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Saturday, January 7, 2017

1-7-2017 Grafting Midrash

          Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, 
I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, 
and thus save some of them. For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, 
what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?      Romans 11:13-15

Lord, you have placed us in a waiting line, a line for a great event, a tour of the tunnels beneath the foundation of the Temple Mount. I’m anxious to enter in and absorb the incredible history of this place, but You first have some instruction to give me right here and now.

As seems to happen a lot to me, a conversation has begun with one of the Archeological Assistants who steward the project. Assistant is an inadequate word for these scholars; for that matter Archeology is not the limit of their learning. This man in particular, is on fire for the Hebraic intricacies of Scripture and shares my passion for prophecy.

I have thrown out a bit of my limited (kitsat) Hebrew as we talk and he says he appreciates my effort. I compliment him on his wonderful English skills. He has metaphorically walked my way, much more than I have walked his...but we are both walking. Then he says something that sends the discussion in the direction You prefer.

“If you American Christians would study the Hebrew roots of the Old Testament, you would be amazed at how it will change your perspective.”

Master, I almost laughed, but held back. I didn’t want to sound arrogant in my reply – this man doesn’t know me very well…nor does he know the study and intensive interest I and my family share in pursuing exactly what he just suggested. Perhaps in this metaphorical instance, I have walked his way more than he has walked mine? I decide to test that with a question.

“That’s a good point, perhaps you could help me better understand the words in Isaiah 53.”
I seem to have drawn his attention in a new way by these words. I can tell by the expression on his face that he is surprised by my reference. He knows it and I can see him trying to think through a response. He offers that the Jews see that passage tells about the nation of Israel being the suffering servant. You and I, Lord Jesus have a different opinion I believe.

The debate I might have just sparked could go on for many hours, but we don’t have that time. I can tell that this man has a true heart to seek You, Lord and our short time of friendship seems genuine. I offer an olive branch to him.

“I’d really like to midrash (System of in-depth study and dialogue of the Scriptures) with you about this by email.”

The look he gives me now is even more quizzical than his reaction to my first statement. His next words explain his expression. “You just used that word as a verb.”

Yes I had, Lord. I confess it. I know it’s a noun, but I’ve been taught that the Hebrew language is all verb-based. Study and discussion to me are actions, not institutions. Speaking of action, I’m praying now that I’ve not offended my new friend somehow. The smile that appears on his face tells me we are still on solid ground together, but his next words shock me.

“Can I use that?”

Use what? I think to myself. The word? Its transliteration into a verb? I’m a bit confused – after all, it’s his language, it’s his word! “Sure you can,” I offer back to him – why not? I ask myself…and You.

We briefly discuss the fascinating concept of Jewish evangelism, but then it's time for me and our group to move on. I hand this great man my card and encourage him to contact me. I truly hope and pray it will happen, Lord. I believe we both can learn from one another. I believe You have put purpose in our meeting, whether to continue midrash or just to graft our roots a little closer together, that we can hear Your will as one: That You, Lord will become more Spiritually and Scripturally revealed to both of us and to all of us.

Let Midrash begin, to Your Glory!

Mark C.

1 comment:

  1. Thanking God for your insight an His....and in the encouragement to continue to "study" I love the insight you shared of ..." the Hebrew language is all verb-based. Study and discussion to me are actions, not institutions." to that I can only stand with you unanimous in that! and can only say...Amen!
    Rock and Roll Brother! Jesus is the Rock...and we Roll!