“Who said it is Law versus Grace?”

In the Gospels, when reading about the woman caught in adultery, have you ever tried to guess what Yeshua wrote in the sand? Instead, did we think to ask where the “other person” with whom she was caught in the act with was?  Isn’t he guilty of the same sin? What sin might the crowd gathering around her be committing?

In the Law, Deuteronomy 17:6-7 clearly spells out the conditions and purposes for exacting judgment on those committing sins worthy of death. Verse 8 tells us the purpose for judging the sin – to purge evil from the community of God.  Was she the only one committing evil? Where was her partner?  How were they able to catch her in the act without also catching her partner in the act? Two to three firsthand witnesses were required, who possessed a humble, righteous heart filled only with the purpose of keeping evil out of, not perpetuating evil in the community, to condemn the guilty.  These witnesses had to be so convinced of their own righteous, godly heart in the matter and that the guilty party was totally deserving of death, that they were assigned the responsibility of being the first executioners, after which the community would follow them.  For one to do this, he had to be confident he would not be risking judgment on his own unrepentant heart.

Now – with that in mind, why do you suppose Yeshua said to the crowd, “He who is without sin, you cast the first stone.”  Because it was legal!  The Torah required those who committed adultery to be put to death.  Yeshua said He didn’t come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it. He is the Lawgiver who said until heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or tittle would pass away. Matt. 5:17-18.  Yeshua did not have an issue with the Law.  His issue was with those who were attempting to twist it for their own ends.  Adonai, in His infinite mercy, built into the Law His grace that seeks all people to repent of sin and be forgiven.  Yeshua, in His infinite love came to pay the ultimate price for our sin.

When truly understanding the Commandments of God, we will learn that Grace and Mercy are at the very core of them.

What’s in a Name?

What's in a name? Yeshua or Jesus?

Messiah didn't seem to be concerned about how I addressed Him.  He was more concerned with what was in my heart concerning his Name.  I struggled with Yeshua at first, then I realized how when I met someone from another country who adapted or translated her name to make it more comfortable for us in this country, I was struck by how willing, even desirous I was to learn her name  as it was given to her out of love, honor and respect for her.  So, why was there hesitation within me regarding my Savior's Name?  Was it the intimacy I had known when calling Him Jesus or was it something else, age old, not on the conscious mind that brought resistance?

He was happy for me to call Him Jesus, but was silent as I pondered the internal turmoil. He was present in the turmoil but allowed me the grace and freedom to wrestle with my own soul.

Today, I interchangeably call Him by both names but have found His sweet intimate desire to commune with me as I call Him either one.  Yeshua is the name He was given and will have for all eternity.  Jesus, like any of the other translations and pronunciations of that name various cultures use will all fade away someday, but Yeshua was His given name and still is to this day and will be for all eternity.  So, why the resistance?  Could it be the way we view the Jewish people?  Israel?  The Church?  Just as my foreign friends appreciated my effort to call them by their given name but in no way ever expected or requested it, how does our Savior think about our calling Him by His given name?

I propose that it is all a matter of the motivation of the heart.  If it is to find favor, seek to get "in" closer (by our effort) or for others recognition, I would think He would prefer we call Him what is true, honest, and truly honoring Him, not any man made exaltation.  But if it is because we "see" who He is as Israel's Messiah who gave His life for us all, and come with truly repentant hearts and humbly with sincere gratitude desire to know Him for who He is and not merely who we have been taught that He is, then He is pleased when we call Him Yeshua.

It isn't about the name, but rather the relationship we have with "haShem" the Name, that is for the Jewish people too holy to speak or write.

Let us approach His throne of grace boldly, asking Him to reveal the true condition of our heart, knowing He has already purchased our forgiveness and invite His cleansing work to purify us until we become His holy Bride.