Love and Obedience
Yeshua spoke these words to His disciples. ‘If you love Me you’ll obey me’ (John 14 v 15). Of course this can be a difficult teaching to hear in today’s world, but it is one that if truly embraced, has the power to bring transformation and newness of life. Yeshua taught that the greatest commandment is ‘To love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind’ and that the second is like it, ‘to love your neighbour as yourself’ (Matthew 22 v 37 – 39). So it is evident therefore, that my love for God is shown through obedience to His ways and through loving and serving others above myself. If this is a true definition, we may conclude that inasmuch as my love for God transforms my inner being and brings me into repentance and obedience, it must also have the power to transform society.
So what is a healthy society built upon? We know from scripture that God has, from the very beginning, established family as a foundation upon which society and the local congregation is to be built. It is no wonder then, that the enemy would so fiercely try to destroy the institution of the family. Satan clearly recognizes how fundamental healthy families are to the health and prosperity of society and is intent on undermining and destroying that which God has instituted.
Hopes of the World?
This article is titled ‘Hopes of the World’. But why ‘hopes’ plural and not just ‘hope’ singular? All of us who have faith in Yeshua can agree that in regard to salvation, there is only one hope of the world. So what are we talking about when we say ‘hope’s’ plural? Yeshua says of himself in John chapter 14, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life and no-one comes to the Father except through me’. He also, speaking of himself in John chapter 8, says ‘I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of Life’. Of course we fully agree with these passages which highlight the singular source of life, light and truth, so let there not be any misunderstanding as to the purpose or intent of this message.
In John chapter 9, Yeshua makes this statement, ‘While I am in the world, I am the light of the world’. In this we see that Yeshua is alluding to a time in the future when he may not be in the world, thus setting the stage for the local congregation to be His body in action on the earth. In this we also see the connection to Matthew 5 verse 13 and 14, in which Yeshua declares, ‘You (believers) are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?’, and again when he states, ‘You (believers) are the light of the world, a city on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl, instead they put it on a stand and it gives light to everyone in the house’. We can now begin to see that we too, as His congregation are a light and hope of the world. One might say that this is the truest job description one could give to the body of Messiah on earth.
Israel and the Nations
We know that at first, Israel was chosen out of all the nations to be a ‘light’ to the nations. They were chosen to be the delivery system by which the Light and Salvation of God might spread to every other people group on earth. For us today, as believers in Yeshua, we carry with us this light and salt which has the power to illuminate the darkness in people’s lives and bring the message of salvation to all. However, it must be embraced that in order for light to overcome darkness, it must enter into that darkness. We see this exampled in that Yeshua left the perfect light of Heaven and chose to enter into our human blindness and brokenness. This is our calling as His body. We are called to enter into humanity’s darkness, brokenness and alienation, bringing with us the light and salt of the gospel which can powerfully provide both illumination and wholeness to all humanity. Our job description as the body of Messiah is to act as the delivery system for the salvation message of Yeshua, to be the extension of His Light to all those that are still in the darkness, and to be the salt which brings healing and flavour to all those who are broken and bitter.
So what is the role of the Jewish believer in all of this? It becomes very clear that, together with the Gentiles, the Jewish believers have a unique role to play in world revival. If as a nation, Israel were to come to faith in Yeshua, it would no doubt become a key component in revival spreading throughout the whole world. Paul speaks of this in his letter to the Romans when he writes, “For if their rejection meant reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead”? So we see that an Israel that has accepted Yeshua is also also a hope of the world.