him for "the blessing" that is now working in your life! You have already received the gift of the blessing and He wants you to open it and try it on. So what are you waiting for? Start unwrapping!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Blessing Part 3

Yesterday we learned that G-d has blessed you (which means "empowered" or "endued with power") so that you would be successful. The Unabridged Dictionary defines "success" as the "favorable or prosperous termination of endeavors." This means that you have received favor from G-d in the form of "the blessing" that whatever you attempt to do will end with a favorable or prosperous end result. Here is where it can get tricky; you must believe and confess G-d's Word ("I am blessed") even if it the circumstances don't agree. Remember circumstances change but G-d's Word doesn't. You can only see where you are at, but G-d knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10) and it is from His perspective that I want you to focus. He says you are blessed and He knows the circumstances may end in several different ways(here is where trust becomes important). When you face your situation that doesn't look blessed and pronounce "I am blessed," you are applying G-d's Word directly to the circumstances and declaring His opinion about your situation. Guess which one is going to change (hint: it isn't G-d's Word because it is eternal).

Today, face every situation that comes your way with a firm conviction that G-d has said "you are blessed!"

Here is a good prayer for today: "Father, regardless of my circumstances today, I know that I am blessed. I have taken my place as your child and I expect to walk in the blessing today. You are taking care of me and I walk in love and in wisdom and in the fullness of the blessing."

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Blessing Part 2

Whether you felt "blessed" on Tuesday or not is not the issue; the point is G-d says "you are blessed!" The word "blessed" here is the Hebrew word barak (pronounced "baw-rak") and means "to endue with power for success, prosperity, fecundity (more about this word later), and longevity." The word barak is the opposite of the Hebrew word qalal which means "to esteem lightly, curse."

So lets get this straight, G-d's Word (which you are now agreeing with by speaking it) says that He has placed something on you to make you a success and prosperous; that something is "the blessing." All the good things in your life flow from that blessing. On the contrary side, is the devil's lies that try to steal what God has given you. Would you allow someone to steal your car, wallet or purse without a fight, or calling the police, etc.? Of course not; your stuff belongs to you. Well guess what, "the blessing" is more important than the results of the blessing (the car, what is in your wallet or purse). So today, if any force tries to send someone your way to steal your blessing, laugh at them and say "I am blessed and I'm not giving it up or handing it over to anyone. IT IS MINE!"

In prayer today say, "Adonai, thank you for the blessing. I have received this blessing from you and I am not going to give it up or hand it over to anyone. I choose to walk in love and to walk in the blessing."

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Blessing Part 1

I speak to so many people that are fearful because of the economy in the United States. Too many focus on what they don't have, or what they have lost. Instead, I would like to encourage you to focus on the Hebraic blessing for YHVH's people that walk in obedience. This will involve you confessing G-d's Word over your life. If you will be faithful to speak His Word, you will see the blessing manifesting in your life. It has been said, "It takes 21 days to make a habit and 21 days to break a habit." So, the sooner you begin, the earlier you will see the blessing working in your life.

Today, I want to make a confession based on Proverbs 10:22: "The blessing of the YHVH makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it." Now I want you to confess the verse this way: "The blessing of YHVH (pronounce as Yahweh) makes (say your name) rich and He adds no sorrow to my life." As you speak this Word, you are proclaiming a Biblical truth and you are activating the angels of God (Psalm 103:20) to do His Word and to bring this truth into reality.

Now before you leave your time of confession today, confess the Word for someone that you want to see G-d's blessing manifest in their life. Speak, "The blessing of Yahweh makes (my spouse, my children, my friend, etc.) rich and He adds no sorrow to his/her life."

And by the way, you can speak this over as many people as you want to bless today. Remember the old potato chip commercial, "bet you can't eat just one." I bet you can't confess this just once! Repeat this often today, “I am blessed!”

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Is Jesus A False Prophet? Part 2

We have previously looked at Deuteronomy 13: 1-5 says: "When there arises in your midst a prophet, or a dreamer of a dream, and he has given unto you a sign or wonder, and the sign and the wonder has come which he has spoken of to you, saying, Let us go after other gods (which you have not known), and serve them, you do not obey the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of the dream, for YHWH your Elohim is trying you, to know whether you are loving YHWH your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your soul; after YHWH your Elohim walk, and Him you fear, and His commands you keep, and to His voice you obey, and Him you serve, and to Him you cleave. And that prophet, or that dreamer of the dream, is put to death, for he has spoken apostasy against YHWH your Elohim (who is bringing you out of the land of Egypt, and has ransomed you out of a house of servants), to drive you out of the way in which YHWH your Elohim has commanded you to walk, and you have put away the evil thing from your midst." The passage makes clear that it is apostacy and carries a death sentence for a prophet to drive people away from the commands of Elohim.

Now let us use some simple deductive logic:
1. The Scriptures say that it is apostacy to drive people away from the commands of G-d;
2. The church tells its followers that they are free from obeying the commands of G-d; and
3. Therefore, the church is apostate.

Let us consider another example:
1. The Scriptures say that it is apostacy to drive people away from the commands of G-d.
2. The church teaches us that Jesus nailed the commands of G-d to the cross so the church is under grace and Jesus teaches us that we do not have to follow the commands of G-d; and
3. Therefore, Jesus is committing apostacy according to the teaching of the church.

One last example:
1. G-d wants His followers to obey His commands;
2. The church does not want its followers to obey the commands of G-d; and
3. Therefore, the church is not a follower of G-d.

Is Jesus a false prophet? It depends on what you think He teaches? If you believe that Jesus teaches the commands of G-d are not necessary, then you make him a false prophet. The Torah (instruction) of G-d is serious business.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Is Jesus A False Prophet?

Deuteronomy 13: 1-5 says: "When there arises in your midst a prophet, or a dreamer of a dream, and he has given unto you a sign or wonder, and the sign and the wonder has come which he has spoken of to you, saying, Let us go after other gods (which you have not known), and serve them, you do not obey the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of the dream, for YHWH your Elohim is trying you, to know whether you are loving YHWH your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your soul; after YHWH your Elohim walk, and Him you fear, and His commands you keep, and to His voice you obey, and Him you serve, and to Him you cleave. And that prophet, or that dreamer of the dream, is put to death, for he has spoken apostasy against YHWH your Elohim (who is bringing you out of the land of Egypt, and has ransomed you out of a house of servants), to drive you out of the way in which YHWH your Elohim has commanded you to walk, and you have put away the evil thing from your midst." Notice that it is called "apostasy" if the prophet does not speak of keeping the commanbds of YHWH.

Now considering that most of the modern church believes Jesus did away with the Torah, i.e. the commands of G-d, what does that say about Jesus? Matthew 5:17-18 says: "Do not suppose that I came to throw down the law or the prophets--I did not come to throw down, but to fulfil; for, verily I say to you, till that the heaven and the earth may pass away, one iota or one tittle may not pass away from the law, till that all may come to pass." (Young's Literal Translation) First, understand that "fulfil" does not mean to do away with; instead, it means to confirm or affirm its truth. Yeshua did not come to do away with the Torah; He came to affirm and correctly interpret the Torah. Consider the last verse. Has the earth passed away? Look around you. It has not. Since it has not, not even the smallest letter or decorative spur i.e. "yod") shall disappear.

This is serious. If the modern church maintains that Jesus has done away with the Torah requirements, then according to Deuteronomy, they are making him a false prophet. If Jesus is a false prophet, he is not sinless. To endorse a Torah denying Jesus, is to follow a savior who is not perfect and cannot be a sacrifice for sin. The entire theology of the church falls apart. However, if Yeshua is Torah observant and He does not teach others to disregard the commandments, He is the sinless Messiah of Israel and the entire world. How you view Jesus determines who he is, and what his role is. If Yeshua did not do away with the Torah, then who did? Who has the most to gain from YHWH's people rebelling against Him?

Note: In this article I have followed my pattern of referring to "Jesus" as a creation of the church and not divine. When I use "Yeshua" I refer to the set apart divine Messiah of Israel and the world.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Are You An Apostle?

Today we will look at Mark 6:7: "And Yeshua summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits...." You can't give what you don't possess. Yeshua was the master over unclean spirits and thus, was able through the spoken word to place the twelve over the spirits also. However, there is no Greek word for authority in the text. It is implied. What Yeshua actually does is place the twelve over the unclean spirits. This is good support for the belief that our enemy is beneath our feet. Yeshua teaches that He is over unclean spirits and so are those to whom He elevates. This is the point to grasp: Yeshua elevates the twelve. It is not some token designation. The twelve have actual power over the spirits because they have been placed above them.

The twelve are sent. The Greek word for "sent" is apostello and it means to order (one) to go to a place appointed. This is where we get the word "apostle." Today, people call themselves "apostles" as if that somehow makes them more important. If Elohim directs you to the grocery store to share the good news with someone, then you are an apostle. You have been sent to a specific place. There are many apostles today because many people are being sent by Elohim to specific places. Sometimes, we don't like where we are sent. That is not the issue; the issue is to go where you are sent.

Today, recognize that you are a candidate to be an apostle, i.e. you are a candidate to being sent somewhere. This does make you more special than one who is not sent today because they might be sent tomorrow. It is important that you don't send yourself. The apostle is one who is sent by someone else. We all need to approach each day with anticipation that Elohim might send us to a place today. Are you ready? More importantly, are you willing?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Did Yeshua Know?

Yeshua is amazed at the lack of faith He sees in His home town of Nazareth. Mark 6:6 reads: "And Yeshua marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching." The word "marveled" is the Greek word thaumazo and it means to wonder, marvel, or be struck with admiration or astonishment. It is in the imperfect tense. The imperfect tense is only used in the indicative mood (which describes a statement of fact) and refers to continuous or linear action in past time. Yeshua is describing a statement of fact, i.e. the lack of faith or trust in Him, that occurred in the past. It is absolutely true that the community of Nazareth did not believe in the words of Yeshua. He is astonished at this fact. To be astonished is to be filled with a sudden and an overpowering surprise or wonder. The reaction of the Nazarenes was new information to Yeshua. Their sudden rejection of Him was a surprise. The point is that Yeshua did not know the future choices that a person would make. Too often, we minimize Yeshua's humanity in an effort to deify Him. When we reduce His humanity we misunderstand who He really was. Yeshua was not aware of the specific future choices being made. This is very important because that fact should cause us to appreciate Him even more.

While we have previously read that Yeshua could read minds, today's verse makes clear that Yeshua's had the ability to be surprised. You really can't be surprised if you know what is going to happen before it does. This teaching inspires us to confront ourselves with the choices we make. We can't excuse our bad choices because they are, "All under the blood." There are consequences that have to be faced if we sin against God. Those consequences affect us now, in this world, in the life we live. There were people in Nazareth that did not receive a healing or deliverance because of a lack of faith (which is sin); they made the choice not to act in faith and received the consequence of not receiving. Too often, we are always thinking about heaven and the "sweet by and by." We need to focus on the reality of now.

Today, would Yeshua be surprised at your faith, or lack of faith? Would He be filled with amazement or surprise? Do you focus more on heaven rather than the needs that exist now? Begin to focus on the needs of others; begin to be the work of God on a desperately sick world. When you do, you will surprise and amaze Yeshua with your faith!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Following the Messiah

After seeing the unbelief in His hometown of Nazareth, Yeshua leaves for the surrounding villages. Mark 6:6 reads in part: "And Yeshua marveled because of their unbelief (their lack of action based on His teachings). And He went about among the surrounding villages and continued teaching." What exactly did Yeshua teach in the surrounding villages? Most likely, it was His consistent message, "Repent because the Kingdom of Elohim has come." Yeshua knew that for His followers to be a part of the Kingdom of Elohim, they would have to destroy their old way of living before the new path of God's ways could take effect. Just as the lack of faith had restricted Yeshua's ministry to heal, the failure to repent would prevent the coming of the Kingdom of Elohim into the lives of individuals. Yeshua is teaching the importance of our actions as revealing our true faith.

Yeshua is also teaching the importance of obeying the Torah of God. Exodus 20:8-11 reads: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it set apart. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is a sabbath unto Elohim thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days Elohim made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Elohim blessed the sabbath day, and set it apart." Yeshua remembered the Sabbath by evidence of His being at the synagogue and reading the Scriptures. We know that He read from the prophet Isaiah. While there is some uncertainty on first century customs, we do know that Jews would read from the Torah and the haftarah (this was readings from the Prophets and Writings). Yeshua's reading from Isaiah would have been for the haftarah. It is unclear whether Yeshua would have been reading from an assigned portion or whether He would have selected the passage Himself. The essential point is that on the Sabbath, He was meeting with God's people and reading the Scriptures.

Today, consider how closely are you following the teachings of Messiah? Do you bring His message of repentance, or do you tell a gospel that focuses on what God's benefit package is for signing up ? Where are you on the Sabbath? Will you be found in the Scriptures or at the mall? Do you remember the Sabbath day and keep it set apart to God?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hindering G-d

In Mark 6, Yeshua travels back to His home town of Nazareth. His hometown was very critical of Him. His neighbors could never accept the fact that He was the Messiah. The fact that a person from among their midst could really be Israel's Messiah was beyond their ability to comprehend. Notwithstanding some gnostic writings about Yeshua's childhood which detail the performance of miracles, it seems likely that His early life was unremarkable. There was nothing from His days in Nazareth that would have caused this small community to believe that Yeshua was the Messiah. This resulted in nonacceptance and unbelief concerning Him among the people of Nazareth. Mark 6: 2 reads: "And when the Sabbath had come, Yeshua began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were amazed, saying, "Where did this man get this type of wisdom? And what type of wisdom is this that is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands!" First, notice that it was the Sabbath, not Sun-day, that Yeshua went to teach. Yeshua was a Torah observant Jew and on the Sabbath, He would be found in the synagogue.

Second, notice that the unbelief on the part of the local community affected the ministry of Yeshua. Whereas the woman with the issue of blood and Jarius walked in faith which resulted in the occurrence of the miraculous, the unbelief of those in Nazareth hampered Yeshua's work there. Verse 5 reads: "Now Yeshua could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them." Unbelief and fear is a deterrent to the work of God in a community as well as individually. The teachings over the last several days clearly reveal that we can have a role in the results when we seek Yeshua's assistance. He wants us to know that role and that role is to act in faith. Yeshua was not as concerned with what they believed mentally as He was concerned with what they did as a result of that belief. To the Hebrew, it is all about faith as an action.

Today, if Yeshua visited you, what would He say about what you are doing? How would He describe your faith? Notice that it was considered a rejection of Him to act in fear. Verse 4 reads: But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house." Now fill in the blank: "Now Yeshua came to the house of ________________ (insert your name), and He found great _____________ (insert "faith" or "fear") and as a result He was able to do ____________ (insert "many" or "few") miracles there."

Monday, August 6, 2012

Faith or Fear

We will summarize Yeshua's teachings from the last several days. He comes back from the Gentile side of the Sea of Galilee. He is approached by a leader of the local synagogue to come and lay His hands upon his very sick daughter. Yeshua agrees to the request and begins the journey. A woman who has been ill for twelve years with a hemorrhage of blood comes from behind Yeshua and grabs His Jewish tallit by the tassel called a tzitzit and is instantly healed. Yeshua informs her that her faith has made her whole. As Yeshua and Jarius begin again to go to the daughter, they are informed that she has died. They don't expect Yeshua to come because to do so would make Him ritually unclean to touch the dead body. Yeshua turns to Jarius and commands him to keep the faith (which we have learned is a call to action). They arrive and remove the mourners and Yeshua touches the girl and commands healing and she is brought back to life. No doubt, the ones mocking and laughing at Yeshua probably became very silent at the display of His authority over death.

What are the lessons that Yeshua teaches through these events? First, Yeshua will respond to our requests. Second, sometimes events don't happen as fast as we desire. I'm sure Jarius didn't want Yeshua to stop and talk to the woman since that caused a delay in the journey to his daughter. Third, sometimes things get worse after we call on Yeshua to help us. The daughter died after the request by Jarius for help. Fourth, our individual faith in action sometimes plays an important role in the outcome of our difficulties. Fifth, you can't operate in both faith and fear at the same time. You have to choose one or the other. While you have the free choice capability, the consequences of your choice are not yours to make. You can choose faith or fear, but the result of your choice is G-d's domain. If Jarius had sent Yeshua away after the news of the daughter's death, he would have had a funeral to plan. Since he continued to walk in faith, he had a celebration to attend. His faith; G-d's results. Finally, sometimes you can't tell it all. Mark 5: 43 reads: "But Yeshua commanded them strictly that no one should know about the healing, and said that something should be given her to eat." Sometimes we need to wait to share good news.

Today, examine whether your actions demonstrate faith or fear. It is your choice, but you can only choose one. You will live your life motivated by faith or fear. Which one do you think Yeshua wants you to have? Which one do you think the Satan wants you to operate in?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Standing Out: Rejecting "Christianity Lite"

We are continuing to look at Yeshua's healing of Jairus' daughter. On the way to her, Jarius and Yeshua are told that it is too late, the child has died. Yeshua commands Jarius to continue to believe. This means, that Yeshua is commanding him to continue to act in faith. Jarius does so and they arrive at his home. Mark 5:38-40 reads: "Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and cried loudly. When He came in, He said to them, 'Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.' And they mocked and ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying." The reason Yeshua puts the mourners outside is that they are not needed. During the first century, some people were paid mourners. They would come to where the dead were and they would cry for the lost one. Yeshua is telling everyone that there is no need to mourn, the child is only sleeping; however, they think the daughter is dead and this is why they mock Him. They think Yeshua is out of touch with reality. They can't see His authority yet.

Verse 41 reads: "Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, 'Talitha, cumi,' which is translated, 'Little girl, I say to you, arise.'" It would make someone ritually impure to touch a dead body. Yet, Yeshua touches her before He spoke the word of healing. Yeshua does not become unclean and the girl is healed. Yeshua is teaching that He has power over death and power over ritual uncleanness. Our culture does not understand the significance of this simple act. If someone was unclean, it had an affect on his involvement in the community. If Yeshua touched the girl and she did not live, the community would have labeled Him as unclean and He would not be able to participate in certain activities until the uncleanness was removed. Yeshua, by His actions, reveals to us His absolute trust in His authority over death. This was no surprise to Him; He was sure of the outcome. That is real faith with action.

Today, how certain are you of the truth of Yeshua's teachings? Are you willing to be mocked for following Him? Too often we settle for a "Christianity Lite." We want a little "God" in our lives but not enough to make us stand out. So how much Yeshua do you want in your life today?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Commanding Faith

We are continuing to look at Mark 5 and Yeshua's return to the Jewish side of the Sea of Galilee. Over the last two days, we have looked at the woman with an issue of blood and how her faith in action was the basis for her healing. Today, we look at Jairus' faith in action. When he first approaches Yeshua, he begs Yeshua to come to his home, lay hands on his very ill daughter, and heal her. After the healing of the woman with the issue of blood, someone comes from Jairus' home and informs him that his daughter has died. The Scriptures read: While Yeshua was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. "Your daughter is dead," they said. "Why bother the teacher any more?" Ignoring what they said, Yeshua told the synagogue ruler, "Don't be afraid; just believe." Yeshua is teaching that our beliefs (and remember in Hebrew, belief or faith is tied to action) have a direct correlation to our outcomes. Yeshua tell Jarius to continue to believe.

Yeshua's word to believe is in the present tense and imperative mood. The present tense represents a simple statement of fact or reality viewed as occurring in actual time. In most cases this corresponds directly with the English present tense. It implies on going continuous action. The imperative mood means that Yeshua is issuing a command to believe. This is very important. How can Yeshua command someone to believe? How can someone be made to have faith? If faith or belief is head knowledge or personal conviction, the answer is that you can't make someone have faith. However, if faith is connected with action, then you can command action. The point Yeshua is making is that you are to act in faith regardless of what your heart or head may be thinking. Jairus may have felt like all was lost, but he keep going with Yeshua.

Today, ask yourself, "Do I have faith?" No, this is not a call to work up some emotional personal conviction. This is a call to action. What does what you do reveal about what you believe? Be like Jarius and regardless of what things look like, keep walking in faith.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Jewishness of Yeshua

Yesterday, we looked at the woman with the issue of blood in Mark 5. Today, we are going to consider her actions in detail. She was in a state of ritual impurity because of her hemorrhage. This is most likely the reason she approached Yeshua from behind. Yeshua was wearing a tallit (a four cornered garment similar to a shawl) with fringes called tzitzit. The tzitzit had a thread of blue that represented the Law of G-d, i.e. the Torah. The purpose of the tzitzit was to remind G-d's people to obey His commandments. It was the most set apart, i.e. "holy" part of the tallit. It is this part of the tallit that the woman grabs. In normal circumstances, when something impure touches something pure, they both become defiled. In this case, the opposite occurred. When the impure touched the pure, both were pure. Yeshua is teaching us about the power of His touch. Healing virtue departed from Him and He remained set apart and pure. He cannot be defiled by the impure that come to Him.

Sometimes modern translations try to conceal Yeshua's Jewishness by describing Him as wearing a coat or garment. There is a real effort to turn the olive skinned Jewish rabbi into a blond haired blue eyed "Jesus." He is thoroughly Jewish in His practices, culture, and beliefs. He is wearing a tallit. He is reminded of G-d's commandments. He is obeying the law concerning the tallit as set forth in Numbers 15:37-41. This passage is part of the Shema that is spoken in the morning and in the evening before retiring to sleep. This is not a mere decoration; it is a real observance by Yeshua.

Today, what do you think about Yeshua's Jewishness? Do you ignore it, or do you embrace who He really is? I can tell you, you will never really know who Yeshua is until you find the Jewish Yeshua. And, when you do embrace His Jewishness, a whole new book of Scriptures will be opened to you!