Rabbi Schneider - Lessons from the Holy Land
I'm excited to be journeying with you to the Holy Land in this special Holy Land series. Today I'm going to take you to Bethsaida and Jerusalem in this episode. We're gonna begin with Bethsaida. Bethsaida is very important. A number of Jesus's apostles had roots in this city. But it's also known because it was a city that rejected Jesus. When I was there, beloved, I looked around. All that was left of it was ruins. This is what happens in our lives, beloved, if we don't receive Jesus. We wither away and die. I'm gonna give more application about this truth after we go into the city of Bethsaida. Join me, beloved, it's an exciting show today. Thank you for tuning in. I love you. God bless you and Shalom.
This is one of the A spots, one of the one spots, this is the real city. Jesus was really here and I want to just kind of introduce it by bringing it right to the Scriptures and sharing with you some of the things that happened right here in Bethsaida. God bless you and Shalom to my television audience today. This is first of all, this is the birthplace, Bethsaida, of Peter, Andrew, James, John and Philip. We read about that in John, 1:44, 12:21, and also in Luke, 5, chapter 10. This is also the place that Jesus fed the 5,000, somewhere near here. I want to read now two portions of Scripture. The first that I'm gonna read is from the Book of Mark, chapter 8, verse 22-26: And they came to Bethsaida, which is where we're sitting, and they brought a blind man to Yeshua, and implored him to touch him. Taking the blind man by hand, he brought him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes, and laying his hands on him, he asked him, do you see anything. And he looked up, and said, I see men for I see them like trees, walking around. And again he laid his hands on his eyes, and looked intently; and was restored, and began to see everything clearly. And he sent him out to his home saying, Do not even enter the village.
And I think the application for us with this is that we shouldn't give up if we pray for somebody and we don't see an immediate result or a full result, because even Yeshua in this situation, who is both fully God, but fully man, prayed two times before the man was completely healed. And so sometimes we'll, we'll minister to somebody and they'll be better. Keep ministering and keep believing for full and complete restoration. This is an interesting place because it was in this city also that Yeshua protested that it was gonna be better for Sodom and Gomorrah than for this city because this city actually rejected God in the flesh. You know, it's hard for Jewish people sometimes to understand how God could walk around the earth as a man. But this is really not a new phenomenon because when Abraham was at the Oaks of Mamre in the Book of Genesis, the Scripture says that three men came to where Abraham was living. And what happened was that two of the men left, and one of the men remained.
And the Hebrew actually tells us in the Torah that the man that remained was Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey. It was literally God in the flesh. It was a theophany. It was God appearing in human form. So all the way back, beloved, to the first book in the Bible, we see instances where God manifested himself on earth through humanity. And so when we speak about Jesus being the Son of God, or when we speak of in the theophany where God appeared to Abraham in the flesh, how do we know that God appeared in the flesh to Abraham? Because the Bible actually says that Abraham served God there. He didn't know it was God at the time. Fully he didn't understand it. But this is what the Scripture reveals to us, that Abraham served him milk and meat, which by the way kind of questions the whole rabbinic law about mixing milk and meat together. That rabbinic law actually comes from you shall not boil a calf in its mother's milk. And I believe what was actually going on there is that God is so connected to personality and to people, and to the dynamics of relationship that to boil a calf in its mother's milk while the mother's, it would just be so against relationship.
But to take that Scripture and to turn it into a teaching of modern day Kosher that you can never eat milk and meat together is a big jump to me. And in fact we see in the Hebrew Bible where Abraham actually served Yud-Hey, Vav-Hey milk and meat in the same meal. And so I'm getting again back to this concept of God appearing in human form. Here was Jesus, himself, walking and ministering in this city of Bethsaida. They couldn't receive him. Jesus said it was gonna be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah than it would be for this city. What this is, I think, saying to me today in my evolution and my walk with God is the importance of the human will. Think about this. Same Jesus, same Yeshua, same Word, one city accepts him, another city rejects him. What was the difference? The people, the will, and this is true in our life every single day. Every single day we have to be watching our will and, and disciplining ourself to choose what's right.
You know, the Torah tells us, I put before you life and death, choose life that you might live. Every day, all day long, I'm always having to watch my thoughts, watch my attitude and make conscious decisions of what I'm gonna think about, what I'm gonna focus on, and how I'm gonna live my life out. The Torah tells us sin is crouching at the door and it's desirous for you, but you must master it. It's a real power. It's a real manifestation of darkness in this world trying to get us to agree with darkness, agree with accusation against other people, against God and against ourselves. We have to make a decision to choose life, to believe the good, to choose love, to choose mercy and to live in victory because if we don't we're gonna end up like this city that rejected Jesus 'cause we'll have rejected life. Even if we say we believe in him by name, it's more than just believing in him by name. It's choosing him in the spirit every single day. God said choose life that you might live. This city chose death. Jesus said it's gonna be worse for them than Sodom and Gomorrah. You and I also, we have a choice every single day. Every day we have to overcome and choose life.
Beloved as we journey with Jesus in his ministry through the land of Israel, what we find is this. Whenever people rejected him, any geographical city, whenever a geographical location rejected him, what ensued was that the city died; whether it was Bethsaida that Jesus compared to Sodom and Gomorrah, whether it was the temple that Jesus said that because the Jewish people didn't receive him and believe in him when he came the temple would be destroyed. Wherever he went, where he was rejected, beloved, the aftermath was death in that place. The same is true for you and I personally today. If you and I as individuals don't receive Jesus and learn how to drink of him, live from him, Jesus said if you abide in me and I in you, you will have life in yourself. Unless we're receiving from Jesus on a daily basis, in other words, unless we're in relationship with him and our relationship is growing, what's gonna happen, beloved, is the same thing that happened to Bethsaida and the same thing that happened to the temple.
Our lives are gonna fall apart. You see, the life that lasts is life in the spirit. The flesh dies, we all know that. Those of us that are past 20, we see that. You know once we got to 30 years old, 40 years old, 50 years old, we've seen our bodies begin to decay. The Bible says the outer man's decaying. But if Jesus lives in us, the Bible says, even though the outer man is decaying, the Scripture says that our inner man will be being renewed day by day. So I want to challenge you today, don't be like Bethsaida that rejected Jesus. Jesus is standing at the door of our hearts and knocking. If we'll keep letting him in, we're gonna get stronger and stronger and enter into more and more victory if we drink deeply from Jesus who is the well of our salvation. If we keep him out, if we reject him, what's gonna happen to us is that we're gonna wither up and die. When I walk through Bethsaida, this land that rejected Jesus, beloved, there was nothing left there but a ruin.
And so again, you and I, beloved, we're not getting younger. We're getting older. The only thing that's left for us is that we either get younger in the spirit, or without the spirit our flesh withers away and we die. See the Bible says now is the day of salvation. If today we hear his voice, we shouldn't harden our heart. Jesus said, I want to come in. If you let me in, you're gonna have life. I'm gonna fellowship with you and you're gonna have fellowship with me. But conversely the Bible teaches us that if we don't let Jesus in, if we reject him, he's gonna withdraw from our lives. His presence will eventually withdraw from us and there'll be nothing left for us, beloved, but to die in our sins. I love you today. Most importantly, and more importantly Jesus loves you.
Beloved, as I said in the earlier segment today, Jesus was met with rejection at Bethsaida. But it wasn't just at Bethsaida where the Jewish people rejected Jesus. They rejected him even more fiercely in Jerusalem. The good news is that God's got a bigger plan. He still loves the Jewish people and he's got an awesome plan for the nation of Israel. Let's go to Jerusalem now and hear a fiery message from God's Word.
This is Rabbi Schneider from the city of Jerusalem, and I'm going now to the Book of Matthew, chapter 23, verse number 37. These are the words of Yeshua. These are the words of Jesus: Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. What this demonstrates to us, beloved, is the heart of Father God and the heart of Jesus for the Jewish people. Do you know that the Church over the centuries has turned on the Jewish people? In fact, for so many years theologians were being trained to believe that the promises that once belonged to Israel no longer belong to Israel because they rejected Jesus. And they're taught that all the promises that once belonged to Israel now belong to the Church; that God has forsaken Israel because they rejected Jesus.
Beloved, nothing could be further from the truth. The same heart of Jesus that 2,000 years ago reached out to Jerusalem and said, oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often I wanted to gather you together the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. Beloved, that same heartbeat beats in the heart of God today. And he wants it to be our passion to love Jewish people and to reach Jewish people. I want to read just a few passages now from the Book of Romans. You know, often times when we hear teaching on the Book of Romans, we hear just about the basic theology of salvation. We've made the Book of Romans a theological treatise on how to get saved. It is a powerful, theological document that tells us the truth of salvation. In the Book of Romans, we learn that man is a sinner. We learn that Jesus died on the cross so we could be saved for our sins.
We learn all these things in the Book of Romans. But I want you to understand, beloved, we have to understand the Book of Romans through the lens of the ones that wrote it, through the eyes of the Apostle Paul who wrote it. And when the Apostle Paul wrote the Book of Romans, one of the primary things that was on his heart was the salvation of the Jewish people. Let me say that again. I'm gonna show you some Scriptures in the Book of Romans. We're gonna go to Romans, chapter 9. We're gonna go to Romans, chapter 10. And we're gonna go to Romans, chapter 11. All three chapters, Romans, 9, chapter 10, and chapter 11, all of those chapters, beloved, are about the salvation of Israel; how heavy the salvation of Israel was on Paul's heart. And Paul tells us here that the burden that he carried for the salvation of the Jewish people was actually the burden of God himself; that it was the Holy Spirit that put the burden on him for Israel's salvation.
So with that said now, with this introduction of Jesus just lamenting over Jerusalem because he wanted Israel to be saved, with Paul taking up three whole chapters in the Book of Romans for the salvation of the Jewish people, and now understanding that God wants us to have that heart beat for the Jewish people, I want to go now to Romans, chapter 9. Paul says: I'm telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple services and the promises, whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. So Paul was talking about how his heart just beats for the salvation of the Jewish people. And he said his heart is just torn up about this; that he would be willing he even said to give up his own salvation if they could be saved.
And Paul said, this burden that I'm carrying, it's not just my own burning, it's not just emotionalism. Paul says, but this burning that I have, the Holy Spirit bears witness with my heart that this is his burden as well. Listen what Paul said here: My conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit. As Paul continues, he goes to chapter 10. Listen to chapter 10 in the Book of Romans: Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. And then Paul goes on to say that even though most of Israel is not believing right now, it's not as though the Word of God has failed; that there's a plan in all this, and that God is gonna bring Israel back to himself, and that the gifts and the calling of God upon Israel are irrevocable. Let's move now to Romans, chapter 11. Listen to verse number 1: I say then, Paul said, God has not rejected His people, has He? Who is he speaking about? The Israelites. And then he has these famous four words, May it never be.
Beloved, I'm here to tell you that Father God and Yeshua have a special call on the nation of Israel, his first covenant people. And his plan is this, that he is gonna use Gentile believers, as most of you are, to bring Israel to salvation. You see, many Jewish people will not receive my testimony as a Jew 'cause there's something in them. They feel they just have to reject me. They just feel that, you know what, I can't listen to you. I'm Jewish. It just somehow, it just goes against what they were taught. But when a Gentile believer like yourself witnesses to them about Jesus, they're more open to listen. They don't feel as threatened. This is why the Bible tells us in Romans, chapter 11, concerning the call of the Gentile; that through the jealousy that is produced in Jewish hearts through Gentile believers, Israel is gonna get saved.
I want to encourage you to love Israel. Pray for, for Israel. Give to causes that lend to Jewish salvation; ministries, evangelistic ministries like this one, and humanitarian ministries. And beloved, use your mouth to love Jewish people and to share the Gospel with them. And don't ever think, beloved, don't ever think the Jewish people have something over you because Jesus said to the Jewish people, to the Jewish people Jesus said, unless you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins. In speaking of the Jewish people, Paul said, but how shall they believe in him in whom they've not heard, and how shall they hear without a preacher? How blest are the feet of those that bring them the Gospel. Share your faith with Jewish people and support Jewish ministries like mine. I love you. God bless you. This is Rabbi Schneider saying to you Shalom from Yerushalayim.
Many Christian people around the world are starting to grasp how important it is to stand with Israel. You see, beloved ones, God is still in covenant with them. Paul tells us in the Book of Romans though even though many have rejected Jesus, the Bible says God has not rejected them. God is gonna bring Israel to faith. But he's not gonna do it apart from the Church. He's gonna do it with the Church. We need to be praying for the salvation of Jewish people. We need to be showing the nation of Israel our love. And we need to be standing with Israel in our prayers and support.
You see, too many around the world have been deceived by secular media which has painted Israel as the big bad bullies that are hurting the nations around them, showing no sensitivity. In fact, the opposite is true. Yes, mistakes have been made on all sides. But in reality, Israel is a nation that cares about the way they treat their enemies. When they put up fences around their borders, it wasn't to hurt somebody else. It was to protect themselves. Israel has been so conscientious in the way that they've defended themselves to not hurt others in the process unnecessarily. Yes, sometimes in war people get harmed. But it's never been Israel's intention to hurt the innocent. They've just been concerned, beloved ones, with securing their own borders and protecting themselves. And now more than ever, they need the Church to stand with them as the nations of the world are slowly but surely gathering against them.
Let's not again be deceived by secular media. Let's pray for the peace of Jerusalem. The Bible says those that pray for the peace of Jerusalem will be blessed. The Bible says that the Lord will bless those that bless Israel and curse those that curse Israel. Beloved, we need as the Church to come into agreement with God. Paul is very clear about God's heart for Israel; that the gift and call of God upon Israel, listen to this beloved, is irrevocable. It's still in place. So that means if you want to be in agreement with God, you also have to be for Israel. You can be for Israel by praying for their salvation, by showing Jewish people love, and by giving, beloved, to ministries that are blessing them.