Authority - Do we follow Sha'ul (Paul), Kefa (Peter), or Yeshua
One of the greatest impediments to believers today may well be one that was addressed almost 2000 years ago. Who are we to follow?
1Co 1:12-13 I say this because one of you says, "I follow Sha'ul"; another says, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Kefa"; while still another says, "I follow the Messiah!" Has the Messiah been split in pieces? Was it Sha'ul who was put to death on a stake for you? Were you immersed into the name of Sha'ul?
The above verses make it totally clear that Sha'ul is not the Messiah, that he did not die for us. He did not claim equality with the Messiah. Quite the opposite, he referred to himself as "the least of the Emissaries (Apostles)."
Why is that important? Because today, 80-90% of all teachings in most fellowships center on Sha'ul. Derek Leman, when he accepted Messiah, did so having only read the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible). Upon entering the Church, he was shocked to hear a full 90% of the teachings being from Paul.
These 13 (or 14 if your believe Messianic Jews is from Paul) letters make up less than 10% of scripture and dominate modern beliefs and thought. Very often to the exclusion of the teachings the other Emissaries.
Sha'ul calls himself the least of the Emissaries; this is not merely humility, but is in fact a true understanding of his standing and place in the Apostles. This can be verified by reviewing the selection of Matthias to replace Judas. The criteria for being on of the Emissaries was: Had been with Yochanan the Immerser, had been with Yeshua from the beginning, and had walked with him on His earthly Ministry.
As much as it may shock us, Sha'ul (Paul) did none of those things, and would not have been even considered as a replacement for Judas.
If the above is true, and it is. Why then are Sha'uls writings preferred over the other, more Senior Emissaries? When Yochanan says clearly - "1Jn 3:4 Everyone who keeps sinning is violating Torah - indeed, sin is violation of Torah. and in 1Jn 3:6 So no one who remains united with him continues sinning; everyone who does continue sinning has neither seen him nor known him" these same thoughts are echoed by all the Emissaries (including Sha'ul).
Why then do some many claim the Torah is no longer valid. Is Sha'ul right? As He himself would say, G-d forbid. It isn't Sha'ul, but people misapplying his teachings that lead us to say the Torah is obsolete.
Today, in the Jewish world, Yeshua is being more and more regarded as a good Rabbi, a good Jew. This is quite a change in perception. It is now Sha'ul (Paul) who is seen as the enemy, a self-hating Hellenistic Jew who started a new religion, Christianity.
With the current emphasis on Paul, and it's accompanying misunderstandings and teachings, is it any wonder why our Jewish Brothers & Sisters think that.
Who do we follow? Sha'ul, or the one who was sent by Adonai to die for our sins, and is the living Torah?
Blessings - Rabbi Gavri'el