Shalom, may your home be filled with it this Sabbath and this weekend. If you are Jewish or observant, I pray your table will be a blessing tonight. Spread the cloth, light the candles, pour the wine, and sanctify that Sabbath with your family. When you eat the challah, don’t forget to sprinkle on a little salt, the salt of the covenant.
My subject for this Sabbath Meditation may seem a little weird. So what else is new? I sometimes get rhapsodic about ideas. One of the ideas that frequently transports me to a better place is the coming reign of our Messiah.I get so frustrated by the fact that more than half of the followers of Jesus in this world don’t take that reign literally, nor do they take Israel’s place in it literally.
Oddly, many Jesus-followers share a similar opinion with Origen (c.185-254), the very brainy and very allegorical church father. Origen is widely regarded as one who mixed Christianity with Greek ideas and to the point of abandoning some crucial doctrines. Some of Origen’s views (or those of his followers at least) were condemned at the Council of Constantinople in 545.
In the recent book [which will eventually be the subject of a series of posts here] Jewish Believers in Jesus: The Early Centuries, Oskar Skarsaune describes Origen’s attitude toward literal views of Messiah’s kingdom: