Summary Lesson 15: “Seek Ye Earnestly The Best Gifts”
- KEY TO RECOGNIZING THE MESSIAH: The true meaning of the Messiah’s life and those who testified of Him is the SPIRIT. The word for spirit in Hebrew is Ruach Elohim, the breath, the wind of God. “And Moses said . . . Would God that all the LORD’S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!” (Numbers 11:29)
- A GIFT: As previously stated, there are some people who do not have that gift yet, and those that do must exercise patience and love because eventually more will get that gift and be very happy. The gift of belief comes from God.
- BELIEVING SUPERCEDED BY “DOING:” In Judaism, “belief” is superceded by “doing.” Hence, the 613 commandments (365 don’ts, 248 do’s) have preeminence over faith. “The biblical word emunah (and its other forms) which is often translated as ‘belief’ really means ‘trust’ or ‘confidence,’ which is something quite different.” (Encyclopedia Judaica, Jr.)
- BEYOND “DOING:”: Although Jewish prayers and benedictions are prepared, to be followed, rather than be spoken from the heart, some of these benedictions still carry an admonition to go beyond the ‘do’ to embrace ‘faith’ (Emunah) in God.
- IN THE NAME OF THE LORD: Ba’al Shem Tov is a descriptive title which means the “Good Master of the Name” (or the “Master of the Good Name”), and the “Name” refers to the Name of God. Thus the bearer of the title was a person who was able to invoke the Name of God for the purpose of healing the sick or in other worthy causes.
- “IF YOU DON’T USE IT, YOU’LL LOSE IT:” It is difficult to develop spiritual gifts when you do not use them. The inspired translation of the following verse makes the lesson of using spiritual gifts easier to understand. “For whosoever receiveth to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance; but whosoever continueth not to receive, from him shall be taken even that he hath.” (Matthew 13:12) “If You Don’t Use It, You’ll Lose It.” This modern proverb echoes the message, by exercising the gift, it expands and grows. Jesus’ parables are like paintings, they must be studied for more interpretation. They contain nature and human references so that more people with differing gifts would be able to understand them.