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 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.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 161

Passion Week ~ Yeshua’s Final Discourse ~ Part 3

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).

Yeshua Tells His Talmidim the Reason He Has to Go Away

5 But now I am going to the One who sent Me. “Not one of you is asking Me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Instead, because I have said these things to you, you are overcome with grief. 7 But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I don’t go away, the comforting Counselor (obviously, this is another label for the Ruach HaKodesh) will not come to you. However, if I do go, I will send Him to you.

“When he comes, he will show that the world is wrong about sin, about righteousness and about judgment – 9 about sin, in that people don’t put their trust in Me;

The world is wrong … about sin in that people don’t put their trust in Me. Instead, they have other theories about sin that downgrade sin’s horribleness and upgrade their own holiness. Thus, they find no need to accept Yeshua’s atoning death.

10 about righteousness, in that I am going to the Father, and you will no longer see me; 11 about judgment, in that, the ruler of this world has been judged.

God comes to consider sinners righteous only because Yeshua has done His work on earth and is now with the Father, alive and interceding with Him on our behalf (see Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25, 1 Yochanan 2:1).

The Ruach’s Guidance

12 “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now. 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. [1]

The Messianic life is lived by attentiveness to the Ruach. Moreover, by telling His talmidim that the Spirit of Truth will guide them into all the truth and announce future events (see Ac 11:27N, 1C 12:8–10), Yeshua virtually pre-authenticates the Brit Hadasah, which they will write as the product of the Ruach.

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 16:5–15.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 160

Passion Week ~ Yeshua’s Final Discourse ~ Part 2

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).

Yeshua Prepares His Talmidim for Persecution

The world’s hate for Believers and Messianic Jews stems from its hate for the Messiah. The Jewish religious leaders were already plotting to arrest and kill Yeshua. Those of whom Yeshua was speaking saw and experienced what He did and hated Him anyway because they did not want to give up their sin and live righteously, which we learn in our next topic. (16:7–11).

18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world; therefore, the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’

Even though the Jewish leaders who killed Yeshua claimed to follow God’s will, they neglected to acknowledge Yeshua’s part of His will and thus showed their love for their own positions over God’s work.

The Talmud asks, “Why was the Second Sanctuary destroyed, seeing that in its time they occupied themselves with studying Torah, obeying mitzvot and practicing charity? Because in it prevailed hatred without a cause.” (Yoma 9b)

26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. 27 And you also will bear witness because you have been with me from the beginning.

16 1 “I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.

They will put you out of the synagogues. (See Yochanan 9:22). Most Jewish people are staunch supporters of the principle of free speech. But in many synagogues, if a Jewish Believer in Yeshua makes his faith public, speaks about it, and attempts in conversation to persuade others to acknowledge the Messiah, he may be asked to leave the synagogue and not come back. In fact, as a Gentile, I once attended a synagogue for the first time and, in a private conversation beforehand, told its rabbi about my faith; his response was to make it clear I would be welcome to return as long as I wouldn’t proselytize. The price a Messianic Jew is asked to pay for worshipping God with his own people is often silent about God’s most important historical work! The reason for such behavior is given in the next verse.

3 They will do these things because they have understood neither the Father nor me. But I have told you this, so that when the time comes for it to happen, you will remember that I told you. I didn’t tell you this at first, because I was with you. [1]

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

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Yochanan 15:18-16:4.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 159

Passion Week ~ Yeshua’s Final Discourse ~ Part 1

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).

Introduction

The Last Supper is completed, and He and His talmidim are headed toward the Mount of Olives. Yochanan alone records the Final Discourse of Yeshua with His chosen talmidim (minus Y’hudah). Yeshua’s teaching occurs in the Kidron Valley, which forms the eastern border of Yerushalayim. Each word Yeshua speaks reflects His burden in leaving these men to finish the work He has begun. He encourages them in their faith and promises that in His name, they will perform great works. He calls them to mutual love to withstand the inevitable persecution which awaits them. He assures them that the Ruach HaKodesh will be with them and guide them in their mission. [1]

As modern-day Believers, we need to take these teachings to heart!

The Vine and The Branches

“I am the real vine, and my Father is the gardener. Every branch which is part of me but fails to bear fruit, he cuts off; and every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes, so that it may bear more fruit.

I am the real vine. Isra’el is also God’s vine or vineyard (see Isaiah 5:1–7, 27:2–6; Jeremiah 2:21, 12:10; Ezekiel 17:5–6; Hosea 10:1; Joel 1:7; Psalm 80:8–16) and compare Yeshua’s parables at Mattityahu 21:33–43, Mark 12:1–12, Luke 20:9–19. The fact that the vine describes both the Jewish people and its Messiah reinforces the close identification of Isra’el. The Messianic Jewish remnant (Romans 9:6ff., 11:1–10) will obey Yeshua’s commands, stay attached to the genuine vine, and have the genuine vine’s power and strength to bring forth good fruit (Mattityahu 7:16–19). And so will the grafted-in Gentile Believer’s branches (Romans 11:17–24).

Fruit is what grows naturally out of a plant or situation. Galatians 5:22–23, fruit refers to character qualities given by the Ruach, at Mattityahu 13:1–23, perhaps to other people who trust Yeshua, at Romans 6:21–22 to righteousness. Prunes. The Greek word means, literally, cleans. To clean of excess foliage is to prune, but the context also calls to mind cleansing from sin.

Right now, because of the word which I have spoken to you, you are pruned. Stay united with Me, as I will with you—for just as the branch can’t put forth fruit by itself apart from the vine, so you can’t bear fruit apart from Me. “I am the vine, and you are the branches. Those who stay united with Me, and I with them, are the ones who bear much fruit; because apart from Me, you can’t do a thing. Unless a person remains united with Me, he is thrown away like a branch and dries up. Such branches are gathered and thrown into the fire, where they are burned up. “If you remain united with Me, and My words with you, then ask whatever you want, and it will happen for you. This is how my Father is glorified – in your bearing much fruit; this is how you will prove to be My talmidim.

Love One Another

“Just as my Father has loved Me, I too have loved you; so stay in My love. 10 If you keep My commands, you will stay in My love – just as I have kept My Father’s commands and stay in His love.

I have kept my father’s commands. This probably refers to Yochanan 14:31. The context gives no ground for considering it an assertion that Yeshua obeyed the Torah perfectly.

 11 I have said this to you so that My joy may be in you, and your joy be complete. 12 “This is My command: that you keep on loving each other just as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than a person who lays down his life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15 I no longer call you slaves because a slave doesn’t know what his master is about, but I have called you friends because everything I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.

Yeshua’s talmidim are no longer his slaves but his friends. Later, the talmidim (nd that includes us ladies and gentlemen) are His brothers, God’s sons by adoption (Romans 8:14–17, Galatians 3:27–4:8).

16 You did not choose me, I chose you; and I have commissioned you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last; so that whatever you ask from the Father in My name He may give you. 17 This is what I command you: keep loving each other!  [2]

Go and bear fruit. Staying (vv. 1–8) and going are consistent with each other: the Messianic lifestyle is, on one hand, passive and receptive and, on the other, active, transmissive, and productive.

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

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] The Narrated Bible in Chronological Order by F. LaGard Smith.
[2] Yochanan 15:1–17.

%d bloggers like this: