“And every day in the temple and from house to house they ceased not to teach and to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Acts 5:42).
A few years ago, my wife and I witnessed the painful death of a messianic congregation in North Carolina (which, thank God, has since recovered and is now thriving). What was the cause of death? The spiritual leader taught and preached day after day in the community and from house to house about the importance of being Jewish. He clearly forgot, or at least pushed aside the incredible and infinite joy of knowing the Messiah. Without the constant nourishment of Jesus, the people in the community were like spiritual fish pulled out of living water, suffocating without spiritual air, thrashing in agony on completely dry stones.
We won’t point fingers, but we all tend to get carried away by teachers and teachings that place a high value on anything other than Jesus (be it a particular school of theology, spiritual gifts, tradition, health and well-being, politics, vaccination or non-vaccination, or even Jewish and/or Christian holidays). The first Jewish believers stood in the courtyard of the Temple in Jerusalem (the very center of the Jewish world), surrounded by great scholars of the Law and oral tradition, and they couldn’t stop talking about Jesus!
Friends, let’s not forget that one love that puts all other types of love in their right places.
“But I have this against you, that you have left your first [most important] love” (Revelation 2:4).