Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25, Isaiah 49:14 to 51:3, Luke chapter 15
We have previously pointed out that Yeshua quotes the book of Devarim [Hebrew: Words], or Deuteronomy more than any other book of the Torah. In Rabbi Jonathan Sack’s short commentary from a few years ago, “The Morality of Love,” the reason becomes evident.
The book of Deuteronomy is saturated with the language of love. The root a-h-v appears in Shemot [Exodus]twice, in Vayikra [Leviticus] twice (Lev. 19), in Badmibar [Numbers] not at all, but [23 times in the book of Deuteronomy]. Devarim is a book about societal beatitude and the transformative power of love.- Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
Among Yeshua final words to His disciples is the powerful exhortation: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (John 13:34)
But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despise you, and persecute you. Mat 5:44/Luke 6:27
Honor thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself. (Mat. 19:9)
And thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. (Mat 22:36, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27)
Rabbi Sacks points to a profound statement contained in philosopher Simon May’s splendid book, Love: A History:
“The widespread belief that the Hebrew Bible is all about vengeance and ‘an eye for an eye,’ while the Gospels supposedly invent love as an unconditional and universal value, must therefore count as one of the most extraordinary misunderstandings in all of Western history. For the Hebrew Bible is the source not just of the two love commandments but of a larger moral vision inspired by wonder for love’s power.” -Simon May – philosopher
I hope you will take time to read all of Rabbi Sack’s short commentary. Let us consider and repent of this gross misunderstanding and the resulting long and painful separation from our Jewish brethren, which ultimately gave birth to the Holocaust. May Abba help us to reach out in love as never before.
If we put it in context of this week’s parsha, Yeshua was saying, “Eikev [because or consequently] you love one another, all men shall know that you are my disciples. (see John 13:35)