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Sunday, 16 December 2018
Neither Jew nor Greek

Question of the day: Is this in your Bible too? Colossians 3:11a "Here there is no longer Greek and Jew."

Answer: This has the potential to cause all of us (and especially me) significant trouble. Why did I just say "especially me?" Because my position is not popular or common in what we call "main stream Messianic Judaism." But please don't make me get into that right now.

These words are not trying to erase distinctions, but rather they are used to point out that the distinctions are marginalized by inclusion in the family of God. In fact, when we sing the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4), declaring the oneness of God, we are also declaring our own oneness as the people of God.

In fact, allow Galatians 3 to make my point for me. Galatians 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female

- for you are all one in Messiah Yeshua." Although we read "there is neither male nor female" would anyone doubt there are, in fact, in the real world both male and

female?

So when we read "there is no longer Greek nor Jew," should there likewise be any doubt there must be a deeper meaning than only the most literal understanding? Significantly, yes there is a deeper meaning. I'll offer you part of Ephesians 2 as evidence and we'll be done. This is really good.

Ephesians 2:12 "At that time you were separate from Messiah, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world."

Even the previous verse mentions "Gentiles in the flesh" as not having the circumcision made with hands, which is the people group being addressed here.

Ephesians 2:13-16 "But now in Messiah Yeshua, you (those uncircumcised Gentiles in the flesh) who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. For He is our shalom, the One who made the two (Greeks and Jews) into one and broke down the middle wall of separation. Within His flesh He made powerless the hostility

- the law code of mitzvot contained in regulations. He did this in order to create within Himself one new man from the two groups, making shalom, and to reconcile both to God in one body through the cross—by which He put the hostility to death." (More on Ephesians 2:15a at a later time.)

Shalom. R. Michael.

Posted By Rabbi Michael Weiner, 11:00am Comment Comments: 0