9:45 a.m. Sunday February 5, 2023. 41F/5C.
Thawing. Water drips from the barn roof in green droplets that form on the edges of the roof, on dangling bits of moss. Under the sheet of white ice, the roof moss is brilliantly green. The feral cats seem to have moved their residence to the barn, from which the secret kitty is missing on most days. Chances are good that she has grown and no longer craves other kittens for company. The golden cat yowls into the forest, waiting for her to return. The less time she spends with him, the more often he races into the cabin, dodging all attempts to hinder his access. Today, no cat follows the human in a walk to the creek. Thin places in the ice that covers the meadow grasses is avoided. A deep breath reveals air that is crisply fresh. Of the hollow’s birds, only the laughing woodpecker screeches out, and that only to claim his next tree. The embankment, the flood zone of the creek, is still too iced over and too steep for this older person to climb down. It will all be there, waiting, on a drier day, after the thaw.
The Gospel of Matthew, chapter eight
Heavenly Father, please reveal to us the meanings in your word. In the name of Yeshua our savior, I ask. Amen.
Yeshua returned to Capernaum after the sermon on the mount.
And when Yeshua Mashiach had entered Kephar Nachum, a great ruler came unto him, and said to him, “Adon, my son is lying sick on the bed because of a great sickness, and he is disabled.” So Yeshua Mashiach said to him, “I will go and heal him for you.”
The ruler answered him and said, “Adon, I am not worthy that you enter into my house; but only say it in a word, and my son will be healed. For I am a sinful man – and I have horsemen under me, and I say to this one, ‘Go’ and he goes, and I say to another, ‘Come’ and he comes, and to my servants, ‘Do this,’ and behold they do it.”
When Yeshua Mashiach heard this from the ruler he stood in wonder, and he said to them who were with him, “Truth I say to you – I have not found faith like this in Yisrael. And I say to you that many will come from sun-rising and from sunset, and will rest with Avraham, Yitschaq and Ya’aqov in the kingdom of heavens, but many of the sons of Yisrael will be humiliated outside in darkness. And there will be weeping and trembling from El.”
Then Yeshua Mashiach said to that ruler, “Go, just like your faith is – it will be done.” And the son was healed in that hour, and was without any harm.From the Hebrew Gospel of Matityahu, chapter 8, translated by Justin van Rensburg
- Yeshua Mashiach = Jesus the anointed one
- Kephar Nachum = Capernaum
- Adon = master, rabbi, teacher
- disabled = unable to walk
- I am not worthy = the man may have been engaged in a sin that would cause Jews who entered his home to be ritually unclean
- Yisrael = Israel
- sun-rising = the east and the morning
- sunset = the west and the evening
- Avraham, Yitschaq and Ya’aqov = Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
- El = God
- faith = faithfulness; the word faith in Hebrew was an active thing, requiring both belief and action.
Capernaum was home-base for Yeshua. He returned there between his travels. This interaction is rather unique in that the ruler did not pause before telling Yeshua that he was a sinner, indicating that he knew the Jewish law. Yeshua no more than got home, and immediately began the interaction by welcoming another opportunity to go out and heal the sick. Yeshua made it clear that his purpose was to heal the unworthy, the sinner, the unrighteous, making them able to return to our heavenly Father.
Was the ruler a Roman? Was he a Jew who was working for the Romans? He knew enough of the law to know that he lived outside of it. He was likely a Jew ruling over his own people for the Romans. Matthew did not record whether Yeshua forgave the ruler who confessed his sin!
Yeshua seemed to react to people according to what he discerned in their hearts, and not their words. I’m going out on a limb here to guess that Yeshua did indeed forgive the ruler his sin. I’m guessing that forgiveness was an integral part of healing.
Also note that Yeshua introduced a place outside in darkness. It was not a place of fiery torment that he spoke of. It was still a place of trembling and fear. It was a place of weeping. We can suppose what outside darkness means, but the verse certainly points to it being avoided by confession and active faith.
Much trouble may be avoided by confession and active faith.
Life in the hollow, Sunday
Saturday was my sabbath and, wow! I really enjoy taking that day to rest and study scriptures.
I wish others would try this and see where it takes them. Did it make life better or worse? Did you notice God’s blessings on the day? Was it a day of faith and healing, or was it simply an odd tradition?
Blessed are you Lord God YHWH, king of the universe. You sent Yeshua as a light in the world and gave us opportunity to be set apart for him.