The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 137

Passion Week ~ Tuesday (continued)

In our last post, we examined the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. In this post, we walk with Yeshua as He returns to Yerushalayim for the final time. As we will see in this and several more posts, Tuesday is hectic.

Religious Leaders Angered

45 As the head cohanim and the P’rushim listened to His stories, they saw that He was speaking about them. 46 But when they set about to arrest Him, they were afraid of the crowds; because the crowds considered Him a prophet. ~Mattityahu 21:45-46.

Parable of the Wedding Banquet

Yeshua again used parables in speaking to them: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son,

Festivities for such an event would have lasted several days. In this parable, Yeshua alludes to the great end-times feast (compare 8:11), when God’s people will enjoy fellowship with the Messiah in His fully inaugurated Kingdom (compare Revelation 19:6–10).

but when he sent his slaves to summon the invited guests to the wedding, they refused to come.

Refusing such an invitation from the king was a shocking insult. These invited guests represent those who respond to the message of the Kingdom of Heaven with indifference (v5) and hostility (v. 6).

So he sent some more slaves, instructing them to tell the guests, ‘Look, I’ve prepared my banquet, I’ve slaughtered my bulls and my fattened cattle, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding!’ But they weren’t interested and went off, one to his farm, another to his business; and the rest grabbed his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was furious and sent his soldiers, who killed those murderers and burned down their city.

Verse 7 foreshadows the Romans’ destruction of Yerushalayim in 70 CE.

“Then he said to his slaves, ‘Well, the wedding feast is ready; but the ones who were invited didn’t deserve it. So go out to the street corners and invite to the banquet as many as you find.’ 10 The slaves went out into the streets, gathered all the people they could find, the bad along with the good; and the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11 “Now when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who wasn’t dressed for a wedding; so he asked him,

This man accepted the king’s invitation but, on his terms, – which the king found improper. Kings sometimes give banquets for their subjects and invite them all, regardless of status, providing suitable clothing for those unable to afford it. Therefore the one not wearing what the king had provided was without excuse.

12 ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him outside in the dark!’ In that place, people will wail and grind their teeth, 14 for many are invited, but few are chosen.” [1]

Verse 14 summarizes the theme of the preceding parables (21:28–22:14). God invites many people into His Kingdom, as seen in this parable Yeshua has just told. However, as the man thrown out of the wedding feast illustrates (vv. 11–13), not all who consider themselves part of God’s Kingdom are genuine members (compare 7:13–14, 21–23). Those who hear and respond favorably to God’s invitation can join Him in celebration (compare 25:31–46).

In our next, we continue to follow Yeshua into Yerushalayim for His Crucifixion by the end of the week.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Mattityahu 22:1–14.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 136

Passion Week ~ Tuesday (continued)

In our last post, we examined the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. In this post, we walk with Yeshua as He returns to Yerushalayim for the final time.

The Parable of Two Sons

28 “But give me your opinion: a man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ 29 He answered, ‘I don’t want to’; but later, he changed his mind and went. 30 The father went to his other son and said the same thing. This one answered, ‘I will, sir,’; but he didn’t go. 31 Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they replied. “That’s right!” Yeshua said to them. “I tell you that the tax collectors and prostitutes are going into the Kingdom of God ahead of you! 32 For Yochanan came to you showing the path to righteousness, and you wouldn’t trust him. The tax collectors and prostitutes trusted him, but you, even after you saw this, didn’t change your minds later and trust him. [1]

The first son symbolizes repentant sinners (i.e., the tax collectors and prostitutes (v. 32). The second son represents the religious leaders, who ultimately reject Yeshua (vv. 45–46).

The Parable of Murderous Tenants

Yeshua continued to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a tower; then he rented it to tenant farmers and left. When harvest time came, he sent a servant to the tenants to collect his share of the crop from the vineyard. But they took him, beat him up, and sent him away empty-handed. So he sent another servant; this one they punched in the head and insulted. He sent another one, and him they killed; and so, with many others – some they beat up, others they killed. He had still one person left, a son whom he loved; in the end, he sent him to them, saying, ‘My son they will respect.’ But the tenants said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours!’ So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come, destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others! [2] When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!” [3]

A man planted a vineyard recalls the imagery of Isaiah 5:1–2 (compare Isaiah 5:7). Yeshua modifies this image by focusing on the role of the tenant farmers rather than the vineyard itself (compare Isaiah 5:12, Matt. 21:33-46, Luke 9-19). They killed… In the Tanakh, God condemns the people of Isra’el for rejecting His prophets.

The Rejected Stone

42 Yeshua said to them, “Haven’t you ever read in the Tanakh,

‘The very rock which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone!
This has come from Adonai,
and in our eyes, it is amazing’?

43 Therefore, I tell you that the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to the kind of people that will produce its fruit!” 44 Whoever falls on this stone will be broken in pieces, but if it falls on him, he will be crushed to powder!” [4]

The rock is a quotation from Psalm 118:22–23; the rejected rock is Yeshua, who comes from God.

In our next, we continue to follow Yeshua into Yerushalayim for His Crucifixion by the end of the week.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1]  Mattityahu 21:28–32.
[2]  Mark 12:1–9.
[3]  Luke 20:16b.
[4]  Mattityahu 21:42-44 (Some manuscripts omit verse 44.)

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 135

Passion Week ~ Tuesday

In our last post, we examined the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. In this post, we walk with Yeshua as He returns to Yerushalayim for the final time.

Introduction

Tuesday is a long day of great confrontation with the religious leaders assembled in Yerushalayim. By way of parables, Yeshua points out that the leaders’ predecessors have always rejected God’s messengers and that now they are rejecting even the Son of God. The P’rushim are angry and attempt to trap Yeshua into making statements by which they can arrest Him. The Tz’dukim (Saducees) join with the P’rushim as they adamantly reject any resurrection of the dead. Yeshua once again responds with superior spiritual insight.   [1]  

Lesson from the Fig Tree

20 In the morning, as the talmidim passed by, they saw the fig tree withered all the way to its roots. 21 Kefa remembered and said to Yeshua, “Rabbi! Look! The fig tree that you cursed has dried up!” [2]  20 The talmidim saw this and were amazed. “How did the fig tree dry up so quickly?” they asked. 21 Yeshua answered them, “Yes! I tell you, if you have trust and don’t doubt, you will not only do what was done to this fig tree but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Go and throw yourself into the sea!’ it will be done. 22 In other words, you will receive everything you ask for in prayer, no matter what it is, provided you have trust.”  [3] 25 And when you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him; so that your Father in Heaven may also forgive your offenses.” [4]

Yeshua’s Authority Questioned

27 They went back into Yerushalayim; and as He was walking in the Temple courts, there came to Him the Head Cohanim, the Torah-teachers, and the elders; 28 and they said to Him, “What s’mikhah (ordination) do you have that authorizes you to do these things? Who gave you this s’mikhah authorizing you to do them?” 29 Yeshua said to them, I will ask you just one question: answer me, and I will tell you by what s’mikhah I do these things. 30 The immersion of Yochanan—was it from Heaven or from a human source? Answer me.” 31 They discussed it among themselves: “If we say, ‘From Heaven,’ He will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘From a human source, … ‘ – they were afraid of the people, for they all regarded Yochanan as a genuine prophet. 33 So they answered Yeshua, “We don’t know.” “Then,” He replied, “I won’t tell you by what s’mikhah I do these things.” [5]

Hebrew s’mikhah, rendering Greek exousia (“authority”), means “leaning” or “laying” on of hands in the ordination ceremony for a judge, elder or rabbi. Laying on of hands is, in the Tanakh, a symbolic act that confers or transfers an office and its duties and privileges by dramatizing God’s bestowal of the blessings and giftings needed for the work. The practice in Judaism is traced back to Moshe’s ordination of Y’hoshua and the seventy elders.

The cohanim and elders, who are also P’rushim (v. 45, 3:7N), are asking: “What kind of ordination did you receive that entitles you to teach as authoritatively as you do to decide points of halakhah  [6]  as you do and to disturb the peace in the Temple courts? And who dared give you such an ordination?” Yeshua does not answer their question but instead puts them on the defensive.

In our next, we continue to follow Yeshua into Yerushalayim for His Crucifixion by the end of the week.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] F. LaGard Smith, The Narrated Bible in Chronological Order
[2] Mark 11:20–21.
[3] Mattityahu 21:20–22.
[4] Mark 11:25.
[5] Mark 11:27–33.
[6] Refers to non-Biblical Jewish Law.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 134

Passion Week ~ Monday (continued)

In our last post, we examined the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. In this post, we walk with Yeshua as He returns to Yerushalayim for the final time.

The Purpose of Yeshua’s Death

20 Among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greek-speaking Jews. 21 They approached Philip, the one from Beit-Tzaidah in the Galil, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Yeshua.”

Greek-speaking Jews who had come to Yerushalayim in obedience to the Torah. Since the text simply says “Greeks,” many think they were Gentiles. Sha’ul often uses “Greeks” to mean “Gentiles” (Romans 1:16, 10:12; Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11), but here the context implies Greek-speaking Jews. These approached Philip, whose name was Greek and who was probably himself a Greek speaker. We would like to see Yeshua. Yeshua’s answer (below) suggests that their purpose was to offer Him new opportunities for ministry in their part of the world. Yeshua says that the time for expanding His activities in the world is over, but His effect on the earth will be all the more remarkable.

22 Philip came and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Yeshua. 23 Yeshua gave them this answer: “The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Yes, indeed! I tell you that unless a grain of wheat that falls to the ground dies, it stays just a grain, but if it dies, it produces a big harvest. 25 He who loves his life loses it, but he who hates his life in this world will keep it safe right on into eternal life! 26 If someone is serving me, let him follow me; wherever I am, my servant will be there too. My Father will honor anyone who serves me.”

As it applies to others, this message is found in Mattityahu 16:25, Mark 8:35, and Luke 9:23–24; here, Yeshua applies it to Himself since He pioneers and finishes our trust (Messianic Jews 12:1).

Foretelling His Crucifixion

27 “Now I am in turmoil. What can I say – ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason that I have come to this hour. I will say this: 28 ‘Father, glorify your name!'” At this, a bat-kol (voice) came out of heaven, “I have glorified it before, and I will glorify it again!” 29 The crowd standing there and hearing it said that it had thundered; others said, “An angel spoke to Him.” 30 Yeshua answered, “This bat-kol did not come for My sake but for yours. 31 Now is the time for this world to be judged; now, the ruler of this world (HaSatan)will be expelled. 32 As for Me, when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to Myself.” 33 He said this to indicate what kind of death he would die.

Yeshua Calls the Crowd to Walk in the Light

34 The crowd answered, “We have learned from the Torah that the Messiah remains forever. How is it that you say the Son of Man has to be ‘lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?” 35 Yeshua said to them, “The light will be with you only a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, or the dark will overtake you; he who walks in the dark doesn’t know where he’s going. 36 While you have the light, put your trust in the light so that you may become people of light.” Yeshua said these things, then went off and kept himself hidden from them. [1]

Yeshua Returns to Beit-Anyah

19 When evening came, they left the city. [2]

In our next, we continue to follow Yeshua into Yerushalayim for His Crucifixion by the end of the week.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Yochanan 12:20–36.
[2] Mark 11:19.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 133

Passion Week ~ Monday

In our last post, we examined the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. In this post, we walk with Yeshua as He returns to Yerushalayim for the final time.

Introduction [1]

On Monday, Yeshua’s popularity is still at a high peak, and the children sing His praises as if to thank Him for His continual remembrance of them. But, in contrast, Mattityahu, Mark, and Luke each record an incident almost identical to one recorded by Yochanan at the beginning of Yeshua’s ministry (Yochanan 2:13-21). Yeshua may be purifying the Temple one last time if these are two separate incidents.

Yeshua begins to speak freely of His pending crucifixion and makes a special effort to explain its purpose. Some multitudes still disbelieve in Him, but as Yochanan observes, even their disbelief is the fulfillment of prophecy.

The Unfruitful Fig Tree

12 The next day, as they came back from Beit-Anyah, he felt hungry. 13 Spotting in the distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if He could find anything on it. When He came up to it, He found nothing but leaves; for it wasn’t fig season. 14 He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His talmidim heard what He said. 

If Yeshua’s cursing and drying up the fig tree had been a petulant reaction to disappointment because He couldn’t satisfy His hunger, it would be unworthy of anyone, let alone the Messiah. But Yeshua is making a point utilizing prophetic drama, an acted-out parable (possibly Luke 13:6–9). Even out of season, a fig tree in leaf – it must have been in leaf to be seen in the distance (v. 12) – holds forth the promise of fruit. The typical early season for figs in Isra’el is June, but the early unripe fruit (Song of Songs 2:13) begins to show itself even before the spring leaves appear on the branches, often before Pesach.

Yeshua Cleanses the Temple

15 On reaching Yerushalayim, He entered the Temple courts and began driving out those who were carrying on business there, both the merchants and their customers. He also knocked over the desks of the money changers, upset the benches of the pigeon dealers,16 and refused to let anyone carry merchandise through the Temple courts. 17 Then, as He taught them, He said, “Isn’t it written in the Tanakh, “My house will be called a house of prayer for all the Goyim.” But you have made it into a den of robbers!”  [2]

The Plot to Kill Yeshua Delayed

18 The head cohanim and the Torah-teachers heard what He said and tried to find a way to do away with Him; they were afraid of Him because the crowds were utterly taken by His teaching. [3] But they couldn’t find any way of doing it because all the people were hanging onto his every word. [4]

In our next, we continue to follow Yeshua into Yerushalayim for His Crucifixion by the end of the week.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] The Narrated Bible in Chronological Order by F. LaGard Smith
[2] Mark 11:12–17.
[3] Mark 11:18.
[4] Luke 19:48.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 131

Passion Week ~ Sunday

In our last post, we examined the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. In this post, we walk with Yeshua as He returns to Yerushalayim for the final time.

Background

It is now late March, and Pesach is near. The time has come for Yeshua to be delivered up as our Pesach Lamb. Both Pesach and Hag HaMatzah (Feast of Unleavened Bread) are tied to the remembrance of the exodus of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. The principal Scriptural reference for Pesach is in B’midbar (Exodus) 12:1-13 and Hag HaMatzah in Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:5-8. Yeshua is about to be slain for the salvation of all who would recognize and accept the power in His blood.

Even as He approached Yerushalayim, His enemies were plotting His death. Riding on a lowly colt, Yeshua is met by multitudes who shout praise to God for having sent this “great prophet” in whom they now believe. He knows that most of them still do not understand the true nature of His messiahship and deity. He is now given the most incredible welcome of His ministry. His enemies now let Him have His day of glory. [1]

12 The next day, the large crowd that had come for the festival heard that Yeshua was on His way into Yerushalayim. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet Him, shouting,

“Deliver us!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of Adonai, the King of Isra’el!”  [2]

29 As he approached Beit-Pagei and Beit-Anyah, by the Mount of Olives, He sent two talmidim, 30 instructing them, “Go into the village ahead; on entering it, you will find a colt tied up that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks why you are untying it, tell him, ‘The Lord needs it.'” [3]

This happened in order to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet,

“Say to the daughter of Tziyon,
‘Look! Your King is coming to you,
riding humbly on a donkey
and on a colt, the offspring of a beast of burden!'” [4]

16 His talmidim did not understand this at first, but after Yeshua had been glorified, then they remembered that the Tanakh said this about Him and that they had done this for Him. [5]

They went off and found a colt in the street tied in a doorway, and they untied it. The bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They gave the answer Yeshua had told them to give, and they let them continue. They brought the colt to Yeshua and threw their robes on it, and he sat on it. [6]

In our next, we follow Yeshua into Yerushalayim for His Crucifixion by the end of the week.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1]  F. LaGard Smith, The Narrated Bible in Chronological Order.
[2]  Yochanan 12:12–13.
[3]  Luke 19:29–31.
[4]  Mattityahu 21:4–5 (quoting Zechariah 9.:9).
[5]  Yochanan 12:16.
[6]  Mark 11:4–7.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 130

Yeshua’s Final Journey ~ Part 7

In our last post, we have been dealing with the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. In this post, Yeshua Goes Toward Yerushalayim.

Yeshua Goes Toward Yerushalayim

After telling the Parable of the ten manim Luke reports that Yeshua went on ahead toward Yerushalayim. (Luke 19:28).

55 The Judean festival of Pesach was near, and many people went up from the country to Yerushalayim to perform the purification ceremony prior to Pesach. 56 They were looking for Yeshua, and as they stood in the Temple courts, they said to each other, “What do you think? that he simply won’t come to the festival?” 57 Moreover, the head cohanim and the P’rushim had given orders that anyone knowing Yeshua’s whereabouts should inform them so that they could have him arrested.

The purification ceremony prior to Pesach. Those who had become ritually unclean because of touching a dead body had to purify themselves by immersion (Numbers 9:10, 13). Sometimes the purification required seven days (Numbers 31:19–20). What do you think? That he simply won’t come to the festival? That is since He knows the authorities seek His death, will He disobey the Torah and not show up to save His skin?

Six days before Pesach, Yeshua came to Beit-Anyah, where El’azar lived, the man Yeshua had raised from the dead; 2 so they gave a dinner there in His honor. Marta served the meal, and El’azar was among those at the table with Him. 3 Miryam took a whole pint of pure oil of spikenard, which is very expensive, poured it on Yeshua’s feet, and wiped His feet with her hair so that the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But one of the talmidim, Y’hudah from K’riot, the one who was about to betray Him, said, 5 “This perfume is worth a year’s wages! Why wasn’t it sold and the money given to the poor?” 6 Now, he said this not out of concern for the poor but because he was a thief – he was in charge of the common purse and used to steal from it. Yeshua said, “Leave her alone! She kept this for the day of my burial. 8 You always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

You always have the poor among you, as Deuteronomy 15:11 teaches, but you will not always have me. While Yeshua’s point is to call the attention of His talmidim to the importance of His brief remaining time on earth, some, noting the stress Judaism puts on charity, have regarded His remark as insensitive and selfish. It is not, for two reasons: (1) Miryam’s timely act of love toward the Messiah is valued by God precisely for its unselfishness, and (2) the marginal significance of the resources here withheld from the poor is negligible compared both with their need and with the opportunities available to potential givers.

A large crowd of Judeans learned that He was there, and they came not only because of Yeshua but also so that they could see El’azar, whom He had raised from the dead. 10 The head cohanim then decided to do away with El’azar too, 11 since it was because of him that large numbers of the Judeans were leaving their leaders and putting their trust in Yeshua.  [1]

Because of him, that is, because El’azar had been raised from the dead by Yeshua, large numbers of Judeans were leaving their leaders, the P’rushim and the Head Cohanim, and putting their trust in Yeshua, who, by demonstrating God’s power and holiness commends Himself as the true leader of Judeans in particular and Jews generally.

In our next, we will begin to follow Yeshua into Yerushalayim for His Crucifixion by the end of the week.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1]  Yochanan 11:55-12:11

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 129

Yeshua’s Final Journey ~ Part 6

In our last post, we have been dealing with the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. In this post, Yeshua Tells a Parable of the Ten Minas.

Yeshua Tells a Parable of the Ten Minah (Minas)

While at Zakkai’s house, Yeshua tells a parable about a nobleman who entrusts money to his servants. The parable explains that God expects his people to appropriately steward the resources He gives. The parable also emphasizes the importance of obedience to God’s commands. A parallel account appears in Matt. 25:14–30.

11 While they were listening to this, Yeshua went on to tell a parable because He was near Yerushalayim, and the people supposed that the Kingdom of God was about to appear at any moment.

Yeshua’s proximity to Yerushalayim heightened expectations about His Messianic Kingdom.

12 Therefore, He said, A nobleman went to a country far away to have himself crowned king and then return.

A country far away suggests a lengthy interval between the man’s departure and return.

13 Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten manim [a maneh is about three months’ wages] and said to them, ‘Do business with this while I’m away.’ 14 But his countrymen hated him, and they sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to rule over us.’

They sent a delegation after him, presumably to the ruler bestowing authority on the nobleman. According to the next verse, this delegation failed to block the appointment.

15 “However, he returned, having been made king, and sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, to find out what each one had earned in his business dealings. 16 The first one came in and said, ‘Sir, your maneh has earned ten more manim.’ 17 ‘Excellent!’ he said to him. ‘You are a good servant. Because you have been trustworthy in a small matter, I am putting you in charge of ten towns.’

I am putting you in charge of ten towns. The nobleman rewards the servant by assigning him territory in the newly acquired kingdom.

18 The second one came and said, ‘Sir, your maneh has earned five more manim; 19 and to this one, he said, ‘You be in charge of five towns.’ 20 “Then another one came and said, ‘Sir, here is your maneh. I kept it hidden in a piece of cloth, 21 because I was afraid of you—you take out what you didn’t put in, and you harvest what you didn’t plant.’ 22 To him, the master said, ‘You wicked servant! I will judge you by your own words! So you knew, did you, that I was a severe man, taking out what I didn’t put in and harvesting what I didn’t plant?

The servant will be judged severely. He disobeyed the master’s command to conduct business while he was away (Luke 19:13) instead of hiding the maneh (v. 20).

23 Then why didn’t you put my money in the bank? Then, when I returned, I would have gotten it back with interest!’ 24 To those standing by, he said, ‘Take the maneh from him and give it to the one with ten manim.’ 25 They said to him, ‘Sir, he already has ten manim!’ 26 But the master answered, ‘I tell you, everyone who has something will be given more; but from anyone who has nothing, even what he does have will be taken away. 27 However, as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be their king, bring them here and execute them in my presence!'”  [1]

Will be given more indicates that the new king will reward faithful obedience, which leads to greater responsibility in managing the kingdom’s resources. Yeshua made this same point in the parable of the lamp. (8:18; compare note on Matt 25:29).

These enemies of mine are those who opposed the nobleman’s reign (Luke 19:14).

In our next, we will continue to explore Yeshua’s, Final Journey.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1]  Luke 19:11–27.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 128

Yeshua’s Final Journey ~ Part 5

In our last post, we have been dealing with the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. In this post, Yeshua Visits Zacchaeus and Heals Blind Bartimaeus.

Yeshua Visits Zacchaeus (Zakkai)

Yeshua entered Yericho and was passing through, when a man named Zakkai (The name, ironically, means “innocent” in Hebrew.) appeared who was a chief tax collector and a wealthy man. He was trying to see who Yeshua was, but, being short, he couldn’t because of the crowd. So he ran on ahead and climbed a fig tree in order to see him, for Yeshua was about to pass that way. When He came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zakkai! Hurry! Come down because I have to stay at your house today!” He climbed down as fast as he could and welcomed Yeshua joyfully. Everyone who saw it began muttering, “He has gone to be the house guest of a sinner.” But Zakkai stood there and said to the Lord, “Here, Lord, I am giving half of all I own to the poor; and if I have cheated anyone, I will pay him back four times as much.”

Four times as much. When a person confessed to fraud and made voluntary restitution, the Torah required him to return the amount stolen plus twenty percent (Leviticus 5:20–24(6:1–5), Numbers 5:5–7). An apprehended thief had to pay the victim double (Exodus 22:3, 6(4, 7)). But a man stealing what is essential and showing no pity was required to pay back fourfold (Exodus 21:37(22:1), 2 Samuel 12:6). Zakkai, fully repentant, not only acknowledged the heartlessness and cruelty of his behavior but voluntarily imposed upon himself the whole restitution required by the Torah for such acts.

 Yeshua said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, inasmuch as this man too is a son of Avraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost.”  [1]

Salvation, Hebrew yeshu’ah, is the feminine form of Yeshua’s name. Thus, there is a wordplay: Yeshua/salvation has come to this house (compare 2:30, Mt 1:21). To seek … what was lost, as in chapter 15, and echoing Ezekiel 34:16, where God seeks His lost sheep.

Yeshua Heals Blind Bartimaeus (Bar-Timai)

46 They came to Yericho, and as Yeshua was leaving Yericho with His talmidim and a great crowd, a blind beggar, Bar-Timai (son of Timai), was sitting by the side of the road. 47 When he heard that it was Yeshua from Natzeret, he started shouting, “Yeshua! Son of David! Have pity on me!”

Son of David, a Messianic title. Therefore, by his shout, Bar-Timai was identifying Yeshua as the Messiah.

4Many people scolded him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the louder, “Son of David! Have pity on me!” 49 Yeshua stopped and said, Call him over!” They called to the blind man, “Courage! Get up! He’s calling for you!” 50 Throwing down his blanket, he jumped up and came over to Yeshua.51 “What do you want me to do for you?” asked Yeshua. The blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me be able to see again.” 52 Yeshua said to him, “Go! Your trust has healed you.” Instantly he received his sight and followed Him on the road. [2]

In our next, we will continue to explore Yeshua’s, Final Journey.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Luke 19:1–10.
[2] Mark 10:46–52.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 127

Yeshua’s Final Journey ~ Part 4

In our last post, we are now dealing with the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. In this post, Yeshua Hears the Request of the Mother of Ya’akov and Yochanan and Teaches on Humility.

Yeshua Hears the Request of the Mother of Ya’akov and Yochanan

The mother of Ya’akov and Yochanan boldly asks Yeshua to give her sons positions of honor in His kingdom of heaven. Yeshua uses this as an opportunity to teach about humility.

20 Then Zavdai’s sons came to Yeshua with their mother. She bowed down, begging for a favor from Him. 21 He said to her, What do you want?” She replied, “Promise that when you become king, these two sons of mine may sit, one on your right and the other on your left.” [1]

One at your right hand and one at your left refers to preeminent positions of authority and honor – the first and second in importance after Yeshua Himself.

35 Ya’akov and Yochanan, the sons of Zavdai, came up to Him and said, “Rabbi, we would like you to do us a favor.” 36 He said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” 37 They replied, “When you are in your glory, let us sit with you, one on your right and the other on your left.” 38 But Yeshua answered, “You don’t know what you’re asking! Can you drink the cup that I am drinking? or be immersed with the immersion that I must undergo?” 3They said to Him, “We can.” Yeshua replied,“The cup that I am drinking, you will drink; and the immersion I am being immersed with, you will undergo. 40 But to sit on my right and on my left is not mine to give. Rather, it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”  [2]

Yeshua Teaches Humility

24 Now, when the other ten heard about this, they were outraged at the two brothers. 25 But Yeshua called them and said, “You know that among the Goyim, those who are supposed to rule them become tyrants, and their superiors become dictators. 26 Among you, it must not be like that. On the contrary, whoever among you wants to be a leader must become your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave! 28 For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve—and to give his life as a ransom for many.”   [3]

Must become your servant is another paradoxical statement of role reversal (compare Mattityahu 19:30; 20:16). Rather than exercising authority, a godly leader willingly becomes a servant of others. This is true in both the secular and religious worlds.

In our next, we will continue to explore Yeshua’s Final Journey.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Mattityahu 20:20–21.
[2] Mark 10:35–40.
[3] Mattityahu 20:24–28.