“What did Jesus teach about the Torah?” – have you read this thing?
Messianic pilgrim-wanderer James Pyles has spent the last couple months digging deep into the question: “Since Yeshua commanded his disciples to ‘Go into all nations, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you’”, what does that mean for gentile followers of Yeshua?
After all, gentiles previously had no relationship to God, Israel, or the Scriptures, let alone the Torah subset. Figuring out what Yeshua meant here is huge.
James has been very fair in his study. He has not made assumptions favoring either One Law or Bilateral Ecclesiology persuasions, rather, he’s kept his nose to the Scriptures. If you don’t believe me, read the comments on his blog, you’ll find UMJC-sympathizing folks like Lasko and Shlomovich concur: James has been fair and kept to the Scriptures, with very little editorializing.
Today, James has posted 7 conclusions he’s drawn from the study so far. These conclusions stick very closely to the text. And because of that, they are very difficult to argue with. I think these might be another set of things One Law and Bilateral Ecclesiology people can agree on.
- The Jewish disciples are responsible to teach the Gentile disciples of Yeshua everything Yeshua had taught them. (Matthew 28:19-20)
- Yeshua didn't eliminate the Torah but rather, he came as the living embodiment of Torah, to show us that it is possible for a human being to obey God. The Torah is here to stay. (Matthew 5:17-20)
- Anyone who breaks a single commandment of the Torah or teaches others to break the commandments will be called "least in the Kingdom of Heaven". Be careful if you tell someone that they don't have to obey a commandment. (Matthew 5:17-20)
- If you came to faith in Yeshua as a Jew, stay a Jew. If you came to faith in Yeshua as a Gentile, stay a Gentile. Obeying the commandments is what counts. (1 Corinthians 7:17-20, this is Paul’s “rule in all the churches”)
- If you, as a Gentile, convert to Judaism in order to seek justification by the Torah rather than by faith, the Messiah will be of no value to you at all. Faith expressed through love is what counts. (Galatians 5:2-6)
- The two greatest commandments, loving God with everything you've got, and loving your neighbor as yourself, exist as two big buckets which contain the sum of the Torah and the Prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40)
- Keep all of the law. Don't subdivide it into what you do in the Temple and what you do for human beings, disregarding one and clinging to the other. However, of the two sides of the coin, doing justice, mercy, and faithfulness is more important. (Matthew 23:23-24)
What do you fine blog readers think – granted some nuances in interpretation, can One Law Messianics and Bilateral Ecclesiology Messianics agree on these 7 conclusions?
(Have a good shabbat!)