Within Parashah Naso (Numbers 4:21-7:89), the calling of the Nazir(and the Nazarite vow) is clearly represented stating,
“… When either a man or a woman makes a special kind of vow, the vow of the Nazir, consecrating himself to Adonai, he is to abstain from wine and other intoxicating liquor, he is not to drink vinegar from either sources, he is not to drink grape juice, and he is not to eat grapes or raisins. As long as he remains a Nazir he is to eat nothing derived from the grapevine, not even the grape-skins or the seeds. Throughout the period of his vow as a Nazir, he is not to shave his head. Until the end of the time for which he has consecrated himself to Adonai he is to be holy; he is to let the hair on his head grow long. Throughout the period for which he has consecrated himself to Adonai, he is not to approach a corpse. He is not to make himself unclean for his father, mother, brothers or sister when they die, since his consecration o=to God is on his head.” (6:2-8)
Of this passage, early in my ministry, a non-Jewish congregant once asked, “Rabbi, who is it that gets to take a nazarite vow, is it done today and how can I perform it?” Although sincere in his questioning, this question lacked a proper understanding of both biblical context and is a reminder of the mutual and distinct callings of both Jews and Gentiles within our calling in Messianic Judaism. In answer, I told him that the Nazarite vow was an oath taken by Jews alone in direct connection to Temple worship and ancient-Torah observance. The Nazir (as referenced above) was forbidden to touch a dead body, cut their hair after taking the vow or drink alcohol or anything from the fruit of the vine. Although significant only to Temple worship and the sin offering at the Mishkan, there is no longer any observance for the Nazarite since the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E.
Of the many lessons these passages teach us, Acts 21:22 brings matters into focus by stating, “…in regard to the Gentiles who have come to trust in Yeshua, we all joined in writing them a letter with our decision that they should abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, from blood, from what is strangled and from fortification.”
Noteworthy here is the rabbinical reference, “… we all joined in writing a letter with our decision” immerges from the biblical text revealing a rabbinical ruling of a Beit Din, (or, Rabbinical Court) where in coming to trust in Yeshua, the non-Jew (for salvific purposes) does not have to keep the Torah, and frim it, come into right relationship with God! In the end, the Torah has been given to Israel as a covenantal obligation and in turn, God’s chosen people are tasked of God to be a light to all nations of the world.
This is best seen in Isaiah 42:6 stating, “I, Adonai, called you righteously. I took hold of you by the hand. I shaped you and made you a covenant for the people, to be a light to the Goyim.”
It is here that we see the full scope of both God’s revelation and calling, where both Jew and Gentile alike have been brought together as one as a “single new humanity” for the purpose of making between us all shalom, in order to reconcile us to Adonai as a single Body of Messiah! (Eph. 2:15-16) Therefore, in the end, just as we are reminded that we all have from God, different gifts and anointings for God’s kingdom (Rom. 12, 1 Cor. 12), so we as both Jews and Gentiles in Messiah Yeshua alike have unique callings, tasks and responsibilities, given to us by the Ruach HaKodesh for sake of God’s Kingdom!
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