Saturday, November 17, 2007

Looking Unto Yeshua

I wanted to get down a couple of recent thoughts before they fade from my memory. One of the things that has been bothering me quite a bit since we've begun exploring the Hebraic roots of our faith is the emphasis on things Jewish within the Messianic community. It's as though everything that is Jewish is wonderful and to be embraced whole-heartedly, while everything else is bad, is "pagan", and is to be cast aside. I have to admit that I find myself rebelling against this idealogy.

Yes, I am a believer in and follower of Yeshua the Messiah, who was born a Jew of the tribe of Judah. I am grafted into the olive tree of Israel, by faith in the Messiah, and so am a child of Abraham by faith, part of Israel. However, I am still a Gentile by natural birth. Yeshua prayed that we would all be one, even as He and the Father are one. So the Jewish believer in Messiah and the Gentile believer in Messiah are now ONE through faith in Yeshua our Messiah. In discussing this with a friend yesterday, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the husband-wife relationship, that Yeshua said that from the beginning, a man was to leave his father & mother, be united to his wife and the two of them would be one flesh. In a marriage, you have two separate, unique individuals who come together, embrace each other, and become a new ONE. Yet, each still retains their own individual uniqueness. I am the wife of my husband Tim; I am one with him in our marriage, yet I am still ME. I still have my own thoughts, feelings, talents, abilities, likes & dislikes, as does he. Somehow I think this is a picture of what God intended in making of Jew & Gentile ONE body. I think the Holy Spirit is showing me that it's okay if I don't embrace all of Jewish tradition and culture, that it's okay to still be distinctly Gentile, even though I am obedient to Torah. I haven't fully explored all that this means to my walk of faith, but will continue to pursue this line of thought and see how it is supposed to impact what I DO as a follower of Yeshua.

Another thought that came up in that same conversation with my friend was this: she was dealing with some struggles in calling herself Torah-obedient when she wasn't embracing all of the Jewish stuff, either. Like me, she's felt the pressure from others in the Messianic community for those who want to obey Torah to also embrace all things Jewish. In a flash, I saw it! We ARE Torah-obedient, only NOT in the way that these define it. Yeshua IS the Living Torah and we are obedient to Him. HE is our focus, not the written Torah, and certainly NOT the oral Torah (rabbinics).

And now it is time for me to close this up as we need to leave for Sabbath fellowship, where we are studying what it means to truly be a disciple of Yeshua. Perhaps I'll have more to share here tomorrow...

Shabbat Shalom!

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