What exactly did Yeshua/Jesus mean when he said in Luke:

Luk 14:26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.
Luk 14:27 “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple NASB

We prefer to call Jesus by His Hebrew name, Yeshua, which is the same name that his mother and his disciples called Him, and that name is Yeshua.
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Did Yeshua really mean that we are supposed to hate our father, mother, our wives and even our children and brothers and sisters? What was He talking about? Surely he didn’t mean what he said, because he is all about love and forgiveness. So maybe there something just a little bit deeper beyond the surface of what He’s trying to teach.

It’s all about perspective, it’s all about unraveling the riddles, and the parables, and the mysteries. But this one is rather simple, when looking at it in its proper context.

When we got saved and born-again, but before we got baptized, our pastor usually would tell us to read Luke 14:26-27, and contemplate it seriously. These two verses are speaking about something that is very important: they are speaking about our loyalty to the Messiah, and that loyalty must be more important and placed in higher authority and position than anyone or anything else on this earth. Yes our loyalty to Him comes before our wives and children; it comes before our mother and father.

If we are born again Christians, and we examine ourselves very closely, even in these days of counting the Omer up to Shavuot/Pentecost, do we find our loyalty to Him coming before anyone or anything else in our lives? Or do we find ourselves wanting and lacking in this department?

You know today more Christians are finding out things that have been lost for a long time; they’re finding the Feasts of the Lord, and starting to walk in the whole counsel of the Word of God. They’re finding out that keeping the Shabbat is really not a bunch of bondage. It’s really rather relaxing and comforting to know we’re getting rest and obeying God all at the same time.

You know, we call ourselves believers and believe we are going to heaven when we die, because we invited Yeshua into our hearts, and we try to live a good life. We go to church on Sunday or maybe even on Saturday (Shabbat). We tithe. We seem to be doing all the right things, and we feel good within our hearts. But can we really trust our hearts? What does the Word of God say about our heart?

Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? NASB

S o is it really safe to trust our hearts? Or is it safer to learn what the Word of God says about the matter? I’ll let you answer that one.

But how often do we pick up the Word of God and read it for ourselves? Do we do it daily, or maybe just once a week? Or is that book dusty on our bookshelves? After all, the preacher reads it to us when we go to church, so why bother, right?

How often do we come to Him in prayer? Do we at least tell Him good morning when we get up and out of bed, and tell Him that we love Him? Or do we just pray to Him before we eat? I guess it’s a good thing that we all have to eat three times a day; otherwise, we might not ever acknowledge Him.

How long would our marriages last if that were the only time we gave our spouse, just a few minutes a day?

Are we sure, that we are secure for all eternity, seeing as how we’re supposed to be the bride of Christ? Are we sure we want to bet the rest of eternity on what we THINK the plan of God is all about?

Are we really secure in our belief system, and the Word of God? Do we know what we believe, because the Spirit of God has illuminated it to our spirits and our understanding?

Or is our doctrine governed by what our pastors tell us? You know it’s extremely important that we understand that our character is formed and determined by the loyalty that rules it.

Are we letting Yeshua’s Word and Commandments govern our lives? Do we put that first and foremost in our lives today? After all, he says;

John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.NASB

Now we know there is only one God. We know that Yeshua is that one God. Because John tells us:

Joh 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Joh 1: 3 All things came into being through Him , and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. NASB

So we not only see that Yeshua is God, but he’s also the Creator, because it says that all things came into being through Him, through the Messiah. So where is the disconnect between Yeshua in the New Testament, and the Commandments of the Old Testament?

For some reason, in our subconscious, we look upon it as if there are two different gods: One God with one set of rules in the New Testament, and then a different God in the Old Testament, with those Old Testament Commandments-you know, the ones our pastors tell us are for the Jews. But are we willing to bet the rest of eternity and our salvation on that fact?

Are the Commandments in the Old Covenant writings really done away with? Are they really for the Jews only? A lot of our spiritual health and well-being rides on the answer to those two questions. Are you really that confident in the answer?

Now I’m not saying that if you don’t obey the commandments you’re not saved, no that’s not what I’m saying. But, let’s look and see what Yeshua said about the subject.

Mat 5:18 “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law (Torah) until all is accomplished.
Mat 5:19 “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. NASB

These are the direct words straight out of the mouth of our Messiah Yeshua Himself. The answer is pretty simple and direct.

He said that anyone that does not obey even the least of the Commandments and teaches others to do the same, they will be the least in the kingdom of heaven. Do you want to be in that group call the least?

But then He goes on to say that whoever keeps the Commandments and teaches others to keep the Commandments will be called the great and His kingdom of heaven. Now isn’t that the group you want to be in? I hope the answer is yes.

Now just for the moment, let’s not worry about what Paul said or didn’t say. What really matters is what God said, and Yeshua is God.

Act 5:29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. NASB

So do we keep Yeshua’s Great Commission? Do we really know what the Great Commission is all about? Yeshua didn’t say, “Go out and win souls for Me. I know you’re probably shocked to hear me say that, but it’s true. Let’s take a look at what the Great Commission is.

Mat 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Mat 28:20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” NASB

So it seems pretty simple and obvious to me: The Messiah’s Great Commission is to go out and make disciples, and teach them to observe and obey all that he has commanded. And those Commandments are all found within the pages of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

That’s where we find the instructions that make us wise and lead us to salvation. And that is straight from the mouth of Paul speaking to Timothy.

2Ti 3:15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; NASB

Think about it, when Paul said this, there was no New Testament, so he was not speaking of the New Testament scriptures.

The only scripture that Paul and Timothy had, when they were children, was the scripture that is found in the Old Testament. The Hebrew name for the Old Testament or better yet, the Old Covenant writings is called the Tanakh.

I want you to think about something very profound that we just discovered here. Paul is telling us that the Torah and the prophets, i.e. the Tanakh, are the sacred writings that give us wisdom that leads us to salvation through faith in the Messiah.

Yes he didn’t tell us that we get saved through keeping a bunch of Commandments. We get saved through faith, but then the evidence of our salvation is keeping the Commandments to the best of our ability.

Rom 3:31 Do we then nullify the Law (Torah) through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law. NASB

In the King James version he says “God forbid!” He says we establish the Torah, we lift it up, we give it priority in our lives. Are we sure that we’re living according to God’s Word today? Let me encourage you to dig back into the Word of God for yourselves personally today. It’s never too late, until you’re 6 feet under ground. Then it is too late. We don’t want to take a chance with something this important, do we? I pray not.

Let us diligently search out the Word to find out what we believe and why we believe it. And may we do it with humility, and in the right spirit.

1Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: NASB