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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.
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.
This was a tradition and many still carry on this tradition today. However, we do not focus just on the Torah at Seeking Scripture. We want to read the wholeness of the Father’s word, with the Torah as our foundational Scriptures.
While going through the Torah cycle was helpful to me in the beginning of my deeper journey into the Word, over the years I have come to see the potential for a dangerous imbalance in studying only the Torah vs studying the Torah along with the whole Bible.
Just as we are in error if we only study the Newer Testament, for a Believers, there is a corresponding error in only studying the Torah.
The Torah, word of YHWH, is truth and the newer testament teaches us, through many active examples, how to walk out that truth in grace and love. One could argue that the older Testament has those examples as well and I fully agree. However, the Father, in His wisdom and grace, felt we needed both and in trusting in His wisdom and grace, I now dedicate myself to studying the whole word each year in order to ensure I have the balance the Father intended me to have.
It took me a couple of years to write this Bible study, which comprises thousands of pages of notes. In it, I cover each book of the Bible, including the Torah. This is what the Father has led us to do here at Seeking Scripture and we have seen His wisdom and fruit in it from start to finish.
We are here to study the wholeness of His word and I encourage you to continue doing the same. It is all a gift from the Father, let us open it daily!
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!