Good Morning, Siblings!

Today’s readings are Luke 17-18

Read today’s Bible readings at BibleGateway by clicking here.


Rabbit Trails
Alright y’all, I was in a real straight talking mood when I wrote these so my notes are a bit more blunt than usual. Did you know I try not to be too blunt? I’m not sure how good I am at it so let’s both just pretend that I pull off subtle from time to time.

We begin with a warning not to cause anyone to sin. To me, this means we had best know full well how the Father defines sin because He is not the least bit concerned with how we define it. If we have decided something is perfectly fine for us, and it contradicts His word or commandments, and we encourage others to follow our example, have we tempted them to sin? Absolutely. We have openly led them to do so. I do think we’re at least cutting our losses if we send others to the Word rather than stand in between them and the Word.

When Messiah talks about rebuking your brother, I want to encourage you to be cautious about identifying who your brother is. While we as Believers tend to see all Christians as our brothers/sisters, it is easy to attach a label to yourself and blend in with a crowd.
Using any of the various labels that Believers use today does not mean that folks are:

a. Reading the word
b. Seeking His will
c. Following Him
d. Interested in following Him.

How, then, will we recognize our brothers? Messiah tells us in Matthew 7:15-20.

Our favorite show is back! Get ready for an episode of: WHY DID THEY/HE DO THAT? 

First of all in Luke 17:12 you’ll notice that the lepers stood at a distance. If you’ll check out Leviticus 13:45-46 and Numbers 5:2 (which I hope you do) you’ll see that they were required to do this. Remember, everyone we are reading about in these books, most of the lead characters at least, KNEW Scripture. They studied it their whole lives, lived by it, and ordered their entire world by it. This was the way of life for followers of the one true God in that day. This is a far cry from our time in which people are encouraged to say a prayer that isn’t even in the Bible to begin with and in many cases sent on their way with little to no encouragement to read the Word from start to finish, much less study it daily – but we are changing that, we are returning! 

Sidenote: If you know any new Believers, encourage them with everything you possibly can, to get into the Word! Buy them a Bible or give them yours, tell them it begins at the beginning and let them know that they CAN understand it because the Father MEANT for them to read it all along!
Okay, now back to our show…

We have discussed Messiah healing the ten at once and telling them to go show themselves to the priest. Remember why He did that?
This opened up ten different Messianic investigations all at once! Bold, awesome, and confident move.

We see that, although ten were healed, only one returned to thank Him. If we go read the original Hebrew in interlinear on this, we see that a more accurate translation of what Messiah said is “Go now, your faith has saved you.” Therefore, it appears that because of His faith in Messiah, he was granted salvation. The others had faith that Messiah could heal them, but they did not express any gratitude for his Grace. And that is why I think He said that. Pop quiz! How much weight should what I think carry with you? If you answered “none”, you win!

One more interesting point, keep in mind that this is a Samaritan. Have you seen the video I did about the true story of the Good Samaritan (shared earlier this week)? It’s fascinating to see him being the only one to show gratitude to Messiah.

When we move to Luke 17 towards the end we see descriptions about the coming of the kingdom. I think I’ve cautioned about this before but I want to reiterate that we must be careful about having fully preconceived notions of exactly what the return of our Messiah and the coming of the Kingdom will look like. In reality, we only have vague details. I have absolute confidence that His return will match up with these but I also have absolute confidence that we will only see most of that in hindsight.

Just remember, the Pharisees missed Messiah the first time, not because they didn’t know Scripture, but because they used Scripture to come to a set of definite preconceived notions in their own minds about exactly how everything would play out. When Messiah didn’t match up to everything they had decided to expect, despite matching up to Scripture, they dismissed Him.

Luke 18:9-14 Tithing: The Pharisee in Messiah’s parable brags about tithing. I just wanted us to take a detour to go visit the verses that are referenced today in our time when the standard 10% “tithe” is collected. First of all, only Levitical priests are authorized to accept a tithe unto YHWH, and very few (if any) of us have those so let us begin by calling what we give by what it actually is: an offering, not a tithe.

Check out Leviticus 27:30-33 and Numbers 18:21-26. You’ll notice that in both cases the tithe is of produce and flock, their harvest. It is not a monetary tithe. We also see this tithing of harvest in Messiah’s reference in Matthew 23:23 as well where the Pharisees tithe mint, dill, and cumin.
Many say they tithed this way because they didn’t have an income or money back then, but as early as Genesis 23 we see Abraham purchasing land with silver to bury Sarah so we know that isn’t the case.

Now, in Exodus 30 we see that during the census everyone is required to give 1/2 shekel but that is all that is required of each person regardless of wealth. It is interesting to me that if someone had nine sheep, they tithed nothing, it was only the tenth sheep that was tithed.

Christy, where are you going with this? Do you think we shouldn’t be giving offerings? 
Nope. I’m not saying that. If you are a member of a church there are salaries, light bills, water bills, Internet bills, upkeep and maintenance, and in many cases a building fund for a larger church or a revamped parking lot or bigger and better something as the way things go these days. Churches are growing and in many cases that is a good thing! If you benefit from all of that, I think you have a duty to help pay the bill for it.

However, my point is that those who reference this “tithing ten percent” thing have to go back to Leviticus in order to back it up with Scripture (which really doesn’t fit to begin with) and in many cases today these are the same people who say everything else in Leviticus is done away with.
I guess this one thing wasn’t, huh?

So no, I’m not saying you shouldn’t give an offering. If you’re a member of a church I think you have a responsibility to help support that church. But I do think we should uphold the entire word of YHWH at all times. The whole Bible is relevant to us today and YHWH’s word is timeless, truth, and the source of Wisdom. I don’t think we should treat it as something we can customize, ordering as we see fit, using passages to back up what we want while dismissing those that don’t fit our views so that we can have it our way. This is often what happens when some (notice I did not say all) churches focus on the last 25% of the Bible but then pull out Leviticus when they pass that offering plate around.

I call that Burger King faith.? Pull up when we need something, order just what we want, customize to suit us, then go back to our lives. Worshipping YHWH as we choose, following Him as we see fit, living according to own wisdom, and then declaring all of these things to be perfectly fine.
Burger King faith lets you have it your way! But, like fast food, it is an instant – and often empty calorie- gratification. It doesn’t last because it is not the Father’s way.

But what do you do if you don’t go to a traditional church? This is the case with us. We no longer go to a church building. We study the Bible in homes  with fellow seekers of the Word. We don’t have light bills or mortgages to pay. We have no expenses and no upkeep of any grounds. But we still give, we just rely on YHWH to lead us when and where to do that. We realize that all of our resources are gifts from Him and therefore, ultimately, belong to Him and so we seek Him daily with how to best use those to bring honor to Him. He has given us some amazing opportunities through seeking Him in this way.

In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. Proverbs 3:6

And now in closing….
Do you see who Messiah says He will be delivered to in Luke 18:32?
As a Gentile who spent my life hearing the errant teaching that the “Jews killed Jesus”, that is convicting for me to read.

Let us honor our King in word and deed today! 

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!

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Christy Jordan
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