Messianic Jews 12:3-11
Letter to the Messianic Jews
In my last post, we moved on to a new topic entitled Trust and the Believer covering Messianic Jews 12. We begin with Messianic Jews 12:1-2 – Yeshua ~ Our Example. In this post, continue on our topic of the Trust and the Believer by looking at Messianic Jews 12:3-11 ~ Chastening for Spiritual Developments.
“ 3 Yes, think about Him who endured such hostility against Himself from sinners so that you won’t grow tired or become despondent. 4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in the contest against sin. 5 Also, you have forgotten the counsel which speaks with you as sons: “My son, don’t despise the discipline of Adonai or become despondent when he corrects you. 6 For Adonai disciplines those he loves and whips everyone he accepts as a son.” 7 Regard your endurance as discipline; God is dealing with you as sons. For what son goes undisciplined by his father? 8 All legitimate sons undergo discipline; so if you don’t, you’re a mamzer and not a son! 9 Furthermore, we had physical fathers who disciplined us, and we respected them; how much more should we submit to our spiritual Father and live! 10 For they disciplined us only for a short time and only as best they could, but He disciplines us in a way that provides genuine benefit to us and enables us to share in His holiness. 11 Now, all discipline, while it is happening, does indeed seem painful, not enjoyable; but for those who have been trained by it, it later produces its peaceful fruit, which is righteousness.” ~ Messianic Jews 12:2-11 (CJB)
The author of the Messianic Jews uses two very vivid words when he speaks of being despondent or growing tired. They are words frequently used by an athlete who collapses after the final surged to win the race. So Messianic Jews is in effect saying: “Don’t give up too soon; don’t collapse until the finish line is passed.”
Compare verse 4 with what the author wrote in Messianic Jews 4:15, which says of Yeshua, “In every respect, he was tempted just as we are, the only difference was he did not sin.”
Verses 3-4 stress the essential costliness of Messianic faith. It cost the lives of the martyrs; it cost the life of Him who was the Son of God. Something that requires so much cannot be discarded. A heritage like that is not something that a man can hand down tarnished. These two verses make the demand that comes to every Messianic: “Show yourself worthy of the sacrifice that men and God have made for you.”
The author of the Messianic Jews sets out still another reason why we should cheerfully bear affliction. He has urged them to endure it because the great saints of the past have suffered from it. He has advised them to experience it because anything they may have to face is a little thing compared to what Yeshua had to bear. Now he says that they must take hardship because it is a discipline from God and no life can have any value apart from obedience.
Become despondent in verse 3 anticipates Proverbs 3:11-12 quoted in verses 5-6 of our text.
God is dealing with you as sons. Israel collectively is God’s son (Exodus 4:22, Hosea 11:1, Matthew 2:15, Romans 9:4); but more than that, each Believer, Jewish or Gentile, is individually God’s son, by virtue of being united with God’s only-begotten Son, Yeshua the Messiah (Romans 8:14-19, 29; Galatians 4:1-7; Revelation 21:7).
In rabbinic Judaism, the Hebrew word mamzer is a technical term referring to the child of a marriage prohibited in Leviticus 18. Popularly it means “illegitimate son,” and like “bastard” it can express strong contempt.
The discipline of God, our spiritual Father, produces holiness (see v. 14) and righteousness (Messianic Jews 5:13; 10:38; 11:4, 7, 33).
A faithful father always disciplines his child. It would not show love to let a son or daughter do what he or she likes. We submit to our earthly father’s discipline which is imposed only for a short time until we reach maturity. The earthly father is whom we owe our bodily life; how much more should we submit to the discipline of God to whom we owe our immortal spirits and who, in His wisdom, seeks for our highest good.
In my next post, we will move on to Exhortation to Endurance in Messianic Jews 12:12-17.