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Voice of the Lord
Devotional: 27th of Iyar
When Ach'av saw Eliyahu, Ach'av said to him, "Is it really you, you troubler of Isra'el?" He answered, "I haven't troubled Isra'el, you have" (1 Kings 18:17-18).
The Talmud (Baba Batra 23b) describes a discussion in a yeshivah (rabbinical school) that concerned property law. If a bird falls within fifty cubits (about seventy meters) of a person's property, it belongs to the property owner; if outside that range, it belongs to whoever finds it. At this point, Rabbi Jeremiah chimes in, "If one foot is within fifty cubits and the other beyond, how do we decide?" The next line says (no kidding), "It was for [asking] this [question] that they turned Rabbi Jeremiah out of the Beth Hamidrash [yeshivah]."
I empathize with Rabbi Jeremiah. Messianic Judaism is questioning one of the cornerstones of Western civilization: the dichotomy between Judaism and Christianity. There is not one God for the Jews and another for the nations. Messianic Judaism strikes at the heart of the false notion that God has replaced the Jewish people (see Romans 11:11-24), which has been the foundational thinking in much anti-Semitic theology. We Messianic Jews ask our people, "Why can't Yeshua of Nazareth be the Messiah for the Jews?" To the Church world, we ask, "How can adherence to the New Testament, which clearly directs Jewish believers not to abandon their Jewishness (Acts 21:18-25), necessitate a departure from Judaism?"
For asking such questions, one may be tossed outside, but when one brushes the dust off and looks up, one finds oneself in wondrous company.
...seek the Lord for courage to ask good questions, and I will pray for courage to respond to the answers as one hungry to be ruled by truth.
The Voice of the Lord, Copyright © 1998 by the Lewis and Harriet Lederer Foundation, Inc. Published by Messianic Jewish Publishers, Distributed by Messianic Jewish Resources, www.messianicjewish.net. All rights reserved. Used by permission. No part of this article may be reproduced in print or on the web, or transmitted in any form, without the written permission of the publisher.
the Sixth Week after Easter