Torah Portion

Dear Torah Portion Reader...

I am very excited that the Spring Feast is just around the corner! We are now in the final preparation count-down, which for us at Lighted Way Ministries is an "all-hands-on-deck" scenario. In the next few weeks and days, I will be finishing the book "God's Amazing Star Secret" (which I pray to have fresh from the press at Passover, on April 1, 2018), I will be writing the sermons, putting together the children's program, cooking (and freezing) the casseroles to serve during the Retreat week, and more...

In order to accomplish all of this, I will not be taking time to write the Torah portion commentaries during this period of time. However, that does not mean that anyone need to get behind. The following is the Torah reading and study schedule for the next few weeks. As you keep up with this schedule, you will be on track to complete all 613 Statutes this year. So, from now to April 14, the Torah portions will be posted without comment. Commentary and the usual Torah portions will resume on April 15. Thank you for your patience! And happy studying in the meantime :-)

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - December 27, 2017

Today's Reading:

Luke 3:21-38

Ezekiel 42-43

Isaiah 63

Listen to the Bible







Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

In today's reading from the book of Luke, we read Yahshua's genealogy. In so doing, a problem comes to mind. Earlier this year, we read Matthew's genealogy of Christ...  And the two records are different.

Since Yahshua's genealogy is given in two places in Scripture (Matthew 1 and Luke 3), the fact that the two accounts don't match is used by critics to suggest that the Bible cannot be trusted. The idea that the Bible cannot be trusted to be historically accurate casts doubt upon it altogether. For this reason, I believe it is important to provide a response.

Let's start at the beginning and retrace the steps carefully:

First, as I mentioned, Yahshua's genealogy is given both in Matthew 1 and in Luke 3:23-38Matthew traces Yahshua's lineage through Joseph. His genealogy goes back to Abraham. Luke also traces Yahshua's lineage through Joseph. But his genealogy goes all the way back to Adam.

But there aren't only differences in how far back these genealogies go, there are also apparent discrepancies.  While Matthew says that Joseph's father was Jacob (Matthew 1:16), Luke writes that Joseph's father was Heli (Luke 3:23). 
Further, Matthew traces Messiah's lineage through David's son Solomon (Matthew 1:6), but Luke traces Christ's line through David's son, whom he says was Nathan (Luke 3:31). What is up with this?

Actually, the explanation is quite simple. One Gospel account is tracing Yahshua's lineage through his adoptive father, Joseph. And the other Gospel record is tracing Yahshua's line through Mary. Through either Mary's or Joseph's line, Yahshua's lineage traces back through king David, making Him eligible to be the Messiah.

As the genealogy chart shows (made by

The reason both genealogical accounts start with someone named Joseph is a bit confusing. Some Bible scholars suggest that, on Mary's side, the "Joseph" mentioned is actually Mary's father. If this is so, Mary had a father named Joseph, and also happened to marry a man named Joseph, but they were not the same person (of course). 

There is another possibility. Perhaps the Joseph mentioned in the two lists is the same man - Yahshua's earthly father. In this scenario, Mary's husband is only included in Christ's lineage through her because genealogies were traced through the men. It is argued that there is no Greek word for "son-in-law". So Joseph was called the "son of Heli" through his marriage to Mary, who was Heli's daughter.

It is unclear whether the Joseph in Matthew and in Luke are both Mary's husband or whether one is her husband and other her father. But one thing is clear, Matthew was giving Yahshua's lineage through Joseph. And Luke was giving his genealogy through Mary's bloodline. This accurately accounts for the differences. 

Now let's look at why Christ's genealogy is important to understand. Certainly it is important because Christ's genealogy shows He has fulfilled the Messianic prophecies regarding His lineage. But the importance of Yahshua's genealogy doesn't stop with demonstrating His fitness to be the Messiah. His lineage has personal value as well. For this part, I will quote from Arron Chambers, who wrote an excellent blog on the value of Christ's genealogy (sacred Names added by me):

Heritage Matters.
Why were these genealogies important to include in the story of the life of Yahshua?
First, to the Jewish people (at least in Biblical times), genealogies were very significant. It was important to know where you came from, whose ancestry you followed, what tribe of Israel you descended from.
Second, these genealogies trace Yahshua’s ancestry back to David and connect him with the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament.
We know from historical records that many of the early Christian evangelists and apostles had Matthew’s genealogy of Yahshua memorized.  The works of early Christian writers are filled with references to them. (See R.C. Foster’s, Studies in the Life of Christ, p.265).
Abraham’s legacy is Yahshua.
Perez’s legacy is Yahshua.
David’s legacy is Yahshua.
Asa’s legacy is Yahshua.
Josiah’s legacy is Yahshua.
What’s your legacy going to be?
If we want to leave a legacy that matters we need to …
Be Humble.
Submit your life and the lives of your family to God.
Be Intentional.
British sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein was once visited in his studio by the eminent author and fellow Briton, George Bernard Shaw. The visitor noticed a huge block of stone standing in one corner and asked what it was for.  “I don’t know yet. I’m still making plans.”  Shaw was astounded. “You mean you plan your work. Why, I change my mind several times a day!”  “That’s all very well with a four-ounce manuscript,” replied the sculptor, “but not with a four-ton block.” Today in the Word, April 5, 1993
Are you being proactive or reactive in this life?
Are you owning your life or is your life owning you?
Life is a gift and we need to be good stewards of our lives.
Be Faithful.
We must believe that God has a plan for our lives.
Embrace the truth of Ephesians 2:10:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Yahshua for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
We are not accidents.
We are not victims.
We were planned for power.
We were planned for purpose.
We were planned for passion.
We were planned to leave a legacy.
What is your legacy going to be?
You’re determining your heritage with each decision you make every minute of every day.
Back to the genealogy of Yahshua
Jacob’s legacy was Yahshua.
Joseph’s legacy was Yahshua.
Mary’s legacy was Yahshua.
I want my legacy to be Yahshua, too.
The Genealogy of Yahshua matters because it teaches us that…
People Matter.
This list is made up of ordinary people, just like us.
They weren’t superheroes.
They are ordinary people who became a part of God’s extraordinary plans.
People like…
Jacob, who was a twin.
Hezron was just one of the sons of Reuben.
Little about Ram is known, except that he must have lived when the Israelites were in Egypt.
Ruth, who was not an Israelite, but who chose to follow God instead of the false gods in her homeland, Moab.
Obed was David’s grandfather.
Joseph who was a carpenter.
Mary who was just a young woman who found favor in God’s eyes.
This teaches us that…
All People Matter to God.
This list includes men, women, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, Kings, shepherds, Jews, and Gentiles.

Yahshua, the Lamb of God, came to bless everyone.