This morning I was reading from Luke chapter one. Gavri’el visited Miryam with the news that she was pregnant, and her cousin Elisheva was as well.
Miryam headed straight to Elisheva in the mountains of Yehudah. When she entered the home, Miryam made a brachah over Elisheva, and Yochanan danced in her womb.
This very familiar story sounds strange to our ears, doesn’t it? I was reading from the Delitzch Hebrew Gospels, a gift from my grandson.
I’ve been a Christian for 45 years. Every year in church, or small groups, or in my own study time, I read or listen to the nativity story. Can I tell you something? After 20 years the story got a little old. I mean, after a time you know it practically by heart and it doesn’t seem to say anything new, so you listen with half an ear. Sort of like the adults in the Charlie Brown cartoons. All you hear is, “Wah, wah, wah, wah.”
But reading it this morning with Hebrew names caused me to focus more on what was being said.
Recently, at our Passover Seder, as the elements were explained (seeming to point so clearly to Yeshua as Messiah) people kept asking, “Why don’t the Jews see?” or “How can they not see?”.
It’s something I used to ask myself until the scales covering my eyes of understanding fell away in regards to Israel and Torah. I understand why ‘they’ don’t see. Rabbi Saul of Tarsus (aka Paul in the Diaspora or St. Paul to some) tells us why in Romans:
For I do not want you, brothers and sisters, to be ignorant of this mystery—lest you be wise in your own eyes—that a partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;
The Jews do not see it in order to allow those of us who were not born Jewish to have access to the Creator and the world to come through the Jewish Messiah.
Now, with my reading this morning, I must ask, “Why don’t we see it?” See what? Read on.
Then Miryam said, “My soul lifts up HaShem, And my spirit rejoices in the God of my salvation, who has seen the humility of his handmaid. From now on, all generations will call me glad, for Shaddai has done great things for me, and his name is holy.
His kindness endures for all generations to those who fear him. He has done powerful things by his arm. He has scattered the proud in the purposes of their hearts. He has torn down nobles from their thrones and raised up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, but he has sent the rich away empty.
He has sustained his servant Yisra’el, remembering his compassions, as he spoke to our fathers, to Avraham and his offspring forever.”
Now, after reading that last line, “He has sustained his servant Yisra’el…as he spoke to our fathers…forever” I shook my head and wondered why we don’t see that God has sustained Israel as He promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel forever? Why don’t we see that God did not abandon his people Israel? You would think, after the rebirth of the State of Israel, that we would!
Why don’t we see that all of the followers of Yeshua were Jewish? That all 3,000 men who were at the Temple in Jerusalem on the day of Shavuot (Pentecost) were Jewish, following the Torah?
Why don’t we see that over and over Rabbi Saul of Tarsus – when on trial – defends himself against false accusations saying that he has never done anything against the Torah, the Temple, nor the fathers (oral traditions)?
Why don’t we understand Yeshua when he says to obey the Torah scholars and Pharisees, because they have the authority given to them by God through Moses? Why don’t we understand him when he says, “Do not think I came to abolish the Torah, but to fill it up”?
Seriously, let’s stop for a moment and think about this. When I fulfill my purpose in life (given by God) do I eliminate that purpose? Maybe. But when I follow the traffic laws, do I thus eliminate them for everyone else? So then, how can we think the fulfilling of the Torah (the instructions given by God for right living) is the elimination of those instructions?
So why don’t we see? The answer is the same as with the Jews. Because the fullness of the Gentiles must come in.
As we are nearing the end of this time, many of us from the nations are awakening to Torah, seeing the whole of God’s Word as making perfect sense. We see the Torah as God’s standard of right living. We are seeing Yeshua in a whole new light. Much like our teacher Paul, the scales are falling from our eyes as we see Yeshua for who he really is:
Yeshua is the Living Word.
He is the perfect Israelite living every jot and title of the Torah.
As we are nearing the end of the time of the Gentiles, many Jews are recognizing Yeshua as their Messiah. The scales of his Greekness are falling away and they are seeing him for who he really is:
Yeshua is the perfect Israelite living every jot and title of the Torah.
He is God’s Torah made flesh.