Reposted from the Kineti blog and authored by Judah Gabriel Himango, one of Tabernacle of David’s teachers.
It’s the 20th day of counting the omer. Each day I post a little something to help me count. Previously I wrote about what Fish love. Today, God working unexpectedly.
Today I officiated a Messianic wedding for a good friend and holy brother in the Lord, John White. John and I know each other through our local congregation.
The ceremony was God-honoring and beautiful. It amplified Messiah’s name; it was a really holy time!
John’s friends were in attendance, and I got talking to one of them, Robert, a Jewish man who is currently involved with Scientology.
Robert told me that he’s not an expert in Jewish writings, but asked whether there were any Jewish texts that suggested Jesus would be divine. Isn’t Judaism’s messiah to be a mere man?
I did give him a few texts from the Bible that hint that Messiah would be more than a man. But first and foremost, I told Robert that God sometimes does things that people don’t expect.
And I think that’s evidence that God is really God; He doesn’t conform to human ideas, nor was His plan for humanity and work in the world what people would predict. (I’m thinking of the Scriptures where God says, “My thoughts are above your thoughts, and My ways above your ways.”)
If we could hop into the time machine and ask a 1st century Jew what God’s plans for Israel were, not a soul would have said, “2000 years of exile, Hebrew language all but extinguished, countless persecutions and pogroms, the Holocaust, then finally a restoration to the land.”
And yet, that was God’s plan.
19th century Judaism was so befuddled by this plan of God that it removed from the Reform siddurim any prayer containing Jerusalem and the locus of Zion. They figured, it’s had been 1800 years of exile – surely God is done with Jerusalem.
But God had a different plan. God did the unexpected.
And less than a century later, the Jewish people returned to Jerusalem and the holy city itself returned to Jewish control on June 7th, 1967. (And, I’m glad to say, Reform Judaism has since restored the Zion-centered prayers to their siddur.)
So it was (and will be) with Messiah.
The prominent expectation of Messiah in the 1st century was a military leader who would throw off the suffocating, idolatrous Roman rule.
But God did the unexpected.
God sent a Messiah who was more than a man, but a sinless, perfectly Torah observant, suffering servant. He ministered to the heart of Israel and was tortured and murdered by the wicked Roman Empire.
Even his followers were befuddled; his chief disciple disowned him.
But this too was God’s plan. God did the unexpected, raised Messiah from the dead, and made the promise that the future resurrection of the righteous would include all who trust in God’s Messiah. Word spread around the earth and here we are 2000 years later; every nation knows the Lord, the God of Israel.
God does the unexpected.
We should anticipate this with Messiah’s return. I think some Christians are expecting the Messiah to look, act, speak, eat like your local Baptist preacher. Others are expecting Jesus the Peacenik, the Middle Eastern Gandhi. Orthodox Jews are expecting a messiah who will rebuild the Temple and cause Jews to walk in Torah.
Maybe one or more of these have truth to them.
But maybe God will again do the unexpected.