Our portion this week is Re’eh which means “See”.
- Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17
- Isaiah 53:11-55:5
- John 7:37-52
It is always a little uncomfortable being the odd person out. The one who drinks Soda instead of Pop. The one who likes the out of state sports team, when everyone else is a die-hard fan. The one who looks at Scripture a little differently than most. For me, it was always awkward in college as the campus was preparing to celebrate Christmas. Decorations going up, students discussing exciting plans for the holiday break, songs, special food, and then me. One who believed fully in the wonderful and miraculous birth of our Messiah, but who didn’t celebrate that day on December 25. It was awkward, and I knew I stood out. But didn’t Adonai call His people to be a bit different?*
For you are a holy people to Yahweh your Elohim, and Yahweh has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.Deuteronomy 14:2 NASB
There are several ways that people can handle being different. Some choose to hide it, to try and fit in even when they don’t. Others will accentuate the difference, taking it to the extreme and forcing others to see who they are. Others take the middle ground, and simply live their life, while others live theirs.
Which is right? Which way are we called to be as believers in the Messiah, as followers of His Torah? Romans holds the answer.
Therefore I urge you brethren, by the mercies of Elohim, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to Elohim, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of Elohim is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.Romans 12:1-2 NASB
This should be a shift in our thinking. We are not called to be different. We are called to become like Messiah Yeshua. When we focus on being different we can easily get swept away into…well…weirdness. We seek out new and odd beliefs or ways to look at Scripture and are led into error.
For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think, but to think so as to have sound judgement, as Elohim has allotted to each a measure of faith.Romans 12:3 NASB
When we turn our differences into a cause we tend to build in pride. We seek being different for its own sake, instead of seeking Yeshua. You see, it is true that a life of faith in the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will cause you to be different, but we are called to be different for the sake of a relationship with Adonai, not for the sake of being different.
Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for Elohim sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but Yahweh looks at the heart.1 Samuel 16:7 NASB
*I am not saying that those who choose to celebrate Christmas are not His people. The requirement to be called one of His own is a belief and submission to Yeshua as the Messiah. But for those who have chosen to celebrate His feasts at His times there is an obvious difference with those who don’t.