Wednesday, 6 February 2019
I subscribe to an app that provides a "Verse of the Day." Sometimes it provides inspiration, like today. The verse is Matthew 11:15 "He who has ears, let him hear!"
SHEMA!!! Who doesn't know that Hebrew word? Every Jewish person prays that "the Shema" will be the last prayer on his/her lips this side of eternity. Yeshua, Himself, called it the greatest commandment. And yet, with all of this emphasis, most people mistranslate or worse, completely misunderstand the intent and meaning of the prayer. It is not about hearing in your ears!
Deuteronomy 6:4 "Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one."
Is the greatest commandment to hear? Not at all. The commandment is to take heed, and there is a big difference. Biblically speaking (and in much of the rest of the real world) there is no benefit to passive hearing. Our senses are designed to protect and inform us. If we receive stimulus from our senses but have no appropriate response, then we might say our senses are dulled. We might even be dead.
To take heed is to hear and respond appropriately. And what do we hear? We hear that God is one. What is the proper response? First, consider it good news that we arenot commanded to follow "two." Technically, that is impossible because ayn shayni (there is no number 2.) Ask any spy. You can't follow two, you can only follow one.
Secondly, follow the right "One," the One true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This is the name by which He calls Himself.
Lastly, know that "following" Him means obeying His commandments. Yeshua said this in many ways - for example, John 14:15 "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." Let's give Yeshua the last word today.
Matthew 16:24-25 "Then Yeshua said to His disciples, 'If anyone wants to follow after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to
save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.'"
Rabbi Michael Weiner,