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 66

Yeshua Sends Out His Emissaries ~ Part 6

In our last post, we continued to examine the topic of Yeshua Sends Out His Emissaries. In this post, we conclude this topic as we look briefly at The Death of Yochanan the Immerser and the Emissaries’ Return and Report.

The Death of Yochanan the Immerser

I think that most of my readers are familiar with the ministry in Yochanan the Immerser. In the interest of space and the lack of Red-Letter Words, I’ll refer you to his death and burial details to Mattityahu 14:3-12a and Mark 6:17-29.

Emissaries Return & Report

On their return, the emissaries detailed to Yeshua what they had done. What they had done refers to their use of Yeshua’s delegated power and authority in the casting out of demons, healings, and preaching.

Then, taking them with Him, He withdrew by Himself to a town called Beit-Tzaidah. [1] But the crowds found out and followed Him. [2] There were so many people coming and going that they couldn’t even take time to eat, so he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a place where we can be alone, and you can get some rest.”

The departure and return of the twelve emissaries frame the story of Yochanan the Immerser’s death (Mark 6:14–29), which interrupts the emissaries’ mission as a flashback.

They went off by themselves to an isolated spot; [3]… to the far side of Lake Kinneret (that is, Lake Tiberias), [4] 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. [5]

(I love how F. LaGard Smith pieces the four Gospels together to convey the scene.)

In our next post, we will examine our next series on Miracles and Multitudes beginning in Mark 4:34.

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[1] A village near Capernaum and the hometown of Kefa, Andrew, and Philip.

[2] Luke 9:10-11a.

[3] Mark 6:30–32.

[4] John 6:1.

[5] Mark 6:33.

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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The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 60

Performing Miracles ~ Part 4

In our last post, we examined Yeshua healing a Synagogue ruler’s daughter and a woman’s issue of blood. This post examines more of His healing powers and being rejected once again.

Yeshua Heals Two Blind Men

27 As Yeshua went on from there, two blind men began following Him, shouting, “Son of David! Take pity on us!”

By shouting, “Son of David! the blind men were publicly acclaiming Yeshua as the Messiah.

28 When He entered the house, the blind men came up, and Yeshua said to them, “Do you believe that I have the power to do this?” They replied, “Yes, sir.” 29 Then He touched their eyes and said, “Let it happen to you according to your trust,” 30 and their sight was restored.

The men also showed great trust (faith) and initiative.

Yeshua warned them severely, “See that no one knows about it.” 31 But instead, they went away and talked about Him throughout that district. ~ Mattityahu 9:27-31

Despite Yeshua’s apparent desire to keep a low profile, His call for secrecy is not obeyed. Once these men experience the good news, they cannot keep it to themselves.

Yeshua Heals Two Blind Men

32 As they were going, a man controlled by a demon and unable to speak was brought to Yeshua. 33 After the demon was expelled, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed. “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Isra’el,” they said. 34 But the P’rushim said, “It is through the ruler of the demons that He expels demons.”  ~ Mattityahu 9:32-34

Yeshua again asserts His authority over the spirit realm (compare Mattityahu 8:28–32) and causes all Isra’el to marvel at His deeds. It is through the ruler of the demons that He expels demons. Yeshua later shows the absurdity of this statement (see Mattityahu 12:22–32).

Yeshua Is Rejected In His Hometown

Messianic Jews today often find these verses poignantly relevant to their own families and hometowns. But they can take comfort from the fact that although Yeshua Himself encountered opposition, indifference, and skepticism, in the end, His family believed in Him (Acts 1:14, Galatians 1:19; contrast 12:48–50, Yochanan 7:3–5), and His hometown became a center of New Covenant faith.

53 When Yeshua had finished these miracles, He left 54 and went to His hometown.

Yeshua’s ministry base was Capernaum, but He had grown up in Nazareth.

 There He taught them in their synagogue in a way that astounded them so that they asked, “Where do this man’s wisdom and miracles come from?

The people know that, unlike their Rabbis, Yeshua has no formal training; He was raised as a craftsman. They express astonishment at the educated things He says and the attesting signs He performs.

55 Isn’t He the carpenter’s son? Isn’t His mother called Miryam? and His brothers Ya‘akov, Yosef, Shim‘on, and Y’hudah?

The language implies that the answer should be a plain “Yes.” But the honest answer is not so simple, as Luke’s careful language reveals: “It was supposed that He was a son of the Yosef who was of Eli, of Mattat (etc.) ” (see Luke 3:23–38). Yosef, the carpenter, raised Yeshua and accepted Him as his son even though He had no natural human father since Miryam the virgin was caused to become pregnant by God supernaturally.

56 And His sisters, aren’t they all with us? So where does He get all this?” 57 And they took offense at Him. But Yeshua said to them, “The only place people don’t respect a prophet is in His hometown and His own house.” 58 And He did few miracles there because of their lack of trust. ~ Mattityahu 13:53-58 (compare with Mark 6:1-6a)

In our next post, we interrupt our look at Yeshua’s Miracle Ministry as He Sends Out His Emissaries beginning in Mattityahu 9:35.

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The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 59

Performing Miracles ~ Part 3

In our last post, we examined Yeshua healing a demon-possessed man. This post will examine Yeshua healing a Synagogue ruler’s daughter and a woman’s issue of blood.

The narrative about Ya’ir’s’ daughter (vv. 21–43) frames the interrupting story of a hemorrhaging woman (vv. 25–34). Both stories show Yeshua’s incredible and surprising power.

[Because this story includes miraculous healings tied together, this post is a little longer than I like to post. You may want to download the PDF version.]

Performing Miracles ~ Part 3

21 Yeshua crossed in the boat to the other side of the lake, and a great crowd gathered around him. 22 There came to Him a synagogue official (head or president of a synagogue), Ya’ir (Jarius) by name, who fell at his feet 23 and pleaded desperately with Him, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Please! Come and lay your hands on her so that she will get well and live!”

24 He went with Him, and a large crowd followed, pressing all around Him. 25 Among them was a woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years 26 and had suffered a great deal under many physicians. She had spent her life savings, yet instead of improving, she had grown worse.

Who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years likely describes ongoing vaginal bleeding? According to Leviticus 15:19–33, it would have made the woman ceremonially unclean – preventing her from worshiping in the Temple or joining her people in everyday activities.

 27 She had heard about Yeshua, so she came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His robe;

In contrast to others who approach Yeshua directly, this woman is cautious and hesitant – perhaps because her condition makes her ritually unclean (as noted above). Alternatively, this might be the only way the woman could reach Yeshua through the crowd.

28 for she said, “If I touch even His clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Instantly, the hemorrhaging stopped, and she felt in her body that she had been healed from the disease. 30 At the same time, Yeshua, aware that power had gone out from Him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

This story and the story of Ya’ir’s daughter focus on the relationship between power and faith. Belief gives people access to Yeshua’s life-giving power; unbelief blocks it.

31 His talmidim responded, “You see the people pressing in on you; and still you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 But He kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 The woman, frightened and trembling because she knew what had happened to her, came and fell down in front of Him and told Him the whole truth.

If she admitted to the healing, she would acknowledge that she had compromised the ritual purity of Yeshua as well as members of the crowd. The woman likely feared reprisal for violating religious law. She may also be afraid because she has just experienced divine power, and without permission, and is concerned about how Yeshua will respond.

 34 “Daughter,” He said to her, “your trust has healed you. Go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” 3While He was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house came, saying, “Your daughter has died. Why bother the rabbi any longer?” 36 Ignoring what they had said, Yeshua told the synagogue official, “Don’t be afraid, just keep trusting.” 37 He let no one follow Him except Kefa, Ya‘akov, and Yochanan, Ya‘akov’s brother.

Yeshua likely brings this select group of talmidim along with Him because He has already decided that He will heal Ya’ir’s daughter – He does not want word about this to spread.

38 When they came to the synagogue official’s house, He found a great commotion, with people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 On entering, He said to them, “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn’t dead; she’s just asleep!” 40 And they jeered at Him. But He put them all outside, took the child’s father and mother and those with Him, and went in where the child was. 41 Taking her by the hand, He said to her, “Talita, Kumi!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 At once, the girl got up and began walking around; she was twelve years old. Everybody was utterly amazed. 43 He gave them strict orders to say nothing about this to anyone and told them to give her something to eat.  ~ Mark 5:21-43 (see Mattityahu 9:18-26 and Luke 8:40-56).

Talita, kumi! is Aramaic. It is sometimes asked whether Yeshua spoke Hebrew or Aramaic. Though Aramaic and Greek were the international languages in use in the Middle East in the first century, Hebrew was a common household language among Jews at that time and continued to be spoken until the third century CE. After that time, it was used for prayer but rarely for daily communication. In the nineteenth century CE, it was revived for secular literary purposes and consciously developed as a modern language by Eli‛ezer Ben-Yehuda and others after 1879. Most people in Yeshua’s day probably spoke all three languages to some degree. [1]

Yeshua intends to continue to keep His identity secret until the appropriate time (compare Mark 8:31–38). If He revealed His identity at this stage as the Son of God (Mark 1:10–11), it could result in Him being prosecuted and executed immediately.

In our next post, we continue to focus on Yeshua Performing Miracles beginning in Mattityahu 9:27.

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[1] David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 58

Performing Miracles ~ Part 2

In our last post, we finished by examining Yeshua calming Lake Kinneret. This post will examine what happens when they reach the other shore.

Yeshua Heals A Demon-Possessed Man

Yeshua and His talmidim arrived at the other side of the lake, in the Gerasenes’ territory.

Gerasenes’ territory. Mattityahu 8:28 puts this incident in the Gadarenes’ territory.And some manuscripts have “Gergesenes’ territory.” There were three towns in the region east of Lake Kinneret and nearby – Gerasa, Gadara, and Gergesa – so the same “territory” might reasonably have been named for all of them. The text does not state which “town” (v. 14) was the one involved.

As soon as He disembarked, a man with an unclean spirit came out of the burial caves to meet Him. He lived in the burial caves, and no one could keep him tied up, not even with a chain. He had often been chained hand and foot, but he would snap the chains and break the irons off his feet. No one was strong enough to control him. Night and day, he wandered among the graves and through the hills, howling and gashing himself with stones.

Seeing Yeshua from a distance, he ran and fell to his knees in front of him and screamed at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Yeshua, Son of God Ha‘Elyon (the Most High)? I implore you in God’s name! Don’t torture me!” For Yeshua had already begun saying to him, Unclean spirit, come out of this man!” Yeshua asked him, “What’s your name?” “My name is Legion,” he answered, “there are so many of us”; 10 and he kept begging Yeshua not to send them out of that region.

11 Now, there was a large herd of pigs feeding near the hill, 12 and the unclean spirits begged Him, “Send us to the pigs, so we can go into them.” 13 Yeshua gave them permission. They came out and entered the pigs, and the herd, numbering around two thousand, rushed down the hillside into the lake and were drowned. 14 The swineherds fled and told it in the town and in the surrounding country, and the people went to see what had happened. 15 They came to Yeshua and saw the man who had had the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind, and they were frightened. 16 Those who had seen it told what had happened to the man controlled by demons and to the pigs; 17 and the people began begging Yeshua to leave their district.

The non-Jewish Gerasenes raised pigs. That Yeshua permitted the demons to enter the pigs, destroying harmless animals together with their owners’ property, is raised as a moral argument against Him. But God has permitted demonic expression with evil consequences since the Garden of Eden. Job asked why, and God indicated that His dealings with Satanic powers are not to be understood fully by human beings at this time (Job 40–41). Some have suggested the demons destroyed the pigs to prejudice the owners against Yeshua – which is what happened.

18 As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demonized begged Him to be allowed to go with Him. 19 But Yeshua would not permit it. Instead, He said to him, “Go home to your people, and tell them how much Adonai in His mercy has done for you.”

This is the only episode in Mark’s Gospel in which Yeshua does not attempt to conceal His identity, but He also does not tell the man to proclaim to his friends how much He, Yeshua, has done for him. Instead, it seems that He is telling the man to share how much Adonai – likely a reference to God the Father has done for him.

20 He went off and began proclaiming in the Ten Towns (Decapolis) how much Yeshua had done for him, and everyone was amazed. ~ Mark 5:1-20 (see Mattityahu 8:28-34 and Luke 8:26-39).

In our next post, we continue to focus on Yeshua Performing Miracles beginning in Mark 5:21.

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The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 57

As I have stated previously, I am following F. LaGard Smith’s “The Narrated Bible in Chronological Order” for the outline of this series and his introductions to the topics. As usual, Scripture quotations are from the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) by David Stern. Since the CJB is not a Red-Letter edition, I double-checked the red versus green with the English Standard Version (ESV).

Performing Miracles ~ Part 1

It is one thing for a man to teach what he claims is truth; it is another thing to demonstrate one’s authority to claim the truth. [Think Moshe and Aharon before Pharoah.] That is why Yeshua’s miracles are such a vital part of His ministry. They are not being performed to entertain, show off His divine power, or even convince skeptics. The miracles are a means of confirming the message that the Kingdom of God is now being established with power!

Challenging Followers

 MT 18 When Yeshua saw the crowd around him, He gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 A Torah-teacher approached and said to Him, “Rabbi, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20 Yeshua said to him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds flying about have nests, but the Son of Man has no home of his own.”

Son of Man. One of the titles of the Messiah is based on Daniel 7:13–14, where the text has bar-enosh(Aramaic). Bar-enosh,” like Hebrew ben-adam, can also mean “son of man,” “typical man,” “one schooled to be a man,” or simply “man.”. Yeshua is all of these: the Messiah, a typical (ideal) man, and one schooled both in heaven and on earth to be a man. Yeshua refers to Himself by this title frequently, stressing His complete identification with the human condition. [1]

LK 59 To another, He said, Follow me!” but the man replied, “Sir, first let me go away and bury my father.” 60 Yeshua said, “Let the dead bury their own dead; you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God!”

The call to discipleship takes precedence over all other duties.

61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, sir, but first let me say goodbye to the people at home.” 62 To him, Yeshua said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and keeps looking back is fit to serve in the Kingdom of God.”~ Mattityahu 8:18-22 (see Luke 9:59-62).

Followers of Yeshua must have a singular focus on the work of God’s Kingdom.

Yeshua Calms the Sea

 23 He boarded the boat, and his talmidim followed. 24 Then, without warning, a furious storm arose on the lake so that waves were sweeping over the boat. But Yeshua was sleeping. 25 So they came and roused him, saying, “Sir! Help! We’re about to die!” 26 He said to them, “Why are you afraid? So little trust you have!”Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and there was a dead calm.

Yeshua uses this phrase at the beginning of verse 26 to respond to His talmidim doubt that God would care for them. Their weak faith contrasts with the centurion’s great faith (v. 8:10).

27 The men were astounded. They asked, “What kind of man is this that even the winds and sea obey him?” ~ Mattityahu 13:44

In our next post, we continue to focus on Yeshua Performing Miracles in Mattityahu 8:28-34.

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[1] David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 56

Teaching Through Parables ~ Part 5

In our first post in this mini-series on the Parables of Yeshua, we looked at why He spoke in parables. In Part 2, we examined the Parable of the Sower and its explanation. In Part 3, we examined The Parable of the Weeds and its explanation. In Part 4, we examined the Parable of the Lighted Lamp, The Parable of The Seed Growing, and The Parable of The Mustard Seed. Now, we come to Mattityahu 13:33.

The Parable of The Yeast

33 And he told them yet another parable. “The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with a bushel of flour, then waited until the whole batch of dough rose.”  ~ Mattityahu 13:33 (see Luke 13:20-21).

Yeast (or leaven) usually represents evil (compare 1 Corinthians 5:6–8). If so, it represents the evil mixed with the good as in the previous two parables. Some interpret the parable to mean that the Kehillah will beneficially influence the world.

The Parable of Hidden Treasure

The first of the following two parables (v.44) deals with the unexpected discovery of the Kingdom of God, the second (vv.45-46) with the successful conclusion to a search for it. The person who comes upon it recognizes its great value and is willing to give up all (he sold everything he owned).

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. A man found it, hid it again, then in great joy went and sold everything he owned and bought that field. ~ Mattityahu 13:44

According to halakhah [1], if the treasure is unmarked and found on public land, it belongs to the finder. If it is marked, the owner must be sought. If it is natural (a gold nugget or a diamond) or unmarked and on private land, it belongs to the landowner; that’s why the finder bought that field to become the owner. But the story seems to imply that the finder bought the field at the “pre-treasure” price and that if the owner had known the treasure was there, he wouldn’t have sold the field at that price.

The Parable of the Valuable Pearl

45 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for fine pearls. 46 On finding one very valuable pearl, he went away, sold everything he owned, and bought it. ~ Mattityahu 13:45-46.

The point is not that the man purchased a place in the Kingdom of Heaven, but rather than entering the Kingdom is worth giving up everything.

The Parable of the Net

Like the weeds parable (Mattityahu 13:24–30), this parable describes the ingathering of the righteous and wicked and their subsequent fates. The Kingdom of Heaven will consist of those who follow Yeshua.

47 “Once more, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a net thrown into the lake that caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen brought the net up onto the shore, sat down, and collected the good fish in baskets but threw the bad fish away. 49 So it will be at the close of the age – the angels will go forth and separate the evil people from among the righteous 50 and throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will wail and grind their teeth. 51 Have you understood all these things? “Yes,” they answered. 52 He said to them,So then, every Torah-teacher who has been made into a talmid for the Kingdom of Heaven is like the owner of a home who brings out of his storage room both new things and old.”  ~ Mattityahu 13:47-50

A Torah-teacher who has been made into a talmid for the Kingdom of Heaven, that is, a committed and knowledgeable Jew who has become Messianic, brings out of his storage room, out of his treasury of knowledge, both new things relating to Yeshua and the New Covenant and old things, relating to the pre-Messianic Judaism he already understands. The storage room contains good things, things the house owner wants, and treasures. Some of the good things are new, and some are old. Likewise, the new Messianic and old Jewish things can both be good. Thus, the Messianic Torah-teacher is uniquely placed to enrich Messianic Judaism by expressing Messianic truth in Jewish relevant ways, repairing old coats with good patches, and restoring old wineskins for new wine. The outstanding New Covenant example is Sha’ul.

Parables Fulfill Prophecy

Like Mattityahu 13:10–17, this section reiterates Yeshua’s purpose in using parables.

34 All these things Yeshua said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without using a parable. 35 This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet,

“I will open my mouth in parables.
I will say what has been hidden since
the creation of the universe.”

The quotation in this verse is from Psalm 78:2. This psalm identifies its author as Asaph, described in 2 Chronicles as a seer.

In our next post, we will begin to focus on Yeshua Performing Miracles beginning in Mattityahu 8:18-22.

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[1] Halakhah is how often ambiguous legal passages are clarified and interpreted for application in new and changed circumstances. ~ Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible.