Thursday, June 30, 2016

Parashah Messiah: Edge of the Promise

Torah Portion: Shelach (Numbers 13:1-15:41)
Gospel Reading: Hebrews 3:7-4:16
Commentary by: Matthew Day

Sometimes the Gospel message gets a little distorted from the original message. Sometimes instead of a full cob of corn, we're given cornflakes. Such is the case when faith gets confused with mere belief. How is it that such a critical point of our walk can become so muddled? Between mainstream Christianity and the Messianic movement you can find opinions ranging from "just believe these essential doctrines and go to heaven" to "faith = works or faith = obedience" to "you have to believe enough for faith to work" to "faith is something God does for you." What is faith really about?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Parashah Messiah: Perspectives of Power

Torah Portion: Beha'alotcha (Numbers 8:1-12:15)
Gospel Reading: Philippians 2:6-11; Luke 9:46-50
Commentary by: Chris Mumford
Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:6-11) 
An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest. But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and stood him by His side, and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great.” John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow along with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you.” (Luke 9:46-50)
Let's talk about power.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Parashah Messiah: Exposing the Darkness

Torah Portion: Nasso (Numbers 4:21-7:89)
Gospel Reading: 1 John 1:5-9; John 8:2-12
Commentary by: Chris Knight

This week we read about laws regarding restitution, the woman suspected of adultery, nazarite vows, and uncleanness outside the camp. I want to focus in on the passage regarding adultery and God’s attitude toward the exposure of sin. When we read this passage of Numbers, we see that it is concerning a wife suspected of adultery, who has decided to cover up her sins. No witnesses, no proof, no evidence. God gives the prescription; a most embarrassing ceremony that will bring the truth to light whether for good or bad. Too often this is our tendency as humans. Sin is almost always accompanied with guilt, fear, and embarrassment; so why not hide it? Why not cover up the most embarrassing part of ourselves? After all, what believer who professes a life in service to Christ would want their sins against their own savior to be known by their peers?

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Parashah Messiah: The Army of God

Torah Portion: Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1-4:20)
Gospel Reading: Ephesians 6:10-18
Commentary by: Kelsey Bryant

Israel had been free from Egypt for a whole year. No longer could they fear being enslaved by their former oppressors – Yahweh had kept them safe in the wilderness this entire time. They hadn’t been without their struggles, but here they were, advancing nearer and nearer to the Promised Land. After setting up civil and religious establishments, they were ready for the next stage of organization.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Parashah Messiah: Faithful God

Torah Portion: Bechukotai (Lev. 26:2-27:34)
Gospel Reading: Romans 11
Commentary by: Matthew Day

On a surface level, the blessings and curses of Leviticus are about reward and punishment. You do good, and you get rewarded. But if you do evil, you get punishment. It seems fair and runs in line with human intuition. Indeed, this is why so many believe in a sort of works based salvation. However, if we dig a little deeper, we'll find that there is a message beneath the surface--one which moves beyond fairness and justice toward mercy; a message which brings a hope that defies all common sense: God will never reject His people.