The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 115

The Perean Ministry ~ Part 9

In our last post, we followed Yeshua as He left Yerushalayim to go to Perea. In this post, we continue to examine His Perean Ministry as He Continues to Teach in Parables.

The Law and the Kingdom of God

Some commentators regard verses 15 to18 as disconnected remarks by an editor – Yeshua’s response to the P’rushim reaction (v. 14) to His parable of the Dishonest Manager. Verses 15–18 are therefore all connected and connected with the following story (vv. 19–31); note especially that vv. 16 and 31 deal with the Torah and the Prophets. Thus, there is a cumulative effect to what Yeshua is saying, with v. 18 presenting a telling example of how the Torah cannot become void, more when the Kingdom of God, God’s active present rulership, is so near. [1]

14 The P’rushim heard all this, and since they were money lovers, they ridiculed him (literally, “they turned up their noses at Him.) 15 He said to them,You people make yourselves look righteous to others, but God knows your hearts; what people regard highly is an abomination before God! 16 Up to the time of Yochanan, there were the Torah and the Prophets. Since then, the Good News of the Kingdom of God has been proclaimed, and everyone is pushing to get in.

Up to the time of Yochanan the Immerser, the Torah and the Prophets were giving their prophetic and predictive witness to the coming of the Kingdom of God. The verse does not mean that the authority of the Torah and the Prophets ended when Yochanan appeared. But since then, in addition to their witness, the Good News of the Kingdom of God, which is now “near,” has been proclaimed directly, first by Yochanan (Mt 3:1–2) and now by Yeshua (Mt 4:17, Mk 1:15), with the result that everyone is pushing to get in.

17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter in the Torah to become void. 18 Every man who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and a man who marries a woman divorced by her husband commits adultery. [2]

See Mattityahu 19:3–9 on Yeshua’s position on divorce, but this pronouncement of Yeshua’s is not primarily a teaching on divorce. Instead, it demonstrates that the Torah and the Prophets continue to have authoritative force, as v. 17 has explicitly stated. The P’rushim are not to use their position of power to interpret Scripture in ways that contradict its intent.

In our next post, Yeshua Continues to Speak in Parables in Perea.

Click here for the PDF version.

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

[2]  Luke 16:14-18.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 114

The Perean Ministry ~ Part 8

In our last post, we followed Yeshua as He left Yerushalayim to go to Perea. In this post, we continue to examine His Perean Ministry as He Continues to Teach in Parables.

The Parable of The Dishonest Manager

In the previous parable, the wayward son squanders his inheritance; now, Yeshua delivers a parable about the use of resources. The main character is a household manager who appears to win the respect of his master by acting dishonestly. Yeshua explains the parable in vv. 10–13. This parable is unique to Luke’s Gospel. Yeshua no longer addresses the scribes (teachers of the law) and Prushim, as in the previous chapter (15:2–3). However, they apparently are still listening to Him (15:14).

1 Speaking to the talmidim, Yeshua said: “There was a wealthy man who employed a general manager. Charges were brought to him that his manager was squandering his resources. 2 So he summoned him and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Turn in your accounts, for you can no longer be the manager.’

3 “‘What am I to do?’ said the manager to himself. ‘My boss is firing me, I’m not strong enough to dig ditches, and I’m ashamed to go begging. 4 Aha! I know what I’ll do—something that will make people welcome me into their homes after I’ve lost my job here!’

5 “So, after making appointments with each of his employer’s debtors, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my boss?’ 6 ‘Eight hundred gallons of olive oil,’ he replied. ‘Take your note back,’ he told him. ‘Now, quickly! Sit down and write one for four hundred!’77To the next, he said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’ ‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he replied. ‘Take your note back and write one for eight hundred.’

8 “And the employer of this dishonest manager applauded him for acting so shrewdly! For the worldly have more sekhel than those, who have received the light—in dealing with their own kind of people!

Sekhel means “common sense, practical intelligence, ‘smarts’” in Hebrew and Yiddish. Have more sekhel translates the Greek phronimôteroi eisin, “are more prudent.” Yeshua is not praising this corrupt manager’s goal of “looking out for Number One,” but his cleverness and intelligence in pursuing his mistaken goal. Further, his comment that the worldly are more creative in working toward their aims than those enlightened by trusting God are in following the plans God has set forth for them seems to be true today and then. A lack of imagination and freedom binds many well-intentioned people and grounding in reality when seeking solutions. 1

9 “Now what I say to you is this: use worldly wealth to make friends for yourselves, so that when it gives out, you may be welcomed into the eternal home.

Yeshua urges his followers not to use the materials of this world in a wicked way but for noble ends so that their friends, God the Father, and Yeshua the Son, may welcome them into the eternal home, just as the manager can expect his newly purchased “friends” to receive him into their worldly homes.

10 Someone who is trustworthy in a small matter is also trustworthy in large ones, and someone who is dishonest in a small matter is also dishonest in large ones. 11 So if you haven’t been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who is going to trust you with the real thing? 12 And if you haven’t been trustworthy with what belongs to someone else, who will give you what ought to belong to you?

What belongs to someone else is likely a reference to everything, ultimately belonging to God. Yeshua also seems to be emphasizing another point of His parable: His followers should be faithful when given any resources to steward.

13 No servant can be a slave to two masters, for he will either hate the first and love the second or scorn the second and be loyal to the first. You can’t be a slave to both God and money.” 2

In our next post, Yeshua Continues to Speak in Parables in Perea.

Click here for the PDF version.

1 David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary.
2 Luke 16:113.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 113

The Perean Ministry ~ Part 7

In our last post, we followed Yeshua as He left Yerushalayim to go to Perea. In this post, we continue to examine His Perean Ministry as He Continues to Teach in Parables.

Parable of The Prodigal Son

The Parable of the Prodigal Son, who leaves his loving father with his fortune, squanders it, and then returns home in repentance, is so widely referred to that those unfamiliar with the Brit Hadashah are often surprised to learn that the story originates here. Some say its only point is that the love of the father (i.e., God) is so all-embracing that He joyfully welcomes anyone who turns to Him from sin. Indeed, the parable shares this theme with the previous two we examined in our last post.

But in vv. 25–32, we see the older son, who considers himself righteous but rejects his father’s generosity by resenting the reason it is offered. Some take them to be the Jews and the younger the Gentiles. Still, the context makes it more reasonable to think of the older son as anyone who supposes God owes him something and the younger as anyone who knows he has sinned and therefore throws himself on God’s mercy, accepting Yeshua as his only hope for salvation and forgiveness.

11 Again, Yeshua said, “A man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that will be mine.’ So, the father divided the property between them. 13 As soon as he could convert his share into cash, the younger son left home and went off to a distant country, where he squandered his money in reckless living. 14 But after he had spent it all, a severe famine arose throughout that country, and he began to feel the pinch. 15 “So he went and attached himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the carob pods the pigs were eating, but no one gave him any.

What is a nice Jewish boy doing, feeding pigs? Well, he’s not so friendly anymore, and, for that matter, not so Jewish either. He left his Jewish father and home and went to a distant country, where the people were Gentiles and therefore had no compunction about raising pigs. He assimilated into that culture, first living recklessly and now necessarily performing that society’s less pleasant tasks.

17 “At last, he came to his senses and said, ‘Any number of my father’s hired workers have food to spare, and here I am, starving to death! 18 I’m going to get up and go back to my father and say to him, “Father, I have sinned against Heaven and against you; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired workers.”’ 20 So he got up and started back to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran and threw his arms around him and kissed him warmly. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against Heaven and against you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son -’

The son began his prepared recitation confessing his sins, but the father, reading his heart, didn’t even wait till he was finished (Isaiah 65:24) before receiving him as fully his son once more.

22 but his father said to his slaves, ‘Quick, bring out a robe, the best one, and put it on him; and put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet; 23 and bring the calf that has been fattened up, and kill it. Let’s eat and have a celebration! 24 For this son of mine was dead, but now he’s alive again! He was lost, but now he has been found!’ And they began celebrating.

25 “Now his older son was in the field. As he came close to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked, ‘What’s going on?’ 27 The servant told him, ‘Your brother has come back, and your father has slaughtered the calf that was fattened up because he has gotten him back safe and sound.’ 28 But the older son became angry and refused to go inside. “So, his father came out and pleaded with him.

Pleaded. The father has not given up on his petulant and self-righteous older son but entreats him lovingly and courteously.

29 ‘Look,’ the son answered, ‘I have worked for you all these years, and I have never disobeyed your orders. But you have never even given me a young goat so that I could celebrate with my friends. 30 Yet this son of yours comes, who squandered your property with prostitutes, and for him, you slaughter the fattened calf!’ 31 ‘Son, you are always with me,’ said the father, ‘and everything I have is yours. 32 We had to celebrate and rejoice because this brother of yours was dead but has come back to life—he was lost but has been found.’”  [1]

The parable asks whether the older son will respond to his father’s appeal. In present-day reality, whether self-righteous people will respond to God’s salvation offer also remains open; “it is not his purpose that anyone should be destroyed, but that everyone should turn from his sins”(2 Kefa 3:9).

In our next post, Yeshua Continues to Speak in Parables in Perea.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1]  Luke 15:11–32.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 108

The Perean Ministry ~ Part 2

In our last post, we followed Yeshua as He left Yerushalayim to go to Perea. In this post, we continue to examine His Perean Ministry as He Laments Over Yerushalayim.

Yeshua Laments Over Yerushalayim

31 Just at that moment, some P’rushim came up and said to Yeshua, “Get out and go away from here because Herod wants to kill you!” 32 He said to them, “Go, tell that fox, ‘Pay attention: today and tomorrow I am driving out demons and healing people, and on the third day I reach my goal.’ 33 Nevertheless, I must keep traveling today, tomorrow, and the next day; because it is unthinkable that a prophet should die anywhere but in Yerushalayim.

34 “Yerushalayim! Yerushalayim! You kill the prophets! You stone those who are sent to you! How often I wanted to gather your children, just as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but you refused! 35 Look! God is abandoning your house to you! I tell you; you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of Adonai!’”  [1]

Some interpreters believe these P’rushim were trying to frighten Yeshua into Judea so that the Sanhedrin could exercise control over Him. Compare the attempt of Amaziah, priest of the golden calf at Beit-El, to scare the prophet, Amos, out of Isra’el into Judea; he too failed (Amos 7:10–17). But such devious motivation need not have been present, for not all P’rushim wanted to do Him in; these may have thought enough of Him to warn Him. Some were “not far from the Kingdom of God” (Mark 12:34), and some came to faith in Yeshua and remained P’rushim (Acts 15:5), among them Sha’ul (Acts 23:6).

The threat of Herod Antipas (Mattityahu 14:1) was real. Although he wanted to see Yeshua perform a miracle (23:8), he regarded Him as a dangerous leader like Yochanan the Immerser (Mark 6:14–16), whom he had killed. Yeshua’s answer, like Sha’ul’s to Agav (Acts 21:13), is that negativism will not dissuade Him from following God’s plan.

To refute the theology developed later by the Church, which teaches that God is no longer interested in the Jewish people, Yeshua here gives the condition for the salvation of national Isra’el, as distinct from the salvation of individual Jews and Gentiles. In these verses, at the end of His ministry, He addresses the nation of Isra’el, speaking to its capital, Yerushalayim, and thus continues the Tanakh’s tradition of corporate salvation, which will come when Isra’el as a country blesses the Messiah, who comes in the name of Adonai. The fact that Yeshua will not return until Isra’el receives national salvation is a powerful motivator for evangelizing Jewish people; in fact, Jewish evangelism can hasten His coming.

In our next post, Yeshua Continues to Minister in the Perean Province.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1]  Luke 13:31–35 (see also Mattityahu 23:37-39).

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 106

In Yerushalayim for Hanukkah (Feast of Dedication)

In our last post, we completed our topic in His Ministry from Galilee to Judea. In this post, Yeshua has gone to Yerushalayim for Hanukkah.

 Hanukkah is an annual festival celebrated on eight successive days, during which no eulogies are delivered, nor is fasting permitted. It begins on the 25th day of Kislev, the third month of the Jewish calendar, corresponding approximately to December in the Gregorian calendar. This year (2022), Hanukkah starts at sundown on December 19thHanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights, Feast of Dedication, and Feast of the Maccabees. The eight-day Hanukkah (Feast of Dedication) celebrates the rededication of the Jewish temple in December 164 BCE, after its desecration by the Seleucid ruler Antiochus Epiphanes IV in 167 BCE (1 Maccabees 1:59). If you have never read the Apocrypha, I would highly encourage you to read the background of this critical event Jewish history.

 22 Then came Hanukkah in Yerushalayim. It was winter 23 ,and Yeshua was walking around inside the Temple area in Shlomo’s Colonnade (The eastern part of the walkway surrounding the outer court of Herod’s Temple).24 So the Judeans surrounded him and said to him, “How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us publicly!” 25 Yeshua answered them, “I have already told you, and you don’t trust me. The works I do in my Father’s name testify on my behalf, 26 but the reason you don’t trust is that you are not included among my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice, I recognize them, they follow me, 28 and I give them eternal life. They will absolutely never be destroyed, and no one will snatch them from my hands. 29 My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no one can snatch them from the Father’s hands. 30 I and the Father are one.”

I and the Father are one, the same One as in the Shema: “Adonai, our God, Adonai is One” (Deuteronomy 6:4). Yeshua’s self-assertion of His divinity is occasioned by His regard for His followers: “no one will snatch them from” Yeshua’s (v. 28) or the Father’s (v. 29) hands.Ani veha’av, echad anachnu (I and the Father are one); therefore, we who are in Yeshua’s care have complete assurance that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God which comes to us through the Messiah Yeshua, our Lord” (Romans 8:31–39).

31 Once again, the Judeans picked up rocks in order to stone him. 32 Yeshua answered them, “You have seen me do many good deeds that reflect the Father’s power; for which one of these deeds are you stoning me?” 33 The Judeans replied, “We are not stoning you for any good deed, but for blasphemy – because you, who are only a man, are making yourself out to be God [Hebrew: Elohim].”

The Judeans once again picked up stones to stone Him, as at Yochanan 8:59, and self-identified as God, which they understood as blasphemy.

 34 Yeshua answered them, “Isn’t it written in your Torah, ‘I have said, “You people are Elohim’”? 35 If he called ‘Elohim’ the people to whom the word of Elohim was addressed (and the Tanakh cannot be broken), 36 then are you telling the one whom the Father set apart as holy and sent into the world, ‘You are committing blasphemy,’ just because I said, ‘I am a son of Elohim’?

The reference to Yeshua being consecrated for His mission echoes the Tanakh language regarding those appointed to an office, such as Jeremiah (Jer. 1:5) or the Aaronic priests (Ex. 28:41; 40:13; Lev. 8:30).

37 “If I am not doing deeds that reflect my Father’s power, don’t trust me. 38 But if I am, then, even if you don’t trust me, trust the deeds; so that you may understand once and for all that the Father is united with me, and I am united with the Father.” 3One more time, they tried to arrest him, but he slipped out of their hands. [1]

In our next post, Yeshua Goes to the Perean Province.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Yochanan 10:22–39.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 105

Ministry from Galilee to Judea ~ Part 6

In our last post, we explored Yeshua’s Visit with Marta & Miryam and the Talimidim’s Prayer. In this post, we continue to learn more about Prayer as we complete our topic in His Ministry from Galilee to Judea.

Yeshua Continues to Teach More on Prayer

He also said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend; and you go to him in the middle of the night and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine who has been traveling has just arrived at my house, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ Now, the one inside may answer, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already shut, my children are with me in bed—I can’t get up to give you anything!’ But I tell you, even if he won’t get up because the man is his friend, yet because of the man’s hutzpah he will get up and give him as much as he needs.”

Yeshua employs a parable to instruct His talmidim to pray with persistence and with faith. I have nothing for him to eat. In Isra’el’s culture of hospitality, hosts were expected to feed their guests. My children are with me in bed. The image is of a single-room house or a dwelling where the sleeping quarters were confined to one room – usually on an elevated platform above the main floor. Meeting the friend’s request would cause the entire family to be disturbed. Chutzpah is a colorful Hebrew and Yiddish word that means “boldness, audacity, effrontery, insolence, gall, brazen nerve, presumption, arrogance, persistence and just plain ‘guts,’ ” in varying combinations, proportions and intensities.

“Moreover, I myself say to you: keep asking, and it will be given to you; keep seeking, and you will find; keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who goes on asking receives; and he who goes on seeking finds; and to him who continues knocking, the door will be opened. 11 “Is there any father here who, if his son asked him for a fish, would instead of a fish give him a snake? 12 or if he asked for an egg, would give him a scorpion? 13 So if you, even though you are bad, know how to give your children gifts that are good, how much more will the Father keep giving the Ruach HaKodesh from heaven to those who keep asking him![1]

Ephesians 5:18 commands Yeshua’s followers to “keep on being filled with the Spirit.” The Ruach HaKodesh first came upon believers after they had been praying persistently (Acts 1:4, 2:4) in response to Yeshua’s promise (this verse, 24:49, Acts 1:8). Those filled with the Ruach may expect to receive spiritual gifts (Romans 12:6–8, 1 Corinthians 12:28–30, Epeshians 4:11–12), display fruits of righteousness (Galatians 5:22–23), and have the desire, love, and power to communicate effectively the Good News of Yeshua by word and deed to those who have not yet believed it (the entire book of Acts centers on this theme). Moreover, “anyone who doesn’t have the Spirit of the Messiah doesn’t belong to Him” (Romans 8:9).

In our next post, Yeshua is in Yerushalayim for the Feast of Dedication (Hannukah).

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Luke 11:5–13.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~Part 104

Ministry from Galilee to Judea ~Part 5

In our last post, we explored the Parable of The Good Samaritan. In this post, we learn of Yeshuas Visit with Mary & Martha and How to Pray.

Also unique to Luke, this account introduces Martha and Mary, two of Yeshuas supporters and friends. The Gospel of John elaborates on Yeshuas friendship with these women and their brother, Lazarus.

Yeshua’s Visit with Mary & Martha

38 On their way, Yeshua and His talmidim came to a village (Bethany, about half a mile east of Jerusalem) where a woman named Marta welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister called Miryam who also sat at the Lord’s feet (a familiar posture of a learning talmid) and heard what He had to say. 40 But Marta was busy with all the work to be done; so, going up to Him, she said, “Sir, don’t you care that my sister has been leaving me to do all the work by myself?” 41 However, the Lord answered her, “Marta, Marta, you are fretting and worrying about so many things! 42 But there is only one thing that is essential. Miryam has chosen the right thing, and it won’t be taken away from her. 1

The double use of Martas name serves as a gentle rebuke. Only one thing that is essential. While the work Marta is doing is important, it is not the most crucial thing – Yeshua Himself is. Miryam has chosen to listen and learn as a disciple – spending time in Yeshua’s presence. It won’t be taken away from her. A relationship with Yeshua cannot be stolen from a person. Yeshua is pleased that Miryam is learning from Him and that her focus is on time with Him. Yeshua had made a similar point earlier about concerns that His talmidim did not fast – there, He noted that time celebrating with Him is the focus of His talmidim (Luke 5:34).

Yeshua Teaches Us How to Pray ~Part 1

Before we dig into this passage, I want to emphasize this is not the Lords Prayer. It is the Talimidim’s Prayer. He is teaching us how to pray! His prayer is in Yochanan 17!!!

1 One time, Yeshua was in a certain place praying. As He finished, one of the talmidim said to Him, “Sir, teach us to pray, just as Yochanan taught his talmidim.”

Teach us to pray. In today’s secular society, people often feel unable to pray and assume that the ability to pray is natural to some and lacking in others. But Yeshua’s talmidim, although they too felt inadequate in prayer, were on the right track in supposing that Yeshua could teach them how to pray. His teaching consisted of four parts:

  • What to pray for (vv. 2–4),
  • The importance of persistence (vv. 5–10),
  • The certainty of a positive answer because of God’s love and goodness (vv. 9–13), and
  • The ultimate gift, the Ruach HaKodesh, who is the source and power for all right prayer (v. 13b; see Ro 8:26–27).  2

2 He said to them, “When you pray, say:

May your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come.
3 Give us each day the food we need.
4 Forgive us our sins, for we too, forgive everyone who has wronged us. And do not lead us to hard testing.’”  3

Mattityahu’s version of the Talimidim’s Prayer speaks of forgiveness for debts; metaphorically, sin and debt are related – sin functions like a debt before God and others (Matt 6:12). Luke conveys this idea in the prayer’s following line.

Click here for the PDF version.

1 Luke 10:38–42.
2 David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary.
3 Luke 11:1–4.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 103

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 103

In our last post, we began our series on Ministry from Galilee to Judea. In this post, we explore the Parable of The Good Samaritan.

In this parable, an expert on the law tests Yeshua on how to inherit eternal life. Yeshua’s first answer speaks of loving God, while His second calls for loving people. After the lawyer questions Him further, Yeshua illustrates the heart of His ministry through the Parable of the Good Samaritan, which is unique to Luke’s Gospel.

Parable of The Good Samaritan

25 An expert in Torah stood up to try and trap Him by asking, “Rabbi, what should I do to obtain eternal life?”

An expert in Torah indicates someone who is trained in the law of Moshe; likely a P’rushim. To try and trap Him in argumentation for the purpose of discrediting Him. What should I do to obtain eternal life?

But Yeshua quickly turns the table on the expert.

26 But Yeshua said to him, “What is written in the Torah? How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “You are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your understanding; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 “That’s the right answer,” Yeshua said. “Do this, and you will have life.2But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Yeshua, “And who is my ‘neighbor’?”

Wanting to justify himself the expert seeks to support his claim to be righteous (perhaps only in his own mind) and presses Yeshua to define the term neighbor.” The expert’s question and his own answer in Luke 10:37 frame the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

30 Taking up the question, Yeshua said: A man was going down from Yerushalayim to Yericho when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him naked and beat him up, then went off, leaving him half dead.

The road from Yerushalayim and Jericho dropped roughly 3,500 feet over about 10 miles. Having been on that road, I am convinced that it is the Valley of Death that David writes in Psalm 23:4.

 31 By coincidence, a cohen was going down on that road; but when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levi who reached the place and saw him also passed by on the other side. 33 “But a man from Shomron (Samaritan) who was traveling came upon him; and when he saw him, he was moved with compassion.

There had been enmity for centuries between the Jews and the Samaritans so that Yeshua’s questioner would probably have subscribed to the prevailing low opinion of Samaritans among Jews and could be expected to think that if a cohen and a Levi refused the man aid, how much more would a mistrustful Samaritan also refuse him aid. Yeshua Himself had recently traveled through Shomron (Luke 9:51–53).

 34 So he went up to him, put oil and wine (considered medicine) on his wounds, and bandaged them. Then he set him on his own donkey, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 The next day, he took out two days’ wages (literally two days’ wages), gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Look after him; and if you spend more than this, I’ll pay you back when I return.’ 36 Of these three, which one seems to you to have become the ‘neighbor’ of the man who fell among robbers?” 37 He answered, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Yeshua said to him, “You go and do as he did.” [1]

In our next post, we examine Yeshua Visits Mary and Martha and other topics.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Luke 10:29–37.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 102

Ministry from Galilee to Judea ~ Part 3

In our last post, we began our series on Ministry from Galilee to Judea. In this post, we continue to explore that topic by learning that Yeshua Rejoices in the Father’s Will.

Yeshua Rejoices in the Father’s Will

21 At that moment, He was filled with joy by the Ruach HaKodesh and said, “Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I thank you because you concealed these things from the sophisticated and educated yet revealed them to young people. Yes, Father, I thank you that it pleased you to do this.

Lord of heaven and earth is a title emphasizing God’s authority over all creation (compare Acts 17:24–26). Young people likely refer to Yeshua’s talmidim, indicating newer Believers rather than age. (Compare Matt 10:42.)

22 “My Father has handed over everything to me. Indeed, no one fully knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.” 23 Then, turning to the talmidim, He said, privately, “How blessed are the eyes that see what you are seeing! 24 Indeed, I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see the things you are seeing but did not see them, and to hear the things you are hearing but did not hear them.” [1]

To see the things you are seeing. For centuries, the righteous among God’s people desired to see God’s Kingdom’s arrival.

Rest for the Weary

28 “Come to me, all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [2]

Yokes were heavy; wooden crossbars were used to connect two oxen for more efficient plowing. Here, Yeshua’s yoke represents His teaching. Allegiance to Him and His kingdom results in a sense of peace – it is not laborious, like keeping the requirements of the Jewish leaders of the time, but joyful. My burden is light in contrast to the burdens imposed by Israel’s religious leaders (compare Matt 23:4).

In our next post, we examine the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

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[1] Luke 10:21–24.
[2] Mattityahu 11:28–30.

The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 101

Ministry from Galilee to Judea ~ Part 2

In our last post, we began our series on Ministry from Galilee to Judea. In this post, we continue to explore that topic by learning about the Seventy Sent Out.

Seventy [1] Sent Out & Return

After this, the Lord appointed seventy other talmidim and sent them on ahead in pairs to every town and place where he himself was about to go.

The Emissaries numbered twelve to correspond with the twelve tribes of Isra’el; this is made explicit in Mattityahu 19:28 and Revelation 21:12–14. These seventy correspond to Moshe’s seventy elders in the wilderness, who received the Ruach and prophesied (Numbers 11:16, 24–25). The high Sanhedrin numbered seventy for the same reason.

He said to them, To be sure, there is a large harvest. But there are few workers. Therefore, plead with the Lord of the Harvest that he speed workers out to gather in his harvest. Get going now but pay attention! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Don’t carry a money belt or a pack and don’t stop to schmooze with people on the road.

Don’t stop to schmooze with people on the road. The Yiddish word schmooze, which means “talk in a friendly way, chit-chat, engage in idle conversation, gossip, “ precisely conveys the sense of Yeshua’s instruction not to waste time on the road but to hasten to the destination and get on with the work to be done. Elisha similarly instructed Gehazi as he left to lay Elisha’s staff on the face of the Shunammite woman’s dead child: If you meet anyone, don’t greet him; if anyone greets you, don’t answer [2]

“Whenever you enter a house, first say, ‘Shalom!’ to the household. If a seeker of shalom is there, your ‘Shalom!’ will find its rest with him; and if there isn’t, it will return to you. Stay in that same house, eating and drinking what they offer, for a worker deserves his wages—don’t move about from house to house.

“Whenever you come into a town where they make you welcome, eat what is put in front of you. Heal the sick there, and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you.’ 10 But whenever you enter a town and they don’t make you welcome, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off as a sign against you! But understand this: the Kingdom of God is near!’ 12 I tell you, it will be more tolerable on the Day of Judgment for S’dom than for that town.

The message of truth is to be proclaimed whether it is welcomed or not. Why should people uninterested in the Gospel and unreceptive to it be evangelized? Because the message is powerful since it comes from God, it may cause them to change their minds. Note that Yeshua’s talmidim are not merely to take the opposition in stride but to condemn it (vv. 10–11a; see 9:5).

13 “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Beit-Tzaidah! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tzor and Tzidon, they would long ago have put on sackcloth and ashes as evidence that they had changed their ways. 14 But at the Judgment, it will be more bearable for Tzor and Tzidon than for you! 15 “And you, K’far-Nachum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Sh’ol! 16 “Whoever listens to you listens to me, also whoever rejects you rejects Me, and whoever rejects me rejects the One who sent Me.”

Whoever rejects Me (Yeshua) rejects the One who sent Me (God). The same idea that belief in God implies belief in Yeshua is expressed in various ways in Yochanan 14:6, Acts 4:12, and 1 Yochanan 2:23.

17 The seventy came back jubilant. “Lord,” they said, “with your power, even the demons submit to us!” 18 Yeshua said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Remember, I have given you authority; so you can trample down snakes and scorpions, indeed, all the Enemy’s forces; and you will remain completely unharmed. 20 Nevertheless, don’t be glad that the spirits submit to you; be glad that your names have been recorded in heaven.”  [3]

You can trample down snakes and scorpions. This is a preview of the Messianic Age which accompanies Yeshua’s return in glory to rule on earth: “The suckling child shall play on the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the viper’s nest” ~ Isaiah 11:8)

In our next post, we continue to learn about Yeshua’s Ministry from Galilee to Judea.

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[1]  Some manuscripts say seventy-two.

[2]  2 Kings 4:29

[3]  Luke 10:1–20.