Thursday, October 8, 2015

Parashah Messiah: The Word

Torah Portion: B'reisheet (Gen. 1:1-6:8)
Gospel Reading: John 1:1-18
Commentary by: Matthew Day

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" -- These are the opening words of the Gospel of John, the declaration of what his testimony is about. John mimics the opening words of Genesis, but he digs deeper. Whereas Genesis speaks of the creation, John speaks of the life and light behind the creation.

As humans, we have a tendency to get caught up in the superficial. We admire appearance instead of character. We worship creation instead of the Creator. We strain gnats according to the letter of the law instead of drawing near to the heart of the Lawgiver. When Messiah gives His sermon on the mount, He draws our attention back to the heart of the matter, because that's who He is. He is the Voice behind creation, the King from whom the Torah goes forth. He is the Word made flesh revealing the Father's heart, the living proof of our Father's love.

In Mark 12:36-37, Messiah puts to the scribes a riddle: How can David call the One who comes after him Lord? Is it not the father, the one who comes before, who is greater? Yet, the Psalms present a paradox. The son of David is the Lord of David. The one born under the Law is the Lawgiver. The Servant who suffers death at the hands of men is our very source of life. The one who comes clothed in human frailty is the very Word of God.

This concept is one of the reasons I decided to start this series. Too often have I seen in Hebrew Roots circles Yeshua relegated to the back seat. All of the focus is placed on the Torah--this is seen in the way we follow the Torah Portions religiously, but peek into the Gospels only on occasion. We think that because the Torah comes first, it must be the foundation, and we treat Yeshua as if He were merely the icing on the cake. We crave after knowledge of good and evil, rather than seeking the source of Life. This is all backwards. I ask, when we come together is it to hear dead words on a page (2 Cor. 3) or to hear the Living Word of God?

My desire with this series is not to denigrate Torah, but to elevate Yeshua back to His rightful place in our lives. If the commandment is glorious, how much more Messiah? If the words of Torah bring life, how much more the person of Yeshua? If we place so much focus and attention on the words of Moses, how much more the life of our Redeemer? If we receive the law from Moses, how much more grace and truth from Jesus Christ? The law is the shadow; Yeshua is the Light.

And this is the Gospel:
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.... He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God....  
No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. -- [John 1:4-5, 11-13, 18 NKJV]

2 comments:

  1. Wonderful! Thank you. I too have been part of groups who spend what feels like an unbalanced amount of time studying Torah. Eagerly looking forward to each new post.

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    1. I'm glad to hear there are others with this same heart. My hope is that this will serve as one small part of redirecting our movement back to the focus of Messiah and the Gospel. Thanks for being a part of this.

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