Jn 17: 11-26
The Scroll of Ruth is read in the synagogues this holiday. It is a story of love and mercy: of someone “outside” – even poor and a stranger (זר) – who was brought “inside”. She was chosen, but she also chose: to belong to the treasured people of YHVH God, and to place all her future and hopes in their God. About 1970 years ago, more than 3000 persons who were separated from God because of their unbelief and sins were brought into His Kingdom of light and love.
Our being here today from around the Negev, and even including Jerusalem and Ashkelon, is no mere circumstance. As believers in Yeshua we were born again when we repented and believed in His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension into Heaven, now seated at the right hand of the Father. We come into the faith of Messiah who has already come, and who will come again at the time God has set to fix and restore all things (Acts 3:21). We are joined with those from nearly 2000 years ago – and even before – to God through Messiah.
Just as Jesus had to die, like a grain of wheat must in order not to be alone but to bear much fruit to bless many, so too are we who believe and been baptized, baptized into His death so that we can walk in newness of life, being a blessing to many for the sake of the name of our Lord and Savior. For this God has given us the Holy Spirit, who dwells within the church – the Body of Messiah: you, me, all from out of every nation, tribe, language who have received the same precious faith by the righteousness of God. Just as Yeshua rose from the dead, so we have this living hope, and it is the Spirit of Christ in us that is a baptism unto life eternal! We join ourselves to all who are called by the name of Messiah and all our hopes are in Him who is Head over the church in all things and lives amongst us through His Spirit.
There is no Pentecost – and no Holy Spirit – no life in Messiah Jesus apart from faith in His death on the cross for our sins and in His resurrection. By grace the Father has given us the Spirit to sanctify for His Son a beautiful, spotless, blameless Bride…full of love and peace and joy for our Lord and Husband. . .and full of love and peace and joy for each one whom Jesus chooses to be part of His body, His bride.
So we are here today, brothers and sisters in Messiah, to demonstrate our unity by our love. Let Israelis know; let Palestinians know; let anyone/everyone else know that Jesus, the only begotten Son of God sent to us as Savior, He is Lord of lords and King of kings!
Let us pray for a fresh and double outpouring of the Holy Spirit now near the end of the age, as we humble ourselves and repent for all our sins which bring reproach to the Name of our Father in Heaven and the Lord Jesus Christ. As He Himself prayed, let us show our unity by love for each other, and so fulfill His joy and ours.