The below is an excerpt from my book, “Back to Basics: God’s Word vs. Religion” (there is a link to it somewhere around here, and it’s on Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites):
“I must have read at least four different versions of the Bible over the years, and read the Bible itself from cover to cover over 2 dozen times, not to mention all the commentaries I’ve read to prepare a Bible study or a sermon. And yet, after all that reading and study, I don’t recall anywhere where Yeshua said to worship Him (Yeshua). Yes, He says He is the Son of God, and He says He is the Messiah, and He told His Talmudim (Disciples) that they should call Him Lord, for He is their Lord, but He never told anyone to worship anybody or anything other than His Father in heaven. If we worship anyone or anything other than the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we are guilty of idolatry.
Strong words. And words that might make some readers uncomfortable, since most of the Christians I know almost always pray to Jesus, exclusively. Yet, as I said, I have never found anywhere in the Manual the instructions for praying to Yeshua. All I have ever read is how we should be praying to God.
But didn’t Yeshua tell us that anything we ask for in His name we will receive? (John 14:13) Yes, He did, but that’s not the same as saying, “Pray to me and you will receive what you ask for.” Far from it! He is simply saying that what we ask for from God will be given when we ask Yeshua to intercede for us (there is an implied understanding here that what we ask for “in His name” will be something that is within God’s will, and not just for selfish or evil purposes). We are to utilize the fact that Yeshua sacrificed Himself for us, and by means of that sacrifice we are able to receive the salvation that used to be attainable only through the sacrificial system with the Temple. Yeshua is the one and last, ultimate sacrifice, and he sits at God’s right hand, interceding for us. That is why we pray in His name, to utilize the pathway He has provided. Maybe that’s why He both instructs and reminds us that the only way to the Father is through the Son ( John 14:6).
It was by Yeshua’s death that we can now get past the Parokhet, the curtain separating the Holy of Holies from the average person. That’s why the curtain was torn from the top down, from God to us, when Yeshua died. He provides the pathway, He says to follow Him (and no one else), and He is the one who tells us how to pray (Matthew 6:9), which is to “Our Father, who art in Heaven…”. He didn’t say, “pray to me”. He told us to pray to God. If we pray to anyone else, we are placing a barrier between God and us. Yeshua is an intercessor, not a barrier.”
I hear people, especially in one of the oldest “Christian” religions, where the prayer is almost always to Yeshua/Jesus. They also pray to saints, people. Not God, Adonai, El Elyon, but to people. They ask people to ask Jesus to ask God! But they kneel before a graven image and pray to that person. And they see nothing wrong with that!
Oy!! No graven images, pray to Our Father, ask in my name…what part of this don’t they understand? Where do they come up with this stuff?
Who do you pray to? Is it God, the Father? Is it Jesus/Yeshua? Is it somebody that is supposed to intercede with Yeshua to ask the Father? Why so many middlemen? No wonder Jewish people are uncomfortable with this program- we would never purposely do retail when wholesale is available!
Think about the hidden idols in your life, and I’m not talking about statues of Ba’al in the living room.Is football more important than Church? Do you read the Bible for a few minutes each morning or the newspaper (which is always the same?)
Think about it, and if you see the hidden idols in your life, get rid of them.