“But I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.” Shaul (Paul), Acts 24:14 (NKJV)
Are you in the Way?
There’s a strange irony about it all. Those of us who are in the Way only want others to be in the Way with us but, many times, we find ourselves in the way of what others want to do. We are a peculiar people, not by design, but rather as a product of our beliefs. We do not wish to be unlike others, we simply want to be like Yeshua (Jesus). But, even in His day, His lifestyle wasn’t the most accepted lifestyle.
For many years, I went with the flow. I was a Christian, but as I remarked at a party many years ago, I was not a very good one. A strange thing happened around that time: I started to think about what it really meant to be a believer. I had distanced myself from the church and felt a burning inside to turn back.
I came from a New Testament Church background. I loved the brethren, yet I could not overlook glaring holes in doctrine. Those holes gave me pause and I lacked the confidence to dive in with all my being. So I started to search for truth.
I had no idea what I was getting into.
What followed was seven years of trying to figure out what exactly was the “one true church.” I began reading up on different denominations hoping to find one that was closest to what I was reading in Scripture. Then I started cross-referencing them. For anyone who has attempted this, you’ll know what I mean when I say it was like digging in quicksand. Still, I persisted.
Eventually, I came to the understanding that Yeshua and pretty much all the initial believers were Jewish and did Jewish things. What a novel idea! I adjusted my research from looking for denominations closest to biblical teachings to Christians who do Jewish things. Let’s just say that I could have saved myself years of going crazy if I had only figured out what to look for first.
What I was looking for was the Way as referenced by Shaul in the passage mentioned at the start of this particular writing. Just to be clear, it’s not so much about doing “Jewish” practices, as it is about following Scripture. The Jews are the folks that have carried those on through the ages. Kudos to them! Now it’s time for us all to join in.
A whole new way
Things with my new Messianic mindset were seeming to go OK as long as I still did both “Christian” things and “Jewish” things. But they were only going OK in the eyes of the world. When I stopped doing the major stuff like Christmas and Easter, things got sticky. My new lifestyle didn’t mesh well with the rest of the world in general. Things were alright with people as long as I didn’t let my kooky beliefs get in the way. Sound familiar to anyone out there?
My beliefs, however, did get in the Way. And I found others who were in the Way. Now life is better!
Our specific faith has been coined Messianic or Hebrew Roots. I use Messianic because, to me, it sounds more closely related with the Messiah while Hebrew Roots sounds like it’s pointing to Abraham. But that’s just me. Regardless, if it’s the Way, I’m fine with either. After all, we’re not really listening to what people call us…we’re listening to the Father calling us.
For my Messianic brethren, it is my sincere hope that you will be encouraged by the things you see and read in this book. And that you laugh. For my Christian brethren, it is my sincere hope that something in this book will prod you to challenge the teachings of men in search of truth. And that you laugh. For everyone else, it is my sincere hope that perhaps at least one thing you see or read in this book will make you curious to read the Bible, even if it is only to understand the joke being presented. And then, of course, that you laugh.
Any ability I have to draw or to make someone laugh has been given to me by the Father; an endowment that I work with and build upon. The route He has taken me has helped me develop a sense of humor. If I didn’t have a sense of humor, I would have gone crazy long ago. It is that humor that I wish to share. Laughter helps us communicate and draws us closer together. Laughter heals us from within and eases our tension. And we can laugh at ourselves because we don’t take ourselves too seriously, even though we take our faith seriously.
Skip and be happy
It may be funny for you to know that, when I pick up a book, I skip over the introduction part. In my mind I think, “If it were so important, they would have included it in the meat of the book.” I know most people will skip over this and go straight to the fun stuff. I’d do the same. But I’ve included some goofy doodles just to make them stop by and wonder exactly what is said in all that text. I’ve done the same with some of my other writings later on in the book.
If, by chance, you’re one of those folks who read the introduction entirely before getting into the book, bravo! I thank you for your attention. If, however, you are one of those people who will never read the introduction, well, I guess it doesn’t matter what I say to you here, you’ll never read it.
So without further ado, I am pleased to present to you In The Way. May your days be joyous and full of laughter always!
Jason Salas, 2016