Judaism: A Relationship Of Love

On Wednesday afternoon September 6th, I brought a teaching titled “Judaism: A Relationship Of Love” in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Judaism began with God’s love for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and with His choosing of the Jews as His people: “The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers (Deuteronomy 7:7-8).

The Sh’ma prayer of the Jewish people is proof that the whole relationship of their faith is rooted and grounded in love: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart” (Deuteronomy 6:4-6). Judaism is not legalism and commandments. It is a deep love relationship between God and His people. Torah means “instruction.” It contains the instructions of a loving Father teaching His children about a way of life.

Christianity divides itself from Judaism by claiming it is no longer under the Law. However, when Jesus gives us a new commandment (John 13:34), He actually ratifies Judaism and reaffirms His love for the basic instruction of Judaism: “Teacher which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:36-40). This is the teaching of the Torah! This instruction of Judaism is given to all the world! Our obedience to this commandment is the way to eternal life (Luke 10:25-28).

Lord, open our eyes to see that You have given us all one message. Our walk with You and our faith should be rooted in a relationship of love. Help us to receive Your love, and help us to return that love to You with all our hearts, all our strength, with all that we are. And help us to love one another just as You have loved us.

This teaching is part of a series, “Our Revelation And Relationship With The State Of Israel, Judaism, And The Jewish People.”