“If you keep My commands, you will stay in My love – just as I have kept My Father’s commands and stay in His love. I have said this to you so that My joy may be in you, and your joy be complete.” (Yochanan 15:10-11)
In my last post, we continued our series on the commands of Yeshua from the perspective of Yeshua as Lord. We looked at His command to “follow me” and “you have heard that our fathers were told…but I tell to you.” In this post, we will conclude this mini-series by looking at His command to “pray this way;” “do this in remembrance of me;” and, “remember what I told you.”
Yeshua as Lord ~ Part C
5. Pray This Way
“You, therefore, pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven! May your Name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-10)
The talmidim had observed Yeshua praying in many different places and on many different occasions. This command was a response to their request that Yeshua teach them to pray. Yeshua not only took time to point out the hypocrisy that was prevalent among His people regarding their prayers, but He offered a new way to pray, a model prayer for those who wanted to seek God but did not know how.
Yeshua showed them the manner in which He talked to His Father. Although God had previously referred to Himself as the Father of Israel (see Jeremiah 31:9; Malachi 1:6), Yeshua’s hearers likely had never considered calling God “Father” in their prayers. They were not used to being so intimate and personal with their Creator. Yeshua’s command again reveals much about God.
Yeshua’s prayer begins with acknowledging the character of the One to whom they were speaking ~ holy. Then the people heard that God is indeed interested in their daily needs of provisions and protection. They heard about His will and His kingdom, about forgiveness, and about helping us deal with trials and temptations. Many of these things children could have asked of their earthly fathers or mothers. In this command, Yeshua brings Almighty God into the perspective of a loving Father who is interested in His children.
This is model prayer is neither limiting and nor does it create unreasonable expectations and place burdens on our backs. It is freeing, refreshing, almost exciting to know we can talk with God personally and intimately.
Application: When you pray, do not imitate other people; simply talk with your Lord and your God as one friend talks to another. Keep it simple, honest, and respectful. Leave room for God’s Spirit to reply to you. Pray with anticipation and excitement because the God of the universe enjoys talking with you one-on-one and showing you great and mighty things you would never otherwise know.
6. Do This in Remembrance of Me
“Also, taking a piece of matzah, he made the b’rakhah [blessing], broke it, gave it to them and said, “This is my body, which is being given for you; do this in memory of me.” (Luke 22:19)
Yeshua gives us this command: “Do this in memory or remembrance of Me.” Do not allow the sacrifice I made, the price I paid, to be forgotten or taken for granted. This act is one of two commands pertaining to worship that are universally accepted in the Kehilah.
It is called by many names: the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, the Eucharist, the Blessed Sacrament; but Communion stands out in the commands of Yeshua because it is something Yeshua requires His people to do as an act of worship. It is like a memorial of remembrance whereby we set aside focused time to reflect on the sacrifice of Yeshua and to honor His obedience to His Father in heaven. People do this in a myriad of ways. Regardless of any of the variations, it is still done today as it was in the past, in obedience to the command of Yeshua.
Yeshua’s sacrifice on the execution stake was the most important act of obedience He performed in His short life on the earth. It was the reason He came in the first place. Through His death Yeshua created a bridge over which mankind is able to be reconciled to God. To neglect observing Communion is to declare Yeshua’s death as unimportant and insignificant.
Sha’ul gives us the reason for celebrating the Lord’s Supper as well as a caution, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord, until he comes. Therefore, whoever eats the Lord’s bread or drinks the Lord’s cup in an unworthy manner will be guilty of desecrating the body and blood of the Lord! So let a person examine himself first, and then he may eat of the bread and drink from the cup.” (1 Corinthians 11:26-28)
We proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes, but we also proclaim that we serve a living Lord who was, is, and is coming (see Revelation 1:8). To dishonor or neglect this command can have serious consequences for Believers. “Then Yeshua said to them, ‘Yes, indeed! I tell you that unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life in yourselves.’” (John 6:53)
Application: Observing Communion should never be done lightly. It is a deeply meaningful and personal action done by Yeshua’s followers in honor of His sacrifice for our sins. For this rite to become a ritual, a mindless habit, or a religious duty is no different than to neglect doing it at all. Each person should take time to examine themselves and allow the Spirit of God to examine them so they may confess to God any recent sins we may have committed. We should also take time to recommit our lives to being “a living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1) for His service and His kingdom.
7. Remember What I Told You
“Remember what I told you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you too; if they kept my word, they will keep yours too.” (John 15:20)
Maybe this seems like a strange command at first: to remember Yeshua’s commands. But Yeshua knows His people all too well. We are forgetful, easily distracted, fickle, neglectful, and rebellious. Yeshua knew He would only be physically present with His talmidim for a while longer. He had so much to teach them, and they were to be charged with a great task: to take the Besorah to the world. It was important that they remember His words.
These are the words they would teach others. These are the words they would record in the Gospels so we also could hear and remember. Yeshua reminds us how important it is to remember His words because His words are life and they keep us securely in His will. Sometimes remembering His Word will help us answer questions that arise at a later time, or will keep us from straying, just as when Yeshua met the devil’s temptations with Scripture. Remembering His words is remembering He is with us and in us and that His words have power to accomplish His will in and through our lives.
The words of Yeshua are powerful. At His word, stormy seas were calmed. At His word, healing occurred. At His word, what was once dead was restored to life. Yeshua’ words contain the same power today. The words of Yeshua have power to heal, to restore, and to bring life. Like the talmidim those many years ago, we are charged with remembering and sharing these words. Do we know them? Will we remember? To whom are we sharing His words?
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will certainly not pass away. But keep watch on yourselves, or your hearts will become dulled by carousing, drunkenness and the worries of everyday living, and that Day will be sprung upon you suddenly like a trap! For it will close in on everyone, no matter where they live, throughout the whole world. Stay alert, always praying that you will have the strength to escape all the things that will happen and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:33-36)
Application: Do you take time to hide His words in your heart? Do you have a plan for Scripture memory and meditation on God’s Word? It will be difficult for you to remember words you have not even read or words you have not examined or thoughtfully considered. Keep in mind that the words of Yeshua can be the difference between life and death, victory or defeat, and success or failure.
Remember always the words of Yeshua: “If you love me, you will keep my commands.” (Yochanan 14:15)
In my next post, we will take a brief break from this series on the Commands of Yeshua to explore another of God’s Appointed Times ~ Shavuot (Pentecost).