If we want to follow Yeshua, should we expect trouble? Yes. He said so Himself:
Remember the word that I said to you, “A servant is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. (John 15:20 NKJV)
The question is not whether we suffer trials and tribulations, but how we get through them. To do that we need deep roots, and to get those roots we have to dig deep with the right tools. This is one big point of Yeshua’s lesson about the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20; Luke 8:4-15). The good seed of the Word of God was sown in four types of soil, but only one produced good fruit. The other three got eaten up, withered away, or choked out because they did not have any depth in the soil. Somehow or other their roots just could not go down deep enough to make sure the plants grew to maturity and produced good fruit.
What does that have to do with following Yeshua every day? It has everything to do with it. Too often we are our own worst enemy, and usually because we do not care to investigate what we truly believe. Sure, we say we believe that Jesus died for our sins, and we put our faith in Him to get our eternal salvation. But what does that really mean? How do we live it out?
Would you like to know what Jews think about that? Recently a research project in Israel asked Jewish Israelis what they thought of Jesus. The answers were very interesting, but the most important answer for our purposes came from a café owner. He said this:
Café Owner: In principle, Jesus was a Jew who preached for love and peace and for him, that was what was important. If you ask my opinion he led a following that today is a huge group, but he didn’t give them many tools like the Torah. He told them to love thy neighbor and preached love and peace, which is excellent. I don’t want to minimize it.
Interviewer: So what tools do you think they are missing?
Café Owner: The Torah, the secrets, how to work it. Terrific, you love that guy, you make peace with him, but you need to know how to work within that.
This is the key point: how do we know how to live once we become believers in Yeshua? The answer is in the Bible, of course, but where? Perhaps there is a clue in the fact that Paul, Peter, John, Jude, James, Stephen the first martyr, and Yeshua Himself all quoted from Moses and the Prophets. In other words, they were building their case for how to live as believers in Yeshua on what the Old Testament (Tanakh) taught. That being the case, how should we relate to the Old Testament? Maybe the answer is in something else Moses said:
The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29 NKJV)