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Three Trips to Jerusalem

30 Dec
Jesus at 12

from Google Imaages

Luke records three trips to Jerusalem made by Mary and Joseph in the second chapter of his Gospel. During the first trip, Jesus was born and presented before the Lord, being the first male child of Mary who opened her womb. While Mary and Joseph were in the Temple performing the duties of the Law, they marveled at the words of prophecy spoken by Simeon and Anna. Jesus’ parents learned about their Son, while they obeyed the commands of the Law.

The second trip recorded by Luke was one Mary and Joseph had taken annually in order to keep the holy Passover season. This particular year, cir. 10 CE, They brought Jesus along to celebrate Passover at Jerusalem, which may imply that previously he may have been left with the extended family or close friends in Nazareth. Jesus was in his twelfth year. When they fulfilled the days of the Passover festival at Jerusalem according to the Law, they left with a large company of pilgrims to return home to Nazareth. Traveling with such a company would lend protection to each individual family as well as provide entertainment as different families shared their experiences during the Holy Day festival. Assuming Jesus was with friends or relatives traveling with them, Joseph and Mary didn’t miss Jesus right away. Nevertheless, Jesus “tarried at Jerusalem.” After a night without him, Mary and Joseph discovered that Jesus was not with the party of pilgrims, and they returned to Jerusalem for the third time in chapter two of Luke. It was during this third trip to Jerusalem, that they searched sorrowing for three days, before they found Jesus in the Temple. For their first two trips to Jerusalem, Joseph and Mary came to serve the demands of the Law, which was their schoolmaster to bring them to Jesus (Galatians 3:24). However, their third journey was not to serve the Law, but to seek Jesus. They found him about his Father’s business.

When I was a young man, I was involved in a very legalistic church. Nevertheless, I thank God for the time that I spent in that environment, because now I realize that God meant it for good. I learned a great deal about the Law and how celebrating the Old Covenant Holy Days reveal my Savior, Jesus Christ. There are many beautiful pictures of Jesus hidden in the Old Testament, and seeing him and his works in the seven annual Holy Days is truly a marvelous wonder.

Today, I look upon that church as a kind of schoolmaster that helped me to come to know Jesus in a very simple but unique way, considering how many of my present friends at church have come to know him. There were a lot of things that were wrong with my earlier environment, but God is not hindered by legalism. He has a way of bringing light out of darkness (2Corinthians 4:6; Romans 8:28) and life out of death. The experiences that God has given me in that environment have revealed to me a vision of Christ in the Old Testament that I have not found in any of the churches where I have worshiped afterwards. This is not to say that my experiences are better than that of anyone else, but they are different. When we all share together what God has done for us, we are blessed in the diverse manner in which God has been able to draw each one of us to find Jesus. I praise him for his grace.

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4 Comments

Posted by on December 30, 2010 in Christianity, Gospel, Religion

 

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4 responses to “Three Trips to Jerusalem

  1. branderudanders

    January 1, 2011 at 06:54

    Shalom Eddie!

    I want to comment on what you wrote related on ‘salvation’.

    Ribi [title] Yehoshua ha-Mashiakh – the Messiah – lived and practised the directives of the Torah with an upright heart, he died innocent and became a sacrifice. Because of this can the Perfect Creator give His forgiveness in His loving kindness to persons whom are demonstrating a change in their life practice—(re)turning to Tor•âh′—as a prerequisite. As stipulated in Devarim [“Deuteronomy”] 6:4-9,11:13-21 one is required to keep all of the directives of Tor•âh′ to one’s utmost—viz., “with all one’s heart, psyche and might [lit. “very”]”—”for the purpose of extending your days and the days of your children… like the days of the heavens above the earth” (i.e., eternal life). Contrary to popular notions among non-Jews, the Creator does not confer His atonement to persons whom reject to observe one or more directives of Torah, e.g. a person who eats pork or shellfish. [More info: Link]

    It is possible to be forgiven by the Creator in His loving kindness when one does his/her utmost to live as the Creator desires! This is great news!!

    Regarding mishpat: You rely on translators, instead of the actual Torah-definition of the word mishpat.
    If you have a knowledge about what is written in the Torah, then none of the following words will be any hard for you to understand. If you don’t understand some of these words, I encourage you to study Torah more – and you can also look up the definitions on the website http://www.netzarim.co.il [Glossaries]:
    “Mi•shәpât•im′ are the product of Sho•phәt•im′ of a Beit-Din, who adjudicate questions and disputes (in contrast with legislating khuq•im′) in the implementation of Tor•âh′ in real life disputes, applications and cases. Just as in courtrooms today, These mi•shpât•im′ constitute a res judicata in a system of law based on the principle of stare decisis.
    De-Judaized (Hellenized) to “judgment” and various other renderings to avoid recognition of the Beit-Din-system. mi•shәpât′ concerns the definitive, authoritative and just interpretation of Tor•âh′ applied to real life situations. All other interpretations are “following one’s own heart and one’s own eyes” (Shәm•ot′ [”Exodus”] 15:39;Dәvâr•im′ [”Deuteronoym”] 17:9-13). Mi•shәpât′ has been handed down by the Beit-Din in a chain uninterrupted since Mosh′ëh at Har Sin•ai′.

    “ [Quote from the above Netzarim-website; Glossaries; Mishpat]
    Regarding the “NT”: Please don’t assume that there is no contradiction between the Torah and the “NT”. E.g. the “NT” contradict the Torah-teachings about forgiveness above

    If I would comment on more my post would become too long.

    May you be blessed by the Creator when you do your utmost to keep Torah non-selectively.

    Anders Branderud

     
    • Eddie

      January 1, 2011 at 11:10

      Greetings Anders, and thank you once more for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

      Ribi [title] Yehoshua ha-Mashiakh – the Messiah – lived and practised the directives of the Torah with an upright heart, he died innocent and became a sacrifice. Because of this can the Perfect Creator give His forgiveness in His loving kindness to persons whom are demonstrating a change in their life practice—(re)turning to Tor•âh′—as a prerequisite. As stipulated in Devarim [“Deuteronomy”] 6:4-9,11:13-21 one is required to keep all of the directives of Tor•âh′ to one’s utmost—viz., “with all one’s heart, psyche and might [lit. “very”]“—”for the purpose of extending your days and the days of your children… like the days of the heavens above the earth” (i.e., eternal life). Contrary to popular notions among non-Jews, the Creator does not confer His atonement to persons whom reject to observe one or more directives of Torah, e.g. a person who eats pork or shellfish.

      If this is so, then apparently James had it wrong in Acts 15 when he did not require Gentiles to obey the Mosaic Law. Instead he referred them to the Noaich Covenant/Law found in Genesis 9. Your statements here and those of James in Acts 15 are at odds. The two of you cannot be correct. Logically, at least one of you must be wrong. Who is correct—you or James concerning what he wrote in Acts 15?

      It is possible to be forgiven by the Creator in His loving kindness when one does his/her utmost to live as the Creator desires! This is great news!!

      Where is this stated in the Bible? According to how I read the Bible Jesus asked God to forgive those who crucified him. Not one of them repented or were following Torah properly—not even the high priest. Yet, Jesus said to the Father that they didn’t know what they were doing—therefore “forgive” them!

      Your claim is at odds with what Jesus said on the cross. Who is correct—you or Jesus?

      Regarding mishpat: You rely on translators, instead of the actual Torah-definition of the word mishpat…

      According to you claims here, I cannot be saved unless I become a Jew. If this is so, why did Jesus die on the cross? He cannot save me unless I become a Jew. His death is powerless, according to your statements above, unless I learn Hebrew like a Jew and act like a Jew. In other words, being a Jew puts me in the place where the cross “is able” to do good for me. Why would Jesus have to die as he did, if all that was needed was for me to keep the Law?

      Regarding the “NT”: Please don’t assume that there is no contradiction between the Torah and the “NT”. E.g. the “NT” contradict the Torah-teachings about forgiveness above

      Are you not now making yourself a judge of the word of God? Which is the word of God—the Torah or what we find in the NT? Which is the word of God—the words of Moses or the words of Jesus to the thief on the cross. Simply by asking Jesus to remember him, Jesus told him he was saved. How do you reconcile what you claim about the Torah and what Jesus claimed about this robber and murderer dying on the cross?

      Anders, please do not mistake my disagreement with you to be a claim you are not saved by Jesus. I believe your doctrine is wrong, but not your heart. Doctrines never saved a soul—only Jesus saves, and he saves us where we are—before we do anything for God. We love him ONLY because he first loved us. All of what we do is a response to what he first does for us. He initiates salvation, and we are able to respond only because he has first given us his Holy Spirit. Before meeting Jesus, we were dead in our sins. The dead can do nothing to change their condition. God must first give us life, before we can even respond to him. He does this because of what Jesus has already done for us, not because we are keeping the Law. How can the dead keep the law? In any event, I wish you well.

      Lord bless,

      Eddie

       
  2. branderudanders

    December 31, 2010 at 18:28

    Shalom!
    You wrote: “Joseph and Mary came to serve the demands of the Law, which was their schoolmaster to bring them to Jesus ”

    I want to comment.

    According to Yeshayahu [”Isaiah”] 9:6 [don’t rely on a translation –they even get the numbers of the verse wrong] in Hebrew reads according to etymology (science of the origins of words and their meaning) prophecies that ha-Mashiakh [“the Messiah”] and his followers will keep the directives of the Torah [“the books of Moses”] and teach others that they must do likewise. The person looking up all instances of the Hebrew word ‘mishpat’, used in that verse, in a concordance will find that the term includes non-selective Torah-observance to ones utmost.

    This is how one can discern if a person follows the Messiah or not.
    Based on that verse Christians need to change lifestyle in order to start following the Messiah. [More documentation on Link ]

    Following his teachings, leads oneself into Torah-observance; and into a immensely meaningful relationship with the Creator.

    Anders Branderud

     
    • Eddie

      December 31, 2010 at 22:41

      Greetings, Anders, and welcome to my blog. Thank you for your comment; I am always pleased when folks take the time to offer their own point of view—whether there is agreement or not. I take no offense when others take issue with what I write. :-)

      I am surprised, however, that you drew this conclusion from this particular blog. I said nothing concerning whether or not we should be Torah observant. The fact is Jesus observed the Law and so did his parents, but you brought out the question: are we, who claim to be Christian, required to be Torah observant? I would have to say—yes and no! It depends upon whether one is a Jew or a Gentile. Paul made the statement: “Were you called being circumcised? Seek not to become uncircumcised. Were you called being uncircumcised? Seek not to be circumcised” (1Corinthians 7:18). In other words, the Jews who were Torah observant in Corinth should not seek to become as the Gentiles, but neither should the Gentiles think they have to become Jews in order to be saved by Christ—or as a service to him after they received him. Notice Paul tells the Colossian church: “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him:” (Colossians 2:6 KJ2000). Were the Colossians Torah observant Jews when they received Christ as Savior? No, of course not; so, how were they to continue in Christ—as Jews or as Gentiles? Certainly, they walked in Christ as Gentiles, not as Jews. The law of the land in Palestine was the Mosaic Law. Each province in the Roman Empire had its own laws. New Gentile Christians were to live blamelessly in accordance with the laws of their own home country—that’s just good citizenship. But how were they to live as Christians? Let’s look at the verse you mention above:

      (9:6) That the government may be increased, and of peace there be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it through justice and through righteousness from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts doth perform this. [(Isaiah 9:7 JPS) emphasis mine]

      The word justice above is translated from the word you mention in your comment: mishpâṭ (H4941). You said: “The person looking up all instances of the Hebrew word ‘mishpat’, used in that verse, in a concordance will find that the term includes non-selective Torah-observance to ones utmost.”

      The word is also used in Job to simply refer to how we treat one another and how God treats us. It has to do with fair treatment. Certainly the Law of Moses was fair—no question. But, does the Law save us? No—it does not. Jesus saves us, and we can live as good citizens in any country, but to “walk in Jesus” primarily has to do with our relationship with God not whether or not we are good citizens. Isaiah 9:6 in Gentile translations (9:7 in the Tanakh) mishpât has to do with the Lord establishing the Kingdom of Heaven (on earth) through his Spirit influencing our general behavior and righteous acts. It is not we who bring this about, but it becomes effective through the “zeal” of the Lord our God. “Zeal” is qinâh (H7068) in the Hebrew and is quite often translated “jealous”. In other words Jesus will zealously or jealously (for our own good) bring this out in our walk with him through his Spirit within us.

      You mention above that we are known as his by our being Torah observant. I cannot agree with this outlook. There are many “Torah observant” Jews today who reject Jesus as their Savior. Jesus said we would be known to be his by our fruits (Luke 6:43-45) and Paul lists the fruits of the Spirit of Jesus and the Father in Galatians 5:22-23—Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Paul concludes this by saying there is no law—Jewish or gentile—that is against the manifestation of these fruits.

      Therefore, we can be good citizens in any land in any part of the world and walk in Jesus and be known as his. We may be law-observant, but Christians are not known to be Christians by being good citizens—whether good Jews or good Gentiles. We are known to be Jesus’ followers when we manifest his presence within us by the fruits we bear outwardly towards God, our brethren and those who have not come to Jesus yet.

      I hope you will find this informative, but whether or not we agree, I wish you well.

      Lord bless,
      Eddie

       

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