Sunday, February 12, 2017

The notion of judgment in rabbi Yeshua's sayings, a commentary on John 12:44-48 from a Hebrew perspective

Rabbi Yeshua's ( translated) words may be well known from the public, but so often our rabbi's words are also taken out of their original context.
A lot of people are committing BIG mistakes by distorting the very meaning of our Savior's words, especially when it comes to the notion of judgment. I often hear" Yeshua "judged" people, he used to "call them names"-which allows me to judge my brother and sister's sinning ways". If this is your opinion, you are truly overstepping your role. IN NO WAY Yeshua allows you to judge your brother or sister, no matter how much they are anchored in sin!
Yeshua's disputes while pointing out at the Pharisees' errors in applying Torah have wrongly been interpreted by many people as a a form of judgement. Yeshua's intent was clearly to correct mistakes. 

Yeshua's reason for coming into this world

Why has Yeshua been sent into this world? The response is in Matthew 1:20-21. This is what the angel said to Yosef, Yeshua's adoptive father:

"Yosef, son of David! Do not be afraid to take Miryam, your wife, for what has been formed within her is from the Holy Spirit.
She is giving birth to a son and you are to name him Yeshua because he will save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:20-21 Hebrew Delitzsch Gospels

Yeshua means Salvation. Yeshua was sent by the Father to save mankind. This is His purpose.

If you think that Yeshua was " calling Pharisees names", because He was judging them, you got it completely wrong. Yeshua's discussions with the Pharisees are merely rabbinical discussions. They are an expression of tough love. What Yeshua actually condemns is their hypocritical practice of Torah...He is inviting them to correct their ways.

Be merciful just as your Father is merciful

Still not convinced? This is what Yeshua our Master teaches about judgment in Luke, Chapter 6, verses 36 and  37:

"Be MERCIFUL, just as your Father is merciful".

First of all, Yeshua is inviting us to be merciful. The word for mercy in Hebrew is rachem, which implies deep compassion, in the same way a mother would love her unborn child in her womb. You are invited to use mercies towards your brothers and sisters.
Yeshua then goes on:

"Do not judge and you will not be judged.
Do not condemn and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven."

If you abstain from judging others by pointing an accusatory finger at them, our Father will not judge you either. If you are merciful in your approached you will be treated with compassions. Finally the forgiveness of your own heart will unlock Hashem's forgiveness towards you.

The parable of the speck and log is an invitation to prudence in your way of treating others. Yes, you should abstain judgment and leave all judgment to the Father.

Here is WHY.

In John, Chapter 12, verses 44 to 48, Yeshua totally clarifies the reasons why you should refrain from being judgmental:

The one who believes in me does not believe in me, but in the one who sent me.
I have come to the world to be light so that everyone who believes in me will not dwell in darkness. The one who hears my words and does not keep them-it is not I that will judge them ( in Hebrew, it is written in the singular, "ani lo michpat oto"), because I have not come to judge the world, but to save the world ( "lo baiti lichpot at haolam ki im lehoshya at haolam")

For anybody who scorns me and does not accept my sayings, there is one who will judge him ( yesh echad asher yadin), the word I have spoken will judge him on the last day ( "Yom haacharon"- or "Yom hadin")

Delitzsch Hebrew Gospels

While Yeshua clearly points out His mission of Salvation, He also puts an emphasis on His Oneness with the Father. He is the One, the Moshiach King sent by the Father. Who obeys His word is obeying the Father.
We must be obedient in listening and applying Yeshua's words, because these words will justify us-or not on the last day.

Note that Yeshua uses two different words "michpat" and " din" for judgment. These words are of equivalent meaning and point at judging, executing judgment, governing.
There are numerous examples of the same use of the notion of judgment in the Tanach:

In Zephaniah 3:15, we find the word " michpat" in the form " michpateich", your judgments

"The Lord had taken your judgments away":

 הֵסִיר יְהוָה מִשְׁפָּטַיִךְ

"And He will judge the world in righteousness, He will minister judgment to the people with equity." Psalm 9:8

Here we have "yadin", judge, in Hebrew:

 וְהוּא, יִשְׁפֹּט-תֵּבֵל בְּצֶדֶק;    יָדִין לְאֻמִּים, בְּמֵישָׁרִי

Actually, who has the power to execute a sentence in full righteousness, but Hashem?

Therefore, we should heed our ways and walk very humbly before His Face. Our first obligation is to examine ourselves and to correct our path-and this is DAILY.

Beware the "Yom Haacharon" or "Yom hadin", the last Day or Day of the Judgement

You and me, or any other human being who has ever lived on this planet, if we are to be weighed before the Almighty, all of us will be found TOO LIGHT on the balance. None of our deeds will ever justify us. Only one thing will make our balance worthy: the blood of Yeshua, and His blood only will justify us when we will be presented before the Heavenly throne.

Knowing this, we should use a lot of modesty in our walk with Hashem. Our Teshuva ( repentance) shouldn't be just the tears of regret that we shed on the very day of our Salvation. Our Teshuva should be a continuous work and we should examine our actions daily.

We are supposed to correct ourselves daily, which leaves less space for critics towards others.
On a sidenote, this walk of permanent Teshuva also exists in Hassidic teachings.

May Yeshua be our model of humility in our everyday life!

Copyright© by Isabelle Esling

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