The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 71

Miracles and Multitudes ~ Part 5

In our last post, we began a new topic entitled Miracles and Multitudes. This post as we look at more Miracles and Multitudes.

Discourse On The Bread of Life ~ Part 2

We pick up where we left off last time, beginning with Yochanan 6:41. Here the Judeans begin to challenge Yeshua’s claim.

41 At this the Judeans began grumbling about Him because He said, I am the bread which has come down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Isn’t this Yeshua Ben-Yosef?

Yeshua Ben-Yosef, Yeshua the son of Yosef. This would have been His official Hebrew name, by which He would have been known. Yosef, the carpenter, (or stone mason), was not physically His father, as we know from Mt 1:18–25 and Lk 1:26–38, 2:1–7; but he was legally His father and functioned as a father, raising Him so that he “grew both in wisdom and in stature” (Luke 2:52). To call Him Yeshua Ben-Elohim (“Yeshua, the Son of God”) would be correct, and He is called that in Yochanan 1:34 and at other places in the Brit Hadashah. But this theological truth would obviously not have been a practical means of identifying Yeshua in the society of His time.

We know his father and mother! How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Yeshua answered them, “Stop grumbling to each other! 44 No one can come to me unless the Father – the One who sent Me – draws him. And I will raise him up on the Last Day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘They will all be taught by Adonai.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from Him comes to He. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father except the One who is from God—He has seen the Father. 47 Yes, indeed! I tell you, whoever trusts has eternal life: 48 I am the bread which is life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the desert; they died. 50 But the bread that comes down from heaven is such that a person may eat it and not die. [1]

Yes indeed! Greek amên, amên, which reproduces the Hebrew words. The ladder imagery of coming down from heaven recalls Ya’akov’s dream (Genesis 28:12–15).

In our next post, we will continue examining the Miracles and Multitudes series beginning in Yochanan 6:51.

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[1] Yochanan 6:41–50.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 70

Miracles and Multitudes ~ Part 4

In our last post, we began a new topic entitled Miracles and Multitudes. This post as we look at more Miracles and Multitudes.

Discourse On The Bread of Life ~ Part 1

We pick up where we left off last time, beginning again with Yochanan 6:24.

24 Accordingly, when the crowd saw that neither Yeshua nor His talmidim were there, they themselves boarded the boats and made for K’far-Nachum in search of Yeshua. 25 When they found Him on the other side of the lake, they asked Him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” 26 Yeshua answered, “Yes, indeed! I tell you, you’re not looking for Me because you saw miraculous signs, but because you ate the bread and had all you wanted! 27 Don’t work for the food which passes away but for the food that stays on into eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For this is the one on whom God the Father has put His seal.”

Beginning with verse 26 and continuing through 71 (which we will be reviewing over the next several posts), the crowd’s attitude generates Yeshua’s lengthy discourse. Miraculous signs should awaken the consciousness of God, but these people are conscious only of their own physical needs. The food which passes away and the food that stays on into eternal life are opposites and constitute the theme of Yeshua’s remarks.

28 So they said to him, “What should we do in order to perform the works of God?” 29 Yeshua answered,Here’s what the work of God is: to trust in the one he sent!”

What should we do in order to perform the works of God? The people are probably not asking how to do miracles but how to please God. Nevertheless, Yeshua’s answer surprises them.

30 They said to Him, “Nu (then), what miracle will you do for us, so that we may see it and trust you? What work can you perform? 31 Our fathers ate man in the desert – as it says in the Tanakh, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’32 Yeshua said to them, “Yes, indeed! I tell you, it wasn’t Moshe who gave you the bread from heaven. But my Father is giving you the genuine bread from heaven;

What miracle will you do? A strange question for people who have just seen Him do one (vv. 10–14). But they seem set on diminishing its importance by presenting one equally great or greater: Our fathers ate manna in the desert; (see Exodus 16:4, 15; Numbers 11:8; Psalm 105:40). Yeshua corrects His questioners’ explanation of the Tanakh – they think he refers to Moshe, but Yeshua says its antecedent is my Father, God.

33 for God’s bread is the one who comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to Him, “Sir, give us this bread from now on.” 35 Yeshua answered, “I am the bread which is life! Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry, and whoever trusts in Me will never be thirsty. 36 I told you that you have seen but still don’t trust.

You have seen but still don’t trust. Their sin is all the more significant for this refusal to trust Yeshua.

37 Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me, I will certainly not turn away.

Everyone the Father gives me will come to me … whoever comes to me, I will certainly not turn away. This is as forthright a statement of the paradox of predestination and free will as can be found. The Father has given certain people to Yeshua. How do I find out if I am one of them? By coming to Yeshua, I have free will and can choose to come, and I have Yeshua’s word that He will not turn me away. Some claim that the Brit Hadashah faith is exclusivist, but we see that Yeshua is available universally (see Romans 10:11–13).

38 For I have come down from heaven to do not my own will but the will of the one who sent me. 39 And this is the will of the one who sent Me: that I should not lose any of all those He has given Me but should raise them up on the Last Day. 40 Yes, this is the will of My Father: that all who see the Son and trust in him should have eternal life, and that I should raise them up on the Last Day.” 1

In our next post, we will continue examining the Miracles and Multitudes series beginning in Yochanan 6:25.

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1 Yochanan 6:25–40.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 69

Miracles and Multitudes ~ Part 3

In our last post, we began a new topic entitled Miracles and Multitudes. This post as we look at more Miracles and Multitudes.

Yeshua and Kefa Walk on Water

16 When evening came, His talmidim went down to the lake, 17 got into a boat and set out across the lake toward K’far-Nachum. By now, it was dark, Yeshua had not yet joined them, 18, and the sea was getting rough. [1] 48 He saw that they were having difficulty rowing because the wind was against them; so at around four o’clock in the morning, He came toward them, walking on the lake! [2] Because a strong wind was blowing. 19 They had rowed three or four miles when they saw Yeshua approaching the boat, walking on the lake! He meant to come alongside them; [3] 49 but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought it was a ghost and let out a shriek; 50 for they had all seen him and were terrified. However, He spoke to them. “Courage,” He said, it is I. Stop being afraid!” [4]

28 Then Kefa called to him, “Lord if it is really you, tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come!” he said. So Kefa got out of the boat and walked on the water toward Yeshua. 30 But when he saw the wind, he became afraid, and as he began to sink, he yelled, “Lord! Save me!” 31 Yeshua immediately stretched out His hand, took hold of him, and said to him, “Such little trust! Why did you doubt?”

Such little trust Kefa has, even though a moment before he had much (v. 29). Trust is only present tense; it does not build up like a bank account. Yeshua’s rebuke restored it: he walked back to the boat (v. 32). From this, we learn the value of well-founded rebuke to the spiritually sensitive, that is, people open to correction.

32 As they went up into the boat, the wind ceased. [5] 51 He got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. They were completely astounded, 52 for they did not understand about the loaves; on the contrary, their hearts had been made stonelike. [6] 33 The men in the boat fell down before Him and exclaimed, “You really are God’s son!” [7]

22 The next day, the crowd which had stayed on the other side of the lake noticed that there had been only one boat there and that Yeshua had not entered the boat with His talmidim but that the talmidim had been alone when they sailed off. 23 Then, other boats from Tiberias came ashore near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had made the b’rakhah. 24 Accordingly, when the crowd saw that neither Yeshua nor His talmidim were there, they themselves boarded the boats and made for K’far-Nachum in search of Yeshua.[8]

In our next post, we will continue examining the Miracles and Multitudes series beginning in Yochanan 6:25.

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[1] John 6:17b-18a.

[2] Mark 6:48.

[3] John 6:18b-19.

[4] Mark 6:49-50.

[5] Matthew 14:28-32.

[6] Mark 6:51–52.

[7] Matthew 14:33.

[8] Yochanan 6:22–24.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 68

Miracles and Multitudes ~ Part 2

In our last post, we began a new topic entitled Miracles and Multitudes. This post as we look at more Miracles and Multitudes.

Feeding of the Five Thousand

35 By this time, the hour was late. The talmidim came to Him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s getting late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go and buy food for themselves in the farms and towns around here.” 37 But He answered them, “Give them something to eat, yourselves!” They replied, “We are to go and spend thousands on bread and give it to them to eat?” [1]

Thousands, literally, “two hundred denarii.” A denarius was about a day’s wages for a common laborer. So, that would be equivalent to almost a full year’s wages.

5When Yeshua looked up and saw that a large crowd was approaching, He said to Philip, “Where will we be able to buy bread so that these people can eat?” (Now Yeshua said this to test Philip, for Yeshua Himself knew what He was about to do.) Philip answered, “Half a year’s wages wouldn’t buy enough bread for them – each one would get only a bite!” One of the talmidim, Andrew, the brother of Shim’on Kefa, said to Him, “There’s a young fellow here who has five loaves of barley bread and two fish. But how far will they go among so many?” [2]

Five barley loaves and two fish is a relatively small amount of food, typically enough for one or two people.

39 Then, He ordered all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 They sat down in groups of fifty or a hundred. Fifty or a hundred Isra’el camped in groups of hundreds and fifties during its flight from Egypt (Exodus 18:25). Yeshua’s organization of the crowd in this way represents the symbolism of this meal: With the coming of God’s rule, a new exodus is taking place. 41 Then He took the five loaves and the two fish and, looking up toward heaven, made a b’rakhah (blessing). Next, He broke up the loaves and began giving them to the talmidim to distribute. He also divided up the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate as much as they wanted, 43 and they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces and fish. 44 Those who ate the loaves numbered five thousand men. [3] 14 When the people saw the miracle He had performed, they said, “This has to be ‘the prophet’ who is supposed to come into the world.”[4] (See also Luke 9:12-17)

45 Immediately, Yeshua had his talmidim get in the boat and go on ahead of him toward the other side of the lake, toward Beit-Tzaidah, while he sent the crowds away. 46 After he had left them, he went into the hills to pray. [5] 1Yeshua knew that they were on the point of coming and seizing Him in order to make Him king, so He went back to the hills again. This time He went by himself.

The crowd wanted freedom from Roman rule and peace for Isra’el, and they thought Yeshua was the man for the hour. But His view was different: “My kingship does not derive its authority from this world’s order of things” (18:36). Had they succeeded, they would have nullified God’s way of making Yeshua the Messiah through His being the Suffering Servant dying for the sins of humanity, being resurrected, ascending to God’s right hand, and returning in future glory to assume the throne. The hope then, as now among traditional non-Messianic Jews, was for a conquering hero.

16 When evening came, His talmidim went down to the lake, 17 got into a boat and set out across the lake toward K’far-Nachum. [6]

In our next post, we will continue examining the Miracles and Multitudes series beginning in Yochanan 6:17b.

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[1] Mark 6:35-37.

[2] John 6:5-9.

[3] Mark 6:39–44.

[4] John 6:14.

[5] Mark 6:45-46.

[6] John 6:15-17a.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 67

Miracles and Multitudes ~ Part 1

In our last post, we concluded our examination of the topic of Yeshua Sends Out His Emissaries. This post begins with a new topic as we look at more Miracles and Multitudes.

Introduction

As Yeshua’s ministry nears its second year, He reaches a peak of popularity among the multitudes starting with the feeding of the Five Thousand. However, when He later says that He is the true bread of life and that they must eat His flesh, many are offended and turn away. They can accept Him as a famous hero who works wonders, but they are unwilling to accept the demands of being a talmid.

Despite His opposition, what is impressive about Yeshua is the extent to which He has won the hearts of the ordinary people. He is not just another prophet but the Messiah about whom the other prophets have prophesied.

Yeshua Teaches the Multitude

We pick up where we left off in our last post: They went off by themselves to an isolated spot; [1] … to the far side of Lake Kinneret (that is, Lake Tiberias), [2] to a solitary place. But many people, seeing them leave and recognizing them, ran ahead on foot from all the towns and got there first. [3]

When Yeshua came ashore, He saw a huge crowd. Filled with compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, He began teaching them many things. [4] Welcoming them, He went on to speak to them about the Kingdom of God and to heal those who needed to be healed. [5] Now the Judean festival of Pesach (Passover) was coming up.[6]

In our next post, we will continue to examine the series on Miracles and Multitudes beginning in Mark 6:35, The Feeding of the Five Thousand.

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[1] Mark 6:30–32.

[2] Yochanon 6:1.

[3] Mark 6:33.

[4] Mark 6:34.

[5] Luke 9:11b.

[6] Yochanan 6:4.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 65

Yeshua Sends Out His Emissaries ~ Part 5

In our last post, we continued to examine the topic of Yeshua Sends Out His Emissaries. In this post, we learned that Yeshua Instructs the Talmidim about Rewards.

Rewards

40 “Whoever receives you is receiving me, and whoever receives me is receiving the One who sent me.

“Whoever receives you is receiving me… Welcoming Yeshua’s messengers is tantamount to welcoming Yeshua Himself since they bear His message and authority (see Matt 10:11–14). Receives the One who sent me… Receiving Yeshua amounts to receiving the Father.

41 Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive the reward a prophet gets, and anyone who receives a tzaddik because he is a tzaddik will receive the reward a tzaddik gets. 42 Indeed, if someone gives just a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my talmid – yes! – I tell you, he will certainly not lose his reward!”  ~ Mattityahu 10:40-42.

One of these little ones likely indicates a low social status as we see Yeshua ministering to them throughout the Gospels.

The Emissaries In Action

[1] 1After Yeshua had finished instructing the twelve talmidim; He went on from there to teach and preach in the towns nearby. [2] 6 They set out and went through village after village, healing and announcing the Good News everywhere.

Herod is Curious About Yeshua

[3] 14 Meanwhile, King Herod heard about this, for Yeshua’s reputation had spread. Some were saying, “Yochanan the Immerser has been raised from the dead; that is why these miraculous powers are at work in Him.” 15 Others said, “It is Eliyahu!” and still others, “He is a prophet, like one of the old prophets.” 16 But when Herod heard about it, he said, “Yochanan, whom I had beheaded, has been raised.” [4] Herod, the governor, heard about all that was going on and was perplexed because it was said by some that Yochanan had been raised from the dead, by others that Eliyahu had appeared, and by others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life. Herod said, “I had Yochanan beheaded, so who is this about whom I keep hearing such things?” And he began trying to see Him. (Yes, the last two sections did not contain any Red-Letter Words, but I thought they were essential to the story.)

Mark hasn’t yet mentioned Yochanan’s death; it is reported in Mark 6:17–29. Herod’s fear suggests that he saw a link between Yochanan and Yeshua and perceived both as political threats. It is Eliyahu! 2 Kings 2:11 records that the prophet Eliyahu did not die but was taken up into heaven alive. As a result of this and Malachi’s prophecy, many Jews believed he would return someday (Mal 4:5–6; compare Mark 9:11; 15:35–36). Herod was anxious to learn about the identity of Yeshua.

In our next post, we will conclude our series on He Sends Out His Emissaries, beginning in Luke 9:10.

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[1] Mattityahu 11:1.
[2] Luke 9:6 (see also Mark 6:12-13).
[3] Mark 6:14-16
[4] Luke 9:7-9.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 64

Yeshua Sends Out His Emissaries ~ Part 4

In our last post, we continued to examine the topic of Yeshua Sends Out His Emissaries. In this post, we learned that Yeshua discusses conflict and sacrifices.

Conflict and Sacrifices

34 “Don’t suppose that I have come to bring peace to the Land. It is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword!

Yeshua’s message inherently brings conflict. The context may indicate persecution and martyrdom, but interpersonal discord also results. A crude and foolish criticism of the Brit Hadashah based on this verse is that Yeshua advocates family strife. Yeshua’s purpose is, of course, not to create contentiousness but end it. Yet He knows that tension may result when some family members trust Him while others do not.

35 For I have come to set

36 a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law,
so that a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. [1]

37 Whoever loves his father or mother more than he loves Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than he loves Me is not worthy of Me.

Devotion to the family should not supersede allegiance to Yeshua. Yeshua asked for unqualified allegiance, something even the most esteemed rabbi did not demand. The central point of Matt. 10:34–37 is that the love of God and His Kingdom must take precedence over every other human relationship.

38 And anyone who does not take up his execution-stake and follow Me is not worthy of Me. 39 Whoever finds his own life will lose it, but the person who loses his life for My sake will find it.~ Mattityahu 10:34-39

Execution-stake, Greek stavros, usually translated as “cross.” It was a vertical wooden stake with a crossbar, usually shaped more like a “T” than the Christian symbol, used by the Romans to execute criminals who were not Roman citizens (Roman citizens sentenced to death were given a less painful way to die). It was not a normal Jewish means of execution. Halakhah [2] specified four methods of execution—stoning, burning, beheading, and strangling – but not hanging or being suspended from a cross (see Galatians 3:13 & 1 Kefa 2:24).

In our next post, we will continue to examine He Sends Out His Emissaries beginning in Mattityahu 10:40.

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[1] Micah 7:6

[2] A Jewish legal ruling concerning the application of the Torah to various daily aspects of human conduct. Yeshua and the Brit Hadashah writers lived in a period of intense halakic discourse and debate.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 63

Yeshua Sends Out His Emissaries ~ Part 3

In our last post, we continued to examine the topic of Yeshua Sends Out His Emissaries. In this post, we learned that Yeshua Warns Them.

Yeshua Warns His Emissaries

Yeshua Himself will face persecution; so too will His talmidim. Here, He warns them of their fate and assures them that the Ruach will give them the appropriate words in times of trial.

16 “Pay attention! I am sending you out like sheep among wolves, so be as prudent as snakes and as harmless as doves. (In the biblical world, serpents were associated with wisdom and cleverness.)

 17 Be on guard, for there will be people who will hand you over to the local Sanhedrins and flog you in their synagogues. 18 On My account, you will be brought before governors and kings as a testimony to them and to the Goyim.

Compare verse 18 with Psalm 119:46, “I will also speak of your testimonies before kings, and I will not be put to shame.”

19 But when they bring you to trial, do not worry about what to say or how to say it; when the time comes, you will be given what you should say. 20 For it will not be just you speaking, but the Ruach of your heavenly Father speaking through you.

Yeshua promises that the Ruach will give them the appropriate words to speak. Mattityahu has mentioned the Ruach in connection with Yeshua’s ministry (Matt. 1:18, 20; 3:11, 16; 4:1), and here the Ruach is extended to the ministry of the talmidim.

21 “A brother will betray his brother to death, and a father his child; children will turn against their parents and have them put to death. 22 Everyone will hate you because of me, but whoever holds out till the end will be preserved from harm (will be saved). 23 When you are persecuted in one town, run away to another. Yes indeed, I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Isra’el before the Son of Man comes.

Before the Son of Man comes. There are at least five plausible options for understanding this reference:

  1. Yeshua’s coming to His talmidim upon their return from this mission (vv. 6–15);
  2. Yeshua’s resurrection,
  3. The coming of the Ruach at Shavuot (Pentecost),
  4. The destruction of Yerushalayim in 70CE, and
  5. The second coming of Yeshua at the end of the age.

The overall passage is difficult to interpret, but it looks ahead to final judgment. Yeshua probably means that, at His second coming, there will still be people left in the towns of Isra’el who have not accepted Him.[1]

24 “A talmid is not greater than his rabbi; a slave is not greater than his master. 25 It is enough for a talmid that he becomes like his rabbi and a slave like his master. Now, if people have called the head of the house Ba’al-Zibbul (Beelzebul), how much more will they malign the members of his household! 26 So do not fear them; for there is nothing covered that will not be uncovered or hidden that will not be known.

Despite the hardships they will face, Yeshua commands the talmidim not to fear; instead, they should be bold witnesses to Yeshua’s message and faithfully carry out their tasks.

27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim on the housetops.

The housetops were flat roofs where people gathered when the weather was pleasant. Since houses were close together, people could shout from their housetops and proclaim to an impromptu audience.

28 “Do not fear those who kill the body but are powerless to kill the soul. Rather, fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in Gei-Hinnom.

People should have a healthy fear of God – treating Him with reverence.

 29 Aren’t sparrows sold for next to nothing, two for an assarion? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s consent. 30 As for you, every hair on your head has been counted. 31 So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

If God watches over sparrows, He indeed cares for His people. Yeshua uses a lesser-to-greater argument (common in Rabbinic teaching) to assure His talmidim of their value to God.

32 “Whoever acknowledges me in the presence of others, I will also acknowledge in the presence of my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.~ Mattityahu 10:16-33

In our next post, we will continue to examine He Sends Out His Emissaries in Mattityahu 10:34.

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[1] John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 62

Yeshua Sends Out His Emissaries ~ Part 2

In our last post, we began to examine the topic of Yeshua Sends Out His Emissaries. In this post, we learned that Yeshua Instructed Them.

Yeshua Instructs His Emissaries

These twelve Yeshua sent out with the following instructions: “Don’t go into the territory of the Goyim (Gentiles) and don’t enter any town in Shomron (Samaria)

Yeshua first extends His announcement of the Kingdom of Heaven to the Jews, who were eagerly awaiting its arrival. Their eventual rejection of Yeshua leads to the Gentile mission, which receives its most explicit expression in the ministry of the Emissary Sha’ul. The people of Shomron were of mixed Israelite and foreign descent who lived in the region of the northern kingdom of Isra’el before the Assyrian and Babylonian exile.

but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Isra’el. As you go, proclaim, ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is near,’

Lost sheep commonly served as a metaphor for a hopeless and leaderless people. The emissaries were to preach the same message that Yeshua preached and that Yochanan the Immerser preached before Him.

heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those afflicted with tzara’at (leprosy) and expel demons. You have received without paying, so give without asking for payment.

The tasks listed here authenticate the emissary’s message. These actions also show the arrival of the Kingdom of Heaven. Yeshua calls on the talmidim to share the blessings of the kingdom of heaven with no expectation of being compensated.

 Don’t take money in your belts, no gold, no silver, no copper; 10 and for the trip, don’t take a pack, an extra shirt, shoes, or a walking stick – a worker should be given what he needs.

The talmidim were to go without money or supplies. Their needs would be met through God’s provision.

The phrase a worker should be given what he needs sums up biblical principles regarding both priests and laborers (Lev 19:13; Num 18:31; Deut. 24:15; 25:4; 1 Cor 9:9; 1 Tim 5:18). The ultimate provision for ministry is the power of God, not our resources.

11 “When you come to a town or village, look for someone trustworthy and stay with him until you leave. 12 When you enter someone’s household, say, ‘Shalom aleikhem!’ (Peace be upon you) 13 If the home deserves it, let your shalom rest on it; if not, let your shalom return to you. 14 But if the people of a house or town will not welcome you or listen to you, leave it, and shake its dust from your feet! 

Shake its dust from your feet is a symbolic act of renunciation and indicates a severed relationship.

15 Yes, I tell you, it will be more tolerable on the Day of Judgment for the people of S’dom and ‘Amora than for that town!  ~ Mattityahu 10:5-15

In our next post, we will continue to examine He Sends Out His Emissaries in Mattityahu 10:16.

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The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 61

Yeshua Sends Out His Emissaries ~ Part 1

In our last post, we paused Yeshua’s Healing Ministry. This post begins to examine the topic of Yeshua Sends Out His Emissaries.

After His second rejection in His hometown of Nazareth, Yeshua gains renewed encouragement as He is met by crowds in other parts of the Galil. Keenly aware of their need for spiritual guidance, Yeshua calls on all those willing to work among the multitudes for His Kingdom. Then, the time is appropriate for sending out the twelve Emissaries in pairs of two on a special mission of teaching and performing miracles with the power He gives them.

The Harvest Is Plentiful, the Laborers Few

These final verses summarize Yeshua’s ministry. They also set up the next chapter, in which Yeshua sends out His talmidim.

35 Yeshua went about all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and weakness. 36 When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them because they were harried and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He said to His talmidim, “The harvest is rich, but the workers are few. 38 Pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out workers to gather in his harvest.” ~ Matityahu 9:35-38

The lack of leadership intensified Yeshua’s compassion for the people to help them (compare Yochanan 10:1–18; Ezekiel 34). Without a shepherd, sheep are prone to wander and vulnerable to danger.

The Twelve Emissaries

Mattityahu Chapter 9 ends with the need for laborers for God’s harvest; Chapter 10 begins with Yeshua commissioning His talmidim (compare Mark 6:7–13; Luke 9:1–6). Mattityahu records the names of Yeshua’s 12 primary talmidim and His instructions for spreading the message of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Yeshua called His twelve talmidim and gave them authority to drive out unclean spirits and to heal every kind of disease and weakness. These are the names of the twelve emissaries:

First, Shim’on called Kefa, and Andrew, his brother,
Ya’akov Ben-Zavdai and Yochanan, his brother,
Philip and Bar-Talmai,
T’oma and Mattityahu, the tax collector,
Ya’akov Bar-Halfai and Taddai,
Shim’on the Zealot, and Y’hudah from K’riot, who betrayed him.
Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew, his brother;
James, the son of Zebedee, and John, his brother;
Philip and Bartholomew;
Thomas and Matthew, the tax collector;
James, the son of Alphaeus and Thaddaeus;
Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. ~ Mattityahu 10:1-4

So far, Mattityahu has described the calling of only five talmidim (Matt. 4:18–22; 9:9). Yeshua had many followers, but these were His leaders – those whom He commissioned to build His Kehillah. Unclean spirits refer to evil spirits or demons. According to Jewish purity laws, people inhabited by such spirits were unclean.

In our next post, we will continue to examine He Sends Out His Emissaries in Mattityahu 10:5.

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