Monthly Archives: November 2010

Consider Christ, Chanukah

Most Christians probably don’t think much about Chanukah having anything to do with Christ, although Jesus was, is and will be coming back as a Jew. On the other hand, Jews don’t think much about Chanukah having anything to do with Christ either, though Yeshua (Jesus) is in fact the promised Jewish Messiah. It is in Him that we must all “arise and shine” for His Light has come. Both conventional faith and cultural perspectives suffer from an exclusive either/or, this way or that way approach that hinders each others ability to have mutual understanding and edification. The fact that the historical Jesus is Jewish must be proclaimed for the greater good of both Christianity and Judaism. For Christianity to have a better understanding of its heritage and foundation and for Judaism to relate to and recognize the One Whom they have pierced as Messiah.

John 1:9  The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

Jesus is the promised Messiah who brings redemption, restoration and salvation to Israel and all the nations. He is the Light of the World and the Lamp that gives light to all of mankind.

Daniel 12:3  And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Chanukah is the Jewish Festival of Light. Chanukah means dedication and it celebrates God’s gift of miracles, freedom and provision.

Outside of the Book of Maccabees’, the Gospel of John is the earliest Jewish documentation of Chanukah. It is in John that we find Jesus at the Temple during Chanukah, which is fitting considering Chanukah is the Feast of Dedication when the Temple was rededicated back to God. It is during this time that some of the Jews ask Jesus plainly if he was the Christ and he said “that he had already told them but they didn’t believe”. It was also during this time that those certain Jews wanted to kill him because he stated that “he and the Father were One”.

John 10:22-30  22At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

May His Light shine ever brighter in your life and the darkness of this world!

P.S. Chanukah starts this year on the evening of Dec 1 and lasts eight days.

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Rejection

These are my sermon notes from today’s message given by Rabbi Marty Waldman at Baruch HaShem Messianic Synagogue www.baruchhashem.com. Rabbi Marty is starting a mini-series on some of the parallel circumstances between the life of Joseph and the life of Yeshua.

There are numerous parallels between the life of Joseph and Yeshua. The first discussed in this series is: Rejection – They we’re both beloved by their father but suffered rejection by their brothers. This rejection had physical, emotional and spiritual ramifications for all involved.

 The grace of God was made manifest in the life of Joseph by his ability to see past his immediate circumstances.

Primary Text: Genesis 37, 39-40  There were some interesting points brought up about this text: 1. The bad report at the beginning of c37 that Joseph brought to his father Jacob were only about the brothers from the son’s of Bilah and Zilpah. Later in the chapter Leah’s firstborn Reuben had talked his other brothers out of killing Joseph and Leah’s other son Judah agreed that they shouldn’t shed his blood (at least not themselves). Joseph’s only full brother through Rachel, Benjamin wasn’t old enough to be out of his father’s house with the other brothers. 2. Some historians believe that the type of coat (could be interpreted multi-colored or long-sleeved) that Jacob gave to Joseph signified a future tribal leadership and there is evidence of such in other ancient history.

Like Joseph, Yeshua had this ability to see past his immediate circumstances:

Hebrews 12:2  looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Like Joseph, David had written about this ability as well:

Psalm 23:4  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

When we walk through the valley (in faith) there is something (God’s grace) in which we see beyond the valley of darkness that offers hope (Yeshua).

There is a theme of Rejection through-out the Scriptures with God unfortunately being the chief One rejected:

1 Samuel 10:19  But today you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses, and you have said to him, ‘Set a king over us.’ Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes and by your thousands.”

Psalm 118:22  The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.

Acts 4:11  This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 

Acts 7:35  “This Moses, whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’–this man God sent as both ruler and redeemer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush.

Rejection is a devastating reality in this fallen world:

Proverbs 18:4  A man’s spirit will endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?

But there is an answer to this riddle:

Matthew 11:28-30  Come to me all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take upon my yoke and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

What is the key or mystery to this healing?

Isaiah 53:5  But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.

“Rejection is common but HaShem has called us to an uncommon response”

Hebrews 12:1-3  1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising  the shame, and  is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

May grace and shalom be multiplied upon you in the matchless name of Yeshua the Messiah!


Hands On Approach

These are my notes and reflection from the service today at Baruch HaShem Messianic Synagogue www.baruchhashem.com. Rabbi Marty Waldman gave the message today about Ordination-the laying on of hands. It was a special service and experience for myself in the fact that there was an actual ordination given during the service. The ordination was given to Raul Garcia who along with his wife Karen Faith have been faithful missionaries and instrumental in a satellite congregation of Baruch HaShem in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for the past year. Raul and Karen have a bit of an ironic story attached to them being missionaries and part of a congregational plant in Mexico. On the one hand, Raul’s last name is Garcia but in fact he is from the Philipines and doesn’t speak Spanish. On the other hand, Karen is a Jewish girl from Buffalo, NY who does speak Spanish. The congregation in Mexico is called Baruch HaShem Baja and has been steadily growing for the past year and is made up of at least 70 members and regular attenders who are composed of Jews and those from the nations. A couple of great examples of Jew and Gentile together in Messiah.

Ordination – The setting apart a person for a specific purpose in recognition of the calling, gifting and anointing of God in that person’s life.

S’mikhah is the Hebrew name and equivalent of Ordination.

Below are a couple of examples of ordination from the Torah in which we see ordination as a very Spiritual and Sanctifying matter:

Exodus 28:41 And you shall put them on Aaron your brother, and on his sons with him, and shall anoint them and ordain them and consecrate them, that they may serve me as priests.

Numbers 11:16-25 [16 ] Then the LORD said to Moses, “Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them, and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. [17 ] And I will come down and talk with you there. And I will take some of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not bear it yourself alone. [18 ] And say to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat, for you have wept in the hearing of the LORD, saying, “Who will give us meat to eat? For it was better for us in Egypt.” Therefore the LORD will give you meat, and you shall eat. [19 ] You shall not eat just one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, [20 ] but a whole month, until it comes out at your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have rejected the LORD who is among you and have wept before him, saying, “Why did we come out of Egypt?”’” [21 ] But Moses said, “The people among whom I am number six hundred thousand on foot, and you have said, ‘I will give them meat, that they may eat a whole month!’ [22 ] Shall flocks and herds be slaughtered for them, and be enough for them? Or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, and be enough for them?” [23 ] And the LORD said to Moses, “Is the LORD’s hand shortened? Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not.”
 [24 ] So Moses went out and told the people the words of the LORD. And he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tent. [25 ] Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. But they did not continue doing it.

Another Biblical principle established fairly early in Scripture involves order in the community. Ordination is a foundational imperative in this regard. We see this played out in the Scriptures above with the formation of the community of Israel and the Scriptures below addressing the needs of the Messianic communities of the 1st Century.

 Titus 1:5-9 [5 ] This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— [6 ] if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. [7 ] For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, [8 ] but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. [9 ] He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
 

1 Timothy 4:13-16 [13 ] Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.  [14 ] Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. [15 ] Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. [16 ] Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

2 Timothy 4:1-5 [4 :1] I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: [2 ] preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. [3 ] For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, [4 ] and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. [5 ] As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

“Forming communities of faith has always required ordination” Rabbi Marty

May grace and shalom be multiplied upon you in the matchless name of Yeshua the Messiah!