The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 1

Introduction to the Series

In this series, we will be focusing on the words that Yeshua spoke while He was with us and after His Ascension. We will be looking at His words as best we can in chronological order using “The Narrated Bible in Chronological Order” by F. LaGard Smith. [1] While going through the Synoptic Gospels, I will focus more on Mattityhu’s version with appropriate references to Mark and Luke. As usual, I will be using the “Complete Jewish Bible” by David Stern for the actual quotes, unless otherwise noted. Please permit me to set the stage.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was unformed and void, darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God hovered over the surface of the water. ~ B’resheet 1:1-2

The Hebrew phrase translated unformed and void connotes a desolate, uninhabitable place. Why would the author describe God’s new universe like this? Some believe God intended to show us His progressive approach through creation. The following verses certainly do show God using a process.

But it seems that something else has happened between verses 1 and 2 because disorder and darkness do not reflect the character of God. Someone else arrived on the scene, and his name is HaSatan. We get few details of HaSatan in this chapter (Ezekiel 28:12-19; Isaiah 14:12ff, and Revelation provide more), but it appears that his rebellion plunged the earth into darkness (see Luke 10:18). Fortunately for humanity, even when HaSatan is active, God has a plan to save. The Spirit of God hovered over the surface of the water, ready to bring order out of chaos.

In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things came to be through him, and without him, nothing made had being. In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not suppressed it. ~ Yochanan 1:1-5

I confess that I get chills every time I read these verses. In his prologue to the Good News, Yochanan sets forth both the Messiah’s divine and human origin and nature. Contrary to modern Jewish opinion, which holds that the Messiah is to be human only, numerous Jewish sources speak of the supernatural features of the Messiah. The Messiah existed before all creation (compare Yochanan 17:5). In fact, He was involved in creation (Colossians 1:15-17, Messianic Jews 1:2-3). The Talmud also teaches the Messiah’s preexistence.

The beginning of the Good News of Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of God. ~ Mark1:1

Rather than emphasizing the events leading up to Yeshua’s public ministry in terms of genealogy and family roots (as so Mattityahu and Luke) or in terms of its theological foundation (as does Yochanan), Mark focuses on its actual beginning. The good news is the gospel of the fulfillment of God’s promises. In the Tanakh (Isaiah 40:9, 52:7; and Nahum 1:15), the good news is connected with the saving intervention of God to help His people. Yeshua HaMashiach proclaims the gospel, but the good news is the report about Yeshua in a secondary sense. Mark communicates both at the beginning and the end of his Gospel (Mark:1-2 and 15:39) that Yeshua is the Son of God.

In our next post, we will start our journey by examining the actual Red-Letter Words of Yeshua.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Copyright 1984 by Harvest House Publishers. I highly recommend this edition as it tells the story of all 66-books of the Bible in the order they were written. It’s like reading a non-fiction novel from beginning to end. Citations are placed in the margins so as not to disrupt your reading.

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