The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 89

In Yerushalayim for Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles) ~ Part 3

In our last post, we learned that Yeshua went privately to Yerushalayim and Taught in the Temple. This post shows that the People Ask If Yeshua is the Messiah, and the P’rushim Seek to Arrest Him.

People Ask If Yeshua is the Messiah

25 Some of the Yerushalayim people said, “Isn’t this the man they’re out to kill? 26 Yet here He is, speaking openly, and they don’t say anything to Him. It couldn’t be, could it, that the authorities have actually concluded He’s the Messiah? 27 Surely not – we know where this man comes from; but when the Messiah comes, no one will know where He comes from.”

We know where this man comes from, that is, from Nazareth and ordinary human parents (Yochanan 6:42). But when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he comes from. This expectation that the origins of the Messiah must be shrouded in mystery contradicts Micah 5:1, which predicts the Messiah’s birth in Bethlehem (as cited in Mattityahu 2:1–8).

28 Whereupon Yeshua, continuing to teach in the Temple courts, cried out, “Indeed you do know Me! And you know where I’m from! And I have not come on My own! The One who sent Me is real. But Him, you don’t know! 29 I do know Him because I am with Him, and He sent me!” 30 At this, they tried to arrest Him, but no one laid a hand on Him; because His time had not yet come. 31 However, many in the crowd put their trust in Him and said, “When the Messiah comes, will he do more miracles than this man has done?  [1]

Because His time had not yet come shows Yeshua’s strong awareness of God’s providential direction of the circumstances of His life; His enemies could not capture or harm Him until “the hour” of His arrest, crucifixion, and death, as ordained by God. God the Father would not allow these things to happen until the earthly ministry of Yeshua (God the Son) was complete. Since the Messiah would be a prophet like Moshe (Deut. 18:15, 18) and Moshe performed many miraculous signs at the exodus (Exodus 7–11), the Messiah was expected to perform miracles as well. In any case, it would have been natural for people to wonder if He was the Messiah after witnessing Yeshua’s miracles.

P’rushim Seek to Arrest Him

32 The P’rushim heard the crowd whispering these things about Yeshua, so the head cohanim and the P’rushim sent some of the Temple guards to arrest him. 33 Yeshua said, “I will be with you only a little while longer; then I will go away to the One who sent me. 34 You will look for me and not find me; indeed, where I am, you cannot come.” 35 The Judeans said to themselves, “Where is this man about to go that we won’t find him? Does he intend to go to the Greek Diaspora and teach the Greek-speaking Jews? 36 And when He says, ‘You will look for me and not find me; indeed, where I am, you cannot come’ – what does he mean?” [2]

Greek-speaking Jews. The word in the text is “Ellênôn” (“Greeks”). Did the Judeans wonder if Yeshua would teach Gentiles? The word “Greek” often means “Gentile” in the writings of Luke and Sha’ul. But since the text explicitly refers to the Greek Diaspora (“dispersion”), which has meaning for Jews and not concerning Gentiles, the Judeans have in mind either Greek or Greek-speaking Jews. Of these two, it seems much more likely that the Greek Diaspora refers to the entire territory conquered by Alexander, where Greek had become the lingua franca, than Greece specifically.

In our next post, we continue with our new series on Yeshua’s Journey to Yerushalayim for the Feast of Sukkot. In our next post, we will learn more about Spiritual Drinks and more.

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[1] Yochanan 7:25–31.
[2] Yochanan 7:32–36.