Daily Topic for December 12, 2008

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

In this opening statement of John’s gospel we catch a glimpse of one of the essential characteristics of God: He is a missionary God who carries within His heart the desire to communicate His Word. Not only is He the Creator of mankind, but He is the Communicator to mankind. This communication was culminated at the birth of Jesus Christ when “the Word became flesh,” and John highlights this “one solitary life” from His early days of ministry to His resurrection on Easter morning. Christ’s life is our pattern of how we are to effectively communicate God’s love to the ends of the earth.

Thank the Father for revealing Himself. Pray that we will trust in His grace as we, too, walk among the needy peoples.

Karaites in Israel

Their form of Judaism is so strange that Russian Tsars categorized them as non-Jews. So did the Nazis. Thus, they escaped Russia’s pogroms and the Nazi holocaust. But Karaites know they are true Jews. They follow only the Tanach, the Jewish Bible, rejecting rabbinic interpretations. They allow each believer to make his/her own interpretation. Unlike most Jewish communities, men and women can exercise authority in their groups. They often prostrate themselves in prayer, which is rare for any Jewish community.

Still, the Karaites have important commonalities with mainstream Judaism. They observe the Sabbath. Karaites practice total separation from Gentiles and from ritual washing. Their prayer books come almost exclusively from Tanach passages.

But just when we think we can pigeonhole the Karaites as Orthodox Jews, they surprise us. They do not wear phylacteries attached to forehead or hand in any form. Karaites understand the Scriptures referring to these in metaphorical terms. So they hide the Word of God in their thoughts and let it guide their actions.

In other respects, Karaites tend to adopt the customs of their host country. Since most of them live in Israel, they are starting to assimilate into mainstream society, according to the Internet’s Wikipedia.

Learn more at joshuaproject.net

Pray that Messianic Jewish believers will see the Karaite community in Israel as God sees them. Ask God to raise up Messianic Jews to go as His ambassadors to the Karaites.-EF

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