GOOD MORNING SIBLINGS!
Today’s readings are Isaiah 59-63
So these readings – goodness, where to even begin? Melody Mahala said it best: “Reading these last few chapters of Isaiah is like watching the climax in a movie. They have me on the edge of my seat! “ I think she’s captured what we’re all feeling!
Today is an even more epic moment for me, because today we read the passage in Isaiah that our Messiah read in Luke 4. Let’s review that real quick.
Then Jesus came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. As was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath. And when He stood up to read, the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. Unrolling it, He found the place where it was written:“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me,
because He has anointed Me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim deliverance to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Then He rolled up the scroll, returned it to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on Him, and He began by saying, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:16-21 ESV
So guess what he was reading? Isaiah 61:1-2
And then, He sat down and said “Today, this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Can you imagine the mouths agape at that? He just formally announced that He is the Messiah to all of the religious leaders.
What an amazing moment to keep in mind as we read these chapters today.
But here is another thing I wanted to point out to you.
Messiah got up in synagogue on the Sabbath and was handed a scroll…..
Here another cool thing. Ready?
Our Messiah was taking part in the oldest Bible study in the history of man.
This Bible study has been going on for thousands of years. Beginning in the earliest synagogues (back then, that is where people gathered, there were no “churches” there were synagogues and meetings in homes) each week they would read a portion of the Torah (The first five books of the Bible) and the Prophets (the New Testament didn’t exist yet so they read books like Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc). Today this Bible study is known as the Torah Cycle. (Remember a couple of days ago I told you I was going to share something cool about the word Torah?)
There are different cycles, some are two years, some are three, and some are one. Back then, it is believed they read on the three year cycle. That means they read a particular portion from the Torah and the prophets each Sabbath and at the end of three years they had read it all.
When Messiah stood to read, the Torah portion for that day was Isaiah 61. However, He didn’t read the entire portion. Rather, He stood, read the portion that told of Him, and then sat down.
The original mic drop – before there were mics.
So why is this cool? Well, this thousands year old worldwide Bible study is still going on today but most Christians are only now beginning to find out about it! I believe this is further prophecy being fulfilled of the two branches coming together again. I had never heard of it until about four years ago and it took some time for me to wrap my head around it.
Today’s Torah Portions for Christians and Messianic Jews include readings in the Older Testament, Prophets, and Newer Testament. There are different schedules that people put out but when you study the portions you are essentially studying the same books with millions of people around the world. Jews and Christians alike use this schedule – but to my knowledge only Messianic Jews and Christians include the NT.
For example, if I were leading us in a study based on the one year Torah Cycle reading plan, today’s reading would be:
- Deuteronomy 18:1-5
- Ezekiel 47:1-48:35
- Philemon 1:1-25
- Psalms 119:113-120
And at the end of a year we would have read the entire Bible.
Ricky and I read the one year cycle and have been doing so for a few years now. Our cycle also includes weekly readings from the Gospels. This is a great Bible study to take part in because each week people all around the world are reading the same thing. As a result, there are countless blog posts, videos, and discussions around the internet where folks are reading and talking about the same passages. It’s also pretty special knowing you’re taking part in a Bible study from before the times of our Messiah – that our Messiah actually took part in – along with brethren around the world. It’s amazing and a great study tool. One of these days, if YHWH wills it, I would love to do a one year Torah cycle Bible study with y’all.
I think in many ways, these two groups (Our Jewish Brethren and Believers in Messiah) reading the Torah cycle at the same time helps to fulfill the prophecy we read about in Isaiah 58:12:
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will restore the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of the Breach. Isaiah 58:12
I’m going to give you a break from my ramblings today. I’d love to hear your insights and rabbit trails. The comments are my favorite part!
We are from all walks of life but we are of one accord in many things. May He grant us the blessing of being able to see one another with the love that He feels for us!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!