Dry Sticks and Lunatics
An excerpt from Creation Gospel Workbook 5 Vol. 3 Vayikra
"Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, 'Behold, I am a dry tree.'" (Isaiah 56:3)
War n Moon
In the Gospel of Luke Chapter 10 is an example Yeshua gave to a man who wanted to justify his own attitudes and actions toward others. Yeshua's example was of a Levite, a Kohen (priest), and a Samaritan, who is a person of mixed Israelite heritage and defective practice of the Word. The robbery occurred on the road to Jericho, whose Hebrew root is the same as yareach, or the moon.
The moon city is rich in symbolism, which is directly tied to another section of the Torah portion that delineates the moedim (feasts of Israel). Moedim are primarily reconciled to the months as determined by the new moon, but since the sun determines the seasons, these two opposites are reconciled so that the moedim fall within the proper season, unlike other religions with lunar calendars that disregard the season, so the feasts migrate through the months.
In Acts, Cornelius offered a zikaron, a memorial prayer on the first of the month, for that is when the zikaron offerings were presented to the blowing of trumpets. The Feast of Trumpets (Rosh HaShanah) is also a new moon memorial day according to Jewish tradition. Cornelius, the firstfruits of the Gentiles, was the new moon, but he was the NEW moon; there is yet a fullness of the Gentiles, which is the full moon of Sukkot. It is the mystery of the Gentiles, which is the hope of Messiah, the reflection of His radiance in his growing Household.
In the first century, Jericho was a rich and flourishing town, having a considerable trade, and it was celebrated for the palm trees that adorned the plain around. It was visited by Yeshua on his last journey to Jerusalem. There he gave sight to two blind men, figuratively restoring their ability to draw near and minister as priests in the House, for two is beit (house) in Hebrew. Yeshua also brought salvation to the house of Zacchaeus the publican. Zacchaeus was in the fig/sycamine tree, a tree of fake figs, which represents the dry, fruitless tree of Isaiah 56, yet Yeshua calls him down to make him fruitful once again. Many Sadducee priests and Levites also lived in Jericho in the first century, not in Jerusalem.
The parable of the man on the road to Jericho alludes to a rabbinic law. It is the obligation of the kohanim according to Jewish oral law to attend to the wounded or dead who have no one else to care for them (Munk, 1992, p. 256). Although exempted from caring for the dead of immediate family, if there is no one else to honor the dead, then a Levite, a Kohen, or even the Kohen HaGadol must do so. The Torah portion prohibits a priest from making himself unclean to tend to the dead of his own family. It is very specific, and it assumes that other family members can carry out the duties, but this oral law recognizes the spirit of the Torah is kindness, and even the high priest is obligated according to the Jewish oral law to bury a corpse or tend to the wounded if no one else can, i.e., exactly the situation Yeshua presents in the parable.
Most of the priests and Levites in Yeshua's day were Sadducees who did not follow the oral law. "Scholars were Pharisees, whereas among the chief priests and elders many were Sadducees." (Cohn, 1977, p. 26) This would be why they passed by a wounded and dying man. The Samaritans also followed the letter of the Torah, not the oral law. The Pharisees, however, followed oral law and ruled that a priest and Levite must sometimes make himself unclean in order to restore purity to the common Israelite as typified by the sacrifice of the red heifer.
The one man who burned the red heifer made himself unclean, yet the ashes became ashes of purification available to the whole community. This is a picture of the Mashiach Yeshua. Because he voluntarily walked into the realm of uncleanness for the benefit of all Israel, the fiery Torah that was within Yeshua purified the flesh and is available to make the whole community clean.
Jerichoites assisted in repairing the walls of Jerusalem in Nehemiah 3:1-2:
Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they built the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel. And next unto him built the men of Jericho. It was the high priests, the Levites, and the people of Jericho who repaired the door for the sheep into Jerusalem.
Jericho-dwellers played a part in repairing the breaches in the walls and gates of Jerusalem, the city of the moedim and holies. As there were two blind men, there were two coins given to the innkeeper by the Good Samaritan in Yeshua's example of a good neighbor. Rahab was the harlot who received and joined herself to Israel in Jericho, and she was also an innkeeper; she harbored two spies who brought redemption to her house in the wall of the city.
In these examples, there are those who honor the Father and Israel, and there are those who rob the honor due to the Father and Israel. The Levite and Kohen dishonored a dying man when the very essence of their positions in Israel was to teach life. The Good Samaritan, even though an Israelite of mixed ancestry and defective in his observance, was obedient to the Torah of kindness, going beyond the dead letter of the Torah. He bound up the wounds of the one who was left half-dead.
According to the oral law, one who is in the process of dying is still treated as though he will live. The Samaritan is acting out of character with his religion's dogma when he shows mercy and reveals himself to be the "neighbor," the one honoring a dying man with the expectation of life. Because the priest and Levite expected the man to die, they dishonored his life for their letter. This is not the Light of the Torah.
By healing the blind men and using the Jericho road as an example, Yeshua was evoking Torah-memories in those who listened to and watched him teach. Jericho was the first city west of the Yarden to fall to Joshua (Yehoshua) in war. Yeshua (the Aramaic form of Yehoshua) also made war against Jericho. He warred against attitudes and applications that dishonored Israel and robbed them of life in the Ruach of the Bread of the Presence. He drew near the Moon City blind men and the one of mixed ancestry who knew how to render honor and dignity to Israel, honor which ironically he'd never received from Israel. Yeshua let the blessings of the Father flow through him.
There was another type of blindness that Yeshua cured: moon blindness.
When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, falling on his knees before Him and saying, 'Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him.' And Jesus answered and said, 'You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.' And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once. (Matthew 17:14-18)
The Greek word for "lunatic" means "to be moon-struck." This father wanted desperately to be a source of blessing to his son, whose illness was associated with the moon in ancient times. This wise father brings the son to Yeshua so that the demon will leave. One thing a demon hates to do, but it must do, is to submit to spiritual authority when directly confronted. Demonic spirits are always vulnerable to spiritual authority wielded by a holy one. The unclean thing hates to honor, but it must honor. This is not what Israel is called to do. A nation of priests is called to honor the Holy One and one another not because they must, but because it is the desire of the heart. Once cured, the father can bless the son and the son can honor the father. Moon-blindness can turn to radiance and spiritual vision.
Those who are moon-blind may not understand the Holy One's calendar, thinking that the modern solar calendar truly tells time and holidays. A restoration of the moon-blind may be the restoration of their blindness to the holy moedim as established by Scripture. There are also those who have become practical lunatics over the moon, arguing and forever calculating a calendar, looking for hidden knowledge that has never been hidden, and creating chaos within the Body of Messiah instead of gathering to the moedim. This can be healed, for the Father wants the blessings of the moedim to flow through his children.
Jericho the moon city hints to the millennial moon:
Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD binds up the breach of his people, and heals the stroke of their wound. (Isaiah 30:26)
In the war for the Land, Jericho the moon city was besieged by Joshua for seven days. When complete healing in Israel takes place, the lights of the sun and the moon will be seven times brighter, the radiance of Messiah's Sabbath. Jericho the moon city has no source of light in itself. The moon shows its blemishes; even when it shines its brightest, it makes the blemishes and craters even more noticeable. The moon is a witness of the realm of davah, grief, pain, and suffering of the Creation, but it will be restored to its original radiant condition, seven times brighter than it is now because the moon can only reflect the light of the sun.
Rahab, the Good Samaritan, Zacchaeus, and the blind men are pictures of Israel's restoration and removal of the blemishes on the sacrifices. All Israel, like Yeshua, will be transfigured into radiance, purposing only to reflect the glory of the Father into the Creation by honoring His Word and the holy community.
We are all on the road to Jericho, the moon city. We have all been ambushed and left half-dead, but Yeshua comes to us in our realm of grief, pain, and suffering, and he repairs the holes in our souls and heals the strokes of the wounds. He transforms the blind men, the dry, unfruitful trees, the harlots, and the orphans who are spiritually fatherless, inviting them into the kedoshim of the Holy One of Israel. We serve both as slaves and royal priests in the household of Holiness.
Dry Sticks and Lunatics
The kohanim of Israel teach Israel not how to die, but how to live. Other religions conceal their priestly manuals from the common man, but Torah reveals the priestly manual to all Israel. Some religions forbid priests to marry, but Israelite priests are expected to live, to model and teach Israel the precepts of holy family life. Egyptian priests wrote the Book of the Dead. They tried to make the corpse last as long as it possibly could through mummification. They buried it with all sorts of food and equipment they thought the person might need in his death journey. Elohim, however, wrote the Book of Life. Israelites are buried so as to speed the process of returning the body to dust so that nothing is left but the bones that will one day resurrect "like Heavenly bones for purity." They have no hunger or thirst, for the sustenance of the Bread is ever in the disembodied ruach (spirit) and nefesh until the resurrection.
Israelite priests teach that no one brings anything into the world, and no one will take anything out but his or her deeds and the spiritual riches of the ruach that motivated them. All are the same in death, and no amount of silver, gold, boats, or other items will make one's death more glorious. An Israelite is dressed for burial in plain white linen like a priest. What he or she leaves behind are attitudes of honor for the holies passed on to the next generation and mature children doing the will of the Father because of the Bread that individual has shared. Yeshua came to do away with dry sticks and lunatics, and he grows a holy nation of green trees and kohanim.
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