שְׁמַע, יִשְׂרָאֵל: יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יהוה אֶחָד . וְאָהַבְתָּ אֵת יהוה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכָל-לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל-נַפְשְׁךָ וּבְכָל-מְאֹדֶךָ
לְכוּ וַעֲשׂוּ אֶת כָּל הַגּוֹיִים לְתַלְמִידִים, וְהַטְבִּילוּ אוֹתָם בְּשֵׁם הָאָב וְהַבֵּן וְרוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ וְלַמְּדוּ אוֹתָם לִשְׁמֹר אֶת כָּל מַה שֶּׁצִּוִּיתִי אֶתְכֶם. וְהִנֵּה אֲנִי עִתָּכֶם כָּל הַיָּמִים, עַד לְקֵץ הָעוֹלָם
These two scriptures are both foundational. They are D’varim 6:4-5, and Matti 28:19-20.
To the Jew, the first is the “Great Command,” meaning we understand that there is only ONE Elohim, and that His Name is יהוה .
To the Christian, the “Great Commission” is the task at hand to go out and make ‘converts’, depending on one’s theological perspective. But, generally speaking, it is to make adherents to one’s form of Christian belief.
The observation that is posed today, however, is how very intertwined these two “GREAT” scriptures should be.
Yeshua Himself supported the Jewish customary understanding of what the greatest Mitzvah [Commandment from G-d] is. He was asked the very direct question [Mark 12], and gave the very direct answer, saying that the greatest of all Mitzvot is, “Shema, Yisra’el, יהוה is our Elohim, יהוה is ONE.” And continued saying the rest of it, that we should love this יהוה with every facet of our being.
And Yeshua is the one who said, “Go, therefore, and make talmidim of all nations, and immerse them in the Name of HaAv and HaBen and Ru’akh HaKodesh; and teach them to obey everything that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you every day, to the end of the age.”
Now, we must all trust that this is exactly what those 12 men did; and also we must trust that Sha’ul, a ‘sent one’ who was born ‘out of season,’ did the very same thing: Make disciples and immerse them into a Name.
The issue is that now there are many variations of what ‘making a disciple’ is, and also of how and into what Name to immerse those ‘talmidim’.
The passage Yeshua quoted did not come to be called “The Great Commission” for many, many years after Yeshua gave that mandate. But, the Shema has been called “The Greatest Mitzvah” for thousands of years. It would seem that Yeshua, who also asserted that this is the greatest Mitzvah, would support teaching that very idea? Does the Great Commission actually do that?
“Immersing them into the NAME of HaAv, and HaBen, and Ru’akh HaKodesh.”
Something very important to note here is that He said “NAME”, and not “NAMES”.
Is it at all possible that Yeshua was implying that the three identities He mentioned all shared a single NAME, and thereby the same NATURE? [Name is indeed ‘character’ or ‘nature’ in Hebrew, rooted in the thought of ‘reputation.’]
If you look in the greatest of the Mitzvot, we see the Name, יהוה , three times: Twice in the first statement, and once in the mandate to LOVE HIM with all of the being.
Here, Yeshua is stating three TITLES, and NOT ‘names,’ having said to immerse into a single NAME.
It would seem that Kefa, Yokhanan, and all the others, who stood there in awe of their resurrected Messiah, would understand just precisely WHAT HE meant, and HOW to do what He was telling them to do? I would think so. So, it would seem to us that doing what those men did would be the best practice, since Yeshua did not stick around to show us how.
Kefa was the very first person ever to take the mantle on himself actually to do what Yeshua said to do in Matti chapter 28. In Ma’asei HaShlikhim, he preaches the ‘B’sorah’, the Good News, for the first time. So, it would seem that in order to make a Talmid, one must in some way ‘preach.’ That word has a stigma with it these days, so, lets limit it to what ‘b’sorah’ actually means: DECLARE.
Kefa DECLARED by the Tanakh [OT scriptures] that Yeshua is the Messiah, sent to redeem sinful man; that he was executed by man, that Elohim raised Him from the dead. And that Israel needed to ‘do teshuvah’, or ‘repent’, which means, to Jewish people, to return to doing the commands; the Shema being the greatest of them. And then he told them, “Be immersed in the NAME of….”
Are you ready? Did he say “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?” “Patri, Fili , et Spiritu Sancti?” NO!
In the Name [still singular] of יהוה Yeshua!
Wait one. Is that REALLY what Kefa said? Do we trust scripture? Then we must surrender to the fact that this is what Kefa said. And if it is what he said, we must trust that it is also what he DID, having stood there to hear Yeshua tell them to do this very thing!
Now, some might say, but it only says, ‘Lord’ there. And yes, in your greek-sourced, English bibles, that is what it says. But, in the Aramaic, there is a direct equivalent to The Name, יהוה , and that is in fact what we read right here.
For brevity’s sake, I’m going to just state that EVERY OTHER immersion in the Brit Khadashah [NT scriptures] has ONLY the attestation that in the Name of Yeshua, in the Name of יהוה Yeshua, or in the Name of Yeshua HaMashiakh, is anyone immersed. NEVER ONCE is anyone immersed into the three titles, ‘Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.’ NOT ONE TIME.
We, as believers, wonder why we cannot unify, and we’ve taken the very Creator and DIVIDED Him into three separate beings, when HE emphatically tells us that HE IS ONE. And, we’ve taken the mode of immersion, which helps to affect making someone a Talmid [Student] of Rabbi Yeshua, and divided that mode up into three separate titles, not speaking a NAME at all! So, we have so many “Messianic” people, including Jews who theoretically understand the GREATEST Mitzvah, following the Rabbis of those who reject Messiah in all kinds of doctrine, including NOT SAYING HIS NAME AT ALL, much less immersing HIS Talmidim into it! Teachers are denying the Students of Rabbi Yeshua the very mechanism that IMMERSES THEM INTO HIM. And Christian teachers are immersing their adherents into three separate titles as well, and then leaving off creating ‘talmidim’, or disciplined Torah STUDENTS. Many times, they immerse someone, and NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN. The whole believing community KNOWS that there is a lack of power and evidence of the B’sorah. They KNOW that they are floundering to MAKE DISCIPLES [even the greek for disciple implies something more than one who ‘just’ believes, rooted in the word ‘discipline’.] Even Yokhanan the Immerser’s Talmidim understood, when hearing their immersion was not sufficient, that they needed to re-immerse into the Name of יהוה Yeshua! [Ma’asei 19:5] in order to receive the Ru’akh HaKodesh.
The Shema speaks the Name יהוה three times, in urging us to understand who our G-d is, that He has a SINGLE NATURE, and that HE is to be loved above all else. Yeshua tells His Talmidim to immerse into a NAME, and they follow suit and immerse into the Name יהוה Yeshua HaMashiakh. But our Jewish people will not speak the Name at all, and our Christian people will not let go of thinking there are three gods, three separate natures that are a consortium of deities that share a body.
When the followers of Messiah TRULY understand WHO HE IS, THEN will we UNIFY in TRUTH, and THEN we will see TRUE TALMIDIM, who have but ONE RABBI: יהוה Yeshua HaMashiakh, Ben HaElohim.