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Torah Reading: Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1-17:27)
Gospel Reading: Matthew 4:18-22
Commentary by: Daniel Clayton

Now Adonai said to Avram, “Get yourself out of your country, away from your kinsmen and away from your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, I will bless you, and I will make your name great; and you are to be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed. (Genesis 12:1-3)

Before this chapter, we’ve heard a brief mention of Avram, but nothing substantial. These first verses are the first time we see any interaction between him and anyone, and there are some great things in here to note.

It’s interesting to see that the very first words God says to Avram are a command to leave his current place. He follows that with His future promises to Avram, but none of that becomes relevant or possible until he leaves his country. Before I go on, we see Yeshua doing something identical:

As Yeshua walked by Lake Kinneret, he saw two brothers who were fisherman- Shim’on, known as Kefa, and his brother Andrew- throwing their net into the lake. Yeshua said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers for men!” At once they left their nets and went with him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers- Ya’akov Ben-Zavdai and Yochanan his brother- in the boat with their father Zavdai, repairing their nets; and he called them. At once they left the boat and their father and went with Yeshua. (Matthew 4:18-22)

I’m sure this concept has been touched on many, many times, but it’s an important one: God cannot accomplish what He desires in a person until they have been separated from the world, however that looks in their individual lives. There has to be a definite, clear separation in our hearts between the tainting of the world and the path that God lays out for us. The amazing thing within that is that God doesn’t require that separation just for His own amusement or abuse of power. He requires it so that, just like Avram, He can more easily fulfill His desires for our lives.

Going back to our passages, both Avram and the disciples respond with an instant, “Yes, absolutely, we will give up everything to do what your request us to do.”

I pray that we are people that are both eager to hear what God is asking of us, and eager to jump into it with everything we have.