Thursday, December 29, 2016

Parashah Messiah: Wisdom of the King

Haftarah Reading: Mikketz (1 Kings 3:15-4:1)
Gospel Reading: John 18:36; 19:19
Commentary By: Daniel Clayton
 
To give the context of the Torah portion in a nutshell, this is when Josef is brought out of prison to interpret Pharaoh’s dream and is then put into a position of power because of the obvious wisdom and divine guidance inside of him.

Moving to our Haftarah, Solomon is now the reigning king, and has been given wisdom above any other leader that was alive. Two women give birth one night, and one of them accidentally kills hers in the middle of the night by rolling over the top of it. They come to Solomon and fight over whose baby is the one still living and whose is the one now dead. In response, Solomon says,
“Bring me a sword.” They brought a sword to the king. The king said, “Cut the living child in two; give half to the one and half to the other.” At this, the woman to whom the living child belonged addressed the king, because she felt so strongly toward her son: “Oh, my lord, give her the living child; you mustn’t kill it!” But the other one said, “it will be neither yours nor mine. Divide it up!” Then the king answered, “Give the living child to the first woman. Don’t kill it, because she is its mother.” All Israel heard of the decision the king had made and held the king in awe, for they saw that God’s wisdom was in him, enabling him to render justice properly.” (1 Kings 3: 24-28)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Parashah Messiah: Fool's Gold

Haftarah Portion: VaYeshev (Amos 2:6-3:8)
Gospel Portion: Luke 6:20-26
Commentary by: Kelsey Bryant

It may be a good thing we don’t get everything we want in this life.

The wealthy, complacent Israelites that Amos was sent to thought they had it all—including the right to oppress the poor, worship other gods in addition to Yahweh, and control His prophets. They were privileged, enjoying all this life had to offer. Nothing was there to vex them, until the God they ignored spoke to them through Amos.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Parashah Messiah: Intervene

Haftorah Portion: Vayishlach (Hosea 11:7-12:12, Obadiah 1:1-21)
Gospel Portion: Matthew 25:35-40
Commentary by: Brian Serrano

Human to human interaction is at an all time low. We live in a society now where individuals will have thousands of Facebook friends or Instagram followers but then commit suicide because they are depressed and lonely. Our society has far more screen time than they do face to face time. So with interaction at an all time low, people positively intervening in someone else’s life in a rarity.  This is a sad state of being, because we need each other.

Let me be clear, I do not mean meddling or trying to manipulate or control someone, I mean intervening when we see a real need.   In his 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language Daniel Webster says it this way:

Intervene
1. To come or be between persons or things; to be situated between.
2. To come between points or time or events;
3. To happen in a way to disturb, cross or interrupt.
4. To interpose or undertake voluntarily for another.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Parashah Messiah: The Sting of Death and The Source of Life

Haftarah Portion: Vayetze (Hosea 12:12-14:10)
Gospel Reading: 1 Corinthians 15
Commentary by: Matthew Day

“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55 ESV)
Most of you probably recognize this verse from Paul's letters. It's part of Paul's larger argument for the Resurrection (on which all our hope rests). It comes across as a poetic taunt against death as it is defeated through the work of Yeshua.

Curiously, though the question sounds rhetorical, Paul actually supplies an answer to it in the next verse: "The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law." Where is this from? Let's go back to Hosea, the original context for this jab at death's lack of power over Yeshua.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Parashah Messiah: The Honor of a King

Haftarah Portion: Toldot (Malachi 1:1-2:7)
Gospel Portion: Colossians 3:23-24, Mark 12:41-44
Commentary By: Chris Knight
‘A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am the Father, where is My honor? And if I am a Master, where is My reverence? Says the Lord of hosts to you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’ You offer defiled food on My altar, but say, ‘In what way have we defiled You?’ By saying, ‘The table of the Lord is contemptible.’ And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?’ Says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 1:6-8 (NKJV)
In this passage of Malachi, we see a strong rebuke from God: where is the honor that belongs to God?! At this time in Israel’s history, the people were not treating the temple service with the reverence and honor that it was due. As we see from the passage, they were offering the lame, sick, blind, and defiled of their flock rather than the first and best of what they had. The people were keeping the finest of their herds to themselves, while offering God the leftovers. God then compares Himself to a master, a father, and a governor. He reminds us that this kind of treatment isn’t honorable or acceptable for our local authorities. So why would this be acceptable to Him?