Repost: Tassels

Our Pastor spoke on these same concepts today, so I thought I’d repost this article from May 3, 2006. Tassels

photo credit: ratterrell

tzitzitRead Numbers 15 – 37 The LORD said to Moses, 38 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. 39 You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the LORD, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. 40 Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God. 41 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the LORD your God.’ “

God tells Moses to tell the people that they are supposed to put tassels on the corners of their clothes so that they can be constantly reminded that they are supposed to live like God has told them to. Anyway, if you were a Jew in those days, you’d see people wearing these tassels all throughout the day and when you saw them, you remembered that you were one of God’s people.

The Hebrew word for “corners” is “kanaf” and the Hebrew word for “tassel” or “fringe” is “tzitzit.”

Tzitzit_1 Many Jews wear a prayer shawl today in order to keep this commandment. The tassels today have 5 knots in them representing the 5 books of the Torah (Our first five books) and the four spaces between them represent the four letter for God’s name YHWH. Along the shawl there are also 613 knotted strings to remind them of the 613 laws of the torah.

Now check out Malachi 4 – But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.

The Hebrew word translated “wings” is “kanaf.” Now what do you think?? This means that the verse could be translated “The sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its ______.” (Tassels.)

Now because of this there was a legend that people began to believe about the coming Messiah which said that there would be some kind of mysterious almost magical healing powers in the tassels of his prayer shawl.

Now read Luke 8 – As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

“Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”

But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”

Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

Pretty cool huh? Did you catch it? The woman believed the legend and actually touched Jesus’ “tzitzit,” His tassles, His “kanaf.” In her actions she was proclaiming that she believed He was the Messiah. This is why Jesus was so quick to say “Your faith has healed you!” Her action alone was a huge expression of faith.

Jesus – for the Jews or Gentiles?

Jesus Clearly the answer is that He came for both, but I still have some questions about Jesus which were raised by something I learned last night.

Matthew 10:5 – Jesus sends out the disciples to tell people that the Kingdom is near, but He tells them to only go to the Jews.

Matthew 28 – Jesus sends them out again, but this time to everyone. All nations, tribes, and tongues.

What changed?

Check Matthew 15:21-28:

21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” 23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” 25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. 26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” 27 “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Remember that the Jews hated the Canaanites, and this was not only a Canaanite, but also a woman. She called Him “Lord, Son of David” before the Jews had recognized Him as the Messiah. You’d think Jesus would commend her for her faith and all, but instead He basically says, “I’m here for the Jews, not for you.” Then she worships Him and recognizes Him as God and Jesus calls her a dog. Did you catch that? Jesus called her a dog. That’s not the way I always pictured Jesus, but that’s exactly what He did. Her answer is something like: “But what if the Jews don’t want what you have? Can’t I just get a little of what’s left over?” At this point Jesus commends her faith and heals her daughter. By the way, remember that when Jesus speaks to the disciples (Jews) he says, “You of little faith. . .” but when He talks to her he says, “You have great faith!”

Now, clearly there has been some sort of change that we see played out in these verses. God’s plan for the Jews has now been extended to the Gentiles. Or maybe it’s a whole different plan. But here’s the deal: I don’t understand some things: Did Jesus change His mind because of this woman? For that matter, if God is sovreign, can He change His mind? If not, why did Jesus think that He was just for the Jews at first and then later realize (like He didn’t know) it was much larger than that? Did He really believe He was just for the Jews or did He know it was gonna get bigger? Was He just saying that at first even though He knew that His crucifixion was gonna be for the Gentiles too?

One thought I have to help answer this question is that in Chapter 10 when He first sends them out, Jesus is talking about the prophesied Jewish Kingdom. Maybe that’s why He didn’t want them to go to the Gentiles – I mean – you know – the Gentiles wouldn’t care about a Jewish Kingdom anyway. But what about this woman? This still doesn’t explain this change we see take place in Him in this incident. Clearly it’s still a “Jewish Kingdom” message that He is speaking to her about, but it is inferred by His words and actions (healing the daughter) that she has somehow entered into this kingdom like a dog under the table.

Another thought is that God’s agenda for the Gentiles and what would soon become the church began here in these verses. This means that God has a Kingdom agenda that He is working for the Jews and simultaneously, He has this church thing going for the Gentiles. But is this the beginning of that?

Throughout the Scriptures, we see that salvation comes by faith. Clearly, this woman has faith when the Jews hadn’t even come to that yet. Is this why Jesus says later, “Go and make disciples of all nations”? I dunno – it’s all a bit confusing for me. Maybe some of you can help me figure this one out.

Hans? You’re a big seminary student – what insight can you bring?

Paraphrasing and Translations

Bible15
In class this week, Dr. Loken talked about the different versions of the Bible. Quite a bit of it was stuff I had already picked up on in all my years of ministry, but there was definitely a part of it which was new to me. I’ve been teaching a series with the youth for our Wednesday Night Bible study lately that has been lots of fun, but I’m questioning it now. The series is called the “Paraphrase Project” and the idea is to teach the students about a certain Biblical text and then have them rewrite it in their own words. I’ve encouraged them to rewrite each phrase so they can understand it. It’s been a really good way to help them interact with the Scriptures and they’ve had a good time learning to express themselves like this. Anyway, after my class, I feel like I have a better grasp on the details of what it means to really translate the Scriptures. It’s a huge undertaking (probably not something for a student – we’re not really distributing ours though – it’s just to help us interact with the Scriptures.) ’cause one little detail could undermine the whole text.

Anyway, he showed us how the TNIV and the NRSV have tried to become “gender inclusive” and how it has totally changed the Scriptures. For example:
In Hebrews 2 the NIV says,
6But there is a place where someone has
testified:
“What is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of
man that you care for him?
Bible087You made
him a little
lower than the angels;
you crowned him with glory and honor

8and put everything under his
feet?
In
putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet
at present we do not see everything subject to him.

These verses are clearly talking about Jesus and his Sovereignty with everything under His feet.

Now look at the same verse from the “gender inclusive” TNIV:
6 But there is a place where someone has
testified:
“What are mere mortals that you are mindful of them,

human beings that you care for them?
7 You made them a little lower
than the angels;
you crowned them with glory and honor
8 and put everything under their
feet.”
In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to
them. Yet
at present we do not see everything subject to them.

What?!?!?!? Humans now have sovereignty over all things?? It’s really scary to me that people could actually believe in being “politically correct” so much that they’d be willing to change the whole Manmeaning of Scripture. Wouldn’t want to offend a woman and call Jesus a man.
Sorry ladies, but just so you know – JESUS WAS A MAN!! What kind of man would change the scriptures like this? He must have gotten beat up by a lot of girls to be that afraid of women. I guess he’s more afraid of women than he is of God.

Tassels

Read Numbers 15 – 37 The LORD said to Moses, 38 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. 39 You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the LORD, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. 40 Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God. 41 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the LORD your God.’ “

God tells Moses to tell the people that they are supposed to put tassels on the corners of their clothes so that they can be constantly reminded that they are supposed to live like God has told them to. Anyway, if you were a Jew in those days, you’d see people wearing these tassels all throughout the day and when you saw them, you remembered that you were one of God’s people.

The Hebrew word for “corners” is “kanaf” and the Hebrew word for “tassel” or “fringe” is “tzitzit.”

06-05-03Many Jews wear a prayer shawl today in order to keep this commandment. The tassels today have 5 knots in them representing the 5 books of the Torah (Our first five books) and the four spaces between them represent the four letter for God’s name YHWH. Along the shawl there are also 613 knotted strings to remind them of the 613 laws of the torah.

Now check out Malachi 4 – But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.

The Hebrew word translated “wings” is “kanaf.” Now what do you think?? This means that the verse could be translated “The sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its ______.” (Tassels.)

Now because of this there was a legend that people began to believe about the coming Messiah which said that there would be some kind of mysterious almost magical healing powers in the tassels of his prayer shawl.

Now read Luke 8 – As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

“Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”

But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”

Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

Pretty cool huh? Did you catch it? The woman believed the legend and actually touched Jesus’ “tzitzit,” His tassles, His “kanaf.” In her actions she was proclaiming that she believed He was the Messiah. This is why Jesus was so quick to say “Your faith has healed you!” Her action alone was a huge expression of faith.