These also ...

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the Torah: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone." (Matthew 23:23)

The Children of Israel had left Egypt and were on their way to Mount Sinai. The God of Israel had brought them out by a strong hand. Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, had heard of all that God had done for His people and came to Moses, in the desert.

Jethro, was a high priest to a multitude of gods, but now he had experienced his own deliverance.  "Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the other gods ..." (Exodus 18:11) Finally realising that the God of Israel was the only One True God, Jethro was free to worship Him, and Him only.

This was a tremendous spiritual awakening, not just for Jethro.  As a non-Jew, Jethro is typical of all non-Jews who realise that the God of Israel is the One True God, and that He has done great things for His people, Israel. Furthermore, Jethro is representative, a foreshadow of the nations who, in the future Kingdom, will worship the God of Israel, and who will elevate the nation of Israel into their destined position, as head of the nations. As a non-Jew, Jethro's experience foreshadows the abundance of blessing all the nations will receive, through the nation of Israel.

While staying with Moses, and the Children of Israel, Jethro observed how the people came to Moses with their disputes and issues for him to adjudicate, and for them to learn of God's ways, and His Torah.

"And so it was, on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood before Moses from morning until evening. So when Moses' father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, ‘What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?' And Moses said to his father-in-law, ‘Because the people come to me to inquire of God.'" (Exodus 18:13-15)

Jethro warned Moses that he and the people would eventually exhaust themselves with this system of justice. Jethro makes a suggestion. Moses would continue teaching the people "the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do." (Exodus 18:20) And at the same time, Moses must choose worthy men who would judge between the smaller matters for the majority of people. The more difficult issues would be taken to Moses to judge. Moses accepted his father-in-law's counsel.

An observation. Previously, the people who stood all day to be judged by Moses had an opportunity to see, and witness firsthand the Torah being spoken by the great Teacher, and being worked through the lives of the community. Under the new arrangement, however, it would be different, the judgement would not be by Moses, the great Teacher, but through another ... a colleague.

The passage is teaching that the Torah is greater than those who dispense its instruction. Regardless, of whether the ruling is made via the great Moses or his colleague, the Torah will survive.

Consequently, the Torah must be given prominence, and must be held in the highest regard. Torah observance was not determined by whether Moses or his colleague had made the judgement: the ruling had to be observed.
Furthermore, this would indicate that to place an incorrect emphasis of an observance over another, for whatever reason, may cause a misunderstanding of the Torah.

Just as every jot is equally significant with the larger strokes of the Torah, so too, the range of judgements by various upright men. The different rulings should be seen as complimentary, helpful to the cause of the kingdom of righteousness, rather than a threat. The Torah is not in competition with itself, neither are the upright men whom seek to dispense its requirements.

The Torah in its entirety is perfect, and a tree of life to all who cling to it (Proverbs 3:18).

The Messiah warned His contemporaries of the imbalance in observance, and the resultant misunderstanding of the Torah: "For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the Torah: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone." (Matthew 23:23)

All of the Torah is to be observed - not just portions, for whatever reason.

Since the Messiah is the Torah in the flesh, every aspect of the Torah is wrapped in Him. And so He is able to declare, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

To understand the fullness of the Torah is to see the Messiah. To follow the Messiah is to gain understanding of the Torah. To diminish any aspect of the Torah is to have a misunderstanding of who the Messiah is.

Messiah Yeshua said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father." (John 14:12)

May there be many who believe in Him.

Mark Warren