John 8:11–12, Sin no more…I am. The entire message of the Bible is contained in these two verses. Like the adulterous woman, all humans have sinned and deserve the death penalty. Yeshua’s merciful grace caused the woman to be spared. He then admonishes her to stop sinning or violating the Torah, which is sin (1 John 3:4). After this, Yeshua declares that he is the light of the world and instructs the woman to follow him out of the darkness of her sinful past and into the light of Torah-righteousness leading to the abundant life and eventually to immortality. This is a terse yet timeless message to every human everywhere who has ever drawn breath.
John 5:18, [Yeshua]…broke the Sabbath. Allow me to share an interesting and sad, but true story from my life about a false Christian teacher that I went head-to-head with.
Many years ago, I was in a meeting where a Christian Bible teacher was giving a message on the end times. In the middle of his teaching and totally out of context, he quoted this passage from John and claimed that Yeshua broke the Sabbath. There was a rustle in the audience of about 300 people. A little later, he made the same statement again and began to deride the Sabbath. This time there was an audible moan from some in the audience—many of whom were Sabbath keepers. A feeling of being hit in the gut went through me. A little later, he made the same statement again, and continued to bash Sabbath observance. This time, I could hold my peace no longer, and I stood up and challenged him in the middle of the meeting. I told him that to say that Yeshua had broken the Sabbath was to call Yeshua a sinner, and that Yeshua had not broken the Sabbath, but some Jewish legal traditions (or halakhah) pertaining to the Sabbath. The speaker was flustered and had no response, and the host of the meeting decided to take an intermission.
A year later, it was announced that this Bible teacher had suddenly and unexpectedly dropped dead in the pulpit while preaching. One can’t help but wonder if he had come Continue reading
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, and which 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.
Luke 14:1, House of one of the rulers. Yeshua was invited to a Sabbath meal at the home of a Pharisee who was a ruler (likely a wealthy member of the Sanhedrin). Had Yeshua been a typical man, he would have engaged in the customary small talk of a polite and gracious dinner guest not wanting to offend his host. Yet Yeshua was not there to schmooze—to curry anyone’s favor in an effort to gain personal influence. As he required his own disciples to maintain a salty or spicy demeanor at all times (Matt 5:13; Luke 14:34–35), he was definitely up to the task to lead his disciples by example. The following discussion that Yeshua initiates is what some may consider to be a prime example of how to insult one’s host and the other guests. First Yeshua confronts a controversial issue head on by asking a question, and then by healing one of the other invited guests on the Sabbath, which was a Pharisaical taboo, though not contrary to the Scriptures (Luke 14:2–6). Next, Yeshua takes some of the guests to task who were prideful social climbers and religious status-seekers. He challenges them to humbles themselves and let Elohim exalt them in the eyes of men (Luke 14:7–14). Yeshua raises the discussion around the table to a higher level when he tells the Parable of the Great Supper (Luke 14:15–24). Doubtless, a few of the guests were made to feel awkward, since they likely resembled some of the characters in Yeshua’s story. There was no small talk of sports, the weather, one’s job or tidbits of gossip going on around the table at this dinner party. Yeshua was showing us how to be salt and light wherever we.g. even at the risk of offending one’s hosts, but all for the greater good of expanding the kingdom of Elohim in the lives of men.
Luke 14:18–24, Make excuses. This passage is a continuation of Yeshua’s previous Continue reading
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 to demonstrate his power most 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.
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 Continue reading
Exodus 12:1–51, The Passover.
How did Yeshua the Messiah perfectly fulfil all the types and shadows of the first Passover in Egypt?
According to the laws of statistical probability, what are the chances of an event happening and then fifteen hundred years later another event occurring bearing an uncanny resemblance to the first one? Now suppose that not only did fifteen hundred years separate the two events, but that they occurred in two different countries several hundred miles apart, which in the ancient world may as well have been halfway around the globe. Now suppose that the second event involved the death of a person, and that the events leading up to their death including the manner and timing of that death was beyond the control of the individual dying so that in no way could the person dying stage his death to mirror the first event. In fact, those killing the individual possessed no foreknowledge of the event that had occurred fifteen hundred years earlier. What are the chances of this occurring?
This is not a fictional story! Truth is stranger than fiction. The details of these two events are chronicled in the pages of the Bible. The first event occurred in ancient Egypt and is recorded in the Book of Exodus chapters eleven and twelve. There we find recorded the details of the Continue reading
Luke 1:6, Righteous…blameless. Zachariah and Elizabeth (Heb. Elishevah) were totally Torah-observant to the point of being blameless in YHVH’s eyes. This confirms Moses’ words in Deut 30:11–14 that Torah-obedience isn’t outside the realm of human possibility as some in the church erroneously teach today.
Luke 1:10, Praying … incense. Incense is not only a biblical metaphor for prayer (Ps 141:2; Rev 5:8; 8:3–5), but in the temple, was used while praying.
Luke 1:19, Gabriel. Beside this reference, Gabriel is only elsewhere mentioned in Daniel (Dan 8:16; 9:21). Gabriel means “strong, mighty man or warrior of El.” Michael is the only other archangel mentioned in the Scriptures (Dan 10:13, 21 12:21; Jude 9; 12:27).
Luke 1:20, Because you did not believe. There is a lesson for us in YHVH muting the mouth of Zachariah for a season. If the spiritual leaders are unable to believe what YHVH has told them already, how can he give them more revelation—more things to speak and teach about? If we’re not hearing new revelation from Elohim, maybe it’s because we haven’t believed what he has already told us.
Luke 1:28, Blessed are you among women. These words of Gabriel were repeated verbatim in Elizabeth’s prophecy concerning Yeshua (verse 42). Doubtless this was a supernatural confirmation to Mary concerning her role as the mother of the Messiah, for how could her cousin have known what the angel had spoken to her previously?
Luke 1:36, Elizabeth your relative. While Mary was of the royal lineage of David through her father, she also was a relative on her mother’s side of Elizabeth, the priest-wife of Zacharias, who was a daughter of Aaron (Luke 1:5). In Matthew one and Luke three two different genealogies are given for Yeshua, both of which go back to King David. One is presumed to be that of Joseph and the other is that of Mary. In this way, Yeshua was a direct descendant of David legally through Joseph, his step-father, and genetically through Mary, his mother. Does this mean that Mary was of priestly as well as Davidic lineage. Yes, but not patrilineally, only matrilineally. In the Scriptures, tribal lineage was determined through the father’s family line and not the mother’s.
In the case of Mary and Elizabeth, they would have shared common grandparents making them cousins. Their grandfather would have been a priest. In the case of Elizabeth, her father—the son of her priestly grandfather—would have carried the priestly line making her a daughter of Aaron (Luke 1:5). In the case of Mary, her mother would have been her priestly grandfather’s daughter meaning that she was of priestly lineage but not her children, unless she married a priest.
It seems that Yeshua would have carried some priestly blood in his genes, but he was not legally a priest through patrilineal descent. To be sure, Yeshua was a priest, but not one of Aaronic lineage but after the order of Melchizedek, which was the priesthood of the firstborn son passed on generationally. Yeshua was the first born son of Elohim eternally, which is why he is presently at the right hand of Elohim acting as our Great High Priest (Heb 1:3 cp. 3:1; 4:4; 8:1).
Therefore, Mary laid claim to a Davidic as well as a priestly lineage (Jesus the Messiah, by Edersheim, p. 105). This means that Yeshua was not only of direct Davidic lineage but was of priestly lineage as well.
Has also conceived…in her old age. Was Mary an older, barren woman like Elizabeth? If not, why the word also?