The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 171

Passion Week ~ Trial Before Pilate ~ Part 2

In our last post, we explored Yeshua’s Trial Before Pilate. Yeshua appears again before Herod, Herod Antipas, and Pilate in this post.

Pilate Sends Yeshua to Herod

When Pilate heard that Yeshua was from Galil (Galilee), he saw a convenient way to excuse himself from the Sanhedrin’s headhunt. He turned Yeshua over to the proper jurisdiction of Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee. Like Pilate, Herod was in Yerushalayim for the feasts of Pesach and Matzah.

5 But they persisted. “He (Yeshua) is inciting the people with his teaching throughout all Y’hudah – He started in the Galil, and now He’s here!” 6 On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was from the Galil; 7 and when he learned that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who at that time happened to be in Yerushalayim too.

Yeshua Before Herod Antipas

8 Herod Antipas was delighted to see Yeshua because he had heard about Him and for a long time had been wanting to meet Him; indeed, he hoped to see Him perform some miracle.

The vague feeling of wonder had begun soon after the death of the Yochanan the Immerser, whom he had previously beheaded. It began in hearing of miracles; it ended in a desire to see one. It was possibly mingled with a feeling of bitter enmity that no miracle could remove.

9 He questioned Him at great length, but Yeshua made no reply.

We can hardly help asking ourselves what was likely to have been among Herod’s questions. Did Yeshua, who stood before him, claim to be a King? Did He proclaim Himself as the Messiah? Was He Yochanan the Immerser, risen from the dead? If not, who and what were His earthly parents? The unbroken silence of the Yeshua must have been strangely impressive at the time and is singularly suggestive when we remember how He had answered Kayafa when He had been ordered in the name of the living God.

10 However, the head cohanim and the Torah teachers stood there, vehemently pressing their case against Him. 11 Herod and his soldiers treated Yeshua with contempt and made fun of Him. Then, dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent Him back to Pilate. 12 That day, Herod Antipas and Pilate became friends with each other; previously, they had been enemies. 1

The particular cause of hostility is not known. The massacre of the Galileans, mentioned in Luke 13:1, may have had somewhat to do with it. The union of the two in their enmity against Yeshua, though not mentioned in the Gospels, is referred to in the first recorded Acts 4:27. Herod, however, it will be noted, passes no formal sentence. He is satisfied with Pilate’s mark of respect for his jurisdiction.

Pilate’s Wife Dream

19 While he was sitting in court, his wife sent him a message, “Leave that innocent man alone. Today in a dream, I suffered terribly because of Him.” 2

In writings from this period, dreams were common means of supernatural revelation. Obviously, God didn’t have the actual dream recorded for posterity. Any ideas? She obviously knew in her heart that Yeshua was innocent of the charges brought against Him.

Obviously, this post does not contain any Red-Letter Words, but I thought it crucial to tell the story leading up to His crucifixion. That means we won’t see any Red-Letter Words in the next post, either.

In our next post, the scene Pilate Sends Yeshua to Herod.

Click here for the PDF version.

1 Luke 23:5–12.
2 Mattityahu 27:19.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 170

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 170

Passion Week ~ Trial Before Pilate ~ Part 1

In our last post, we explored Yeshua’s Trial Before the Sanhedrin. In this post, Yeshua appears before Pilate.


The significance of what is about to happen can only be understood in the context of the political relationship between the Jews and their Roman rulers. The Jewish leaders condemned Yeshua to death based on their religious laws, but they had no power to execute condemned prisoners without the approval of the Roman government. Being politically astute, the Jewish leaders will accuse Yeshua of sedition in allegedly urging refusal to pay taxes and claiming to be King of the Jews. [Of course, we know the first charge is a blatant lie as Yeshua told Kefa to catch a fish with a coin in its mouth to pay the taxes. (see Mattityahu 17:24-27)].

Convinced of Yeshua’s innocence, Pilate initially takes every available step to avoid personal responsibility. Pilate sends Yeshua to Herod Antipas, who beheaded Yochanan the Immerser, but Herod wants no part of it either. Pilate then tries to release Yeshua, but the mob insists that a notorious insurrectionist named Bar-abba be released.

Yeshua Is Taken to Pontius Pilate

Early in the morning, all the head cohanim and elders met to plan how to bring about Yeshua’s death. Then they put Him in chains, led Him away, and handed Him over to Pilate, the governor. [1]

Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea from 26 to 36 CE and, therefore, the judge in the trial of Yeshua. An inscription with his name on it has been found in Caesarea, on the coast between Tel Aviv and Haifa. Philo and Josephus (Jewish historians) characterize him as vile, cruel, and cagey; his weak character and lack of concern for truth and justice are clear from the Brit Hadashah descriptions of his behavior.

By now, it was early morning. They did not enter the headquarters building because they didn’t want to become ritually defiled and thus unable to eat the Pesach meal. 29 So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What charge are you bringing against this man?” 30 They answered, “If He hadn’t done something wrong, we wouldn’t have brought Him to you.” [2] They started accusing Him. “We found this man subverting our nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to the Emperor and claiming that He Himself is the Messiah – a king!”  [3]

31 Pilate said to them, “You take Him and judge Him according to your own law.” The Judeans replied, “We don’t have the legal power to put anyone to death.” 32 This was so that what Yeshua had said about how He was going to die might be fulfilled. [4]

Pilate Questions Yeshua

33 So Pilate went back into the headquarters, called Yeshua, and said to Him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 34 Yeshua answered, “Are you asking this on your own, or have other people told you about me?” 35 Pilate replied, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and head cohanim have handed you over to me; what have you done?” 36 Yeshua answered, “My kingship does not derive its authority from this world’s order of things. If it did, my men would have fought to keep me from being arrested by the Judeans. But my kingship does not come from here.” 37 “So then,” Pilate said to Him, “You are a king, after all.” Yeshua answered, “You say I am a king. The reason I have been born, the reason I have come into the world, is to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to me.” 38 Pilate asked him, “What is truth?”

What is truth? The cynical and worldly Pilate shrugs off who is the Truth (Yochanan 14:6) with a flippant question, to which he is uninterested in knowing the answer. Alternatively, it was a philosophical question divorced from practicality, the kind asked by people “who are always learning but never able to come to full knowledge of the Truth.”

Having said this, Pilate went outside again to the Judeans and told them, “I don’t find any case against Him  [5] 1But, when He was accused by the head cohanim and elders, He gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate said to Him, “Don’t you hear all these charges they are making against You?” 14 But to the governor’s great amazement, He did not say a single word in reply to the accusations. [6]

In our next post, the scene Pilate Sends Yeshua to Herod.

[1]  Mattityahu 27:1–2.
[2]  Yochanan 18:38-30.
[3]  Luke 23:2.
[4]  Yochanan 18:31-32.
[5]  Yochanan 18:33-38.
[6]  Mattityahu 27:12–14.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 169

Passion Week ~ Trial Before the Sanhedrin ~ Part 2

In our last post, we explored Yeshua’s Trial Before the Sanhedrin. In this post, Yeshua returns before the Sanhedrin while Kefa denies Him a third time and weeps as the rooster crows (see Mattityahu 26:73-75).

The Sanhedrin Condemns Yeshua

66 At daybreak, the people’s council of elders, including both head cohanim and Torah teachers, met and led him off to their Sanhedrin,67 where they said, “If you are the Mashiach, tell us.” He answered, “If I tell you, you won’t believe me; 68 and if I ask you, you won’t answer. 69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be sitting at the right hand of HaG’vurah” (God ~ Psalm 110:1). 70 They all said, “Does this mean, then, that you are the Son of God?” And He answered them, “You say I am.” 71 They said, “Why do we need additional testimony? We have heard it ourselves from His own mouth!”[1]  Early in the morning, all the head cohanim and elders met to plan how to bring about Yeshua’s death. [2]

In this case, the People’s Council of Elders refers not to a separate group but the Sanhedrin members who met to discuss what to do with Yeshua.

You say I am, literally, “You say,” with the same import here as the modern English idiom, “You said it!” Yeshua’s meaning here is, “Yes, I am indeed the Son of God, just as you have asked in your question.” That Yeshua’s inquirers understood Him is clear from their response in verse 71.

Y’hudah Commits Suicide

When Y’hudah, who had betrayed Him, saw that Yeshua had been condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the head cohanim and elders, saying, “I sinned in betraying an innocent man to death.” “What is that to us?” they answered. “That’s your problem.” Hurling the pieces of silver into the sanctuary, he left; then he went off and hanged himself.

Betraying innocent blood is a heinous offense that results in a divine curse (Deuteronomy 27:25). The reaction of the head cohanim and elders shows that they realized that Yeshua was innocent.

The head cohanim took the silver coins and said, “It is prohibited to put this into the Temple treasury because it is blood money.” So they decided to use it to buy the potter’s field as a cemetery for foreigners. This is how it came to be called the Field of Blood, a name it still bears.

Verse 8 hints that Mattityahu wrote his Gospel before the destruction of Yerushalayim in 70 CE. That such a burial field could be located and recognized by name decades after the utter destruction of Yerushalayim is unlikely.[3]

 Then what Yirmeyahu the prophet spoke was fulfilled, “And they took the thirty silver coins, which was the price the people of Isra’el had agreed to pay for him, 10 and used them to buy the potter’s field, just as the Lord directed me.” [4]

Mattityahu’s appeal to the Tanakh blends themes from Zechariah 11:12–13 and Jeremiah 32:6–9. The first text describes Isra’eli rejection of its spiritual Shepherd, the low estimation they had of Him (worth only 30 pieces of silver, the price of a slave; (Exodus 21:32), and the destruction of Yerushalayim by the Romans. The second text assures Isra’el will be restored after its devastation by the Babylonians. The two prophecies do more than foretell the events surrounding Y’hudah’s actions. By merging these texts, Mattityahu showed that Yerushalayim’s rejection of the Messiah would result in its destruction but that God would restore the city in due time. [5]

In our next post, the scene changes from the Trial Before the Sanhedrin to the Trial Before Pilate.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1]  Luke 22:66–71.
[2]  Mattityahu 27:1.
[3]  Holman Illustrated Bible Commentary.
[4]  Mattityahu 27:3–10.
[5]  Ibid.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 168

Passion Week ~ Trial Before the Sanhedrin ~ Part 2

In our last post, we explored Yeshua’s Trial Before the Sanhedrin. In this post, after appearing before Kayafa, the Cohen HaGadol, at his home and with Kefa denying Yeshua again, Yeshua returns before the Sanhedrin.

Yeshua Before the Sanhedrin

55 The head cohanim and the whole Sanhedrin tried to find evidence against Yeshua so that they might have Him put to death, but they couldn’t find any.

The Sanhedrin is the Supreme Jewish Court of seventy judges. This nighttime meeting was illegal; some scholars believe this Sanhedrin was not even official. Nevertheless, there seems to be little doubt that this body, whomever it consisted of, included important establishment figures and, in condemning Yeshua, carried out an action that expressed the desire of many P’rushim (Pharisees) and Tz’dukim (Sadducees).

56 For many people gave false evidence against Him, but their testimonies didn’t agree. 57 Some stood up and gave this false testimony: 58 “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this Temple made with hands; and in three days I will build another one, not made with hands.’ ” 59 Even so, their testimonies didn’t agree.

60 The Cohen HaGadol stood up in the front and asked Yeshua, “Have you nothing to say to the accusations these men are making?” 61 But He remained silent and made no reply. Again the Cohen HaGadol questioned Him: “Are you the Mashiach, Ben-HaM’vorakh?” 62 “I AM,” answered Yeshua. “Moreover, you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of HaG’vurah and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

“Are you the Mashiach, Ben-HaM’vorakh (“the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One,” i.e., the Son of God)?” “I AM.” Some scholars assert that Yeshua does not claim to be the Messiah in the Synoptic Gospels. Such an assertion requires explaining away the plain sense of these verses. Here, in response to the direct question of the Cohen HaGadol, Yeshua does not hesitate; moreover, He uses the word “Adonai” used to identify Himself to Moshe at the burning bush when He said, “I AM who I AM.” Thus, Yeshua affirms that He is the Messiah, the Son of God, and hints that He is to be identified with Adonai Himself.

At an earlier stage of His ministry, Yeshua did not want it known that He was the Messiah (see Matthew 8:4), but in these final days, there was no “Messianic secret.” [1]

63 At this, the Cohen HaGadol tore his clothes and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? 64 You heard Him blaspheme! What is your decision?” And they all declared Him guilty and subject to the death penalty. [2]

Yeshua Is Mocked & Beaten

63 Meanwhile, the men who were holding Yeshua made fun of Him. They beat Him, 64 blindfolded him, and kept asking him, “Now, ‘prophesy’! Who hit you that time?” 65 And they said many other insulting things to him. [3]

This action fulfills Yeshua’s prediction in Luke 18:32, for he will be handed over to the Gentiles and mocked, insulted, and spit on.

In our next post, we will continue to follow Yeshua’s Trial Before the Sanhedrin.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary.
[2] Mark 14:55–64.
[3] Luke 22:63–65.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 167

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 167

Passion Week ~ Trial Before the Sanhedrin ~ Part 1

In our last post, we continued to examine the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. We concluded our examination of His Betrayal & Arrest. In this post, we begin to explore Yeshua’s Trial Before the Sanhedrin.

Introduction [1]

Following Yeshua’s arrest, Yochanan records that Yeshua was first taken before Anan (Annas), who had been the High Priest from 6-15 CE before being deposed by the Roman procurator prior to Pilate. ‘Anan still continued to exercise great influence among the Jewish community. Yeshua was then sent to ‘Anan’s son-in-law, Kayafa (Caiaphas), who presides over the Sanhedrin, which is the Jewish Supreme Court. The Sanhedrin is composed of 71 elders drawn from among the chief priests and scribes.

Laced among the account of Yeshua’s trial is the account of Kefa’s struggle for loyalty to Yeshua.

Location Map

Click here to enlarge.Image from ESV Study Bible


Yeshua Led to ‘Anan

12 So the detachment of Roman soldiers and their captain, together with the Temple Guard of the Judeans, arrested Yeshua, tied him up, 13 and took Him first to ‘Anan, the father-in-law of Kayafa, who was cohen gadol that fateful year. 14 (It was Kayafa who had advised the Judeans that it would be good for one man to die on behalf of the people.) [2]

Kefa’s First Denial

15 Shim‘on Kefa and another talmid followed Yeshua. The second talmid (probably Yochanan himself)was known to the Cohen HaGadol, and he went with Yeshua into the courtyard of the Cohen HaGadol; 16 but Kefa stood outside by the gate. So, the other talmid, the one known to the Cohen HaGadol, went back out and spoke to the woman on duty at the gate, then brought Kefa inside. 17 The woman at the gate said to Kefa, “Aren’t you another of that man’s talmidim?” He said, “No, I’m not.” [3]

Yeshua Before ‘Anan

19 The Cohen HaGadol questioned Yeshua about His talmidim and about what He taught. 20 Yeshua answered, “I have spoken quite openly to everyone; I have always taught in a synagogue or in the Temple where all Jews meet together, and I have said nothing in secret; 21 so why are you questioning me? Question the ones who heard what I said to them; look, they know what I said.” 2At these words, one of the guards standing by slapped Yeshua in the face and said, “This is how you talk to the Cohen HaGadol?” 23 Yeshua answered him, “If I said something wrong, state publicly what was wrong; but if I was right, why are you hitting me?”  [4]

This is how you talk to the Cohen HaGadol? Yeshua was not answering disrespectfully but pointing out that even though this late-night meeting was most irregular, normal legal procedure requires the obtaining of independent witnesses. Yeshua was willing to trust public reports of His public behavior, as is clear from v. 23. Yeshua’s response is like Sha’ul’s in Acts 26:26: “These things … didn’t happen in some back alley.”

In our next post, we continue to follow Yeshua’s Trial Before the Sanhedrin.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] F. LaGard Smith, The Narrated Bible in Chronological Order.
[2] Yochanan 18:12–14.
[3] Yochanan 18:15–17.
[4] Yochanan18:19–23.


The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 166

Passion Week ~ Yeshua’s Betrayal & Arrest ~ Part 2

In our last post, we continued to examine the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. We began to examine His Betrayal & Arrest. We continue with that theme. As you can imagine, all four Gospels have something to say about this topic.

Y’hudah Betrays Yeshua

Now Y’hudah, who was betraying Him, also knew the place; because Yeshua had often met there with His talmidim. So Y’hudah went there, taking with him a detachment of Roman soldiers and some Temple guards provided by the head cohanim and the P’rushim; they carried weapons, lanterns, and torches. [1]

The chief priests had their own military guard of Jewish males who acted as Temple police.

44 The betrayer had arranged to give them a signal: “The man I kiss is the one you want. Grab Him, and take Him away under guard.” [2]

A signal refers to a sign agreed on in advance. The specific signal was a kiss (probably on the cheek). While a kiss was a standard greeting (Luke 7:45; Acta 20:37; Romans 16:16), this is the only time a talmid is recorded as greeting Yeshua this way (cp. 2 Samuel 20:9–10).

He came up to Yeshua to kiss Him, 48 but Yeshua said to him, Y’hudah, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” [3]  45 Y’hudah went right up to Yeshua, said, “Rabbi!” and kissed Him. [4]

Yeshua Affirms His Talmidim of Their Safety

Interestingly only Yochanan includes this dialogue in his Gospel.

Yeshua, who knew everything that was going to happen to Him, went out and asked them, “Whom do you want?” “Yeshua from Natzeret,” they answered. He said to them, “I AM.” Also standing with them was Y’hudah, the one who was betraying Him. When He said, “I AM,” they went backward from Him and fell to the ground. So he inquired of them once more, “Whom do you want?” and they said, “Yeshua from Natzeret.” “I told you, ‘I AM,’ “ answered Yeshua, “so if I’m the one you want, let these others go.” This happened so that what He had said might be fulfilled, “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”  [5]

I AM. There is a double meaning. Yeshua was both identifying Himself and voicing God’s authority (see Yochanan 4:26). Apparently, He was demonstrating God’s power as well, so it was in direct consequence that they went backward from Him and fell to the ground. (See Yochanan 6:39 for His last quote.) Recall that God told Avraham to say to Pharoah that I AM was His name. No wonder the Jews fell to the ground.

Kefa Cuts Off an Ear

As the mob arrives to arrest Yeshua, His talmidim asks whether they should attack. All four Gospels record that one talmid drew his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest’s slave; Luke is the only Gospel to report that Yeshua reattached the man’s ear.

46 Then they laid hold of Yeshua and arrested Him; [6] 4When His followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we use our swords?” [7] 10 Then Shim’on Kefa, who had a sword, drew it and struck the slave of the Cohen HaGadol, cutting off his right ear; the slave’s name was Melekh. 52 Yeshua said to him, “Put your sword back where it belongs, for everyone who uses the sword will die by the sword. 53 Don’t you know that I can ask my Father, and he will instantly provide more than a dozen armies of angels to help me? 54 But if I did that, how could the passages in the Tanakh be fulfilled that say it has to happen this way?”  [8]  51 But Yeshua answered, “Just let me do this,” and, touching the man’s ear, He healed him. [9]

Yeshua Chides His Arrest

52 Then Yeshua said to the head cohanim, the officers of the Temple guard, and the elders who had come to seize him, “So you came out just as you would to the leader of a rebellion, with swords and clubs? 53 Every day, I was there with you in the Temple court, yet you didn’t arrest me. But this is your hour—the hour when darkness rules.” [10]

That Yeshua was viewed as a criminal fulfilled Isaiah 53:12. Yeshua’s prior awareness of the time (this is your hour) and place (not in the temple complex) of His arrest indicates that everything was according to God’s design even though the chief priests and elders were in league with the dominion of darkness (HaSatan and the demons) in carrying out the arrest.

Yeshua Is Arrested

12 So the detachment of Roman soldiers and their captain, together with the Temple Guard of the Judeans, arrested Yeshua. [11]  Then the talmidim deserted Him and ran away. [12] 51 There was one young man (Mark)who did try to follow Him, but he was wearing only a nightshirt; and when they tried to seize him, 52 he slipped out of the nightshirt and ran away naked. [13]

In our next post, we move on the Yeshua’s Trial Before the Sanhedrin.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1]  Yochanan 18:2–3.
[2]  Mark 14:44.
[3]  Luke 22:47–48.
[4]  Mark 14:45.
[5]  Yochanan 18:4–9.
[6]  Mark 14:46.
[7]  Luke 22:49.
[8]  Mattityahu 26:52–54.
[9]  Luke 22:51.
[10]  Luke 22:52–53.
[11]  Yochanan 18:12.
[12]  Mattityahu 26:56.
[13]  Mark 14:51–52.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 165

Passion Week ~ Yeshua’s Betrayal & Arrest ~ Part 1

In our last post, we continued to examine the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. After praying to His Father on behalf of all His talmidim, Yeshua and those with Him cross the Kidron Valley to Gethsemane, an olive grove on the Mount of Olives, just east of Yerushalayim. This is now very early on Friday morning in the Jewish culture.

To Gat Sh’manim (Gethsemane)

After Yeshua had said all this (the True Lord’s Prayer from our last post), He went out with His talmidim across the stream that flows in winter through the Vadi Kidron to a spot where there was a grove of trees; and He and His talmidim went into it. [1] 3They went to a place called Gat Sh’manim, and Yeshua said to His talmidim, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took with him Kefa, Ya’akov, and Yochanan. Great distress and anguish came over him; 34 and He said to them, “My heart is so filled with sadness that I could die! Remain here and stay awake.” [2]

Yeshua Prays in Agony

4He went about a stone’s throw away from them, kneeled down, and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from Me; still, let not My will but Yours be done.” 43 There appeared to Him an angel from heaven giving Him strength, 44 and in great anguish He prayed more intensely so that His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground. 45 On rising from prayer and coming to the talmidim, He found them sleeping because of their grief.  [3]

Yeshua Prays a Second Time

40 He returned to the talmidim and found them sleeping. He said to Kefa, “Were you so weak that you couldn’t stay awake with Me for even an hour? 41 Stay awake and pray that you will not be put to the test – the spirit indeed is eager, but human nature is weak.” 42 A second time, He went off and prayed. “My Father, if this cup cannot pass away unless I drink it, let what You want to be done.” [4]

Yeshua Prays a Third Time

43 Again, He returned and found them sleeping; their eyes were so heavy. 44 Leaving them again, He went off and prayed a third time, saying the same words. 45 Then He came to the talmidim and said, “For now, go on sleeping; take your rest.… Look! The time has come for the Son of Man to be betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up! Let’s go! Here comes My betrayer!” [5]

Upon reflection, I decided not to provide any commentary on these passages individually other than to note Yeshua’s struggle between His divinity and His humanity. That should be a source of strength for all of us experiencing our own struggles.

In our next post, we move on the Yeshua’s Betrayal and Arrest in Gethsemane.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Yochanan 18:1.
[2] Mark 14:32–34.
[3] Luke 22:41–45.
[4] Mattityahu 26:40–42.
[5] Mattityahu 26:43–46.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 164

Passion Week ~ Yeshua’s Final Discourse ~ Part 6

In our last post, we continued to examine the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. This post continues to explore the events that occurred on Thursday Evening (now early on Friday morning in the Jewish culture).

The “True” Lord’s Prayer

Yeshua gave His talmidim a model prayer in Mattityahu 6:9–13 and Luke 11:2–4, which has been mistakenly labeled the Lord’s Prayer but is not. The following is His prayer to His Father before crossing the Kidron Valley to Gethsemane. Going back to our last post, His talmidim are still with Him.

Yeshua, as our High Priest, prays on our behalf to His Father. In this intercessory prayer, we see deeply into the Messiah’s heart – into the intimacy of the relationship between the Son and the Father, on the one hand, and between the Son and His talmidim, on the other. The depth of this prayer exceeds that possible to any mere human; it presupposes that Yeshua came forth from God, had the Father’s glory before the world existed (v. 5), shares all that belongs to the Father (v. 10), can give the Father’s glory to believers (v. 22), is eternal (vv. 5, 24) and has uniquely intimate knowledge of the Father (v. 25).

1 After Yeshua had said these things, He looked up toward heaven and said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that the Son may glorify You – 2 just as You gave Him authority over all mankind so that He might give eternal life to all those whom You have given Him. 3 And eternal life is this: to know You, the One True God, and Him whom You sent, Yeshua the Messiah.

4 “I glorified You on earth by finishing the work You gave Me to do. 5 Now, Father, glorify Me alongside Yourself. Give Me the same glory I had with You before the world existed.

6 “I made Your name known to the people You gave Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your Word. 7 Now they know that everything You have given Me is from You, 8 because the words You gave Me I have given to them, and they have received them. They have really come to know that I came from You, and they have come to trust that You sent Me.

9 “I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those You have given to Me because they are Yours. 10 Indeed, all I have is Yours, and all You have is Mine, and in them, I have been glorified. 11 Now, I am no longer in the world. They are in the world, but I am coming to You. Holy Father, guard them by the power of Your name, which You have given to Me, so that they may be one, just as We are. 12 When I was with them, I guarded them by the power of Your name, which You have given to Me; yes, I kept watch over them; and not one of them was destroyed (except the one meant for destruction so that the Tanakh might be fulfilled). 13 But now, I am coming to You, and I say these things while I am still in the world so that they may have My joy made complete in themselves.

14 “I have given them Your Word, and the world hated them because they do not belong to the world – just as I Myself do not belong to the world. 15 I don’t ask you to take them out of the world but to protect them from the Evil One. 16 They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17 Set them apart for holiness by means of the truth – your Word is truth. 18 Just as You sent Me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 On their behalf, I am setting Myself apart for holiness so that they, too, may be set apart for holiness by means of the truth.

20 “I pray not only for these but also for those who will trust in Me because of their Word, 21 that they may all be one. Just as you, Father, are united with Me and I with You, I pray that they may be united with Us so that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 The glory which You have given to Me, I have given to them; so that they may be one, just as We are one – 23 I united with them and You with Me, so that they may be completely one, and the world thus realize that You sent Me and that you have loved them just as You have loved Me.

24 “Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am; so that they may see My glory, which You have given Me because You loved Me before the creation of the world.

25 Righteous Father, the world has not known You, but I have known You, and these people have known that You sent me. 26 I made Your name known to them, and I will continue to make it known; so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I Myself may be united with them.”  [1]

There is so much more that could be said about this passage, but I would prefer that you take the time to read through it several times with the thought that He is praying for you individually.

In our next post, we move on the Yeshua’s Betrayal and Arrest in Gethsemane.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Yochanan 17:1-26.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 163

Passion Week ~ Yeshua’s Final Discourse ~ Part 5

In our last post, we continued to examine the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. This post continues to explore the events that occurred on Thursday Evening (now early on Friday in the Jewish culture).

“I Have Overcome the World”

25 “I have said these things to you with the help of illustrations; however, a time is coming when I will no longer speak indirectly but will talk about the Father in plain language. 26 When that day comes, you will ask in My name. I am not (emphasis added) telling you that I will pray to the Father on your behalf, 27 for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came from God. 28 “I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and returning to the Father.”

The depiction of Yeshua as having come from the Father … into the world and as leaving the world and returning to the Father is patterned after the portrayal of the Word of God, which is sent, accomplishes its purpose, and returns to the One who sent it (see Isaiah 55:11–12).

The Talmidim Respond

29 The talmidim said to Him, “Look, you’re talking plainly right now; you’re not speaking indirectly at all. 30 Now we know that you know everything and that you don’t need to have people put their questions into words. This makes us believe that you came from God.” 31 Yeshua answered, “Now you do believe. 32 But a time is coming—indeed it has come already—when you will be scattered, each one looking out for himself; and you will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone; because the Father is with me. 33 “I have said these things to you so that, united with me, you may have shalom. In the world, you have tsuris. But be brave! I have conquered the world!” [1]

The talmidim have at last come to the point of simple, childlike faith (compare Mattityahu 18:3). Nevertheless, Yeshua does not permit them to bask in it but at once calls their attention to its fickleness. The moment you feel secure, certain your faith is strong, may well be the very instant when you are scattered, each one looking out for himself, and you will leave me (Yeshua) all alone.

In the world, you have tsuris. The life of a believer in the Messiah is not the proverbial rose garden, except, perhaps, for the thorns. Nevertheless, Yeshua encourages us: Be brave! I have conquered the world! Tsuris, Yiddish adaptation of Hebrew tzarot, “troubles.” This could be an instance in the Brit Hadashah that Yeshua may, in this verse, be quoting a proverb already current in the Jewish culture of His own time.

I left this post deliberately short so we can explore the actual Lord’s Prayer in Yochanan 17:6-26.

Next, we continue to follow Yeshua into Yerushalayim for His Crucifixion by the week’s end and continue to explore Yeshua’s Final Discourse.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Yochanan 16:25-33

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 162

Passion Week ~ Yeshua’s Final Discourse ~ Part 4

In our last post, we continued to examine the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. This post continues to explore the events that occurred on Thursday Evening (now early on Friday in the Jewish culture).

The Talmidim Are Perplexed

12 “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now.

Yeshua has told them information that would be difficult to accept – such as His coming suffering and death and that He won’t be physically present with them after His ascension. He also likely means they are not yet ready to accept how difficult following Him will be. He has generally spoken about these challenges, but the specifics may be too difficult to hear.

13 However, when the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative but will say only what He hears. He will also announce to you the events of the future. 14 He will glorify Me because He will receive from what is Mine and announce it to you. 15 Everything the Father has is Mine; this is why I said that He receives from what is Mine and will announce it to you.

The Messianic life is lived by attentiveness to the Spirit of Truth. Moreover, by telling His talmidim that the Spirit of Truth will guide them into all the truth and announce future events, Yeshua virtually pre-authenticates the New Testament Scriptures, which they will write as the product of the Ruach HaKodesh.

Everything that the Father has is mine. All creation came through God’s Son, so everything belongs to Him (1:1–3). Yeshua is also likely suggesting that God’s heavenly abode belongs to Him since He and the Father are one (see Yochanan 14:2, 11; 17:11). God’s work in the world will become the work of Believers. They will be empowered to show people why they should believe and perform signs like Yeshua.

One last comment on this passage. I confess that it’s the first time I have seen this pop off my laptop screen as I typed it (okay, I copied the passage from my Logos software and pasted it into my Microsoft Word app). This is another perfect example of the concept of the Trinity. Yeshua is talking to His talmidim about the Ruach HaKodesh coming from the Father, and all three are working together as One.

Joy Out of Sorrow

19 Yeshua knew that they wanted to ask Him, so He said to them,“Are you asking each other what I meant by saying, ‘In a little while, you won’t see Me; and then, a little while later, you will see Me’? 20 Yes, it’s true. I tell you that you will sob and mourn, and the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 When a woman is giving birth, she is in pain because her time has come. But when the baby is born, she forgets her suffering out of joy that a child has come into the world. 22 So you do indeed feel grief now, but I am going to see you again. Then your hearts will be full of joy, and no one will take your joy away from you.

The world of nonbelievers will rejoice at Yeshua’s death, but His return after being resurrected will turn the sorrow of the talmidim into joy. Yeshua’s illustration of a woman in childbirth resonates with the human experience. While the labor preceding birth is intense, all anguish is forgotten when the new child is born. Yeshua elsewhere spoke of the end-times as “the beginning of birth pains” and times of “great tribulation.”

23 “When that day comes, you won’t ask anything of Me! Yes, indeed! I tell you that whatever you ask from the Father, He will give you in My name. 24 Till now, you haven’t asked for anything in My name. Keep asking, and you will receive so that your joy may be complete. [1]

Next, we continue to follow Yeshua into Yerushalayim for His Crucifixion by the week’s end and continue to explore Yeshua’s Final Discourse.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1]  Yochanan 16:12–24.