But you must return to your God:
Maintain love and justice
And wait for your God always. …
I spoke to the prophets
Gave them many visions
And told parables through them. …
You shall acknowledge no God but me
No Savior except me. …
I will ransom them
From the power of the grave
I will redeem them from death.
Where, O Death, are your plagues?
Where, O grave, is your destruction? …
Your sins have been your downfall!
Take words with you
And return to the Lord.
Say to him: Forgive all our sins
And receive us graciously
That we may offer the fruit of our lips. …
I will answer him and care for him.
I am like a green pine tree
Your fruitfulness comes from me.
-Hosea 12:6, 10; 13:4c, 14; 14:1b-2, 8b
Many Christians struggle with the fact that Jews do not acknowledge Yeshua Ha’Mashiach as Lord, or ‘God come in the flesh’. Sometimes that ‘struggle’ turns into impatience, then anger, then violence, and more often than not, outright anti-Judaism / antisemitism. Even the revered Church Fathers of old succumbed to such acts of godlessness, and yet, they were reading the very same passages of Hebrew scripture, claiming them as their own, but not heeding the words that were given to the Hebrew people millennia before they came along.
When asked which was the most important commandment, Yeshua replied:
Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart
And with all your soul
And with all your mind
And with all your strength.
The second is this:
Love your neighbour as yourself.
There is no commandment greater than these.
-Mark 12:29-31 (see also Matt 22:37; Luke 10:27; Duet 6:5)
Some have taken the new commandment Yeshua gave to His disciples on the night of His arrest –
A new command I give you: Love one another.
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
By this all men will know that you are my disciples
If you love one another.
as a command that supersedes the ‘most important commandment’ of which Yeshua Himself said “there is no commandment greater . . . ”.
Yeshua walked, talked, acted differently than all the other ‘teachers’ of His day, and He expected His disciples to personally demonstrate what they had experienced with Him – with each other. Yeshua asked that rag-tag bunch of ‘fiery’ ones and ‘sons of thunder’, who were more agitated at times about who was the greatest among them, to love each other expressly as He had loved them all. The purpose of the new command – so that people would recognize whose disciples they were. Not only were they to love God and their neighbour, they were to love each other – and that very love for one another would be the outward expression of the inward obedience to the ‘most important commandment’.
Christians need to stop struggling with what Jews do and do not accept about Yeshua or Christianity. Christians need to personally demonstrate love to one another, so that all people will recognize whose disciples they are and be drawn to their Master/Lord/Saviour/Friend through that love for one another.
Christians are to love; God ‘convicts’ ‘removes scales’ ‘renews the spirit’.
Get about your Father’s business.
The Lord is coming!