One in Yeshua
by Guy Cohen and wife Tali, Harvest of Asher Congregation leader, Tents of Mercy Network
|October 2015 annual gathering of Jewish and Arab congregations in the Galilee|
The Autumn rains have come, and green shoots are beginning to poke through the newly softened earth. Yet the tensions that fill our little country make the ground feel dry and scorched with volatile hatred. Knife stabbings and bullets rend bodies and spirits, creating division and fear.
All the while politicians are trying to convey messages of "peace and security" as they seek for solutions to the seemingly never-ending conflict between the Jewish and Arab peoples. But we cannot pin our hopes on the words of men, "For when they say, 'Peace and safety!' Then sudden destruction comes upon them ..." (I Thessalonians 5:4).
Normal Israeli citizens also speak of peace. Many desire to coexist in mutual respect and good neighborliness. Having lived for 42 years in a city made up of both Jewish and Arab citizens, I have seen both the positive dynamics of mutual cooperation, and the negative dynamics of mutual disillusionment. Tension exists whether we like it or not. The sea may at times have a calm-looking surface, but always there are strong undercurrents. Our Enemy knows how to "stir the pot," bringing fearful despair to this land - indeed to every land, for man's sin has given him authority around the globe.
We all tend to label people by their ethnicity, gender, nation of birth and outward appearance - often forgetting that we are all created in the image of God. Only when we internalize this truth; only when man understands that the Anointed King is Yeshua; only when we invite Him into our heart and are rescued from our sinful life, then we will see peace. Then the one who dwells in human hearts will unite His bride. Without theology and without hypocritical masks, we will be able to have compassion on our fellow man, our brother and sister. I am looking to Him, to the Master, to bring true peace between our two peoples. If Yeshua can make peace in His "backyard", here in the land of Israel, then peace will also blossom forth among all peoples of the earth.
The first man brought sin. The last will bring peace. With Yeshua I have peace on the inside, and then through Yeshua I will also have peace with my brother. That is why God said, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." How can I love my fellow man if I do not yet love myself?
I will be able to love myself when my beloved Yeshua dwells in me, and through Him I will be able to view those around me with eyes of love. As true followers of the Messiah let us stop badmouthing and blaming our brothers. Let us bless and pray for those different from us, even our enemies.
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