James 1:22

New Testament

21 So put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the message implanted within you, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves. 23 For if someone merely listens to the message and does not live it out, he is like someone who gazes at his own face in a mirror. 24 For he gazes at himself and then goes out and immediately forgets what sort of person he was. 25 But the one who peers into the perfect law of liberty and fixes his attention there, and does not become a forgetful listener but one who lives it out—he will be blessed in what he does. 26 If someone thinks he is religious yet does not bridle his tongue, and so deceives his heart, his religion is futile.

Shabbat 88a

Babylonian Talmud

Rabbi Simai taught: When Israel accorded precedence to the declaration “We will do” over the declaration “We will hear,” 600,000 ministering angels came and tied two crowns to each and every member of the Jewish people, one corresponding to “We will do” and one corresponding to “We will hear.” And when the people sinned with the Golden Calf, 1,200,000 angels of destruction descended and removed them from the people, as it is stated in the wake of the sin of the Golden Calf: “And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments from Mount Horeb onward” (Exodus 33:6). Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, said: At Horeb they put on their ornaments, and at Horeb they removed them. The source for this is: At Horeb they put them on, as we have said; at Horeb they removed them, as it is written: “And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments from Mount Horeb.” Rabbi Yoḥanan said: And Moses merited all of these crowns and took them. What is the source for this? Because juxtaposed to this verse, it is stated: “And Moses would take the tent [ohel]” (Exodus 33:7). The word ohel is interpreted homiletically as an allusion to an aura or illumination [hila]. Reish Lakish said: In the future, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will return them to us, as it is stated: “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads” (Isaiah 35:10). The joy that they once had will once again be upon their heads.

 Notes and References

"... It is easy for us to think that obedience is something that should flow only as a logical conclusion of inner assent: the notion is that we must agree with something first, and only then agree to do it. The Jewish logic of na’aseh v’nishma (Exodus 24:7) - “we will do and we will hear” - challenges this taken-for-granted dynamic. With it we are reminded that obedience not only expresses but also shapes, inspires and disciplines the heart. (The Talmud - Shabbat 88a - asserts that when the children of Israel agreed to accept the Torah, committing to its observance even before hearing and understanding any explanations for the commandments, the Almighty exclaimed, “Who revealed this secret to them, which only the ministering angels know?” And as a reward for this unconditional loyalty, He sent angels down from Heaven to crown the people) The New Testament is no stranger to this ethic, reminding Jesus-followers of the importance of being not only hearers but also doers of God’s word (Matthew 7:24-27, James 1:22-25) ..."

Shapiro, Faydra Beyond Dialogue: Envisioning a Jewishly Enriched Body of Christ (pp. 1-12) Pro Ecclesia: A Journal of Catholic and Evangelical Theology, 2019

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