Thursday, October 27, 2016

Parashah Messiah: Let There Be Light (In a Dark World)

Haftarah Portion: Breisheet (Isaiah 42:5-43:10)
Gospel Portion: 2 Corinthians 4
Commentary by: Kelsey Bryant

In days of increasing darkness, followers of Yeshua can get discouraged by the lack of effectiveness their ministry seems to be having. Fewer people seem to be responding to the call of the Gospel, more seem to be falling away from the faith. When we see this, it’s easy to blame ourselves. Ironically, those who work the hardest for the Gospel are often the ones who berate themselves for not doing enough. And then they get burned out and withdraw from the struggle, asking, What’s the use?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Parashah Messiah: From Moses to the Prophets

Torah Portion: Vezot ha'Bracha (Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12)
Gospel Reading: Acts 3:17-26
Commentary by: Matthew Day

Several weeks back we read that the Lord would raise up a prophet like Moses from among the children of Israel. In this week's portion, we read that "there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land,  and for all the mighty power and all the great deeds of terror that Moses did in the sight of all Israel" (Deut. 34:10-12). When this text was written is debated among scholars, but we can be pretty sure that Moses didn't write it. Such would make not sense--of course, no prophet has risen up since Moses. Moses is still writing the Torah! More likely, this line was penned  much later, perhaps sometime during the kings of Israel. This would have it looking back on the myriads of prophets that had arisen since Moses, saying that none of them could even be compared to Moses in their relationship to God or the signs which they performed. Not yet, anyway. There was still the matter of the Prophet like Moses that was still yet to arrive.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Parashah Messiah: Listen

Torah Portion: Ha'azinu (Deuteronomy 32:1-52)
Gospel Portion: John 10
Commentary By: Brian Serrano  

Listening is not enough.

It’s not enough to just listen, you have to take it to heart and put action to it. When I ask my children to take out the trash I do not want them to just listen. I don’t want them to memorize what I said. I don’t want them reading books by other children about how to take out the trash, or what it would look like if the trash was taken out. I do not need them to have study groups with there friends about the 4 levels of meaning behind taking out the trash. I do not want them to tell me how to say take out the trash in Hebrew or Greek. None of that is what I want. I want them to take out the trash. To get off their rear, put down the ipad, and take the trash out. Listen to me, and show me that you listened to me by taking some action.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Parashah Messiah: Children of Promise

Torah Portion: Vayelech (Deuteronomy 31:1-31:30)
Gospel Reading: Romans 4, Galatians 3
Commentary by: Chris Knight

As we approach the end of the Torah cycle, we come to parshat “vayelech” in which we discuss the passing of the baton from Moses to Joshua. We read in Deuteronomy 31:1-8,
Then Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. And he said to them: ‘I am one hundred and twenty years old today. I can no longer go out and come in. Also the Lord has said to me, “You shall not cross over this Jordan.” The Lord your God Himself crosses over before you; He will destroy these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua himself crosses over before you, just as the Lord has said. And the Lord will do to them as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites and their land, when He destroyed them. The Lord will give them over to you, that you may do to them according to every commandment which I have commanded you. Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.’ Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, ‘Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.’ (Deuteronomy 31:1-8 NKJV)