In Heaven As It Is On Earth?

Recently, fellow Messianic (& prolific) blogger Derek Leman posted an article highlighting what is typically known as “The Lord’s Prayer.” He details a few issues surrounding this prayer (the differences between Matthew’s record and Luke’s, the connection of disciples with the prayers of their rabbi, use of liturgy, etc.), and also introduces us to Vine of David’s upcoming DHE (Delitzsch Hebrew-English) Gospel translation, which I was fortunate enough to be on the review team (I intend on posting more about this resource soon).

At the beginning of his post, however, he links to Roman & Alaina, a messianic music group who have created melodies for the Avinu (the “Our Father”) in both Hebrew (based on the DHE) and English. As I listened to the sample of the English version I heard the following:

Our Father, Who is in Heaven
May we sanctify Your Name
Your Kingdom come
As Your will be done
In Heaven as it is on earth

Unfortunately, we see a problem immediately. The last line takes poetic license, and reverses the phrase from “On earth as it is in Heaven,” to become, “In Heaven as it is on earth.” I am definitely one for poetic license, but not when it reverses the sense of the text. So, now, rather than the will of the Almighty coming in perfection from His throne in Shammayim (“Heaven”) and bringing Ha’aretz (“the Earth”) into its submission, this top-down approach put forth by Yeshua has been turned on its head. In this version we see the will of Heaven submitting to that of Earth.

I see where they may have tried to work around this by changing a few of the conjunctions, but overall it has the same end result: the will of (perfect) Heaven being transformed into the image of what is done on (imperfect) Earth.

This goes against the entire mission and teaching of our Master. I would encourage Roman & Alaina to consider re-working the English version, even though they have probably sold many copies of their CD already, in order to maintain the integrity of the teachings of our Master

Taking the Jewish Jesus to Church

Last night I had a wonderful opportunity to speak to a church in Little Rock. It’s a new home-style church, filled with a young, diverse, and forward-thinkingĀ individuals and families bent on making a difference in central Arkansas. The pastor is a friend and former employee of mine who has been around me long enough to know that understanding the Jewish Jesus is not just a hobby of mine, but a passion.

About a month ago, they started a three-month study on Jesus. They began the first week looking at the incarnation. The second week they discussed the social and political climate around the first century, setting the stage for the coming of Jesus. The third week they looked at God’s interaction with man throughout the Hebrew Scriptures (the Garden, Abraham, Sinai, etc.). They asked me to speak on week #4 regarding the Jewishness of Jesus, and how that should affect the life of every Believer. I think it took me 0.02 seconds to agree. :-)

So… last night was the big night and I thoroughly enjoyed it. They gave me total freedom and I held no punches. There was good interaction and there seemed to be positive response. In a nutshell this is what I shared:

Introduction

When asked who Jesus was, people mostly speak in terms of his divinity. However, this misses the mark completely to be able to look at his earthly mission, and blinds us as to our relationship of discipleship with our rabbi.

His Heritage

I spoke of his Jewish genealogy and his parents’ Torah observance as evidenced through the Gospels. I also brought up his speaking Hebrew (and Aramaic & possibly Greek) to illustrate why we often miss his Hebraic message when it is disguised in Greek.

His Name

I related how his original Hebrew name (& Aramaic counterpart) actually had meaning (unlike the transliterated “Jesus”) and pointed to his mission.

His Education

I spoke about how the Gospels really don’t give us much information as to his education, but yet it does give us a clue. When Jesus was in discussion with the sages at the ripe old age of 12, we can know within a reasonable amount of certainty that his educational path was somewhat similar to that laid down in the Mishnah (Avot 5:25) for Jewish boys. I emphasized that his Bible was the Tanach, and that his worldview was through the lens of Torah.

His Worship

I emphasized that his life was a life of prayer and study, and it included spending Sabbaths in the synagogues and the Holy Days in the Temple. His worship included obedience to the Torah, and it was evident in every area of his life, including the way he dressed.

His Message

I focused on his Kingdom message (and breaking it down) and why it was so important for us to understand this as believers. I also spoke on how he was constantly upholding the Torah, pointing people back to the Torah, properly interpreting Torah and returning the foundation of the commandments to love.

Summary

My summary statement was as follows:

Jesus was not a token Jew, or a Jew by default. He was THE Jew who loved the Torah of his Father and lived it out perfectly through the power of the Holy Spirit (rather than his divinity), modeling a life of righteous for his people.

Thanks, Eikon, for the opportunity.

Brief note on Session 1

I wanted to post a brief note on Session 1 from this morning (Shavuot Conference 09) in which Aaron Eby did an excellent job at making a definitive disconnect between the Jewish “rejection” of Yeshua and the destruction of the Temple. He did an excellent job in showing that the destruction of the Temple was not due to the rejection of the theological assent to Yeshua as Messiah, but the rejection of Yeshua’s central message of teshuva /repentance and acceptance of the Kingdom as the authority over one’s every day life. His mission was to call people to repentance, returning them to the Torah of Moses which defines proper conduct. He (Eby) stressed time and again that Yeshua’s message was, “Kindness takes precedence over Temple service. Without kindness, there will be no service,” saying that his message actually revolved around his love for his Father’s House (the Temple), with the ultimate message being that we will only see redemption when we personally carry out the teachings of our Master (Yeshua) in our lives. Great stuff…!