Sunday, April 14, 2013

Associating with the Assimilated

Associating with the Assimilated

Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr

And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance… The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children… Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.  For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.  – Matt. 9:9-13, 11:19, 21:31-32

Did our Rebbe worry about custom, tradition or even Torah obedience when ministering to others? No. He wasn’t worried about it. He knew that through love and acceptance (which there is different between accepting the person and accepting their lifestyle) that the compliance to Torah and a close walk with The Messiah would eventually come. So why have many of us been guilty of harassing new comers and potential Natsarim about kippahs, kashrut, beards and tzitzit? Our goal should not be to change another or try and do the work of the Ruach HaKodesh for Him. Rather, our goal should be to love, accept, educate, instruct and allow the person to come to certain conclusions and change all on their own. The most successful education that sticks is when you come to realizations and conclusions all on your own. Yeshua never went around publishing His Messiahship, He wanted people to come to that conclusion all on their own.

He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. – Matt. 16:15-17