John 12:5, Three hundred denarii. This large sum is equal to 300 days’ wages for a common laborer.
To the natural mind, Judas’ objection to the use of this expensive spice (worth between $30,000 and $50,000 in today’s money) to anoint someone’s feet seems illogical and a total waste of money. By contrast, from our perspective today, we can look backwards historically with perfect 20–20 hindsight and realize that for Yeshua, the Messiah and Savior of the world, he was worth every penny of the spikenard and much more. Yet, from the perspective of Yeshua’s followers, Yeshua’s true identity and mission still weren’t clear. This confusion wouldn’t clear up until after his resurrection and glorification (v. 16). So for some of them, Mary’s act of faith in anointing Yeshua’s feet with a year’s wages of spice seemed to be illogical folly.
This spice, most likely was originally intended for use on Lazarus’ body, whom Yeshua had just resurrected and so was no longer needed for that purpose, at least. It is likely that it was out of gratefulness for resurrecting her brother that Mary performed this act of love and devotion to Yeshua, not realizing that her actions were prophetic in that she was pre-anointing Yeshua’s body for his own burial ten days from that night (v. 7).
Now let us consider the following. We know that YHVH Elohim the Father gave us his greatest love gift by sending Yeshua, his Son, to this earth to live, die and resurrect for our redemption and ultimate glorification (John 3:16). How much do we love Yeshua, and what is the greatest gift we could ever give him, even if those around us may think that we were crazy to do so? It is your heart, devotion and obedience. Have you given him all your heart? Does all that you own belong to him including your life? Would you give away all of your possessions in devotion to him if he asked it of you? Would you literally lay your life down for him as he did for you? How much do you love Yeshua?
Luke 9:1–2, Gave them power. (See also Luke 10:19.) Spiritual power and authority over demons and sickness is manifested in no greater way than when exercised in conjunction with the preaching of the gospel. It is here on the ragged edge between the kingdoms of light and darkness that YHVH wishes especially to demonstrate his power through his servants in an effort to draw outsiders into his spiritual kingdom. Healing from sickness and deliverance from demonic powers is a great enticement for those on the outside to become part of YHVH’s kingdom, where they will experience freedom resulting in joy, peace and hope and eventually eternal life.
Luke 9:28, Eight days. Eight is the biblical number of new beginnings and the symbol for infinity. When Yeshua comes back in power and glory to establish his kingdom universally on this earth of which the transfiguration was a prophetic foreshadow, it will be a new beginning lasting for eternity.
Luke 9:41, Faithless and perverse. Faithlessness and perversity go hand-in-hand with the ability to cast out demons and to heal the sick. To the degree that one is faithful to and has faith in YHVH and his Word and is in sync with it is the degree to which one will be able to exercise power over demon spirits and sickness.
In December, many people think of the birth of Jesus (Yeshua). Most people who are knowledgable know that he wasn’t born in December, but in the early fall. But nine months before the actual time of his birth puts us at the end of December when Yeshua was conceived—when the life of our Savior began in Mary’s womb. It was at this time that the heaven-sent Yeshua, miraculously pierced the spiritual darkness of the this world at the darkest time of the year. This divine spark of life in the womb of a woman would become the spiritual light of this world to lead men out of the darkness of sin and evil and to the supernal light of his Father, Elohim, and to eternal life.
Whether you celebrate the birth of the babe in the manger in December or in the fall, Yeshua’s arrival is still heaven’s ultimate love gift to humanity as John 3:16 says. “For Elohim so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Please stop for a moment and quiet your heart and mind to reflect on the significance of this momentous event that occurred in the tiny town of Bethlehem some 2000 years ago.
For years since I was a child, my mind fully believed what the Bible tells us about the birth of Yeshua. But it wasn’t until much later, as an adult, that, while I was alone one night and quietly seeking Elohim, that the revelation of the priceless nature of Elohim’s love gift to me literally pierced my heart like a lightening bolt from heaven. As a result of this supernatural revelation and an overwhelming sense of Elohim’s love that accompanied it flowing through me like warm oil, I fell to my knees in worshipful and reverential awe as my heart came alive to just how much Elohim loved me personally—a sinner who deserved death. That night changed my life forever. They say that the eighteen inches between the head and the heart is the greatest distance in existence. My head and heart know this is to be true. Now they were united!
Philippians 1:11, The fruits of righteousness which are by Yeshua the Messiah.
It is impossible for a man to keep the Torah on his own strength as Yeshua’s encounter with the rich young ruler proves (Matt 19:16–22). When the young man asked Yeshua what he must do to have eternal life, Yeshua seems to set the man up for a fall when he declares, “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” Yeshua is not being disingenuous here. Were one to keep the Torah perfectly without sinning, hypothetically, one would not fall under the death penalty for violating the laws of Elohim (i.e. sin). Presumably one could earn eternal life by one’s own good works. But no man has ever accomplished this superhuman feat except the superhuman Yeshua! Continuing, when the young ruler proudly declares his perfect Torah obedience, Yeshua shows him that he was, in fact, violating the Torah in at least one area—covetousness and greed. Yeshua shows him how to come into Torah compliance, and then admonishes him to come and to follow him. What Yeshua is teaching here is that it’s impossible to keep the Torah perfectly without factoring Yeshua, the Living Torah, into the equation. The point that we can’t keep the Torah without Yeshua directly intervening in our lives, I hope to conclusively demonstrate below.
One way that Yeshua helps his followers obey the Torah is by sending us his Spirit as an internal spiritual force into our hearts to nudge and lead us into Torah-obedience.
What’s more, Yeshua also gives us the divine gift of his grace to accomplish the same thing. His grace removes the guilt, stain and penalties for our past sins, and with a clear conscience and a clean spiritual slate before YHVH, minus the past baggage of sin weighing us down, we are able to go forward under the power of YHVH’s Spirit to walk in accordance with his Torah. Praise Yeshua! An illustration of this would be a runner who trains wearing a backpack filled with rocks. Once the weight is removed from his back, when he runs, he feels as if he were flying through the air.
John 3:16, In (or into, The Interlinear Bible, by J.P. Green). The Greek word for in is eis, which is a primary preposition meaning “to, into (indicating the point reached or entered; see Strong’s). Eis is used in the accusative case (with a direct object) with the primary idea of motion into any place or thing; also of motion or direction to, toward or upon any place, thing. The opposite is ek meaning “out of” (see Zodhiates). By contrast, the Greek preposition en is used in the dative case (with indirect objects) and means “in, on, at, by any place or thing with the primary idea of rest. This is in contrast to eis, which means indicates motion into or onto something, andwhich indicates motion out of something, while en means “remaining in place” (see Zodhiates).
Although an analysis of all the occurrences in the NT of the English phrases “in Jesus/Christ/the Lord/Him” indicate that Yeshua and the apostolic writers (or their translators) seem to have used the Greek words en and eis interchangeably, at the same time, when they employ eis, it must be noted that they seem to be emphasizing the reality of being more deeply rooted spiritually into Yeshua.
For example, one can believe in something in a surface manner with their mind only, but not with their whole heart. There is a difference between having a head knowledge of something versus an experiential understanding of it. This is like seeing a photo or video of a place versus actually having visiting it, of merely looking at food versus actually tasting it.
Many people have a head knowledge of Yeshua, but are not heart-rooted or grounded in him relationally and experientially. In a finely nuanced sense, this may have been in the mind of the NT writers (or their translators) when they, at times, specifically used the word eis instead of en to emphasize the need to be deeply rooted into and to be united with the Messiah.
I post this article on my blog almost every year at this time, since it’s such a cool prophecy concerning Yeshua the Messiah. I hope you agree after you’ve read it. —Natan
Genesis 49:10–12, The scepter. Below is my commentary on these verses.
The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.
This passage is a clear reference to the Messiah and the Messianic Age (the time when Messiah would come to rule the earth) and has been so recognized by the Jewish sages from time immemorial (The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash, p. 279). “The general consensus (with few exceptions) of Rabbinic interpretation is that this phrase [Until Shiloh arrives] refers to the coming of the Messiah …” (The ArtScrollBereishis/Genesis Torah commentary, p. 2152). In fact, Onkelos [a second-century scholar who translated the Torah (Pentateuch) into Aramaic] in his Aramaic version of the Torah translates this version as follows: “Until the Messiah comes, to whom the kingdom belongs” (ibid.). Rashi (b. 1040 and recognized by Jewish scholars as probably the preeminent Torah commentator Continue reading →
Genesis 37–41 The Life of Joseph—A Foreshadow of Messiah Ben (Son of) Yosef
The spirit of Antimessiah (Antichrist) is on a dramatic rise in our day. It is even rampant among those who are returning to the Hebraic, Torah-centric roots of the Christian faith where some people are losing their faith in Yeshua the Messiah. A few are even converting to Rabbinic Judaism, which denies the messiahship and deity of Yeshua and the divine inspiration of the Testimony of Yeshua. Some of the blame for this can be laid at the feet of a few of the modern-day descendants of the non-believing Pharisees (i.e. the Rabbinic Jews), who use clever arguments to beguile unstable and unlearned souls into humanistic reasoning devoid of a living faith in Yeshua their Savior and the Redeemer of man. Because of a spiritual blindness that Scripture prophesied would come upon the Jews producing a hardness of heart toward Yeshua the Messiah, unbelieving Jews ignore the numerous prophetic shadow-pictures pointing to Yeshua the Messiah contained in their own Tanakh.
May the following study strengthen your faith in Yeshua the Messiah, in his divine origination in the very heart, mind and essence of Elohim, and in the fact that he was foreordained to come to this earth to reconcile sinful man to his Heavenly Father through his self-sacrifice on the cross. All this was prophesied long ago in the Tanakh. The ancient Jewish sages speak of a messianic figure coming called Messiah son of Joseph (Mashiach ben Yosef), the Suffering Servant, whose life and ministry would parallel that of Joseph, yet Continue reading →