Do you recognize the title as the Campbell Soup campaign slogan? One of the reasons their soup is so good is because it is filled with so many good things.
So, nu? Why am I talking about soup? Allow me to digress for a moment…..last week when my wife, Donna, and I were taking a morning stroll, I was talking about how I love it when something I have read in the bible dozens of times before suddenly has a totally new meaning to me: a new and clearer understanding of what God wants me to know. I know that you have had that same experience, too…haven’t you?
The word of God has different levels, called the Pardes: the P’shat (literal meaning), Remez (symbolic meaning), Drash (spiritual or comparative meaning) and the Sod (deep mystical understanding.) When we read any passage from the bible, we first understand the P’shat, and after we learn more about God and have the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) lead our understanding, we learn the “hidden” messages God has for us.
Yeshua taught the underlying messages, the Remez and the Drash, whereas the Pharisee’s concentrated on the P’shat; they taught the Jews they could be saved by Torah as long as they obeyed the literal meaning of the commandments. We are told that many said Yeshua taught with authority, which (I think) is because He taught the deeper and more spiritual meaning of the Torah that the Pharisees ignored.
OK, now back to the soup…when we look at a bowl of soup, we see mostly just the broth, which covers all the stuff that is underneath. That broth smells good, and tastes great, but when you begin to stir the soup, suddenly all these other wonderful things begin to appear from underneath; the meat, the carrots, the onions, celery and (maybe) even a noodle or two. YUM!! So even though the broth was satisfying, and could fill your stomach with life-saving nourishment, when you go deeper and begin to stir things up to see what is underneath, you find even more goodness and flavor and usefulness from that soup than just what the broth can supply.
The bible is like a big bowl of soup: it has nourishment on top (P’shat), and better things underneath (Remez and Drash) you will discover as you get closer and closer to the bottom of the bowl (Sod.)
Maybe that’s why in Psalm 34:9 (JPS Tanakh) King David said:
Taste and see how good the Lord is; happy the man who takes refuge in Him!
Have you had your soup today?