"It will be with the last deliverer,(the Messiah), as with the first (Moses); as the first deliverer revealed himself first to the Israelites and then withdrew, so also will the last deliverer reveal himself to the Israelites and then withdraw for a while.” –Midrash Rut Rabbah
Objects are made for use, whereas people are created for relationship. Therefore, those who enter relationship with God are perfected in life while those who refuse relationship with God make objects of themselves. Objects exist but they are not alive.
This chapter concludes Yeshua’s words to the disciples following the Pesach (Passover) Seder and prior to crossing the Kidron valley to Gat Sheminim (Gethsemane), with a prayer to the Father. The words of Yeshua’s prayer read as statements of fact concerning things only God could know, and convey concepts of which Yeshua is intimately aware. Therefore, it’s clear that His intention is to entreat the Father on His disciple’s behalf and at the same time to teach the disciples about His relationship to the Father and the desired relationship between the disciples and the Father through Yeshua and toward one another.
There are some important distinctions made by the Hebrew translation that are not illuminated by the Greek text. These distinctions are consistent with the first century Jewish context and would have been easily comprehended by the disciples and early Jewish followers of Yeshua. In short, the original recipients of Yochanan’s Gospel.
33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace, wholeness, wellbeing (shalom[H]). In this world (ho kosmos[G], ha olam[H]) you have pressing together, travail, distress, troubles (thlipis[G]), nevertheless, be of good courage (tharseo[G]); I have conquered (nikao[G]) this world (ho kosmos[G], ha olam[H]).”
1 Yeshua[H] (Iesous[G], Joshua, YHVH Saves, Jesus) spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes toward the heavens (ouranos[G], hashamayiym[H]), He said, “My Father (Pater[G], Aviy[H]), the certain definite time, hour (hora[G]) has come; glorify, magnify, be of the opinion of, celebrate (doxazo[G], Paeir[G]) the Son of You (ho uihos[G], HaBen Shelcha[H]), that the Son (ho uihos[G], HaBen[H]) may glorify, magnify, be of the opinion of, celebrate (doxazo[G], Paeir[G]) You,
“Yeshua spoke these things” meaning all that had preceded and all that was about to proceed in respect to His prayer to the Father before the disciples.
“Lifting up His eyes toward the heavens” is a reflection of Yeshua’s former prayer posture when standing before the grave of Lazarus (John 11:41-42). Then, as now, His prayer is being said aloud in front of His talmidim as a testimony to them. Yeshua need not lift up His eyes to the heavens nor pray aloud, both these actions are for the benefit of those who are with Him.
The phrase “he lifted up his face to the heavens” is used by our sages to describe a posture of prayer that denotes honour toward the seat of God’s power, figuratively speaking (Vayikra Rabba, sect. 34. fol. 174. 4.).
“My Father” expresses an intimate and distinct difference in Yeshua’s prayer. Yeshua is conversing as He has always conversed with the Father, in inseparable relationship. When asked how they should pray Yeshua instructed the disciples to pray “Avinu Shabashamayiym…” (Our Father in the heavens). Here, Yeshua intimates His unique familial connection to the Father as being the means by which the disciples are able to pray “Our Father”.
We note that the glory of the Son in the Father is more than just bright light and awe. The Greek “doxazo” denotes celebration and the idea of sharing the opinion and purposes of another. Therefore, The Son seeks to reflect back to the Father the mind of the Father and to do so based on the fact that the Father has already given the Son the power and liberty to act as the Son pleases.
Being in and of the Father the Son acts according to the mind of the Father in seeking the salvation of those who would receive the Father through the Son. This is explained from a perspective outside of time and space as being the result of the Father having given to the Son those whom He has seen as obedient to receive His offer of love, even before they themselves had chosen to act in obedience. Thus, seeing the end from the beginning the Father gives those to be redeemed to the Son, Who exists in the Father from before the foundation of the world.
2 According to the power, liberty to do as He pleases, authority (exousia[G]) You have given (natat[H]) Him, over all flesh (sarx[G], basar[H]) individually (pas[H]), that to all whom You have given Him, He may give (natat[H]) life, living (zoe[G], chayeiy[H]) without end (aionios[G], olam[H]).
“According to the authority You have given Him over all flesh” is an important distinction. Yeshua has been given authority over all creation, including the angelic etc. However, the focus here is on the Father’s relationship to humanity through the Son. Thus, “all flesh”, a reference to the human race.
“to all whom You have given Him, He may give life without end” The Father has given the Son the role of gate keeper to life without end. It is through the Son alone that human beings gain access to everlasting life. Like the Father the Son desires that none should perish, however, like the Father He also knows that love cannot exist without freewill. Therefore, predestination is concluded based on the observation of freewill.
“Yeshua answered, “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”” -John 14:6
3 And this is the (ho[G]) unending (aionios[G], haolam[H]) life, living (zoe[G], chayeiy[H]) that gives them the opportunity to learn to know, perceive, understand, intimately know (ginosko[G], lada’at[H]) You, the only, singular (monos[G]) genuinely, absolutely, true (alethinos[G]) God (Theos[G], Elohim[H]), and Yeshua[H] (Iesous[G], Joshua, YHVH Saves, Jesus) Ha-Mashiach[H] (The Messiah, Christos[G], Christ) Whom You have sent.
Everlasting life is not simply continued existence after the death experienced as a result of this sin affected world. All, both the righteous and the wicked share continued existence following death (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29 etc.), some enter everlasting living and others everlasting torment/the second death (Rev. 2:11; 20:6, 14; 21:8).
Everlasting living through Yeshua in God is a form of relational existence that perfects the concept of life and is founded in the knowledge of God, the Creator and the One Who sustains all things through Yeshua His Anointed One. Objects are made for use, whereas people are created for relationship. Therefore, those who enter relationship with God are perfected in life while those who refuse relationship with God make objects of themselves. Objects exist but they are not alive.
A modern example of the difference between eternal living and eternal damnation might be that of the patient whose life is sustained entirely by medical machines, this person is considered to have “life” technically continuing to exist but for all intents and purposes is not truly living, not in practical action, nor in relationship to others. Add to this the possibility that one could experience consciousness while being utterly paralyzed in this state and we have an example of existing torment, a reflection, at least in part, of the far worse reality of eternal death.
To receive the Person of God and to be known by God in relationship is eternal living. In Messiah He unplugs us from the life support machines of this temporary world and supports us with life Himself. We do not merely exist in Him, we are alive in Him.
The life Yeshua speaks of begins in Him within time and space and in doing so transcends time and space. To begin to be known by God is to begin to know God, making everlasting living a journey entered into within the temporal world, a journey that transforms temporal things, sanctifying (setting them apart) to function outside of time and space.
“the only, singular genuinely, absolutely, true God” reflects the Shema (central prayer of Judaism Deut. 6:4). God is “monos” One, “echad” Complex and One, He defines truth.
Our sages remind us that engaging with God’s Torah (Written Word, Instruction) is part of the journey toward eternal life and that those engaged in temporary things are constantly afforded an opportunity to repent and turn to the practice of eternal things up until the time allotted them on this earth.
Rabbi Yoḥanan heard that one angel said to the other: Let us knock this wall down upon them and kill them, as they abandon eternal life of Torah study and engage in temporal life for their own sustenance. The other angel said to him: Leave them, as there is one of them whose time of achievement stands before him, i.e., his time has yet to come. Rabbi Yoḥanan heard all this, but Ilfa did not hear the angels’ conversation. Rabbi Yoḥanan said to Ilfa: Did the Master hear anything? Ilfa said to him: No. Rabbi Yoḥanan said to himself: Since I heard the angels and Ilfa did not hear, I can learn from this that it is I whose time of achievement stands before me. -Talmud Bavliy, Taanit 21a, 3
"fleeing to the Divine Being, "is eternal life"; and running front him is death.''
-Philo, De profugis, p. 461
4 I have glorified, magnified, am of the opinion of, celebrated (doxazo[G], peiartiycha[H]) You in the land [earth] (ho ge[G], va’aretz[H]), having accomplished the business, employment, occupation, work (ergon[G]) which You have given (didomi[G], tziviytaniy[H]) Me to do, make, produce, fashion, construct (poieo[G], la’asot[H]).
Both the Hebrew “aretz” and the Greek “ge (ghay)” mean “land” and thus to the Jewish residents of the land of Israel in the first century CE (in particular His disciples), Yeshua’s words are understood to refer first and foremost to Ha Aretz, the land of Israel and only secondarily to all the earth.
5 Now, My Father (Pater[G], Aviy[H]), glorify, magnify, be of the opinion of, celebrate (doxazo[G], Pa’areiniy[G]) Me together with Yourself, with the glory, opinion, judgement, view, in the holiness (doxa[G], bakavod[H]) which I had/hold (echo[G], hayah-liy[H]) with You before this (ho[G]) the (ho[G]) world (kosmos[G], haolam[H]) was.
Our sages teach that God will give the Messiah “of the supreme glory” (Midrash Tillim in Psal. 20 apud Galatin. de Arcan. Cathol. Ver. l. 3. c. 9.)
The Greek “echo” meaning to “have, hold” is used in the past tense here but only because Yeshua is speaking within time and space. In reality Yeshua is speaking into time and space a transcendent truth. We could read “Now, (present) My Father, glorify Me together (echad) with Yourself, with the holiness which I hold (eternal present) with You before (past) the world existed.” In short, all things are an echo of God’s voice, His Davar (Word, essence = Yeshua) and therefore, Yeshua is God with us speaking within the echo of God. Thus, the Greek “echo” being the foundation for the English “echo”, reflects the reality of super-real truth.
Yeshua is not merely pre-existing, He is eternal. He is not only the Word that emanates from the mouth of God, He is also the eternally present thought that is in the mind of God. Therefore, Yeshua is unique and inseparable. “Imanu-El”.
On the eternal nature of Yeshua, the Davar (Word, Essence, Substance):
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.” -Micah 5:2
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” -John 1:1
“Yeshua said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” -John 8:58
“He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” -Colossians 1:17
“Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually.” -Hebrews 7:3
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the goal.” -Revelation 22:13
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” -Colossians 1:15
“They will perish, but You remain;
And they all will become old like a garment,
And like a mantle You will roll them up;
Like a garment they will also be changed.
But You are the same,
And Your years will not come to an end.” -Hebrews 1:11-12
“John gave testimony about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” -John 1:15
“When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” -Revelation 1:17-18
6 “I have manifested, made visible (phaneroo[G]) the Name, identity, character, person (ho onoma[G], shimcha[H]) of You to the children of the man [humanity] (anthropos[G], liv’neiy[H] haadam[H]) whom You gave (natat[H]) Me out of this world (hokosmos[G], haolam[H]); they were Yours and You gave (natat[H]) them to Me, and they have kept, preserved, guarded, observed (natzaru[H]) Your word, essence (ho logos[G], et-d’varecha[H]).
“No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has revealed Him.” -John 1:18
“Yeshua *said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” -John 14:9
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” -Colossians 1:15
Notice that Yeshua has made the very Name (identity, nature) of God visible to those among the children of Adam whom God has given to Yeshua from the creation which was made through Him. Those given to Yeshua belong to God and are His to give, and, they (first the disciples and subsequently all believers) have (past tense) kept, guarded, treasured, protected, observed the Word (Davar). That is, in the capacity allowed them by the Word (Yeshua), they have been given the opportunity to treasure and guard His words, to observe them and to pass on His teaching, to convey to others the opportunity afforded them through His death and resurrection, that they too might receive His Essence (Davar, Logos, Memra etc).
7 Now they have come to know, perceive, understand, intimately know (ginosko[G], yadu[H]) that everything, individually (pas[G]) You have given (didomi[G], natat liy[H]) Me is from You; 8 for the words spoken, things, essence (rhema[G], had’variym[H]) which You gave (didomi[G], natat[H]) Me I have given (didomi[G], natatiy[H]) to them; and they received them and in truth (be’emet[H]) understood, have come to know, perceive, understand, intimately know (ginosko[G], yadu[H]) that I came forth from You, and they believed, trusted, were persuaded, placed confidence in the fact (pisteuo[G], vayamiynu[H]) that You sent Me.
Yeshua has given to His disciples the message of God’s redemptive love and His desire to reconcile humanity to Himself. The Disciples now understand that Yeshua has been given authority over all things. They have come to this understanding not by taking hold of it but by receiving it from Yeshua Who has taken hold of them. The disciples now comprehend that Yeshua is the promised King Messiah sent from God and have trusted Him.
ואיתן פתגמי, "and I will give the words", of my prophecy into his mouth, and he shall speak with them all that I have commanded.'' -Targum of Yonatan Ben Uzziel, Deut. 18:18 (second century CE)
9 I ask, desire (erotao[G]) concerning, for, on behalf of (peri[G]) them; I do not ask concerning, for, on behalf of (peri[G]) this world (hokosmos[G], haolam[H]), but of those whom You have given (didomi[G], natat liy[H]) Me; for they are Yours; 10 and all things that are Mine are Yours, and all that is Yours is Mine; and I have been glorified, magnified, extoled of opinion, celebrated (doxazo[G]) in them.
Notice that Yeshua is not asking God to guard those who choose to reject Yeshua and God’s redemptive offer. There is no forgiveness for the unrepentant, this is a firmly established teaching of Scripture. “Forgive them for they know not what they do” denotes an opportunity for them to know and repent, it is not an offer of forgiveness to the unrepentant. God does not force people to spend eternity in relationship with Him. Yeshua is not interested in the prosperity of “this world” (the sin affected world), rather He is interested in the eternal prosperity of those whom God has given Him. Furthermore the glory and opinion of God in Yeshua is now in the disciples (and by extension, in all who come to faith).
11 And now, I am no longer in this world/in the land (hokosmos[G], baaretz[H]); but they themselves are in this world/in the land (hokosmos[G], baaretz [H]), and I come to You. Holy, morally blameless (hogios[G], kidoshiy[H]) Father (Pater[G], Aviy[H]), keep, guard, protect (sh’mor[H]) them in Your Name, identity, character, nature, person (shimcha[H]), which You have given (didomi[G], natat liy[H]) Me, that they may be one (heis[G], echad[H]) even as We are.
Notice the present tense “I am no longer in this world”. The Hebrew translation is interesting in that it says “I am no longer in the land” meaning, “I am no longer in the land of Israel”. The phrase “I come to you” is in the present continuous tense.
“Holy, morally blameless Father, keep, guard, protect them in Your Name, identity, character, nature, person, which You have given Me that they may be one even as We are.” Yeshua asks God’s protection over the souls of His followers (and by extension the souls of all believers) because He is aware that He will not be physically present to guard them Himself. Yeshua is speaking with the post ascension period in mind. He will of course return to His disciples briefly after His resurrection, however, in this context He is speaking within time and space of the present eternal perspective He holds at the right hand of the Father outside of time and space.
“Keep them in Your Name” does not mean keep them from trial or physical harm but keep them in the character, identity, eternal nature of Your Name, don’t allow them to be lost to disobedience and damnation. And this for a purpose, “that they may be one even as We are.”
“In Your Name which you have given Me” This reveals the true nature of Yeshua as Imanu (with us) El (God). Therefore, “that they may be one even as we are”. Yeshua is praying the heart of the Father, asking for what the Father desires, that those who receive Him might be a complex unity in relationship with the Father and the Son in the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy spirit).
12 While I was among (meta[G]) them in the world (hokosmos[G], baolam[H]), I was keeping, guarding, protecting, observing (shamartiy[H]) them in Your Name, identity, character, nature, person (shimcha[H]), which You have given (didomi[G], natat liy[H]) Me; and I kept, guarded, protected, observed (shamartiy[H]) them and not one (echad[H]) of them perished, was lost, destroyed (apollumi[G]) except the son of damnation, destruction, waste (apoleia[G], ben haavadon[H]) so that the word (devar[H]) of the sacred writing, Scripture (graphe[G], hakatuv[H])would be fulfilled, accomplished, perfected (pleroo[G], l’malot[H]).
Yeshua was in this world and guarding His disciples from spiritual demise. However, Yeshua did not force the redemptive purpose of God upon them. Thus, because He loves as God loves He was not able to keep Yehudah (Judas Iscariot) from spiritual demise. Yehudah chose His own destruction and in doing so confirmed what God already knew, that he was destined to betray Yeshua and bring destruction upon himself.
“so that the word of the sacred writing, Scripture (graphe[G], hakatuv[H])would be fulfilled, accomplished, perfected” Both the Greek and Hebrew use words meaning “writing” and refer specifically to the “Ketuvim” (writings) of the Tanalkh (OT). In this case the writings in question are from the Tehilim (Psalms):
“Even my close friend in whom I trusted,
Who ate my bread,
Has lifted up his heel against me.” -Tehilim (Psalm) 41:10(9) [John 13:18] NASB
“But it is you, a man [a]my equal,
My companion and my [b]familiar friend;
14 We who had sweet [c]fellowship together
Walked in the house of God in the throng.
15 Let [d]death come deceitfully upon them;
Let them go down alive to [e]Sheol,
For evil is in their dwelling, in their midst.” - Tehilim (Psalm)55:13-15 NASB
“Thus they have [c]repaid me evil for good
And hatred for my love.
6 Appoint a wicked man over him,
And let an [d]accuser stand at his right hand.
7 When he is judged, let him come forth guilty,
And let his prayer become sin.
8 Let his days be few;
Let another take his office.
9 Let his children be fatherless
And his wife a widow.” - Tehilim (Psalm) 109:5-9 [Acts 1:20] NASB
The prefigure of Yehudah (Judas Iscariot) referred to in these Psalms is probably Achitofel (my brother foolish), who betrayed King David (2 Samuel 16:14-17).
13 But now, to Your advantage (pros[G]) I come to You; and these things I speak in this world (hokosmos[G], baolam[H]) so that they may have My transcendent joy (chara[G], simchatiy[H]) made full, accomplished, perfected (pleroo[G]) in themselves.
Yeshua’s coming to the Father is to the Father’s advantage in that it is the catalyst for the redemption of those who are to be saved from the sin affected world. Yeshua speaks this aloud in the fallen world so that His disciples will have recollection of what He has said following His resurrection and ascension and will thus be filled with the transcendent Joy of Yeshua which refuses to submit to temporal sorrow. Therefore, their joy will be perfected within them because the Spirit of Messiah will dwell in them as a result of His death, resurrection and ascension.
14 I have given (didomi[G], natatiy[H]) them the word (ho logos[G], et d’varecha[H]) of You; and this world (hokosmos[G], baolam[H]) has pursued them with hatred (miseo[G]), because they are not of this world (hokosmos[G], baolam[H]), even as I am not of this world (hokosmos[G], baolam[H]).
“I have given them Your Word” is tantamount to saying “I have given them Myself”. It of course also refers to the words and practices of Yeshua as they have been conveyed to the disciples. It is because the disciples have received Yeshua (the Light) and His word, that the sin affected world (darkness) hates them. In receiving Yeshua the disciples have become as alien to the sin affected world as the light is alien to darkness. They have already become part of another world, that is the Olam Haba (world to come, the eternal present) and are therefore recognized as a threat to the temporal world of sin and death whose very existence is threatened by those who live in Messiah.
Note that the disciple of Yeshua, and therefore, by extension every believer is not of this world in the same way that Yeshua is not of this world. We have become children of a sinless Father and are therefore no longer recognized as being children of the fallen father Adam. This is why Yeshua is called the last Adam (1 Corinth. 15:45).
15 I do not ask, desire (erotao[G]) You to take them out of this world (hokosmos[G], baolam[H]), but to keep them, tenderly care for them, observe them, protect them (tereo[G]) from the evil, harassment, bad nature, wickedness, the evil one (poneros[G]). 16 They are not of this world (hokosmos[G], haolam[H]), even as I am not of this world (hokosmos[G], haolam[H]).
Yeshua does not ask that His followers be removed from this sin affected world, nor does He ask that they be kept from the struggles of life, rather He asks that they be kept from the evil one. Once again He is asking that God keep His followers in saving relationship. If Yeshua had asked for His followers to be taken out of this world He would have been preventing the salvation of all who would come to faith through them. The same is true of us today. Often I think, how much better it would be if God simply took me as He did Chanoch (Enoch), who walked with God and was not. Then I remember my calling in Messiah to make disciples of all nations, first the Jew and also the peoples of this world.
If our goal is to avoid suffering in pursuit of happiness we will fail to spread the Good News of our Messiah. The Good News of Yeshua walks in dark places because it is the darkness that must be illuminated. After all, what good are headlights in summer at midday? Not so long ago I was in hospital in agony and crying out to God asking why He would allow me to go through such suffering, at which point He pointed to the Muslim man and his suffering son in the bed next to me. Moments later the Muslim man asked me, “what do you believe?” I mean, who does that? I shared my faith in Messiah with him and prayed for his son. Perhaps that will be the only time that man ever has the opportunity to hear the Good News of Yeshua. And if I had not suffered? Forget the American dream, dream a better dream, make the ambition of Yeshua your dream.
They (the disciples and by extension all subsequent believers) are not of this world (fallen) any longer because in Yeshua they are born from above, that is, they are of the eternal world to come and are now eternally present through Yeshua. Thus, they are not of this temporary fallen world any more than Yeshua is.
In Messiah we are of the world to come. Therefore in this world we sin when we forget that we are of another world.
17 Sanctify, set apart, consecrate, purify, cleanse (hagiazo[G], kadeish[H]) them in the absolute, immutable truth (ho aletheia[G], b’emet[H]); Your Word, essence (logos[G], d’varecha[H]) is (eternally present) absolute, immutable truth (aletheia[G], emet[H]).
The Hebrew “kadeish” and the Greek “hagiazo” mean to be “set apart”. And how are the Messiah’s followers set apart? We are set apart in the Word (Both Living [Yeshua], and written [Divinely inspired]). God’s Word is eternally present, the measure of truth. Therefore, we are set apart, sanctified within time and space having already been perfected outside of time and space. The living Word Yeshua lives in us and so, we consume and practice the written word daily so as to perpetuate immutable truth in a world that is compromised by the temporary defilement of the lie.
There is a practical application here. We impede our own sanctification when we neglect the written word. To neglect the written word is to forget the Living Word Who dwells in us. Do you recall a time when you wrote a heartfelt message on a greeting card and handed it to your loved one with a gift in tow, only to see your loved one put the card to the side and rip open the gift?
18 As You sent Me into this world (hokosmos[G], haolam[H]), I also have sent them into this world (hokosmos[G], haolam[H]).
As followers of Yeshua we are being sent to this sin affected world from our new home in the eternal present. We have become shaliachiym (sent ones) of the King Messiah and are tasked with His purposes in God. We are not Him, but we are like Him.
19 For their sakes, [Aramaic alt. and upon/before their faces, v’al apayhun[A]] I sanctify, set apart, consecrate, purify, cleanse (hagiazo[G], makdiysh[H]) Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified, consecrated, purified, cleansed (m’kudashiym[H]) in truth (b’emet[H]).
The Aramaic text is beautiful. It reads “Upon their faces I set apart Myself…” In short, “My countenance illuminated in their faces will show them to be set apart and of a different world (Olam Haba). “Upon their faces” is an idiom denoting intimacy, a closeness of lovers. Therefore Yeshua is shown to be set apart in the countenance of His followers and by His work He has set apart those same followers in Truth. God defines truth.
The plain meaning is this, that the disciples will see Yeshua crucified and resurrected (the process of His being set apart).
20 “I do not ask, desire (erotao[G]) concerning, for, on behalf of (peri[G]) these only, but for those also who believe, trust (haamamiyniym[H]) in Me through their word (devariym[H]);
Over two thousand years ago Yeshua prayed not only for His disciples but also for you. Thus, He continues to make the same request to the Father on your behalf today.
“It is Messiah Yeshua that died, yea rather, that was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. -Romans 8:34
21 that they may all be one (echad[H]); even as You, My Father (Pater[G], Aviy[H]), are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that this world (hokosmos[G], haolam[H]) may believe, trust (ya’amiyn[H]) that You sent Me.
This is perhaps one of the greatest indictments against the body of believers today. Yeshua has asked that we might be one as He and the Father are one, and yet here we stand divided. The unity of the body of believers does not require us to agree on every little detail but it must be established in the Father and the Son through the intrinsic connection of the Holy Spirit. It must also submit to order and the roles God has given the Jew and the Gentile. Unity cannot come to a body of believers that denies the position of the elder brother (Israel, ethnic, religious, chosen, empirical). There is no unity in disrespecting one’s elders. Nor can unity come as long as the elder son looks down on the younger brother (Gentile believers). It is only in the love of God through Messiah that we can walk as one respecting our differences while holding tightly to core doctrine and the Word of Truth.
We must allow God to manifest the unity of His Son in us lest the world fail to see His redemptive purpose in us and thus fail to trust in Yeshua Whom God has sent. God will work this unity through discipline if we continue to refuse to operate in it of our own fruition.
22 The glory, opinion, judgement, view, splendour, brightness (doxa[G], haKavod[H]) which You have given Me (didomi[G], natatiy[H]) I have given (didomi[G], natat liy[H]) to them, that they may be one (echad[H]), just as We are one (echad[H]);
We have been given the glory, judgement, brightness of Yeshua as He has received glory from God. It is by His judgement, opinion, brightness that we find unity. The same unity that Yeshua has with the Father.
23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected, brought to the goal (teleioo[G]) in oneness (heis[G]), so that this world (hokosmos[G], haolam[H]) may come to know (ginosko[G]) that You sent Me, and loved entirely (agapao[G], ahavta[H]) them, even as You have entirely loved Me (ahavtaniy[H]).
Our oneness is being perfected within the fallen world so that we might reach the goal of that perfection in Messiah and thus give this sin affected world an opportunity for redemption and renewal.
We can take great comfort in the knowledge that the Father has loved us entirely just as He has entirely loved the Son. This, when it is manifested to the fallen world will bring many to faith.
24 My Father (Pater[G], Aviy[H]), I desire that they also, whom You have given Me (n’tatam liy[H)), be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory, opinion, judgement, view, splendour, brightness (doxa[G], b’k’vodiy[H]) which You have given Me (didomi[G], natat liy[H]), for You entirely loved Me (agapao[G], ahavtaniy[H]) before the face of (lifneiy[H]) the foundation, establishment (mosdot[H]) of the world (hokosmos[G], haolam[H]).
Yeshua desires that His followers dwell in the eternal present and behold His glory, opinion, judgement, brightness. This is not a narcissistic desire to be honoured by the subjugated masses, but a desire to share honour with family. Yeshua desires that we dwell in the mind of Messiah and thus the mind of God.
This is a further illumination of Yeshua’s eternal existence and the love relationship of the family of the Godhead.
“Before the face of the foundation of the establishment of the world…” This conveys the perfect relationship of the Godhead prior to the creation of this world, “world” being synonymous with universe, cosmos etc. God did not create us in order to meet a need, He was not lonely prior to creating us, to the contrary, he created us to meet our need, affording us the opportunity to experience true relationship and perpetual, abundant, perfected living in Him.
25 “O My Father, the righteous One (Aviy Hatzadiyk[H]), although this world (hokosmos[G], haolam[H]) has not known (y’da’acha[H]) You, yet I have known (y’da’tiycha[H]) You; and these (disciples) have known that You sent Me (sh’lachtaniy[H]);
“Yeshua responded, “Why do you call Me good? Only God is good!” (Mark 10:18)
The Hebrew text says “My Father The Righteous!” God defines righteousness and purity, which is an emanation of His Holiness. Yeshua acknowledges this fact before His disciples and in doing so identifies Himself as Imanu (with us) El (God).
“This world has not known you” This sin affected world lacks the ability in and of itself to gain the knowledge of and in God. The Hebrew “yadat” is a euphemism for sexual intercourse and denotes intimacy and the union of being. Both God’s marriage to Israel (ethnic, religious, chosen, empirical), and Yeshua’s marriage to the bride (body of believers) are made possible through the bride price in Yeshua’s blood and the invitation to engagement offered by Yeshua at the Father’s choosing. Therefore, the sin affected world and its rejection of Yeshua is the cause of its own demise. It lacks knowledge of God because it has refused God’s invitation for it to be known.
“Yet I have known You” Yeshua is present in the fallen world as the One Who has known God in the most intimate relational sense and is therefore the only One qualified to bring others into the knowledge of God.
26 and I have made known to them (hoda’tiym[H]) Your Name, identity, nature, person, character (et shimcha[H]), and will make it known (l’hodiyam[H]), so that the all-encompassing love (agapao[G], ha’ahavah[H]) with which You loved (ahavataniy[H]) Me may be in them, and I in them.”
15 [a]He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For [b]by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He [c]is before all things, and in Him all things [d]hold together.18 He is also head of the body, the body of beleivers; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.” -Colossians 1:15-18
Not only has Yeshua made known to His disciples the Name and nature of God, He also continues to make God’s Name known to all who believe, and He does so for a purpose: “so that the all-encompassing love with which” God has loved Yeshua might be in us and that Yeshua Himself might be in/among us.
It’s overly simplistic, even superstitious to say as some do, that Yeshua is speaking about the Divine proper Noun YHVH and its correct pronunciation. We Jews know that the pronunciation of the Holy Name has been lost to us but as Jewish followers of Yeshua we understand that the character and nature of God is accessible to us through the King Messiah.
Those who claim that no one can be saved unless they properly pronounce the Name YHVH are not only wrong, they are in danger of damnation. No one knows the correct pronunciation of the Holy Name YHVH because the vowel markings indicating its pronunciation in ancient texts were representative of the Hebrew Adonai (Lord) and do not reflect the actual vowel markings for the Holy Name. The best scholarship guess to date is Yahweh, but this is not more than our best “guess”. Therefore, we are incapable of correctly pronouncing the Name YHVH, leaving us all damned if we are to believe the false teaching of the so called “Holy Name Movement”.
The Shaliach (Apostle) Kefa (Peter) speaks concerning the Name of Yeshua saying “There is no other Name under the heavens by which a person can be saved!” (Acts 4:12). God has intentionally kept the pronunciation of the Holy Name from us in order to protect us (Exodus 20:7; Deut. 5:11) and has given His Son the King Messiah the Name by which we can be saved. Therefore, when the prophet says “Those who call upon the Name of YHVH will be saved” (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13) he intends that we will understand that the Name of Yeshua HaMashiach represents the Divine Name on earth and affords us the opportunity to call on YHVH through the Messiah and be saved.
Copyright 2020 Yaakov Brown
Therefore, out of love for them He tells them what they are about to do. Not to cause them distress but in order to let them know that knowing their betrayal beforehand He nonetheless loves them past present and future.
Verses 14-15 read:
“14 He (The Holy Spirit) will glorify, cause to think, be of the opinion of (doxazo[G]) Me, for He will carry (lambano[G]) of Mine and will announce it, make it known (anaggello[G]) to you. 15 All individual and collective things (pas) as far as they extend (hosos[G]) and are held (echo[G]) by the Father (ho Pater[G], ha Av[H]) are Mine; therefore I said that He carries (lambano[G]) of Mine and will announce it, make it known (anaggello[G]) to you.”
16 “In a little (mikron[G]) while, indeed you will no longer see, look at, behold, be a spectator of (theoreo[G], tironiy[H]) Me; and anew (palin[G]) in a little (mikron[G]) while, indeed I will allow Myself to be seen (optanomai[G], techezoniy[H]).”
Yeshua explains that His death is imminent, thus “In a little while”. His disciples will no longer look upon Him in the flesh because He will be in the tomb. This may be seen as a progression in that the majority of the disciples desert Him at Gan Shemenim (Gethsemane) while Peter and John remain, until Peter flees after being identified as one of Yeshua’s followers, leaving John to observe the remaining parts of Yeshua’s trial. Therefore, some of the disciples would not see Yeshua for a longer period of time than others. Ultimately, as I have already stated, Yeshua is referring to His death and interment and further His ascension following His resurrection.
The Hebrew “me’at” meaning “in a short time, a little while” etc. denotes immediacy, as is seen by its use in Haggai 2:6 and elsewhere.
The Greek palin can be translated “again” but is better translated here as “anew”, which denotes both a return and a rebirth (not reincarnation but born anew in this world). This refers to His resurrection and to His transformed body. Therefore, He is the firstborn from the dead (Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:5) and the first of many children (Rom. 8:29). His body which was perishable is made imperishable. He is not remade but made anew. This is consistent with Jewish belief in the resurrection of the body. We believe according to the Tanakh that we will rise physically at the last day and that the righteous will be transformed as metaphysical and everlasting beings. Our bodies do not cease to be material in the Olam Haba (World to come) rather they are sinless, body, mind, soul, physical and transcendent.
While the standard English translation “and again in a little while you will see me” is technically correct because by making Himself seen Yeshua is providing the disciples the opportunity to see Him, it is nonetheless more accurate to translate “I will allow Myself to be seen”. This means that Yeshua will reveal the authority He has been given by the Father to both lay down His life and take it up again. Additionally, He will impart true sight to His disciples, allowing them to see Him for Who He really is in all His resurrected glory.
Concerning the Messiah’s death and resurrection the prophet Hosea prophecies the perspective of the people who benefit from the redemptive act of God saying:
“After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.” -Hosea 6:2 KJV
Therefore, Yeshua’s death and resurrection will also result in the resurrection of Israel, both physical and spiritual and will begin with His immediate disciples. Note that the text of Hosea says “we shall live in His sight” rather than “we will see Him”. This is consistent with Yeshua saying “I will allow Myself to be seen.”
17 Therefore, His talmidim[H] (mathetes[G], disciples, pupils) then said to one another, “What is this thing He is telling us, ‘A little (mikron[G], umik’tzat[H]) while, indeed you will not see, look at, behold, be a spectator of (theoreo[G], tironiy[H]) Me; and anew (palin[G]) in a little (mikron[G]) while, indeed I will allow Myself to be seen (optanomai[G], techezoniy[H])’; indeed, ‘because I go to the Father (Ho Pater[G], Ha Av[H])’?”
The questioning of the disciples tells us that they were still unsure of the timeframe of the coming events and considered Yeshua’s words to be figurative and thus they were trying to understand Him figuratively and were coming up empty.
The added phrase “because I go to the Father” refers to verse 10 and the work of the Holy Spirit that will result from Yeshua returning to the Father. This is not a reference to Yeshua’s location during death but to His ascension to the Father following the resurrection and the forty days of appearances to His wider body of disciples. Therefore, the disciples seem to be trying to understand the timeline. “Will He go to the Father first? Is He talking about dying? How does this all work out?” and so on.
18 Therefore, they were asking, “What is this that He says, ‘A little (mikron[G], k’tzat[H]) while’? We don’t see, perceive (eido[G]) what He’s talking about.” 19 Yeshua[H] (Iesous[G], Joshua, YHVH Saves, Jesus) knew, had knowledge (ginosko[G], vayeida[H]) of what they wished to question Him about, and He said to them, “Are you discussing this together, that I said, ‘A little (mikron[G], k’tzat[H]) while, and you will not see, look at, behold, be a spectator of (theoreo[G], tironiy[H]) Me, and anew (palin[G]) in a little (mikron[G], k’tzat[H]) while, indeed I will allow Myself to be seen (optanomai[G], techezoniy[H])’?
Yeshua is said to have knowledge of what the disciples were discussing among themselves. While it is possible He overheard them the inference of the text is that He knew this by way of Divine knowledge rather than by practical means.
We note that the vision of the disciples is limited because it is based on physical sight (eido[G]), whereas the vision of Yeshua is metaphysical, transcendent and is an expression of Divine knowledge (ginosko[G], yeda[H]).
The Talmud Bavliy Sanhedrin 93:2 says that the Messiah will have a discerning spirit concerning both men and things, according to Isaiah 11:3.
20 Amen[H] [G]Amen[H] [G] (B’emet[H], B’emet[H]), In truth, In truth, It’s certain, it’s certain, I (Aniy[H]) say to you, that you will mourn (klaio[G]) and wail (threneo[G]), but this world (ho de kosmos[G], ha olam[H]) will rejoice, be glad (chairo[G], yismach[H]); you will be made sorrowful (lupeo[G]), but your sorrow (lupe[G]) will become, receive being, begin to be (ginomai[G]) joy, gladness (chara[G], lesason[H]). 21 Whenever a woman is in labour she has sorrow, pain (lupe[G]), because her certain definite time, hour (hora[G]) has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the pressing together, pressure, anguish, distress, travail (thlipsis[G]) because of the joy, gladness (chara[G], s’meichah[H]) that a child has been born into this world (ho kosmos[G], ha olam[H]).
The familiar “Amen, amen” reminds us that what follows has been firmly established. The promise given is one of mourning, sorrow, and suffering while the fallen world rejoices. Nonetheless while this was specifically said concerning the immediate struggles of the disciples it is in principal a certain reality for all true believers. The good news is that the sorrow of the disciples will be turned into temporal joy (sasson[H]) and subsequently, following the travail of their labour for the Kingdom within the fallen world, into transcendent joy (simchah[H]). All this based on the foundation of the travail experienced by the Father in the Son as He gives birth to the true B’nay Elohim (Children of God).
We note that the same Greek word used to convey the sorrow/pain of labour during the birth process also express the sorrow that the disciples will experience (lupe[G]). Yeshua is using a living mashal (example) to convey the metaphysical rebirth intrinsic to His resurrection. This is a complex teaching. The plain meaning likens the coming sorrow of the disciples to that of a woman giving birth and promises a joyous outcome of sound birth and new life that will cause them to forget their temporal sorrow/pain. At a deeper level the sorrow/pain of Yeshua, and indeed of the Father, in rebirthing the disciples, and by succession every believer, will inevitably lead to the greatest of joys in producing everlasting children of life. Put crassly, the womb of God will suffer the pain of birthing His predestined children through the blood of Messiah, and the outcome will be children of transcendent joy (simchah[H]) living eternal lives in God.
22 Therefore you too at the present time (nun[G]) have sorrow, pain, grief (lupe[G]); but anew, and returning (palin[G], ashuv[H]) I will allow Myself to be seen by you (optomai[G]), and your heart, inner being (kardia[G], leiv[H]) will rejoice exceedingly (chairo[G], sas[H]), and no one will carry away (airo[G]) or separate (apo[G]) your joy (chara[G], simchatchem[H]) from you.
Yeshua acknowledges the present sorrow being experienced by the disciples as they struggle to understand while knowing deep down that all this is leading to His death and their disillusion.
As is so often the case in Yeshua’s ministry He disregards His own anguish in order to minister to the anguish of others with selfless perfection. In the soil of their sorrow He plants the seed of hope. He is promising to return to them anew, revealing His true nature to them and filling their inner beings with exceedingly great and transcendent joy. Additionally He affirms that the joy He will impart to them will be immutably secure, no one in all creation under any circumstance will be able to take the joy of Yeshua in God from them.
23 In that day (hemera[G], vayom[H]) you will not question, request of, entreat, beg of (erotao[G]) Me concerning anything. Amen[H] [G]Amen[H] [G] (B’emet[H], B’emet[H]), In truth, In truth, It’s certain, it’s certain, I (Aniy[H]) say to you, if you ask the Father (Ho Pater[G], HaAv[H]) for anything in My name (bishmiy[H]), He will give (yitein[H]) it to you.
This is the culmination of the teaching begun in John 14:13. “In My Name” means “In My Character”, “In My Will”, “In My Identity”, “In My Purposes”, “In My eternal perspective” and so on. The prerequisite to receiving anything asked for in Yeshua’s Name is that the thing asked for is “In His will”, “According to His purposes” etc.
The double amen denotes established truth and what follows affirms Yeshua’s teaching concerning prayer. We are to speak directly to the Father through the Son. This does not mean that we must tag “In Yeshua’s Name Amen” onto every prayer we pray as if the repetition of a mantra validates prayer. Rather, it means that in Yeshua and according to the Holy Spirit we are to pray to the Father God as sons and daughters. In this Yeshua is indicating the fact that He will be seated at the right hand of the Father and will no longer be present in material body on earth, until that day when He returns to reign.
13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence which we have [a]before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
-1 John 5:13-15 NASB
24 Until just this moment (arti[G]) you have asked, desired, begged (aiteo[G]) for nothing in My name (bishmiy[H]); ask, desire, beg (aiteo[G]) and you will receive, so that your joy (chara[G], simchat’chem[H]) may be made full (pleroo[G]).
The disciples had not thought to ask things of Yeshua perhaps because they were constantly seeing Him work miraculous signs that they might have otherwise asked for but need not request because they were witnessing them as an outworking of Yeshua’s ministry. Therefore, now that Yeshua is about to leave He is instructing them to desire, ask, plead for the things of Him, so that they might continue to work as sent ones of the Kingdom and that in the receiving of the good things of God might see the salvation of many, that their joy might be made full.
25 “These things I have spoken to you using mashaliym [H] figurative, unusual language, parables (paroimia[G]); a certain definite time, hour (hora[G]) is coming when I will no longer speak to you in mashaliym [H] figurative, unusual language, parables (paroimia[G]), but will tell you frankly, plainly, devoid of ambiguity, fearlessly, unreservedly (parrhesia[G]) of the Father (Ho Pater[G], HaAv[H]).
Yeshua has taught in mashalim (parables) for a reason. All that Yeshua revealed was conveyed in a progression so as to bring understanding to its fullness at the right time according to God’s redemptive purpose. Had Yeshua spoken plainly from the beginning His work might have been impeded. This would have been a form of disobedience toward God, something that the Messiah is incapable of. Now the definite time is at hand when He will reveal the Father to the disciples and ultimately to all who receive Yeshua as the King Messiah.
26 In that day (hemera[G], bayom[H]) you will ask, desire, beg (aiteo[G]) in My name (bishmiy[H]), and I do not say to you that I will request (erotao[G]) of the Father (Ho Pater[G], HaAv[H]) on your behalf;
This is important, Yeshua is clear to teach that we are to pray in His Name to the Father. He emphatically states “I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf”. While it is true that Yeshua is One with the Father, and that He intercedes for us (Rom. 8:34), it is also true that Yeshua instructs us to pray to the Father. I do not pass judgement on those who pray “Jesus, please…” but I do ask, where does Yeshua instruct us to pray to Him?
27 for the Father (Ho Pater[G], HaAv[H]) Himself has familial love (phileo[G], Oheiv[H]) for you, because you have had familial love (phileo[G], ahav’tuniy[H]) for Me and have believed, trusted, been persuaded (pisteuo[G], v’he’eman’tem[H]) that I came forth from, beside, near (para[G]) the God (Ho Theos[H], kiy-meieit Elohiym[H]).
It is hear that the disciples and all believers begin to understand just how awesome the work of Yeshua is. Through His life, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension Yeshua has made it possible for each one of us who receives Him and is reconciled to God to become part of God’s family. The text says that God has familial love (phileo[G]) for the disciples (and all who believe) because they (we) have chosen to have familial love (phileo[G]) for Yeshua and have trusted that He has come from the Father God.
Therefore, with the Spirit of Messiah in us we cry “Abba, Father!”
28 I came forth from the Father (Ho Pater[G], HaAv[H]) and have come into the world (ho kosmos[G], ha olam[H]); anew (palin[G]) I am leaving the world (ho kosmos[G], ha olam[H]) and going to the Father (Ho Pater[G], HaAv[H]).”
Yeshua had come into the world from the Father in order to perform the ultimate act of sacrificial love by shedding His blood for us. He was then anew to leave the fallen world and go to the Father so that His Spirit could be poured out on all who believe and thus spread the good news of God’s redemptive love throughout the world giving all an opportunity to receive salvation and eternal life.
29 His talmidim[H] (mathetes[G], disciples, pupils) responded saying, “We see, perceive (eido[G]) now You are speaking freely, plainly, frankly, without ambiguity (parrhesia[G]) and are not using a mashal[H] figure of speech (paroimia[G]).
At this point the disciples claim to see and perceive what Yeshua is telling them. To them “leaving the world” meant death. Yeshua was plainly telling them that He was about to die, however what He meant by “going to the Father” was that He would ascend to the Father’s right hand following His resurrection from the dead.
30 Now we see, perceive (eido[G]) that You see, perceive (eido[G]) all things, each individually (pas[G]), and have no need for anyone to question You; because of this we believe, trust, are persuaded (pisteuo[G], na’amiyn[H]) that You came from God (Theos[G], Elohiym[H]).”
In part this seems to have been triggered by Yeshua’s supernatural knowledge of their dilemma and the subsequent explanation concerning His having come from the Father and His need to return to the Father. However, what follows causes one to question how deep the disciples’ understanding was when they made this claim.
31 Yeshua[H] (Iesous[G], Joshua, YHVH Saves, Jesus) answered them, “Do you just now at this moment (arti[G]) believe, trust (pisteuo[G], ta’amiynu[H])?
Yeshua’s question, is intentionally ambiguous, it asks, “Is your faith simply in the moment or is it perpetual?” and, “After all you’ve seen and heard you just now worked it out?”. As is often the case when He addresses issues of faith and discipleship, Yeshua invokes sober self-examination in the hearts of His beloved disciples. There is a note of mild incredulity here, or is it sadness. With all they have seen and experienced of Him are they just now coming to true faith? Will their professed faith hold? The truth is that the fullness of their faith does not come until after His resurrection.
32 Behold, now, pay attention (Hineih[H]) a certain definite hour (hora[G]) is coming, and has come, for you to be scattered, each to his own, and to leave Me alone; and I am not alone, because the Father (Ho Pater[G], HaAv[H]) is with Me.
Yeshua is alluding to the prophet Zechariah:
“Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.” -Zechariah 13:7 KJV
Yeshua knows that the disciples genuinely mean what they have said, He also knows the frailty of humanity and that they will act in an entirely contrary way when He is arrested tried and crucified. Therefore, out of love for them He tells them what they are about to do. Not to cause them distress but in order to let them know that knowing their betrayal beforehand He nonetheless loves them past present and future. In other words:
“I know you mean what you say, that you have believed in the father and have received me in faith, and I know that your frailty will cause you to abandon me. But don’t fall into utter disappear when that happens, remember what I’ve said, that I knew you would do these things and have loved you knowing it. I will not be alone, the Father is with Me.”
33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace, wholeness, wellbeing (shalom[H]). In this world (ho kosmos[G], ha olam[H]) you have pressing together, travail, distress, troubles (thlipis[G]), nevertheless, be of good courage (tharseo[G]); I have conquered (nikao[G]) this world (ho kosmos[G], ha olam[H]).”
Note that He informed His disciples of their coming abandoning of Him in order that they might have peace.
The Greek thlipis links the pressing troubles that the disciples endure in this sin affected world to the birthing process described by way of mashal (figure) earlier in the chapter. Therefore, we read “In this world you will have temporary troubles, nevertheless, be of godly courage (only God is good); I have conquered this sin affected world.”
Note the past tense “have conquered”. That which Yeshua is about to do He has already done outside of time and space. He will die and be raised transcendent and therefore transcends His temporal earthly life and ministry being God with God before the creation of the world (John 1). Thus, “I have conquered this world”. Note also that in conquering the fallen world He has defeated and conquered its temporal ruler Satan (Prince of the world) just as He said He had done earlier in this extended section of teaching and dialogue with His disciples (John 12:31). This means that the hold of Satanic power and the fallen nature is broken for all who would receive Yeshua and be reconciled to God. Therefore, in Messiah we sin when we forget who we are. For the child of God in Yeshua sin is the act (be it in thought or deed) of being who we are not.
Copyright 2020 Yaakov Brown
“Because you are children, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our core being (heart), from where He is perpetually crying, “Abba! Father!”” -Galatians 4:6 (Author’s paraphrase)
As in the case of the former chapters, this chapter continues the discourse that was begun in chapter 13 and follows the words of Yeshua, “and you will testify, bear witness also, because you have been with Me from the beginning, origin, head.” Meaning that the disciples will bear witness as a result of the receipt of the Holy Spirit Who is coming to empower them and that they are qualified to bear witness of the factual events of Yeshua’s ministry because they have literally been with Him from the beginning of His three year ministry throughout the land of (Roman occupied) first century C.E Israel. It is worth considering that the disciples are qualified by their relationship in Yeshua and not by the works they have done. They qualify based on their willingness to follow and their belief in Yeshua, and ultimately because He first chose them.
1“These utterances (laleo[G]) I have spoken to you so that there is not the least stumbling block (skandalizo[G]) before you. 2You will be made to be excluded from sacred assemblies (aposunagogos[G]), nevertheless coming is a certain definite season, hour (hora[G]) when everyone who kills you will think, be convinced (dokeo[G]) that he is doing a service in worship (latreia[G]) to the God (ho Theos[G], ha Elohiym[H]).
What utterances? The utterances of the previous chapters, all of the things: the warning of their coming denial of Yeshua, His coming death, the fact that one from among them will betray Him, the need to honour one another as priests and the washing of feet, the cost of obedience and the guarding of the miztvot (commandments) of both the Father and the Son, the need to entirely love one another just as Yeshua has loved them, the need to abide in Yeshua Who is the Vine and receive the living spiritual waters that flow from Him, the knowledge that when the Vinedresser (the Father) cleans/prunes He does so for the purpose of increasing fruit, the promise that those who have hated Yeshua will also pursue the disciples with hatred but those who have honoured Yeshua will also honour the disciples, and the promise of a Helper like Yeshua (the Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit) Who will come along side and remind them of the things of Yeshua bearing witness to and testifying of Yeshua for the purpose of giving glory to the Father God as His Kingdom is outworked through the disciples.
We notice that Yeshua has imparted these words to the disciples so that they might not stumble in delusion, disbelief or become convinced of conspiracy theories and misdirection. Sadly many ancient first century Jews were lied to by their religious leaders concerning Yeshua’s resurrection, being told that His body was stolen from the tomb etc. The Talmud Bavliy goes to great lengths to discredit Yeshua, but in spite of this hundreds of thousands of Jews from the land and throughout the known world came to faith in Yeshua following His resurrection as a result of the outpouring of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) and the testimony of the disciples.
The Greek text does not use the specific noun “Synagogue” but rather the Greek for public or sacred corporate assembly “aposunagogos”. It is therefore technically incorrect to translate “Synagogue” because it is understood in the modern world to refer to a building used for localized Jewish worship. This exclusion from sacred assembly is an escalation in the weight or degree of excommunication from the religious Jewish community of first century Israel. Earlier in John’s Gospel the parents of the man born blind are afraid of a lesser form of separation from the religious community [Niduiy](9:22; 12:42), but here the very real threat of being disallowed access to the Aliyot or Regalim (going up festivals of God)[Cherem, Shamata], which are specifically commanded to Israel, is the intended meaning. This would be received as horrific news to the observant disciples of Yeshua who saw how Yeshua also had venerated the Torah and the festival practices of Israel’s religious community, even to the extent of keeping many of the customs of the Mishnah (Oral Law).
“nevertheless coming is a certain definite season, hour when everyone who kills you will think, be convinced that he is doing a service in worship to the God.” Stephen the first Messianic Jewish martyr was killed by men believing they were honouring God through their actions (Acts 7). Rav Shaul (Paul) prior to meeting Yeshua in a vision and repenting, made it his life’s work to seek out and put to death the Messianic Jewish “Heretics” (so called) [Acts 22:3-5].
3 And these things they will do because they have not known, come to know (ginosko[G], loyodau[H]) the Father (ho Pater[G], ha Av[H]) or Me. 4 Nevertheless these utterances (laleo[G]) I have spoken to you, so that when their certain definite season, hour (hora[G]) comes, you may remember, call to mind, be mindful (mnemoneuo[G]) that I told you of them. I didn’t say these things to you from the beginning, origin, head (arche[G], umeirosh[H]), because I was with you.
Yeshua has given all this knowledge to the disciples in order to properly prepare them for what is ahead. Like a truthful diagnosis regarding the results of testing in the case of a terminal illness, the words of the doctor who is both forthright and hopeful are the most effective in giving the patient the best hope of recovery. Yeshua’s words afford the disciples the opportunity to practice a hopeful realism that finds its foundation in the love of God through Yeshua. They have been promised a Helper, and will not be abandoned in the struggle that is to come.
Yeshua did not tell them all these outcomes at the beginning because He was present to comfort them as His ministry unfolded. Now because He is going to the Father and there will be an interim period before the Ruach HaKodesh is poured out, He gives them full knowledge of what is to take place so as to tide them over. When the events take place the disciples will remember that Yeshua had imparted them knowledge of what was to take place and that they could trust that He spoke as One who speaks the end from the beginning and that therefore, the promises of fullness of Joy and everlasting life could also be trusted. Thus they would be comforted in the midst of their suffering.
“The certain definite hour” is both the hour of their opponents’ rising against them (Luke 22:53) and the hour of apparent defeat (Yeshua’s crucifixion), which is in fact an hour of victory.
5 “Now moreover I am leading under, withdrawing, going (hupago[G]) to the advantage of, toward, near to (pros[G]) Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have spoken these utterances (laleo[G]) to you, sorrow (lupe[G]) has filled your heart, inner being (kardia[G], levav’chem[H]).
The disciples, having a very real sense of Yeshua’s coming death are afraid to ask where He is going because they presume the answer is “Sheol”. Therefore, they are filled with sorrow at the prospect of loosing their beloved Rabbi and friend.
7 Nonetheless I tell you the immutable truth (ho aletheia[G], ha emet[H]), it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper, One Who comes along side, Who pleads another’s cause, intercedes (parakletos[G]) would not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8 And He, when He comes, will convict, refute, bring to light (elegcho[G]) the world (ho kosmos[G], ha olam[H]) concerning sin, missing the mark of God’s holiness, rebellion (hamartia[G], hacheit’[H]) and righteousness, acceptable condition before God (dikaiosune[G], v’hatzedek[H]) and concerning a separating, trial, selection, judgment (krisis[G], v’hamishpat[H]);
The Ruach HaKodesh cannot come unless Yeshua goes away for at least two clear reasons. First, without Yeshua’s vicarious sacrifice the Ruach HaKodesh cannot dwell in the believer because uncovered sin is abhorrent to God and the manifestation of His holiness in the human being within the fallen world would mean instant death (as is the case with Ananias and Saphira [NT] and many others [OT]) and second, the Ruach HaKodesh is the Spirit of the father and the Son present within the believer. Thus the Father and the Son pour out the Spirit and He is received by the believer who has been purchased by the blood of the King Messiah. Therefore, the Son must be present with the Father in order to impart the Spirit to redeemed human beings.
The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin and reveal righteousness, pointing out the coming judgement against sin. This is why Yeshua said “Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven human beings, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man (Yeshua) will be forgiven, but whoever speaks continually against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven either in this world or in the world to come.” (Matt. 12:31-32) Why? Because once Yeshua has ascended to the Father it will be the Ruach HaKodesh that ministers and convicts of sin as the Gospel is preached throughout the world and those who perpetually refuse Him (Holy Spirit) have no other means of redemption. Therefore, the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the perpetual choice to refuse God’s redemptive offer of love through Yeshua the King Messiah as presented to the human heart (core being) by the Holy Spirit of the Father and the Son.
9 concerning sin, missing the mark of God’s holiness, rebellion (hamartia[G], hacheit’[H]), because they do not believe, trust, have faith (pisteuo[G], he’emiynu[H]) in Me; 10 and concerning righteousness, acceptable condition before God (dikaiosune[G], hatzedek[H]), because I go to the Father (ho Pater[G], ha Av[H]) and you will no longer be able to observe, see (theoreo[G]) Me; 11 and concerning a separating, trial, selection, judgment (krisis[G], hamishpat[H]), because the ruler, prince of this world (sar haolam[G]) has been separated, judged (krino[G]).
The Ruach HaKodesh will expose our disbelief in Yeshua. He will expose our lack of righteousness because the Righteous One will no longer be walking the earth but will be seated at the right hand of the Father. He will expose the defeat of Satan and the judgement of God concerning the eternal destiny of the Devil and his minions through the death, resurrection, and the glorious victory of Yeshua’s life giving Spirit.
“Concerning sin, because they (fallen human beings) do not believe in Me” The mind of fallen humanity seeks to reduce sin to an excusable process of trial and error meant to train the life path of a human being. This lie is perpetuated in many esoteric eastern religions and new age western spiritual theosophy. Wilfully proud humanity hates the idea that we are guilty, wrong, self-harming in our actions and have therefore alienated ourselves from the Holy God. Of course, we have excelled in the belief that there is no God in spite of the evidence all around us. Thus we have rejected Yeshua, Who came to establish God’s loving redemptive plan for all who would receive Him. This is why the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) has come, to expose the foolish delusion of the prideful human consciousness.
“concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me” Meaning that the Holy Spirit will reveal the means of redemption and accessibility to righteousness through Yeshua Who will then be unseen in terms of His earthly ministry, being seated at the right hand of the Father where He intercedes on behalf of the redeemed (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25;1 John 2:1)
“concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.” The Holy Spirit will reveal the fact that Satan has already been judged and found wanting and that his just punishment is imminent. This also means that because Satan is defeated as temporal ruler of the fallen world, the Holy Spirit has access to the very hearts of humanity in order to give everyone past, present and future (because the Spirit of God transcends time and space) the opportunity to either receive or reject God’s redemptive offer through Yeshua the King Messiah and Son of God.
12 “Still I (eti[G]) have much more (polus[G]) for you to hold (echo[G]), nevertheless you do not have the ability (power) to take it up with your hands, carry (bastazo[G]) it now. 13 But when He, the Spirit (ho pneuma[G], haRuach[H]) of the immutable truth (ho aletheia[G], ha emet[H]), comes, He will guide you into all the truth (ho aletheia[G], ha emet[H]); for He will not utter (laleo[G]) on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will announce, make known (anaggello[G]) to you what is to come.
We note that Yeshua speaks to His disciples only so much as they can receive and comprehend at this point in their faith journey. There is a lesson here for every believer. Messiah in us brings us step by step through the journey of repentance and sanctification as He reveals to us daily the purposes of God in us.
We are informed of yet another aspect of the Spirit’s nature and practice in relationship to us. He is the Spirit of Truth, just as Yeshua is the Truth. The Spirit speaks of the Father and the Son that which He hears from them and imparts the truth of God to the disciple (believer). What He discloses to the disciple concerns what is to come. This is exactly what an effective comforter and guide does in order to pre-empt panic that results from a lack of knowledge, the Spirit imparts spiritual knowledge and practical advice that will enable the disciple (believer) to cope with the hardships ahead.
By explaining that the Ruach HaKodesh is the Spirit of Truth and thus intrinsically linking both Himself and the Father to the Spirit, and further asserting that the Spirit will guide the disciples in all truth and utter the very words which He hears from the Father and the Son, Yeshua is validating the then yet to be penned HaBrit HaChadashah (NT) which would be written by those to whom the Spirit of Truth would announced the word of the Living Word of God.
Notice that the Holy Spirit does not “initiate” but that He conveys that which He hears. Just as the wind from a person’s mouth does not initiate the blowing out of a flame, so too the Holy Spirit does not initiate but rather proceeds from the mouth of God.
Our rabbis have this to say concerning the guidance of the Ruach HaKodesh:
"Rav Phinehas says, the Holy Spirit rested upon Joseph from his youth to the day of his death, and "guided him into all wisdom", as a shepherd leads his flock, according to Psalm 80:1” -Pirke Eliezer, c. 39.
14 He will glorify, cause to think, be of the opinion of (doxazo[G]) Me, for He will carry (lambano[G]) of Mine and will announce it, make it known (anaggello[G]) to you. 15 All individual and collective things (pas) as far as they extend (hosos[G]) and are held (echo[G]) by the Father (ho Pater[G], ha Av[H]) are Mine; therefore I said that He carries (lambano[G]) of Mine and will announce it, make it known (anaggello[G]) to you.
The “He” in question is the Ruach HaKodesh. We now learn that the Holy Spirit’s role is to glorify Yeshua and to take from that which belongs to Yeshua and reveal it to the disciple (believer). Further, all that belongs to Yeshua He has received from the Father. Therefore, that which the Spirit conveys from Yeshua has also come from the Father. Thus, God is echad, HaAv, HaBen v’Ruach HaKodesh. The Father sends the Son and the Father and the Son send the Spirit and the Spirit cries out from within the believer back to the Father saying “Abba, Daddy, Av sheliy, My Father”.
“Because you are children, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our core being (heart), from where He is perpetually crying, “Abba! Father!”” -Galatians 4:6 (Author’s paraphrase)
Copyright 2020 Yaakov Brown
For goodness sake, at least take the time to learn a full Hebrew phrase or sentence before you go making doctrines out of ox heads and crosses!
Primarily the reason that determining interpretation based on the pictorial form of ancient Hebrew leads to misunderstanding is that pictographic Hebrew when collected into complete words, was never intended to be understood according to each individual pictogram within the whole, whereas, for example, the hieroglyphs of Egypt (not remotely similar to paleo Hebrew) are.
The meaning of words is not determined by individual characters within words but by the collected characters, their root words and meanings. Therefore, seeking to use individual characters and their pictorial meanings to interpret Hebrew Scripture often leads to grave error.
Even in their pictorial form the characters of a whole word are collected to convey a convergent meaning. Therefore, to single out each pictogram in order to glean a so called "deeper meaning" is to misinterpret the meaning. This type of interpretation is often entered into by people who lack knowledge of the Hebrew language, its meaning and grammar, people who seek "Deeper Knowledge" or "Deeper Revelation" which is in fact more closely connected to the gnostic and higher learning esoteric heresy of the early Gentile Church than it is to authentic Hebrew spirituality. These kinds of heresies are spoken against by Rav Shaul (Paul) Hashaliach (the sent one), and are of significant danger to the hearts and minds of Messiah followers.
As is always the case, if a method other than the interpretation of the plain meaning of the text produces an interpretation that contradicts the plain meaning, that interpretation is error!
Dear Messiah followers, do not be led astray by ear tickling nonsense. We are of the sound mind of Yeshua our King, we are not conspiracy theorists, secretly knowledgeable or superior to the Word. To the contrary, we speak the Word plainly and clearly for all to hear and thus afford others the opportunity to understand and receive salvation through Yeshua and reconciliation to God.
For goodness sake, at least take the time to learn a full Hebrew phrase or sentence before you go making doctrines out of ox heads and crosses!
-Rav Yaakov Ben Yehoshua
Beit Melekh Messiah Following Jewish Community
Generally speaking the Torah slavery/servitude laws were put in place to alleviate poverty and provide families for orphans and communities for aliens. They are no less than an ancient form of social welfare law.
The Torah instructions concerning slavery or servitude are largely concerned with alleviating poverty within the multi-tribal community of Israel during her wandering period and as a precedent set for moral practice when entering the promised land.
Set against the backdrop of an ancient world where enemy nations sought to wipe out the people of Israel the regulations regarding foreign slaves/servants differed for good reason. Foreign slaves/servants were often the product of both defensive and offensive warfare. Therefore, different laws were needed for the treatment of foreign slaves/servants because the bitterness of war would often lead to resentment and derision in the hearts of those who had become members of the wider commonwealth (community) of Israel as slaves/servants.
God’s plan for Israel as it is revealed throughout the Tanakh (OT) requires her to be a light of morality to the then largely immoral nations who surrounded her. Therefore, as an expression of Israel’s familial tribal unity God made certain that those who were of the tribes of Israel (Hebrews) were given familial treatment when impoverished, whereas those who were foreigners and often enemies of Israel were required to continue to pay their debts to Hebrews while serving the community, and were to be treated justly. God instructed fair treatment of foreigners, reminding Israel that she was “once a slave/servant to Egypt.”
Therefore, generally speaking, if the text of the Torah is properly read from the Hebrew or Greek (Septuagint) the conclusion reached concerning the laws of slavery/servitude is one of justice, restitution, charity and distinction.
In many ways the differences in the laws for native and foreign slaves/servants is similar to the difference in laws between citizens and non-citizens in modern western democracies. In socialist democracies where a citizen may pay taxes for healthcare and thus receive healthcare without additional payment, a foreigner is nonetheless required to pay for healthcare up front to offset the cost. This is not considered unjust or unreasonable.
Much of the modern misunderstanding of the Torah text as it pertains to slavery/servitude comes as a result of viewing history, religion, ethnicity, language, and culture through the lens of a neo-postmodern worldview. This has manifest itself as historical and cultural revisionism and often misapplies new thinking to ancient documents. In this case the Bible.
Slavery – Servitude:
The Hebrew “eved” can mean “servant, slave, paid servant etc.” Context and qualifying words define its meaning within the text. However, the root “avad” literally means “to serve.” Therefore, when we lack qualifying terms we should always read “servant.” This fact alone defuses many of the misunderstandings surrounding the so called “problematic slavery” passages of the Torah.
Correctly reading and understanding Shemot (Exodus) 21:20-21
A Standard English Translation:
20 “If a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies [a]at his hand, he shall [b]be punished. 21 If, however, he [c]survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; for he is his [d]property. -Exodus 21:20-21 NASB
What the Hebrew literally says:
Exo 21:20 וכי־יכה אישׁ את־עבדו או את־אמתו בשׁבט ומת תחת ידו נקם ינקם׃
Exo 21:21 אך אם־יום או יומים יעמד לא יקם כי כספו הוא׃
Verse 20 (Transliterated Hebrew and English)
Vechiy-yakehH And if/because he (leader of the household/father) strikes iyshH a man et-avdoH the paid male servant of his (v.21 qualifies the specific type of servant in question) o_H or et-amatoH the paid female servant of his (see prev. ref.) basheivetH with a branch umeitH and that one dies tachatH under yadoH his hand (leader of the household/father) nakomH avenge/punish yinakeimH with the most severe punishment.
Verse 21 (Transliterated Hebrew and English)
AchH Howbeit if im-yomH within a day o_H or yomayimH a period of days ya’amodH continuing to stand (the paid servant) lo yukamH do not punish (the leader of the house) kiyH because chaspoH he (the leader of the house) is the source of money/income hu_H for him (the paid servant).
A better reading in modern English would be:
And if the father of the household unreasonably disciplines/strikes the paid servant, either male or female with a switch (stick) and kills that one by his own actions, he should be punished to the full extent of the law. However, if in spite of the father’s unreasonable actions the paid servant lives and continues to require financial support and a place to stay. Do not punish the father (leader of the household) to the full extent of the law because the paid servant is reliant upon him (the father) for his or her income, shelter, food and clothing. (Author’s paraphrase)
With regard to ancient Israel and her wandering (nomadic) lifestyle surrounded by enemies as she approached the promised land, the subject of the servitude of foreigners cannot be properly understood through the lens of a modern revisionist view of Biblical history.
In the context of the passage of Scripture in question the servant is not a “Slave” in any sense, modern or otherwise. We know that the Hebrew root “avad” means “to serve” and the Hebrew noun “eved” means “servant. Therefore. The only question is “What kind of servant are we reading about?” The answer is in verse 21 where we read that the servant is reliant on the household leader for his or her income. Thus the servant in question is a paid servant who is a member of the household. Therefore, this law has more in common with domestic abuse laws in modern western democracies than it does with any form of slavery.
In the case of the paid servant it was most common for that person to be considered a member of the ancient Hebrew household and to be reliant on the household leader and the household collectively for shelter, clothing, food and any additional income that might be needed. Therefore, for all intents and purposes this person was no different from the modern live in nanny or gardener.
The “striking” yakeh (strike, hit, beat, slay, smite etc.) has so many meanings that it can convey everything from a light slap to a severe beating. This is why we are best to understand the present passage as a situation where an unreasonable disciplining is performed, and in the case that it leads to death is considered a vile act of murder. That is why the Torah requires the most severer of punishments by doubling the Hebrew root nakam meaning “to avenge”.
Finally, in ancient Israel a paid servant had few prospects outside of the home in which he or she lived, and in the case of being a foreigner was likely to be devoid of familial connection within the community. Therefore, the very existence of that person was reliant on the provision of the household in which he or she resided and worked. This is why the text says, “If the servant survives the beating the leader of the house should not be put to death or maimed because his status, income and property are the means by which the servant survives…” To remove the servant’s means of income and security because of the foolish actions of the leader of the household would be tantamount to punishing both the servant and the other members of the household. The text does not mean to say that the leader of the household will go unpunished but that he will not be punished to the level of severity prescribed in the case of murder. Thus, he remains to provide for all the household including the servant for whom he has an obligation of care.
Correctly reading and understanding Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:45-50
Some complain that the Torah’s treatment of foreigners regarding slavery/servitude in ancient Israel is inequitable and unfair. It is true that it is inequitable and for good reason, as I’ve said previously the majority of foreigners who were living among the Israelites had found their way into the community through warfare and or by fleeing other nations bringing their differing religious views and resentment for Israel with them. God had set Israel apart to be a light of His morality, a light He did not want defiled by false belief and idolatry. Therefore, He made a distinction between the laws concerning the native Hebrew and those concerning foreigners. These laws were intended to protect Israel and teach those foreigners living among her the morality of the One True God. Therefore, it is not true that God’s law in this regard is unfair.
A Standard English Translation:
45 Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you, whom they will have [a]produced in your land; they also may become your possession. 46 You may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves. But in respect to your [b]countrymen, the sons of Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another.47‘Now if the [a]means of a stranger or of a sojourner with you becomes sufficient, and a [b]countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to him as to sell himself to a stranger who is sojourning with you, or to the descendants of a stranger’s family,48 then he shall have redemption right after he has been sold. One of his brothers may redeem him,c]if he prospers, he may redeem himself.50 He then with his purchaser shall calculate from the year when he sold himself to him up to the year of jubilee; and the price of his sale shall correspond to the number of years. It is like the days of a hired man that he shall be with him.” -Leviticus 25:47-50 NASB
Given what we have already learned concerning the context of ancient Israel’s servitude laws it is sufficient to use this English translation and illuminate several Hebrew word meanings in order to clarify it for the modern reader.
In this passage the Hebrew kanah translated “buy” essentially means “to create, acquire”. Therefore, it is overly simplistic to translate “buy”.
The Hebrew “achuzzah” meaning “to possess” from the root “achaz” meaning “to grasp, take hold of,” does not mean “to treat as an object” but rather “to take hold of” as a member of the family. In the context of this passage, to bring into the wider family. To make part of the familial inheritance for future generations. This is why the modern people of Israel are so diverse. It is because other bloodlines married into the Hebrew bloodline and have created a convergent blood line based in Hebrew ethnicity. DNA science has now progressed to show a common DNA marker shared by Jews from the east (Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Morocco etc.) and Jews from Europe (Italy, England, Germany, Russia etc.) this even though they also have other differing DNA markers. The reality is that many of the foreigners being spoken of in these texts eventually became a part of the lineage of Israel. We see this in the case of Rahab the prostitute of Jericho and Ruth the Moabitess among others. Therefore, to read “possession” in the sense of ownership is to entirely misunderstand the text and its context.
Leviticus 25:45-47 Line by line
45 Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you, whom they will have [a]produced in your land; they also may become your possession.
Paraphrase for the modern reader:
“Also you may acquire workers (who will eventually become part of your wider family) from the foreigners dwelling among you, and from their descendants too if they need work as servants, because they are with you, and they can become part of all you possess as a people to pass on to the next generation…”
46 You may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves. But in respect to your [b]countrymen, the sons of Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another.
Paraphrase for the modern reader:
You’re welcome to take them as an inheritance to your children so that your children receive them and hold tight to them (grasp = achaz). And they will become generational employed servants. And (not “but”!) in addition, you shouldn’t rule over your fellow Israelites.
NB: the correct translation “And” rather than the mistranslation “But” (which does not appear in the Hebrew) shows that the second clause is entirely separate from the first clause and is a general principal related to the former and following instructions regarding native Hebrews.
47‘Now if the [a]means of a stranger or of a sojourner with you becomes sufficient, and a [b]countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to him as to sell himself to a stranger who is sojourning with you, or to the descendants of a stranger’s family,
Paraphrase for the modern reader:
“If a foreigner living among you as a member of your wider community becomes wealthy and a poor Hebrew sells himself to the foreigner in order to survive…”
48 then he shall have redemption right after he has been sold. One of his brothers may redeem him,
Paraphrase for the modern reader:
“Whenever a foreigner purchases a Hebrew brother or sister, that foreigner must always be willing to immediately allow you to redeem that one.”
49 or his uncle, or his uncle’s son, may redeem him, or one of his blood relatives from his family may redeem him; or [c]if he prospers, he may redeem himself.
Paraphrase for the modern reader:
“That goes for any relative, or even if he himself becomes wealthy enough to redeem himself, the foreigner must allow him his freedom…”
50 He then with his purchaser shall calculate from the year when he sold himself to him up to the year of jubilee; and the price of his sale shall correspond to the number of years. It is like the days of a hired man that he shall be with him.”
“You Hebrews are to give the appropriate price in payment to the foreign purchaser of your fellow Hebrew, don’t dupe the foreigner out of what is rightfully his…”
In most cases within the ancient Hebrew community so called “slaves” were in fact “paid servants”, and were eventually “taken hold of” as members of the family and as part of the inheritance of filial corporate wealth, participating in the receipt of that wealth along with their descendants, they were possessed in the sense that a father possess a son and a son a father and not in the sense of an object possessed in ownership. After all, the Torah clearly teaches that objects are for use but people are for relationship.
Generally speaking the Torah slavery/servitude laws were put in place to alleviate poverty and provide families for orphans and communities for aliens. They are no less than an ancient form of social welfare law. In fact, up until recently many western democracies have based their social welfare laws on the principals of the Torah due to the proliferation of Christianity and Judeo-Christian morality throughout the western world. Sadly, the positive affect of the Biblical principal is now being dismantled by a pervasive atheistic neo-postmodern amoral liberalism.
The servitude laws of the Torah differed between Israelis and foreigners as a protection against foreign usurping of Israeli nationhood, religion, culture, ethnicity and identity. This is neither unjust or unfair but it does make a just distinction between Hebrew and foreign servants.
Finally, to read the ancient text of the Torah in English (often poorly translated) with a neo-postmodern western worldview at the driver’s seat is like attempting to fuel a car by putting sand in the petrol tank. Context: historical, literary, religious, linguistic, cultural, local, global, ancient and otherwise is essential to a correct interpretation of the text, of any text for that matter.
Therefore, the Torah does not advocate for slavery but does allow for paid service the redemption of the poor, and the growth of just community as alluded to in Exodus 21 and Leviticus 25.
NB: When the just laws of the Bible are replaced by laws resulting from a godless worldview humanity reaps the tragic consequences. Many of the once well-established just laws resulting from the spread of Christianity and Judeo-Christian morality are now being systematically dismantled by the modern amoral agenda of atheistic liberalism and are being replaced by unjust and unbiblical laws that are already producing abhorrent outcomes including but not limited to the lawful ending of the lives of the disabled, elderly and mentally ill, the systematic murder of unborn children up to nine months gestation and into the birth canal, selective murder of unborn children due to the determining of disabilities, the selective murder of unborn children due to determination of sex, and so on.
Perhaps instead of seeking to criticize the Torah based on ignorance we would be better to critique the modern worldview through the lens of Torah.
Copyright 2020 Yaakov Brown
If we sing “Come Holy Spirit” we have already missed the point, it is the Holy Spirit in us Who sings “Welcome Yeshua, Glory to YHVH!” To promote the Holy Spirit at the expense of the Father and the Son is to blaspheme the entire Godhead.
This chapter continues the discourse of the previous two chapters and follows Yeshua’s words “rise let us go from here.” Based on these words numerous modern scholars claim that a documentary or a redactive method was applied to compile John’s Gospel. However, later scribal manipulation is not the only explanation for why Yeshua says “rise let us go from here” and then continues His discourse through to Chapter 18 of John’s Gospel where Yeshua and His disciples are said to have gone forth over the brook of the Kidron to Gan Shemanim (Gethsemane) [John 18:1].
The most likely explanation for the two allusions to “going” is that Yeshua following His calling of the disciples to rise and go, rose with His disciples, left the place where they had shared the meal, and then had begun to walk slowly through the narrow winding streets and alleyways of the city of Jerusalem, a rabbit warren today and certainly even more so in the first century. Therefore, as they walked through the city Yeshua continued to speak. Thus, as they neared the edge of the city Yeshua’s speech concludes, and we read in John 18:1 “When Yeshua had spoken these words He went with His disciples over the brook of the Kidron…” This quite literally means that the words spoken between chapters 14 and 18 were said on the west side of the Kidron. This does not mean that all of Yeshua’s words spanning chapters 14 to 18 were said in the home where the meal was eaten. Yeshua’s going over the Kidron is not the same as Yeshua’s leaving the home where He shared the meal with His disciples.
Therefore, Yeshua called His disciples to rise and go with Him (John 14:31), walked and talked with them as they made their way to the edge of Jerusalem and then down to where they would cross the brook of the Kidron valley, at which point Yeshua ended this section of speech and both He and the disciples “went over the brook of the Kidron to Gan Shemanim (Gethsemane)…”
What follows picks up again on the themes of Yeshua’s submission to the Father, His unity with the Father and the Spirit, the intrinsic connection between Himself and His disciples, His disciples’ relationship to each other, the disciple’s relationship to the world and a further illumination of the role and work of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit).
1“I Am, I exist (ego eimi[G], Anochiy[H]) the vine (ampelos[G], hagefen[H]) of the immutable truth (alethinos[G], haamitiyt[H]), and My Father (ho Pater[G], Aviy[H]) is the Husbandman, Tiller of the soil, Vinedresser (georegos[G], Hakoreim[H]).
In the same way that the “Servant” Messiah of Yishayahu (Isaiah 49, 52, 53 etc.) is intrinsically linked to the “Servant” Israel (Isaiah 41, 44, 48 etc.) the Vine Messiah is intrinsically linked to the vine of Israel.
Throughout the Tanakh (OT) Israel is called both the vine and the vineyard of God (Isaiah 5:1-7, 27:2-6; Jeremiah 2:21, 12:10; Ezekiel 17:5-6; Hosea 10:1; Joel 1:7; Psalm 80:8-16). Yeshua also describes the land and people of Israel as a vineyard (Matthew 21:33-43; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19). However, it is as the living manifestation of truth that the Vine Yeshua nourishes the people of God. Therefore, just as the Servant King Messiah of Isaiah comes out of and stands out as a sign to the servant people of Israel, so too the Vine Messiah comes out of and stands as a sign to the vine of Israel (ethnic, religious, chosen, empirical).
A clear and precise understanding of both the ancient vine-dressing method and the distinct language describing the process is essential to understanding this text.
First, Yeshua once again makes an inference to His present deity by saying “Anochiy” (ego eimi) I AM, thus the Vine (as a figure) is intrinsically linked to the Father God while also being distinct in its representation of Yeshua.
The Father’s role in this mashal (parable, metaphor, allegory) is that of Vinedresser, an art known in old English as vine husbandry (an appropriate title given God’s relationship to Israel). We note that the Father as Vinedresser, tills the soil and acts as a Husband to the Vine (Both Messiah & Israel). He addresses the needs of the Vine and its branches which grow from the Vine. In this allegory Yeshua is conveying the spiritual reality that those who come to God through Him grow out of Him rather than toward Him. This affirms what He has taught concerning mitzvot (outworked commands) being the fruit of His Salvation and not the means of it.
Does a branch attach itself to the Vine? Of course not! The branch is feed by and grows from the Vine. It is the same with the disciple of Yeshua redeemed by grace through faith. The disciple grows from God through Messiah. We are as incapable of attaching ourselves to the Messiah (Vine) as a branch is of attaching itself to a vine, only the Vinedresser (God) can make the graft, and once grafted we feed from the source of the Vine and bear fruit, not of ourselves but of God (the Vinedresser) through Yeshua (the Vine).
We note that Yeshua as represented by the vine is not a counterfeit vine but the true Vine or Vine of truth, of God. There are different types of vines, some look appealing but bear bitter fruit. In the case of the true Vine the fruit is sweet and robust, good for the body and soul. On the other hand the fruit of the bitter vine is like a lie, it appears to be of value but when received into the body it sickens the belly and destroys the soul. Many false Messiah’s had come and would come to Israel. Therefore, Yeshua makes it clear that He alone is the true source of life and sustenance for His people.
The mashal (parable/metaphor/allegory) of the Vine and the Vinedresser concerns the ancient first century practice of tending to the grape vine. Modern methods of vine dressing notwithstanding, there are still vinedressers throughout the world who use these same ancient methods today (in particular certain Zinfandel growers in California).
The rabbis of the Kabbalah say that the Shekinah (manifest feminine glory of God) is called Gefen (a vine) [Zohar in Exod. fol. 70. 2. & Kabbalah denudata, par. 1. p. 241.] In addition they understand Genesis 49:11 to be using “vine” to refer to the King Messiah [Zohar in Gen fol. 127. 3.].
“The sceptre shall not depart from Yehudah,
Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
Until Shiloach (the sent One) comes,
And to Him shall be the obedience of the tribes.
11 He binds his foal to the gefen (vine),
And his donkey’s colt to the sorekah (choice species of vine, “true Vine”);
He washes his garments in wine,
And his robes in the blood of grapes.
12 “His eyes are made white from wine,
And his teeth are made white from milk.” -Yishayahu (Isaiah) 49:10-12 (Author’s Translation)
The Mishnah (Oral Law) notes that there was a golden vine that stood over the gate of the temple, propped up with a specially designed structure; and whoever offered a leaf, or a grape, or a cluster, (a piece of gold offered to the temple, in the shape of a leaf, grape or cluster of grapes) would bring it as a freewill offering and attach it to the golden vine. [Mishnah. Middot, c. 3. sect. 8. Talmud Bavliy Chullin, fol. 90. 2. & Tamid, fol. 29. 1, 2. ] Josephus the Roman Jewish historian also notes the existence of such a golden vine in Herod’s temple [Antiquities of the Jews. l. 15. c. 11. sect. 3.] Suffice to say the imagery was well known to first century Jews.
2 Every individual (pas[G], kol[H]) tender, flexible branch (klema[G], sariyg[H]) in Me (biy[H]) that does not bear, carry (phero[G]) fruit (karpos[G], p’riy[H]), He lifts up, elevates, raises from the ground (airo[G]); and every individual (pas[G], kol[H]) that bears, carries (phero[G]) fruit (karpos[G], p’riy[H]), He prunes, cleans, purifies (kathairo[G]) that one, so that it may bear, carry (phero[G]) more fruit (karpos[G], p’riy[H]).
We note two very important things in the opening clause of verse 2. First, every single, flexible branch refers to the new seasonal growth on the vine and not to established vine stock or dead branches. Second, the new growth (green branches) being referred to are all “in” Yeshua. Therefore, even before we read on we already understand that the Messiah is speaking of those who are in Him and therefore already eternally secure. It is essential at this point to understand that when vines branches are green, flexible and growing in season they are NOT cut! The cutting of branches only occurs when the vine is dormant. Therefore, what is being alluded to here are the growing branches in season and not the dormant plant.
Next we see that the flexible green branches being spoken of are not yet bearing fruit. Therefore, the Vinedresser “lifts them up” or “carries them” or “raises them from the ground” (airo[G]). No ancient Vinedresser worth his salt would cut off a new branch that had been hidden under old growth and was struggling for lack of sunlight. Rather, he lifts up the branch, which has been struggling on the ground beneath the canopy of the leaves and ties it to an established branch nearer the top of the vine wear it can receive the sunlight it requires to be strengthened and produce fruit. This image denotes the strengthening of a fruitless branch by tying it to a mature branch (a lesson of discipling).
The author of the Greek text is careful to provide us with two very different Greek words to describe what happens to the vine branches. The new growth branch is airo, “lifted from the ground” while the strong fruiting stock is pruned, cleaned (kathairo) to provoke new growth, better quality fruit and more of it. The “pruning” or “cleaning” described here is not a cutting off but the removal of dead leaves and the cleaning away of moulds and compromising abrasions. As I have said, it is important to understand that the pruning is done when the vine is dormant during the winter months at the end of the season so as not to do harm to the branches, while the “lifting up” and “cleaning” (pruning) is done during the season in order to promote fruiting.
The Vinedresser does not “cut off” (a misleading English translation) the non-fruiting branches, rather He encourages them to fruit by “lifting” or “carrying” them up into the light. It is therefore, utter nonsense to say as some do, that this analogy points to the possibility that believers can lose their salvation. No one, having received Yeshua and who remains “in” Him, can ever be “cut off” from Him.
Regarding fruiting in general, newly planted fruit trees and vines take time to establish themselves in the earth. Most fruit vines will abort or fail to fruit for up to three years from planting (Leviticus 19:23). In the fourth year they will generally present their first successful harvest of fruit. Therefore, the gardener/vinedresser does not place unreasonable expectations on the plant, knowing that it requires time to establish itself. This is another important lesson for those discipling new believers.
Yeshua is speaking here of both physical and spiritual fruit. Spiritual fruit inevitably overflows into physical action (Galatians 5:22-23 fruit of the Ruach HaKodesh; Matthew 13:1-23 fruit of faith in Yeshua; Romans 6:21-22 fruit of righteousness).
3 Now already you are pruned, clean (kathairo[G]) through the word, essence, substance (ho logos[G], hadavar[H]) which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide, remain (meno[G]) in Me, and I in you. Just as the tender, flexible branch (klema[G]) cannot bear, carry (phero[G]) fruit (karpos[G], p’riy[H]) of itself unless it abides, remains (meno[G]) in the vine (ampelos[G], hagefen[H]), so neither can you unless you remain (meno[G]) in Me.
Yeshua explains to His disciples that through Himself, the Davar (Word), and by
His word God has already pruned and cleansed them. Therefore, He admonishes them to rest and abide in Him as the source of the fruit that they will inevitably bear in His Name.
It is possible that by saying “Now already you are pruned, clean through the word, essence, substance which I have spoken to you.” Yeshua is making a connection to the Torah as it applies to fruiting trees and vines in the promised land:
“And when you come into the land, and have planted numerous varieties of trees for food, then you should consider their fruit as being uncircumcised (unclean): for three years it is to be considered uncircumcised (unclean) to you: it shall not be eaten of.” -Leviticus 19:23
Therefore, the comparison is to the three years of Yeshua’s ministry which the disciples have participated in. Figuratively they were a freshly planted vine in Him at the beginning of His ministry and had been considered uncircumcised (unclean) fruit up to the point that His cleansing word had made their fruit circumcised (clean) for harvesting. That is, at the end of the three years according to the Torah allusion. Of course in counter distinction to this Yehudah (Judas Iscariot) had not stayed the course unto completion and therefore his fruit remained uncircumcised (unclean).
5 I Am, I exist (ego eimi[G], Anochiy[H]) the Vine (ampelos[G], hagefen[H]), you are the tender, flexible branches (klema[G]); the one who abides, remains (meno[G]) in Me and I in him, he bears (phero[G]) much fruit (karpos[G], p’riy[H]), for separated (choris[G]) from Me you don’t have the power (dunamai[G]) to do anything. 6 If anyone does not abide, remain (meno[G]) in Me, that one is thrown away, dropped, discarded (ballo[G]) outside (exo[G]) as a tender branch (klema[G]) that is indeed dried up (xeraino[G]); and they gather them, and into the fire (pur[G], eiysh[H]) they cast, throw away, drop, discard (ballo[G]) them and they are burned.
The branch is entirely reliant on the vine and its root system to supply all the nutrients it needs to grow strong and bear fruit. Therefore, if the branch is not connected to the vine it cannot bear fruit. We note that the branch that is thrown into the fire is not one that has been cut off by the Vinedresser but one that has become detached and is gathered up from the ground where it has dried out and become good for nothing other than the fire. This is consistent with the fact that one has to wilfully refuse God’s offer of redemption and sustenance through Yeshua in order to be burned in the spiritual fires of eternal torment. God doesn’t send people to eternal punishment, rather they choose to go there.
Once again Yehudah (Judas Iscariot) is alluded to as the branch that did not remain in the Vine and is therefore, fallen off the Vine and will be collected and thrown into the fire.
7 If you abide, remain (meno[G]) in Me, and My spoken words (rhema[G]) abide, remain (meno[G]) in you, ask whatever you desire (thelo[G]), and it will be done for you. 8 My Father (Ho Pater[G], Aviy[H]) is glorified (doxazo[G]) by this, that you bear, carry (phero[G]) much fruit (karpos[G], p’riy[H]), and become, are seen to be (ginomai[G]) My Talmidim[H] (disciples, devoted students).
This is the qualification for John 14:13, “Whatever you ask in My Name” means “If you abide, remain in Me, and My spoken words abide, remain in you, ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you.” The result is the same as is described in John 14:13, “that the Father may be glorified, extoled, celebrated, praised in the Son…”
How is the Father glorified in the Son through the disciples? It is by their fruit, seen by the fallen world. The same is true of all who believe.
9 Just as the Father (Ho Pater[G], Ha Av[H]) has entirely loved (agapao[G], aheivaniy[H]) Me, I have also entirely loved (agapao[G], ahavtiy[H]) you; abide, remain (meno[G]) in My all-encompassing love (agapao[G], ahavtiy[H]). 10 If you keep, guard (tishmeru[H]) My mitzvot[H] (commandments), you will abide, remain (meno[G]) in My all-encompassing love (agapao[G], ahavtiy[H]); just as I have kept (shamartiy[H]) My Father’s (Ho Pater[G], Ha Aviy[H]) mitzvot[H] (commandments) and abide, remain (meno[G]) in His all-encompassing love (agape[G], ahavato[H]).
The mitzvot of Yeshua are the continuation and illumination of the Torah as expressed through Yeshua’s words and ministry, and the mitzvot of the Father which Yeshua has guarded and practiced are both the Torah and the direct instruction of the Father concerning Yeshua’s redemptive purpose. Therefore, for the disciples the miztvot of Yeshua transform their understanding of punitive law into an understanding of the law of freedom in Messiah (Yaakov[James] 1:25).
Yeshua’s instruction is simple, “Hear, listen, receive and comprehend Israel, YHVH our God YHVH is echad (One). Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength and all your mind; and love your neighbour as you love yourself… Love one another as I have loved you…” There is perfect continuity in Yeshua’s words. The Torah has pointed to Yeshua (its Author) and He has in turn revealed Instruction where Law was once seen. He has revealed the Father, Shepherd of Shepherds, with His crook and staff, come to lead and guide, discipline and nurture His sheep.
All this is born of the fact that the Holy God has entirely loved the Son and the Son has entirely loved us, and now we are tasked to choose to remain in Him and entirely love one another.
We are reminded that love produces obedience and that obedience is our response to love and not the means by which we earn it.
11 These utterances (laleo[G]) I have spoken (dibartiy[H]) to you so that My joy (chara[G], simchatiy[H]) may be in you, and that your joy (chara[G], simchatechem[H]) may be made full (pleroo[G]). 12 “This is My mitzvatiy[H] (commandment), that you entirely love (agapao[G], tehehavun[H]) one another, just as I have entirely loved (agapao[G], ahavtiychem[H]) you.
Yeshua makes a clear distinction between the Torah[H], mitzvot[H], rhema[G], and the intimate spoken utterances (laleo[G]) that He has spoken directly to His disciples. This discourse spanning five chapters of John’s Gospel is an intimate relational pep talk intended for His trusted few close friends. While it is accessible to all who believe it is first and foremost spoken for the edification of the twelve (-1).
The purpose of Yeshua’s utterances to the disciples is so that His transcendent joy might be in them and that they, having understood why He has told them these things in advance would live to see the fullness of that same joy manifest within time and space.
To His mitzvot (plural) Yeshua confirms His mitzvah “Mitzvatiy” (singular): “Entirely love one another just as I have entirely loved you.”
13 Greater (mega[G], rabah[H]) love (agape[G], ahavah[H]) has no one than this, that a certain one (tis[G]) lay down, gift (hanotein[H]) his life breath, soul (psuche[G], nafsho[H]) in behalf (huper[G]) for his beloved friends (philos[G], yediydayn[H]). 14 You are My beloved friends (philos[G], yediyday[H]) if you do what I command (entellomai[G], mitzaveh[H]) you.
Most English translations are misleading here. They make this phrase sound like a universal idiom or general life coach. It is not. The Greek text in particular is very precise, saying “a certain one” and not “one”. Furthermore, the certain individual in question lays down his life for his friends (plural), often mistakenly rendered in the singular by English translations presuming an idiomatic application rather than a phrase pertaining to a specific individual. Therefore, we correctly read “Greater love has no one than this, that a certain one lay down, gift his life, breath, soul for his friends.” Yeshua is not teaching a general principal but is speaking specifically about His coming sacrificial death. His friends are defined as those who obey Him. This is why He goes on to say:
15 No longer do I call you bond servants (doulos[G], avadiym[H]), for the bond servant (doulos[G], haeved[H]) does not see, perceive (eido[G]yodeia[H]) what his lord (kurios[G], Adonayu[H]) is doing; but I have called each of (pas[G]) you a beloved friend (philos[G], yediyday[H]), for all things that I have heard, received, applied (akouo[G]shama’tiy[H]) from My Father (Ho Pater[G], Ha Aviy[H]) I have made known (gnorizo[G], hoda’tiy[H]) to you.
While the disciples may have heeded Yeshua’s call to service three years prior, they had now been cleansed by His word and had become dearly loved friends. Following His death, resurrection and ascension the disciples will become Yeshua’s brothers and sons of God (Romans 8:14-17; Galatians 3:27-4:8). Thus the progression from servants to friends to brothers. From within time and space the adoption as children of God and therefore brothers and sisters to Messiah could not happen until after His death and resurrection. This is why at this point Yeshua calls them friends rather than brothers and sisters.
We note that Yeshua had made known to the disciples all that He had received from the Father up to that point. As we would expect of our perfect Redeemer, Yeshua was a transparent Leader of impeccable integrity. The Greek says “known” (gnorizo) rather than “seen” (eido) because the knowledge has been revealed, received and become all-encompassing as a result of the disciples having seen (eido) the living Messiah.
16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and set you in place (tithemi[G]) so that you would go and bear fruit (karpos[G], p’riy[H]), and that your fruit (karpos[G], p’riy[H]) would abide, remain (meno[G]), so that whatever you ask of the Father (Ho Pater[G], Ha Av[H]) in My name (bishmiy[H]) He may give (yitein[H]) to you.
“You did not choose Me” does not mean the disciples had no choice in the matter but that they did not initiate the choosing. In other words, He chose them and they had to choose to accept Him. Having being chosen they chose to be predestined. This does not teach predestination over freewill but predestination and freewill.
“I chose you” means both “I physically searched you out and chose you, asking you to follow me in person” and “I chose you before the creation of the world”. To deny either is to be devoid of the revelation of the Ruach HaKodesh.
Yeshua chose them for a purpose, “so that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would abide, remain so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”
Yeshua’s choosing of His disciples was contrary to the rabbinical custom where disciples would seek out a rabbi and not the other way around.
“If you wish to make yourself a Rav (great rabbi/ great one), choose yourself a lord and become his pupil (companion)” -R. Yoshuah ben Perachiah, (said to be the master of Yeshua of Natzeret), Pirke Avot (Wisdom of the Fathers), c. 1. sect. 6. [Ganz Tzemach David, fol. 24. 2.]
"He has chosen me, and I have chosen Him:'' -Song of Songs 2:16 Praphrase Zohar in Exod. fol. 9. 1.
17 This I command (entellomai[G], mitzaveh[H]) you, that you entirely love (agapao[G], tehehavun[H]) one another. 18 “If this world (ho kosmos[G], haolam[H]) pursues you with hatred (miseo[G]), you know, have learned (ginosko[G]deu[H]) that it has pursued Me with hatred (miseo[G]) before you.
The disciples had witnessed the way the world had treated Yeshua and were to see yet greater proof of the world’s hatred toward Him. Therefore, Yeshua warned them to expect trouble. A true follower of Yeshua will be pursued by the hatred of those bound to the fallen world. There is a certain comfort in understanding this. Rather than presuming a life devoid of hatred and harm we are admonished to expect it and understand why it’s happening.
19 If you were of this world (ho kosmos[G], haolam[H]), this world (ho kosmos[G], haolam[H]) would have filial love for (phileo[G]) you as its own; but because you are not of this world (ho kosmos[G], haolam[H]), but I chose you out of this world (ho kosmos[G], haolam[H]), because of this, the present world (ho kosmos[G], haolam[H]) pursues you with hatred (miseo[G]).
We see that the disciples and indeed all who follow Yeshua are no longer of the fallen world. The evidence is in the fact that the fallen world sees no filial (family) connection to them. Therefore, because Yeshua has chosen His followers and lifted them out of filial connection to the sin affected world, the sin affected world detests them as being aliens living among the inhabitants of the fallen creation. Thus, following Yeshua’s resurrection, the Father will recognize the followers of Yeshua as sons and daughters of God. Therefore, our filial (family) connection is no longer to the first Adam but through the last Adam (Yeshua).
The Talmud teaches something similar in its distinguishing of the wise men as set apart from anashiym l’olam “men of the world” (Talmud. Bavliy. Kiddushin, fol. 80. 2.).
20 Remember this word, essence, substance (logos[G], davar[H]) that I said to you, ‘A bond servant (doulos[G], haeved[H]) is not greater than his lord (kurios[G], Adonayu[H]) [John 13:16].’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept, guarded, attended to (tereo[G]) My word, substance, essence (kurios[G], Adonayu[H]) they will keep, guard, attend to (tereo[G]) yours also.
Part of what it means to recognize that a servant is never greater than his lord is to understand that to whatever degree the lord was persecuted the servant will also suffer persecution, and in turn, those not a part of the servant’s group who none the less honoured the teaching of the servant’s lord, will also honour the teaching of the servant. This means that the disciples can expect both persecution and honour. They will be the sweet fragrance of salvation to those being saved and the stench of death to those being lost (2 Corinthians 2:15).
21 But all these things they will do to you through (dia[G]) the Name (onoma[G]) of Me, because they do not see, perceive (eido[G]) the One who sent Me.
Most English translations read “these things they will do because of My Name” meaning, because the people of the world hate Yeshua’s Name and teaching they will show the same hatred toward His disciples. This is qualified by the last clause which says “because they do not see the One Who sent Me.” However, the Greek literally says “these things they will do through the Name of Me, because they do not see the One Who sent Me.” Meaning, people claiming to act in Yeshua’s Name will persecute the true followers of Yeshua.
This is exactly what happen by the turn of the first century CE when the then predominantly Gentile Christian Church began to make it difficult for Jewish believers to maintain Jewish identity within the body of believers. Subsequently the same kind of persecution has been a mainstay of the political Christian Church throughout the centuries and is at present manifest in the mainstream evangelical, charismatic and orthodox Church (as well as the Roman Catholic, Eastern and Greek Orthodox Church) in the form of Continuationism (the latest version of Replacement Theology).
Communities like our own (Beth Melekh) are disliked equally by Orthodox Jews and Continuationist Christians.
22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have retained their sin, missing the mark of God’s holiness (hamartia[G]), but now they have no sacrifice upon the face of their sin (elta al apay chtiythuvn[A]).
This concerns those who were a part of the generation who witnessed Yeshua’s ministry in person and rejected Him. As a result they are without means of covering for sin because of their disbelief. Of course sin is always without excuse, which is why the Aramaic text reads “now they have no sacrifice upon the face of their sin” rather than “they are without excuse…”
23 He who pursues Me with hatred (miseo[G]), hates My Father (Aviy[H]) also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have retained their sin, missing the mark of God’s holiness (hamartia[G]); but now they have both seen and pursued Me with hatred (miseo[G]) and have hated My Father (Aviy[H]) also.
This is extremely significant for Jewish people. One of the central prayers of our Rosh Hashanah service acknowledges God as Avinu Malkeinu (Our Father, Our King). Yeshua is saying, “Those who hate Me hate YHVH!”
25 But to fulfil the word, essence, substance (logos[G], davar[H]) in the Tanakh (Torah)[H] (nomos[G], Law) that belongs to them (autos[H]), ‘They hated Me without a cause.’ [Psa. 35:19; 69:5(4)]
Numerous English versions needlessly infer separation between the Tanakh and Yeshua by translating this verse as “So is fulfilled the word written in their Scripture”. While this is technically correct it is none the less extremely misleading. Yeshua intends to convey the fact that the Scripture belongs to the Jewish people both believing and unbelieving because God has given them the Scriptures as a gift to be shared with the nations. This is why Rav shaul Hashaliach says “for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29). Therefore, we better translate “But to fulfil the word, essence, substance in the Tanakh that belongs to them.” Note that “the Word (Davar) in the Tanakh belongs to them.” Yeshua is the Davar (Word, Essence, Substance).
The quote is from Psalms 35:19 and 69:5(4). Therefore, as is the case today, Torah (nomos[G]) is sometimes used to denote the wider body of inspired Hebrew Scripture. To “hate without cause” is the ultimate indictment in that every opportunity had been given for those disbelievers to believe and turn in love to God through Yeshua.
26 “As soon as the Helper, One Who stands alongside (parakletos[G]) comes, Whom I will send to you from the Father (Ho Pater[G], HaAv[H]), that is the Spirit, Breath, Wind (Ha Ruach[H]) of truth (Emet[H]) Who proceeds from the Father (Ho Pater[G], HaAv[H]), He will testify, bear witness (martureo[H]) about Me, 27 and you will testify, bear witness (martureo[H]) also, because you have been with Me from the beginning, origin, head (arche[G], rosh[H]).
The Ruach HaKodesh will be sent by Yeshua from the Father. It is important to note that the Ruach HaKodesh has a specific role as the Spirit of the Father and the Son with us. He is the Helper Who comes alongside in support of us and dwells within us through Yeshua. He proceeds from the Father to testify to and bear witness of the Son.
The Ruach HaKodesh does not seek glory for Himself any more than the Son sought glory for Himself. Rather the Ruach HaKodesh seeks to bring glory to and testify about the Son. This challenges the theology of many modern Christian denominations who insist on making a mantra out of chanting or calling on the Name of the Holy Spirit. The only place in Scripture where God instructs us to invoke the Name of the Holy Spirit is in the tevilah (immersion) of believers, immersed into the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). Note the order and role of each distinct and unified person of the Godhead.
King David speaks to the Father of the Holy Spirit in Psalm 51:11 but does not call on the Holy Spirit. Isaiah speaks of the Holy Spirit but does not call on the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 57:15; 63:10-11). John the Immerser speaks of the Messiah immersing (baptising) with the Holy Spirit but does not call on the Holy spirit (Matthew 3:11). Yeshua warns against blaspheming the Holy Spirit (not the same as invoking the Spirit’s Name or praying to Him Matthew 12:32; Luke 12:10).The Holy Spirit is said to give the persecuted believer words to speak (Mark 13:11). Ananias is accused of lying to the manifestly present Holy Spirit of God (Acts 5:3). So we see that the Holy Spirit is present among believers both corporately and individually and that His role is to point us to the Father and the Son.
When asked how they should pray Yeshua responded to the disciples by saying “When you pray, pray this way, ‘Avinu shabashamayim (Our Father Who Dwells in the heavens…)” Yeshua also says “Whatever you ask in My Name” meaning that He expects we will invoke His Name in prayer. However, He never teaches us to pray in the Name of the Holy Spirit or to invoke the Spirit’s Name. Here Yeshua is very clear about the role of the Spirit. He explains that the role of the Spirit is to testify to and bring one’s focus upon the Son unto the Father. Previously Yeshua has said that the Holy Spirit will bring to remembrance the things of Him (Yeshua). Tragically, those who invoke the Holy Spirit and promote His Name in repeated worship phrases are acting in direct contradiction to the role of the Holy Spirit Himself. Put simply, the Holy Spirit wants you to testify to the Name of Yeshua and give glory to the Father.
When you know that you are tasked with promoting someone else and are doing everything you can to celebrate and honour that person but those listening ignore that person and instead praise you, how do you respond? If we sing “Come Holy Spirit” we have already missed the point, it is the Holy Spirit in us Who sings “Welcome Yeshua, Glory to YHVH!” To promote the Holy Spirit at the expense of the Father and the Son is to blaspheme the entire Godhead.
If a helper has come into your home and dwells in your living room and has lived with you and helped you for many years, never leaving or forsaking you, would it not be rude to act as if He weren't already sitting beside you as a member of your family? Would it not be the height of rudeness to scream out loud "I invite You to enter" when He is right there having already long since entered? This is what we are doing when we pretend to invite the Holy Spirit to attend our worship gatherings. If you need to invite Him He is not in attendance. And yet many who do so claim that He dwells in them and see no contradiction.
We notice that in receiving the Holy Spirit we are reminded of Yeshua’s teaching and have the affirmation of His identity and Truth. As a result we do as the Spirit in us has done, testifying to others. In the context of this passage it is the disciples who are specifically tasked with the work of testimony as a result of the presence of God’s Spirit in order that those who hear might receive the truth of the Gospel from those who were present and witnessed the life and ministry of Yeshua on earth. They had been chosen to be with Him from the beginning of His ministry for this very purpose.
© Yaakov Brown 2020
“Don’t let yourselves be anxious” does not mean “You must not be anxious” or “You will not be anxious” but “Don’t continue to be anxious”. Yeshua was anxious at times (John 13:21) and yet remained sinless (Hebrews 4:15). Therefore, it’s not a sin to be anxious, rather it is a sin to make anxiety your god. In those times when we are anxious we are afforded an opportunity to place our trust in God. When we do this we come to understand that the transcendent victorious Messiah suffers with us and will overcome in us.
This chapter continues the discourse of the previous chapter and follows the troubling revelation that Yeshua will soon be denied by Kefa, and indeed by all His disciples, perhaps with the exception of Yochanan (John) the Gospel writer, who was known to the priestly court and therefore, was not challenged as to his allegiance while he sought to observe the illegal trial of Yeshua among the priests.
Yehudah the betrayer has left, and while the disciples do not understand completely they do have a good general idea of what is about to take place. Therefore, they are distraught, anxious, afraid. Yeshua understands their emotional response because He has also experienced anxiety and turmoil regarding what lies before Him. The same Greek word tarasso used to describe Yeshua’s anxious emotional response in previous chapters is used here in Yeshua’s comforting of His disciples. He speaks as one who has experienced the full gambit of human emotion and ministers comfort as only the Comforter can. This is of great importance given that part of this chapter concerns the impartation of “another Comforter”, Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit).
John 14 contains some of the most misquoted, mis-taught, misused and misapplied Scripture of the Brit HaChadashah (New Testament). Read carefully, dispense with hubris, recall the words already spoken by Yeshua, and receive Him as He is, Lord, Master, Teacher, the manifest Father, Imanu (With us) El (God). His message is offered universally but His salvation is exclusive. Only those who receive Him are reconciled to the Father. A bride cannot be married unless she accepts the proposal and says “I will”!
1“Don’t let yourselves be troubled, anxious, agitated (tarasso[G]) of the heart, core being (kardia[G], leiv[H]); believe, be persuaded, place confidence, trust (pisteuo[G], ha’amiynu[H]) in the midst of (eis[G]) the God (Ho Theos[G], BEilohim[H]), believe, be persuaded, place confidence, trust (pisteuo[G]) also in Me.
“Don’t let yourselves be anxious” does not mean “You must not be anxious” or “You will not be anxious” but “Don’t continue to be anxious”. Yeshua was anxious at times (John 13:21) and yet remained sinless (Hebrews 4:15). Therefore, it’s not a sin to be anxious, rather it is a sin to make anxiety your god. In those times when we are anxious we are afforded an opportunity to place our trust in God. When we do this we come to understand that the transcendent victorious Messiah suffers with us and will overcome in us.
Perhaps one of the most misused Scriptures of the New Testament with regard to anxiety is Philippians 4:6. The context of Philippians 4 regards ongoing rejoicing in the Lord (Philippians 4:4) and the importance of moderation over lust and gluttony. “Let your moderation be known among all people, the Lord is at hand.” (Philippians 4:5). Thus, the anxiety, or over thinking (merimnao[G]) of Philippians 4:6 is that which results from covetousness or lust for more, rather than that which results as a genuine emotional response to difficult circumstances. Therefore, we should read:
“Don’t continue to be anxious for anything; but in everything through prayer (conversation with God) and seeking with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” -Philippians 4:6
We note that “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard the core being and mental wellbeing” of those who practice trusting God in their anxious state “through Messiah Yeshua!” (Philippians 4:7)
We further note that the anxiety the disciples are experiencing in John 14:1 is of the core being (heart). Meaning that the very foundation of their belief system is being shaken. We can surmise that the disciples may still have held out hope for the reign of the King Messiah in their time, a mighty Warrior King come to destroy the Roman Empire and set Israel free from physical oppression. The idea that Yeshua might be betrayed and subsequently killed was one that shook their worldview to the core.
Yeshua, knowing the turmoil His disciples were experiencing sought to reassure them that the stability of their core being was to be found in God the Father and the Son, and not in temporal physical redemption. Their trust was to be in the midst of God and in Yeshua even while they were experiencing anxiety and fear.
2 In the House (oikia[G], b’veiyt[H]) of My Father (Pater[G], Aviy[H]) are many (rabiym[H]) rooms, dwelling places (mone[G], m’dorot[H]); if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a specific place (topos[G], makom[H]) for you (lachem[H] Pl.).
For the Jew the House of God is none other than the Temple on Mt Moriah in Jerusalem, also known as Har Beit (Mountain House), and yes, the heavenly Temple from which the earthly Temple receives its design as a shadow of its heavenly counterpart.
In addition to this the house of one’s father was that place where a first century Jewish groom would go and, with his father’s help build an extension on to the family home, a room or rooms where he would bring is wife to live following the wedding celebration. In first century Jewish tradition the groom would seal his betrothal to a bride with a bride price and then depart to his father’s home to make preparations for the coming wedding. The betrothal period usually spanned one year and once the room was added to the father’s house and all had been prepared with regard to income and ongoing provision the groom would return to the bride’s village at an unannounced time, usually at night, with lamps and music and rejoicing in order to receive his bride and return with her household to the father’s home for the wedding celebration and subsequent feasting.
Therefore, the disciples understood “The House of My Father” to represent both the Temple of HaShem and a mashal (figure) concerning the common dwelling of an earthly Jewish father. When they heard Yeshua speak this way it must have invoked thoughts of the betrothal custom and thoughts of belonging in the Temple of God as priests, something that they had been cleansed for in the previous chapter (washing of the feet). Yeshua was assuring them of the priesthood He had conferred upon them and of their relationship to God as His bride. Something that Israel had understood from ancient times.
It is important to understand that Yeshua says these words to the disciples. These words apply to all who believe only as an outworking of the fact that those who receive the disciple of Messiah receive Messiah. First and foremost these words intend something very specific. Yeshua has a particular dwelling and role in mind when He speaks of preparing a place for His disciples. The Disciples of Yeshua will one day judge the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt. 19:28).
“You are those who have stood by Me in My trials; 29 and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you 30 that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” -Luke 22:28-30 NASB
By extension these words apply to all who believe and bring comfort to those who place their trust in God and His Messiah Yeshua. We note that Yeshua has gone to prepare a specific place, room, for each one of us and has also gone to prepare a collective room which He and the Father have built to house all who believe as the culmination and perpetual outworking of Yeshua’s betrothal to the community of believers both Jew and Gentile. This does not negate God’s marriage to the ethnic religious Jewish people but rather fully fills it in that through Yeshua the entire remnant of Israel (ethnic religious, empirical, chosen) will be joined to Him after the fullness of the nations (Gentiles/non-Jews) have come to faith (Romans 11:25-29).
Our rabbis share in common with Yeshua the belief in mansions/rooms prepared for the righteous in the Olam Haba (World to come):
"says R. Isaack, how many מדורין על מדורין, "mansions upon mansions", are there for the righteous in that world? and the uppermost mansion of them all is the love of their Lord.'' -Zohar in Deut. fol. 113. 1.
"in the world to come every righteous man shall have מדור, "a mansion", to himself.''
-Praefat ad Sepher Raziel, fol. 2. 1. Nishmat Chayim, fol. 26. 2. & 27. 1.
3 And provided (ean[G]) I transfer, carry over, lead over, depart (poreuomai[G]) and prepare a specific place (topos[G], makom[H]) for you, I will come again and join you (paralambano[G]) to Myself, in order that where I am, exist, am present, manifest (eimi ego[G]), you also will be. 4 And where I bring under, lead under, depart to (hupago[G]) you see, perceive (eido[G]) the way (ha-derek[H]).”
“I will come again and join you to myself” This is the language of marriage, the uniting of groom and bride. Therefore, unless the groom goes and prepares the dwelling in the father’s house, there will be no room in which the marriage can be consummated, no promise of security for the bride. In terms of first century Jewish custom this would make the marriage a farce (which would have been considered abhorrent). Every marriage is consummated by the shedding of blood (the hymen of the bride), and is therefore a covenant entered into by the groom, which is received by the bride. Thus, Yeshua is joined to His bride by paying the bride price in His own blood and breaking the blood barrier (hymen) of death so that the womb of His wife might bear life.
With regard to the ancient Jewish betrothal rite a Ketubah (marriage document) is given by the groom to the bride as a promise of His commitment to provide for her in every way, through food, housing, clothing, emotional, mental and physical security etc. It is worth noting that in the ancient rite the bride gives the groom no such document, her role is simply one of acceptance of the ketubah. This means that the responsibility for maintaining security for the bride is entirely that of the groom. In this we see the Gospel manifest. Salvation is reliant on Yeshua Himself in God alone, we receive this salvation through faith, acceptance, trust, not by our promising to provide security for Yeshua but in His promising to provide security for us.
NB: For more information on how the ancient Jewish betrothal and marriage rites figuratively convey the Gospel please read my article on the subject: https://www.bethmelekh.com/yaakovs-commentary---15081497151214931513-1497150615111489/eternal-security-in-the-ancient-jewish-art-of-betrothal-marriage
“And where I bring under, lead under, depart to, you see and perceive of the way.” The disciples do not yet fully understand or know (ginosko[G]) the way but they quite literally see and are beginning to perceive (eido[G]) Ha Derek (The Way). Yeshua is going toward the fulness of all things and ultimately toward the marriage between God and redeemed humanity. By dying on the cross, resurrecting and ascending and by returning, He is become the Way.
5 Toma[H] (Thomas, twin) said to Him, “Lord (Kurios[G], Adonay[H]), we do not see, perceive (eido[G]) where You are going, how are we able (dunamai[G]) to see, perceive (eido[G]) the way (ha-derek[H])?” 6 Yeshua[H A] (YHVH Saves, Joshua) said to him, “I am, I exist (ego eimi[G], Anochiy[H]) the way (ho hodos[G], ha-derek[H]), and the absolute truth (ho aletheia[G], ha-Emet[H]), and the life, living, perpetual existence (ho zoe[G], ha-chayiym[H]); no one comes to the Father (ho Pater[G], ha-Av[H]) except through Me.
“Yeshua said to him, “I am, I exist, the way, and the absolute, truth, and the life, living, perpetual existence; no one comes to the Father except through Me.””
This is perhaps the most difficult declaration for unbelievers and universalists to accept. I have heard many who claim to be followers of Yeshua say that Messianic/Christian faith is one of inclusivity. They are tragically wrong. Our faith is the most exclusive faith in the world and as a true faith is the most despised. The Gospel welcomes all but the outworking of the same Gospel is exclusive. We believe with absolute faith that no one can be reconciled to right relationship with God except through Yeshua and we believe it based on Yeshua’s testimony. Anyone who denies this fact does so by the spirit of anti-Messiah (antichrist). There is but One Way to God and He is that One sent from God, Yeshua the King Messiah, Ha Derek. This is one of the reasons that the early Jewish followers of Yeshua were called by the Jewish sectarian name of Ha Derek (Acts 9:2)
“Aniy haderek v’haemet v’hachayiym…”
“Derek” the Hebrew word for “way” is used for the first time in Torah in Bereishit (Genesis) 3:24 to refer to “the way” that enables access to Eitz hachayiym (the Tree of Living).
“So HaShem drove out the man (by extension humanity) and He placed at the east of the garden (of Eden) Kerubiym (Mighty Approachers of Blessing) and a flaming sword that turned in every direction to guard ha derek (the way) to Eitz hachayiym (the Tree of Living).” -Bereishit (Genesis) 3:24 [Authors translation]
Note that following humanity’s choice to sin the Way (to sinless existence in the presence of God) is guarded by Mighty Approachers of Blessing, and a flaming sword. The Sword is a symbol of God’s Word and the Flame is a symbol of His Spirit. In the text of John 14 the Mightiest of all Approachers of Blessing (Yeshua) has come to give His disciples, Israel, and by extension all humanity, access to the Sword (Living Word/Yeshua) and the Flame (Holy Spirit) so that we might t’shuva return to God and dwell with Him forever. Thus, the Guardian of the Way has become the Way.
Put simply in our decision to sin we lost access to perpetual living, the way to life was kept from us because the blood of animals was insufficient to atone for us perpetually, an all existing blood was required to atone for the sin and death that had been allowed to enter the creation. Therefore, Yeshua is saying that He is the Way and that by His eternal blood He will atone for us so that we might enter into perpetual living through Him.
Throughout the Tanakh (OT) “Ha Derek” The Way of YHVH is presented as a path of righteousness lived out of love for God, a path that bears the fruit of obedience to His Torah. This is in part why Yeshua alludes to the fruit of keeping His commands (mitzvot) later in this chapter.
“Emet” Truth is first mentioned in the Torah when Avraham’s servant Eliezer worships YHVH due to His Mercy and Truth. By walking in the way of YHVH Eliezer was Divinely led to his lord’s family and a bride for Itzchaak (Genesis 24:27). Truth and Mercy are intrinsically linked as attributes of God.
"Moses and his law are the truth"; - Talmud Bavliy Bava Bathra. fol. 74. 1. Bemidbar Rabba, fol. 223. 2.
If the rabbis truly believe this then they must accept Yeshua Whom God announces to Moses, and Moses in turn records the words in the Torah (Devarim/Deut. 18:15-18).
“Chayiym” Living (Life perpetual) is in the intense plural form and means “perpetual living” rather than life (singular) finite. Yeshua is not just saying He gives life but that He is the living essence of all things. He is life everlasting. Those who receive Him do not receive a life but living perpetual and eternal. The Hebrew chayah (life) is first used in the Torah in Genesis 1:20 where it is used in conjunction with the Hebrew nefesh (soul, person, creature, passion, mind, being). Therefore, there is an intrinsic connection between life and person, soul life in this world and perpetual life through relationship in the Olam Haba (world to come).
Ultimately Yeshua is referring to a metaphysical (not non-physical but physical in a transcendent sense convergent with spirit) spiritual life described by the Tanakh (OT) as “the Spirit of YHVH”, “the Spirit of Wisdom”, “the Spirit of Understanding”, “the Spirit of Counsel”, “the Spirit of Might”, “the Spirit of Knowledge”, “the Spirit of the fear (awe) of YHVH” (Isaiah 11:2).That is, found in the attributes of the sevenfold Spirit of God (Rev. 1:4; 3:1). Subsequently the life lived in the Spirit of Yeshua is a life that produces the fruit of obedience and of love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
7 If you (plural) had known (ginosko[G], y’da’tem[H]) Me, you would have known My Father (Pater mou [G], Aviy[H]) also; from now on you know (ginosko[G], y’da’tem[H]) Him, and have seen, become acquainted with, experienced (horao[G]) Him.”
In one sense Yeshua seems to be saying that if the disciples had properly accepted the guidance of the physical signs present in Yeshua, that they would have easily recognized that He was Imanu El (God with them), the Father.
Now, Yeshua is empowering them to see in a transcendent way that He and the Father are echad (a complex unity). In this context the Greek “ginosko” infers relational knowledge learned through experience, acquaintance and seeing beyond a person’s physical being and into the heart (core being). In this case the person is Yeshua, Who is the Father God manifest with the disciples as the Son.
8 Philippos (friend of horses) said to Him (Yeshua), “Lord (Kurios[G], Adonay[H]), show us the Father (ho Pater[G], ha-Av[H]), and it will give us unfailing strength (arkeo[G]).”
It’s clear from Philip’s response that he (and probably the disciples’ as a whole) was still not quite comprehending Yeshua. We note that Philip seeks a proof that will result in “unfailing strength”. Many of us seek irrefutable empirical proof of God even while God manifests His person right in front of us, and if God by His grace gives us an immutable evidence we none the less have a propensity for quickly forgetting it when our circumstances change.
Yeshua has and will give His disciples irrefutable proof of His divinity and the redemptive purposes of God. However, doubt must remain while the fallen world remains because without doubt there is no faith. This is why Rav Shaul says “These three remain: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13) Faith is needed only so long as we await the Olam Haba (world to come), and hope is needed only so long as we are looking forward to Messiah’s return and life in the Olam Haba. But Love is eternal, defined by God Himself, and therefore, in the Olam Haba we will love but we will no longer have need of faith and hope because we will be experiencing the fullness of all that we hoped for and placed our trust in.
9 Yeshua[H A] (YHVH Saves, Joshua) said to him, “I have been with you all this time, and yet you have not come to intimately know (ginosko[G]) Me, Philippos (friend of horses)? He who has seen, become acquainted with, experienced (horao[G]) Me has seen, become acquainted with, experienced (horao[G]) the Father (ho Pater[G], ha-Av[H]); how can you say, ‘Show us the Father (ho Pater[G], ha-Av[H])’?
Essentially, while this may sound like a rebuke, it is in fact the equivalent of saying, “Philip, you disciples have been with Me and have observed My actions, witnessed My character, heard My words, and seen My signs. You already know that I and the Father are one. So why ask to see Him Whom you already see?”
Speaking of Yeshua, Rav Shaul says:
“For all the fullness of Deity lives bodily in Him, and in Him you have been filled to fullness. He is the head over every ruler and authority.” -Colossians 2:9-10 TLV
10 Do you not believe, trust (pisteuo[G], ma’amiyn[H]) that I am (Ego[G], Anochiy[H]) in the Father (ho Pater[G], v’Aviy[H]), and the Father (ho Pater[G], v’Aviy[H]) is in Me? The spoken words (rhema[G]) that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father (ho Pater[G], v’Aviy[H]) abiding in Me outworks His occupation, business (ergon[G]).
Once again Yeshua explains that He speaks of the Father as One submitted to the Father. In short, anything asked in Yeshua’s Name is asked of the Father. Yeshua is God with us and thus, being that God cannot be outside of Himself, Yeshua submits Himself to the Father.
11 Believe, trust, be persuaded of (pisteuo[G], ha’amiynu[H]) Me that I am in the Father (ho Pater[G], v’Aviy[H]) and the Father (ho Pater[G], v’Aviy[H]) is in Me; otherwise believe, trust, be persuaded (pisteuo[G], ha’amiynu[H]) because of the outworking of the occupation, business (ho ergon[G]) itself.
While it is true to say that the signs Yeshua performed point to His redemptive work, that is not entirely what He means when He says “otherwise believe, trust, be persuaded because of the outworking of the occupation, business itself.” For the full outworking regards the death, resurrection, and ascension which is yet to come (from the disciples’ perspective). It is not individual signs and wonders that Yeshua is exhorting them to be persuaded by but “the outworking of the occupation” of God Himself.
12 Amen[H] [G]Amen[H] [G] (B’emet[H], B’emet[H]), In truth, In truth, It’s certain, it’s certain, I (Aniy[H]) say to you, he who believes, trusts, is persuaded (pisteuo[G], ha’ma’amiyn[H]) in Me, the outworking of the occupation, business (ho ergon[G]) that I enact, he will enact also; and something greater (megas[G]) than these he will do; because I go to the Father (ho Pater[G], Aviy[H]).
Far too many foolish Christian theologians and Bible teachers use this verse to support the claim that believers can do greater miraculous signs than Yeshua. Not only does this misrepresent the text and its context, it is also the height of hubris and is tantamount to blasphemy of the most vile kind.
First of all, “No servant is greater than his Lord” (John 13:16; 15:20).
Second, the text does NOT say that “the one who trusts in Me will do the works I do and will do works greater than these”, but “the one who trusts in Me will emulate My works and will do something greater than these works, because I go to the Father.”
Note that the “something greater” is greater than works, miracles, signs, wonders. It is also qualified by the fact that Yeshua must first go to the Father. Before Yeshua ascended to the Father He gave His disciples this command:
“go and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…” -Matthew 28:19-20 (Author’s translation)
Note that He did NOT say, “go and do greater miraculous signs than I have done…”
To the contrary, the “something greater” Yeshua is referring to in John 14:12 is that which the miraculous signs He performed pointed to, that is, that He is the Way, the Truth and the Perpetual Living. Therefore, the “something greater” which the one who believes in Yeshua will do is to spread the Gospel to all nations. It is NOT to perform greater miracles. What good are miracles devoid of Salvation and discipleship? More importantly, temporal healing and signs will never be greater than eternal wholeness. The purpose of miracles is to point to Someone greater, and not to manifest something greater by our own hand. Our foolish modern Christian teachers have taught us that we are superheroes, while neglecting to remind us that superheroes are the progeny of Greek gods and are a modern reflection of ancient idolatry. Neither we nor the world have need of heroes. Our greatest need is a Saviour, Deliverer, Redeemer, and Righteous Ruler. If you want to participate in the “greater” thing, remind yourself that a servant is never greater than his Lord, and that the greatest gift of God is Yeshua the Miracle Maker, and not miracles themselves.
13 Whatever you ask in My Name (bishmiy[H]), that will I do, so that the Father (ho Pater[G], Ha-Av[H]) may be glorified, extoled, celebrated, praised (doxazo[G]) in the Son (ho uihos[G], bub’no[H]). 14 If you ask Me anything in My Name (bishmiy[H]), I will do it.
Once again, this verse has been widely mis-taught and misused to validate ungodly prayer demands in place of godly prayer requests.
The key to understanding this verse is to read and comprehend the first clause, “Whatever you ask IN MY NAME”. “In My Name” means “In My Character”, “In My Will”, “In My Identity”, “In My Purposes”, “In My eternal perspective” and so on. The prerequisite to receiving anything asked for in Yeshua’s Name is that the thing asked for is “In His will”, “According to His purposes” etc. Therefore, the foolish modern Christian practice of praying prayers like “We claim the healing over this brother in Jesus Name”, or “We demand a breakthrough for the finances of this Church in Jesus Name” and the affirmations that follow prayers such as these, “We have agreed in Jesus Name brother, He will do it according to His promise in John 14:13-14”, and so on, are often nothing more than sinful and presumptuous Pride!
What is the purpose of asking things in His Name? “so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” What if it is not to God’s glory to heal in certain circumstances? What if it is not God’s will to prosper a Church financially? What if suffering is sometimes the will of God? When we pray presumptuously in Yeshua’s Name we are committing blasphemy. When we demand that God heal we are not showing our faith but rather our pride, fear, and our temporal perspective.
So what does it mean to “ask anything… in His Name”? It means, to ask His will, purpose, direction, and to pray accordingly together. And for what purpose? For temporal healing? For financial gain? For a show of faith? No! “so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
I am NOT saying we should not pray for miraculous healing or for manifest signs that point people to salvation. To the contrary, I am saying we should pray for those miraculous healings and signs that are according to God’s will and for the purpose of glorifying the Father and the Son so that salvation might come to the lost and make way for the reconciliation of the children of God.
Next time you pray, rather than making demands, try asking in humility; rather than presuming what God wants, try seeking His direction; rather than looking only to resolve the problems faced in temporal circumstances, try receiving God’s eternal perspective and walking in it.
15 “If you entirely love (agapao[G], ahav’tem[H]) Me, you will keep, guard (tishmoru[H]) My commandments (entole[G], mitzvotiy[H]).
Some commentators attribute as many as 1,050 commands of the Brit HaChadashah (NT) to Yeshua (Dake’s ref. Bible). While some may be considered contextually as being specifically for Jewish believers, most are consistent with the moral law of the Torah which applies to all human beings. Therefore, believers are not saved through Yeshua in order to break the commandments (mitzvot) but are empowered by the Spirit of God to live out righteousness from within as those who are born of the goal of the Torah, that is Yeshua Himself. This is one of the many reasons that Yeshua refers to Himself as “the Way”. Put simply as an example, we are free but we are not free to murder. In Messiah Yeshua we are free to do anything except that which returns us to bondage.
16 And I (v’Aniy[H]) will ask the Father (ho Pater[G], Ha-Av[H]), and He will give you another Helper, Comforter, Consoler, one to stand alongside (Parakletos[G]), that He may abide, dwell, remain (meno[G]) with you forever, into the unending age (aion[G]);
Note that God will give “another” Comforter. Meaning Yeshua is a Comforter (Menachem). Also, the Comforter that will stand alongside every believer will be with us forever.
Interestingly the Pirke Avot says:
פרקליט אחד, ενα παρακλητον,"one advocate", or "comforter"; and he that transgresses one command, gets for himself one accuser.'' -Pirke Abot, c. 4. sect. 11.
17 that is the Spirit, Breath, Wind (Ruach[H]) of absolute truth (aletheia[G], emet[H]), Whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see (theoreo[G]) Him or know (ginosko[G]) Him, but you know (ginosko[G]) Him because He abides, dwells, remains (meno[G]) with you and will be in you.
The Spirit of God is at this time present with them in Yeshua but does not yet dwell within them. Therefore, “you know Him because He abides, dwells, remains with you and will be in you.” Only those who receive Yeshua can receive the Spirit of the Father and the Son.
It’s worth noting that one of the names that our rabbis attribute to the King Messiah is Menachem (Comforter):
“What is his (Messiah) name?... :His name is Menachem the son of Hezekiah, since it is written, ‘Because Menachem (a comforter) that could receive my soul, is far from me’ (Lamentations 1:16).” - Talmud Bavliy Sanhedrin, fol. 98. 2. Echa Rabbati, fol. 50. 2.
18 “I will not leave you fatherless, orphans, alone (orphanos[G]); I will come to you.
It was customary among our rabbis to speak of the passing of righteous spiritual leaders as being like a father leaving orphans in his wake.
Concerning Rabbi Simeon ben Yochai, Rav Aba and others have said:
"woe to the world when thou shall go out of it, woe to the generation that shall be in the world when thou shall remove from them, וישתארון יתמין, "and they shall be left fatherless by thee".'' -Zohar in Num fol. 96. 3. & in Lev. fol. 42. 3. & in Exod. fol. 10. 3. & 28. 3. יתום, "fatherless by thee".'' -Midrash Hannealam in Zohar in Gen. fol. 65. 4.
19 After a short time the world (kosmos[G], haolam[H]) will no longer see (theoreo[G]) Me, but you will see (theoreo[G]) Me; because I live (zao[G], chay[H]), you will live (tichyun[H]) also. 20 In that day (hemera[G], bayom[H]) you will know (ginosko[G]) that I am in My Father (Aviy[H]), and that you are in Me, and I in you.
Yeshua will leave them to die and rise again and thereafter to ascend to the right hand of the Father. However, He will not leave His followers as orphans devoid of a Father. To the contrary, while in His metaphysical resurrected body He will physically ascend to the Father and no longer be seen by those who do not know Him, however in the Spirit He will never leave or forsake His disciples because He and the Father will pour out the Spirit of the Father and the Son into the disciples (Acts 2). Therefore, those who receive Yeshua will always see Him in a spiritual sense, while those who reject Him will not see Him and will therefore despise His existence and identity.
21 He who has My commandments (entole[G], mitzvotay[H]) and guards, keeps (shomeir[H]) them is the one who entirely loves (agapao[G], ye’ehavaniy[H]) Me; and the one who entirely loves (agapao[G], v’ohaviy[H]) Me will be entirely loved (agapao[G], ahuv[H]) by My Father (Aviy[H]), and I will entirely love (agapao[G], ohaveihu[H]) that one and will appear to, declare, show, manifest (emphanizo[G]) Myself to that person.”
The keeping of commandments that results from relationship with God in Yeshua is the evidence of love for Yeshua. We must be careful to note that Yeshua does not say “You must keep My commands in order to prove you love Me…” Rather, He says “He who has My commandments and guards, keeps them is the one who entirely loves Me.” The keeping of Yeshua’s commands is the evidence of love and not the purchase price. The former is faith that bears the fruit of works, whereas the latter is bondage through law keeping and vain religion.
Righteous acts are the evidence of right relationship in God. They are not the means of attaining it.
22 Yehudah (praise: not Iscariot) said to Him, “My Lord (kurios[G], Adoniy[H]), what then has happened that You are going to appear to, declare, show, manifest (emphanizo[G]) Yourself to us and not to the world (ho kosmos[G], haolam[H])?”
There were two disciples named Yehudah (Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13).
The answer that follows declares what will happen in order for Yeshua to show Himself to the disciples and not to the world. Of course Yehudah’s question is worded correctly, though He could not possibly know it, for from the perspective of God what will happen has already happened.
23 Yeshua[H A] (YHVH Saves, Joshua) answered and said to him, “If anyone entirely loves (agapao[G], ye’ehavaniy[H]) Me, he will guard, keep (shomeir[H]) My word, essence, substance (logos[G], davar[H]); and My Father (Aviy[H]) will love (agapao[G], ye’ehav[H]) him, and We will come to him and make Our abode, dwelling (mone[G]) with him.
Yeshua affirms that it is through right love relationship to Him that the fruit of keeping Yeshua’s substance (davar) will give evidence of revelation. Thus, the Father revealed in the Son will come with the Son and dwell, abide, tabernacle in the believer. “I will send you (the Ruach HaKodesh) from the Father” -Yeshua (John 15:26).
24 He who does not entirely love (agapao[G], ye’ehavaniy[H]) Me does not guard, keep (shomeir[H]) My words, essence, substance (logos[G], davar[H]); and the word essence, substance (logos[G], davar[H]) which you hear, receive, understand, act on (shematem[H]) is not Mine, but the Father’s Who sent Me. 25 “These things, words (dibartiy[H]) I have spoken to you while dwelling (meno[G]) with you.
Once again it is love relationship that is key. To deny Yeshua’s offer of relationship will result in a failure to walk as Yeshua walked. Furthermore, to fail to receive right relationship in Yeshua is to fail to receive right relationship with God the Father because “the word essence, substance which you hear, receive, understand, act on is not Mine, but the Father’s Who sent Me.”
26 But the Helper, Comforter, Consoler, One who comes alongside (Parakletos[G]) Ruach HaKodesh[H] (the Holy [set apart] Spirit, Wind, Breath), Whom the Father (ho Pater[G], Ha-Av[H]) will send in My Name [character, identity, attributes etc.] (onoma[G], bishmiy[H]), He will teach (didasko[G]) you all (pas[G], kol[H]), and quietly bring to your remembrance (hupomimnēskō[G]) all that I said to you.
We note that the role of the Ruach HaKodesh is to bring to remembrance the words of Yeshua. Therefore, while there is not a hierarchy in the Godhead in any earthly sense, there is an order to the Godhead. The Father sends the Son, the Father and the Son send the Spirit, the Spirit reveals the Son, the Son reveals the Father.
27 Peace, wholeness, wellbeing (eirene[G], shalom[H]) I leave with you; My peace, wholeness, wellbeing (eirene[G], shalom[H]) I give to you; I don’t give to you as the world (ho kosmos[G], haolam[H]) gives. Do not let your heart, inner being (leiv[H]) be troubled, anxious, agitated (tarasso[G]) nor let it be fearful, timid, afraid (deiliao[G]).
Yeshua leaves Himself with them (the Spirit). His peace is given perpetually, therefore, He does not give temporarily as the fallen world gives. Yeshua’s gift of peace, wholeness and wellbeing is sinless and transcendent. All giving of the fallen world is temporary, decaying, doomed to die.
Our rabbis teach that peace given must be returned:
ליתן לו שלום, "to give him peace"; he shall prevent him with peace (i.e. salute him first), as it is said, "seek peace and pursue it"; but if he "gives" it to him, and he does not return it, he shall be called a robber.'' -Talmud Bavliy Beracot, fol. 6. 2.
28 You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will return (shuv[H]) to you.’ If you loved (ahavtem[H]) Me, you would have rejoiced (s’meichiym[H]) because I go to the Father (ho Pater[G], Ha-Av[H]), for the Father (ho Pater[G], Ha-Av[H]) is greater, larger (meizon[G], gadol[H]) than I.
“If you loved Me” can be understood to refer to the fact that the love of the disciples for Him is yet to find its fullness in His death, resurrection, ascendance and the outpouring of the Spirit.
“The Father is greater” in the sense that Yeshua as a human being and as God with us is within the Father. However, as I have said previously in another way, God is not divisible or subordinate. He is echad, One, Unique, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
29 And now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe, have faith, trust, be persuaded (pisteuo[G], ta’amiynu[H]). 30 I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler, prince of this world (sar haolam[H]) is coming, and he has, holds, possesses nothing (echo[G]) in Me;
Yeshua has privileged His disciples with the knowledge of the outcome of His death, resurrection and ascension prior to these events taking place in order that when they do take place the disciples might come to understand the meaning and purpose of them and bear witness to them.
We note that while the disciples have been told that they will receive the Son and in doing so will receive the Father and the Spirit, the “prince of the fallen world” on the other hand neither has nor is able to possess anything in Yeshua. In other words, Satan is a footnote serving God’s purposes and has so wilfully rejected God as to have purchased for himself eternal damnation by his own choosing. This affirms the fact that those who don’t receive Yeshua are children of the prince of the fallen world.
31 but so that the world (ho kosmos[G], haolam[H]) may know, be aware of, understand (ginosko[G]) that I entirely love (agapao[G], oheiv[H]) the Father (ho Pater[G], Ha-Av[H]), I do exactly as the Father charged, commanded (entellomai[G]) Me. Get up, waken, rise (egeiro[G]) let us go from here.
The last clause connects the Gospel of John with the other Gospels and their account of the Passover Seder and subsequent journey to Gethsemane. It is interesting to note that Yeshua continues to reveal Himself to the disciples over the next few chapters and that it is not until 18:1 that He is said to have gone with His disciples over the Kidron to the garden of Gethsemane.
© Yaakov Brown 2020
Showing favour to one person does not detract from one’s love for another. Only when we allow the sin affected world to influence our thoughts are we driven to become jealous of the favour bestowed on others. As true followers of Yeshua we should rejoice when we see brothers and sisters honoured, regardless of whether honour is bestowed on us.
It’s not uncommon for English translations of the Biblical text to place headers at the beginning of sections of the Bible that have what the translators or compilers consider to be a consistent or common theme. The title used by the NASB to introduce verses 21 through 38 of chapter 13 of John’s Gospel is “JESUS PREDICTS HIS DEATH”.
One can see why this title might have been chosen, and from our position within time and space we can understand the chronological value of it, however, it misrepresents both Yeshua and Hebrew prophecy. Hebrew prophecy is that which is spoken into time and space from outside of time and space where it is already perfected. Therefore, the Hebrew prophet remembers the future. Yeshua, God with us, does not predict His death, rather He memorializes it. He has already seen it completed outside of time and space. Nor do the disciples benefit from this so called “prediction” at the time, because they do not understand what He is referring to.
With these things in mind, let’s allow God’s Spirit to open our hearts and minds afresh and impart a fuller understanding of the nature and purpose of what follows.
As we examine the following verses keep in mind the connection between the washing of the disciples’ feet and the priesthood, and the admonition to walk in the all existing Light, as well as the reference to betrayal by a close friend.
“It’s certain, it’s certain, I say to you, the one who receives whomever I send receives Me; and the one who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” -John 13:20
21 When Yeshua[H A] (YHVH Saves, Joshua) had said this, He became troubled, agitated (tarasso[G]) in the (ho[G]) Spirit (pneuma[G], b’ruacho[H]), and testified and said, “Amen[H] [G]Amen[H] [G] (B’emet[H], B’emet[H]), In truth, In truth, It’s certain, it’s certain, I (Aniy[H]) say to you, indeed, that one who comes out from (ex[G]) you will betray Me, give Me into the hands of another (paradidomi[G]).” 22 The disciples (talmidim[H]) began to discern, look (blepo[G]) between one another, at a loss, embarrassed, in doubt (aporeo[G]) to know which one He was speaking of.
We note that the Greek text says “He became troubled in the Spirit” rather than in “His spirit” as many English translations render it (the Hebrew text also mistranslates it as b’ruacho in His spirit). The reality is that the Spirit of God is the Spirit of the Father and the Son, and “his spirit” is effectively synonymous with “the Spirit”. Therefore, it’s important to note that the humanity of Yeshua is convergent with the Spirit of God and that the troubling of the Spirit is shared by the Father and the Son. This is why the author chose to say ho Pneuma “the Spirit”.
The double “Amein” is once again establishing the certain outworking of God’s redemptive purpose even as it applies to allowing Satan to direct the betrayer Yehudah (Judas). We note that the betrayer “comes out from” meaning that he has determined to be separated from the disciples and their devotion to Yeshua.
As one would expect the disciples are horrified at the thought that one of their own number might betray Yeshua. Thus, they were looking around the room trying to discern or perceive which of them might do such a thing. What is clear is that in spite of the questioning of Yochanan (the disciple whom Yeshua loved) and the dipping of the matzah which follows, none of the disciples seem to have any idea who is betraying Yeshua. In part this is because the meal is formal, and probably a Seder meal of some kind and therefore, has numerous dipping rituals that are shared among everybody making it difficult to determine which of the disciples Yeshua is referring to.
23 There was reclining on Yeshua’s[H A] (YHVH Saves, Joshua) breast one of His disciples (talmidim[H]), whom Yeshua[H A] (YHVH Saves, Joshua) loved. 24 So Shimon Kefa[H] (Simon: hears; Peter: Rock) gestured to him (the disciple), and said to him, “Find out from Him and tell us who He’s speaking of.”
“Reclining” Is an indication that this was a Pesach Seder meal. One of the four questions of the Pesach Seder, asked during the Magid (telling) and called Mah Nishtanah in Hebrew, asks “On all other nights we eat either sitting or reclining, why on this night do we eat only reclining?”
We know from rabbinic literature that the reclining was done toward the left:
"lying down on the back, is not called הסיבה, ‘lying down’; and lying on the right side, is not called lying down.'' -Mishnah Beracot, c. 6. sect. 6.
"they used to eat lying along, leaning on the left side, their feet to the ground, and every man on a single couch.'' -Gloss in Talmud Bavliy Beracot, fol. 46. 2. & Bartenora in Mishnah Beracot, c. 6. sect. 6.
"when there were but two couches, the principal person lay first, and the second to him above him; and when there were three, the principal person lay in the middle, the second to him above him, and the third below him; and if he would talk with him, he raised himself upright, and sitting upright he talked with him; that is, as the gloss explains it, if the principal person was desirous to talk with him that was second to him, he must raise himself up from his lying down, and sit upright; for all the white he is leaning, he cannot talk with him, because he that is second to him, is behind the head of the principal person, and the face of the principal person is turned to the other side; and it is better for the second to sit below him, that he may hear his words, whilst he is leaning.'' -Talmud Bavliy Beracot, fol. 46. 2.
The “disciple whom Yeshua loved” is obviously Yochanan (John) the author of the Gospel, who is writing in the third person and thus does not refer to himself by name (Ref. John 19:26-27; 21:20). This does not negate Yeshua’s love for all, nor His love for His immediate retinue. Rather, it shows that while God loves all equally, Yeshua, Who is also fully human has some friends who are closer than others and favours them in certain ways. Showing favour to one person does not detract from one’s love for another. Only when we allow the sin affected world to influence our thoughts are we driven to become jealous of the favour bestowed on others. As true followers of Yeshua we should rejoice when we see brothers and sisters honoured, regardless of whether honour is bestowed on us.
Notice that Kefa (Peter) must gesture to Yochanan (John) in order to get his attention, and uses further non-verbal signals to indicate what he would like Yochanan to ask Yeshua. This denotes a close friendship between Yochanan and Kefa, given that there is obviously a certain innate understanding between them concerning certain gestures and facial expressions. Nor is Kefa upset that Yochanan gets to sit closer to Yeshua, he simply wants to know what’s going on because he loves Yeshua and all the other disciples present with him.
25 Therefore, as he (the disciple whom Yeshua loved) was leaning back on Yeshua’s[H A] (YHVH Saves, Joshua) breast, said to Him, “Lord (Kurios[G], Adonay[H]), who is it?” 26 Yeshua[H A] (YHVH Saves, Joshua) then answered, “It is he to whom I will give the dipped matzah (psomion[G]: small piece of bread).” So when He had dipped the matzah (psomion[G]: small piece of bread), He gave it to Yehudah[H] (Judah: praise) ben Shimon[H] (son of he hears) Ish Kariot[H] (a man of Keriot[H], A town in the south of Judah: Joshua 15:25).
The Greek psomion means “small bit of bread”. From the Gospel accounts of Matthew 26:17, 23; Mark 14:1, 12, 20; and Luke 22:1, 7 we learn that the “small bit of bread” was unleavened bread, that is matzah: which is used in preparation for Pesach and eaten over the seven days of unleavened bread. This is yet another reason why it is highly likely that the meal in question is some form of pre-Passover Seder observance. It cannot be simply an ordinary meal as many Christian theologians insist because as we have previously discussed, the Greek deipnon denotes a formal meal (13:2). While Chapter 13 begins prior to Pesach proper, there is no way to determine a precise chronology following this except to say that these events took place before or on the eve of Passover at some point. This does not negate the possibility of a Seder, rather it informs us of the possibility that Passover practice in the first century during the Temple period may well have included multiple Seders and other varied traditions as pretext to the Temple Chagigah (a Pesach sacrificial practice of the first century Temple period).
“He gave it to Yehudah” But not only to Yehudah. This practice of dipping and passing matzot included everyone at the table. The text does not say that Yeshua gave it only to Yehudah, nor does it say that He gave it first to Yehudah, just that He gave it to Yehudah after dipping it. The fact that all received this ritual food qualifies the confusion of the disciples as to what was happening even after the food was received by Yehudah and he left to betray Yeshua. It is obvious from the following verses that the disciples still had no idea that Yehudah would betray Yeshua.
27 After he had received the matzah (psomion[G]: small piece of bread) then entered (eiserchomai[G]) toward (eis[G]) him [Judas] the (ho[G]) Satan[H] (accuser, opposition). Therefore Yeshua[H A] (YHVH Saves, Joshua) said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” 28 Now no one of those reclining to dine (anakeimai[G]) knew (ginosko[G]) for what purpose He (Yeshua) had said this to him (Judas).
We note that Satan did not enter into and possess Yehudah but that he “entered toward him”. God Who is just does not remove or allow the removal of a person’s freewill. Therefore, while Yehudah was influenced by and chose to be directed by Satan, he did so of his own freewill and not based on some kind of absolute possession of his will, mind, body, emotion, and being. If possession were the meaning, the text would both contradict the wealth of Scripture to the contrary and impugn the character of God.
“13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” -Yaakov (James) 1:13-15 NIV
As discussed previously, “no one of those reclining to dine knew” because the food was shared equally and from the same dipping bowl, in the same way hummus is shared on pita scooped from the same bowl. Yeshua offered dipped matzah to all present as part of the dining ritual. Therefore, every one of them was “one to whom” He gave dipped matzah.
29 For some were supposing, because Yehudah[H] (Judah: praise) had the money box (glossokomon[G]), that Yeshua[H A] (YHVH Saves, Joshua) was saying to him, “Buy the things we have need of for the festival (ha chag[H])”; or else, that he should give something to the poor.
There are a number of arguments put forward against the idea that this meal is a Passover Seder or ritual meal of some kind. Some say that Halakhah prohibits financial transactions on the Sabbath or festivals and therefore, the disciples would not have thought Yehudah to be going to buy at Yeshua’s command because Yeshua would not command this on the Holy day. However, this is wrong for two reasons: first, oral law denying purchase of necessities at certain times was not yet codified, second, the text does not say that Yeshua instructed Yehudah to buy but that the disciples “supposed” that Yeshua had done so.
Another argument against the idea that this is a Seder meal is that If Yehudah was thought to be purchasing supplies for the Passover, it was already too late to do so. However, Passover was the convergent point for the beginning of the days of unleavened bread which continued seven days and there were chol hamoed (intermediary days of the festival) on which Yehudah could have purchased goods for the remainder of the festival, had he been sent to do so. Therefore, again, this does not negate the possibility that this was a Passover Seder meal.
On weighing the evidence for this being a Seder meal against the arguments against, and keeping in mind that the chronology of John’s Gospel is by no means systematic. It is my opinion that this was a Seder meal (either one of two or a single Seder prior to the day of the Chagigah offering). This fits best with the collected accounts of the Gospels and the time line of events leading up to Yeshua’s death and resurrection.
30 So after receiving the small piece of matzah Yehudah[H] (he) went out immediately; and it was night (v’laylah hayah[H]). 31 Therefore when he had gone out, Yeshua[H A] (YHVH Saves, Joshua) said, “Now is the Son of Man (Ben-ha’Adam[H]) glorified, magnified, clothed with splendour (doxazo[G]), and the God (v’haElohiym[H]) is glorified, magnified, clothed with splendour (doxazo[G]) in Him;
“And it was night” is the counterpoint to the all existing Light alluded to in the previous chapter. Yehudah had chosen to walk in darkness rather than to walk in the all existing light of Yeshua.
“Now is the Son of Man glorified” Yeshua used the Messianic title prophesied by Daniel to indicate that by allowing Yehudah to leave Yeshua had set in place the final stages of His journey to glory. Also, in a very real sense the transcendent resurrected Messiah Yeshua had already died and raised to glory, and thus “Now” (outside of time and space) both He and the Father were glorified. This qualifies the concept of the eternal present.
32 if the God is (Ho Theos[G], Ha Elohiym[H]) glorified, magnified, clothed with splendour (doxazo[G]) in Him, God (Ho Theos[G], Ha Elohiym[H]) will also glorify, magnify, clothe with splendour (doxazo[G]) Him in Himself, and will glorify, magnify, clothe with splendour (doxazo[G]) Him immediately. 33 Little children (Teknion[G], mikron[G], Banay hay’kariym[H]), I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jewish religious leaders, Judeans (Ioudaios[G], Yehudiym[H]), now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’
“Banay hay’kariym” is a term of endearment, as if speaking to one’s own precious progeny. Yeshua speaks as a Father to His disciples, because He speaks of the Father and the Father is echad with Yeshua. Elsewhere Yeshua says, “If you have seen Me you have seen the Father”(John 14:9).
34 A new (kainos[G]) injunction, command, mitzvah[H] (entole[G]) I give to you, that you entirely love (agapao[G], t’eihavu[H]) one another, even as I have entirely loved (agapao[G], ahavtiy[H]) you, that you also entirely love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples (talmidim[H]), if you have love (agapao[G], te’ehavun[H]) for one another.”
Some have said that this is not a new command. After all HaShem has said “Love your neighbour as yourself” Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:18. However, the context, source and application of Yeshua’s mitzvah (command) is unique and truly “new” in every sense of the word. Note that Yeshua is speaking to His disciples, who are now ritually washed as priests. While this command can be said to apply to all believers by extension, it does not in its original context apply to anyone other than the Jewish disciples of Yeshua present at the meal. This mitzvah, unlike the command to love one’s neighbour (which means that one should love all human beings), refers specifically to the love between disciples of Yeshua. Therefore, if it is to be applied by extension to the body of believers it must be applied as the love of one believer for another believer. Additionally it is qualified by the phrase “as I have entirely loved you”. No human being can love as Yeshua does unless that person is filled with the Spirit of Yeshua.
Therefore, in order for the disciples to obey Yeshua’s mitzvah they will need to be filled with the Spirit of the Father and the Son. Of course that is exactly what happens at the subsequent Shavuot (Pentecost). Only when the disciples of Yeshua are filled with His Spirit will “all human beings know” that they are His disciples, and the same is true of us.
Far too many believing communities neglect love for one another in favour of loving and helping those outside the community. The great irony is that Yeshua teaches that only by loving one another will the Gospel spread. In contradiction to Yeshua’s teaching we seek to love and do good for unbelievers at the expense of the love and good of our believing brothers and sisters and in doing so we fail to see the spread of the Gospel. Rather than allow our love for one another to overflow into the community we instead go into the wider unbelieving community while our believing communities dwindle, diminish and cease to exist. Therefore, in contradiction to Yeshua’s teaching we snuff out the Light of the Gospel in our communities, leaving them in darkness.
If we desire to be effective in loving the unsaved we must first be effective in loving one another and that is only possible by the power of the Living Messiah in us, the Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit). For He has said “Entirely love one another, even as I have entirely loved you”!
36 Shimon Kefa[H] (Simon: hears; Peter: Rock) said to Him, “Lord “(Kurios[G], Adonay[H]), where are You going?” Yeshua[H A] (YHVH Saves, Joshua) answered, “Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later.”
Yeshua is going to His death, resurrection, ascension, a place that Kefa (Peter) cannot follow Him to yet. But Kefa will follow Yeshua later. Church tradition says that Kefa was crucified upside down for his faith in Yeshua, refusing to be crucified upright because his Messiah Who was greater than he was crucified that way.
37 Kefa[H] (Peter: Rock) said to Him, “Lord “(Kurios[G], Adonay[H]), why can’t I follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You.”
Kefa often gets a bad rap. He is a man of excitable passion and true faith, at times presumptuous and rash but none the less devout and genuine. When Kefa said this he meant it with all his heart. We should be so bold.
38 Yeshua[H A] (YHVH Saves, Joshua) answered, “Will you lay down your life for Me? Amen[H] [G]Amen[H] [G] (B’emet[H], B’emet[H]), In truth, In truth, It’s certain, it’s certain, I (Aniy[H]) say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times.
Yeshua, knowing the end from the beginning and in the emotion and turmoil of His humanity is perhaps hurt by Kefa’s rash proclamation. I hear Yeshua’s words in response said with a sad resolve and without malice, “Will you really lay down your life for Me? Oh Kefa, it is an immutable fact that you will deny me three times while I’m on trial, all before the cock crows at the dawn of the new day. I’ve already seen it happen.” (Author’s paraphrase)
© Yaakov Brown 2020
אדם כמותו ששלוחו
What follows is an extension of Yeshua’s teaching regarding Him being the all existing Light in which a disciple should walk (practice faith: halakhah). This is worth remembering in light of the ritual washing of feet (means of walking, halakhah) Yeshua now performs for His disciples.
1Moreover, before the Festival (chag[H]) of the Passover (ha-Pesach[H]:to pass over), Yeshua[H A] (YHVH Saves, Joshua), seeing, perceiving (eido[G]) that His certain definite time, fixed season, hour (hora[G]) had come, in which He would pass over (metabaino[G]) from this world (ho kosmos[G], ha-olam[H]) to the advantage of (pros[G]) the Father (ho Pater[G], Ha-Av[H]), having entirely loved (agapao[G], ahav[H]) those belonging to Him who were in the world (ho kosmos[G], ba-olam[H]), He entirely loved (agapao[G], aheivam[H]) them toward (eis[G]) the taxing goal (telos[G]).
These events appear to take place the evening prior to Pesach (Passover) during the first of two possible Seders (ritual Passover meals) practiced by post exilic Jews in the first century CE. If this is not a Seder then the Seder accounts of the other Gospels must fit between the current passage and the arrest of Yeshua which soon follows. Regardless, the Greek text calls this a formal (deipnon[G]) meal, which seems to fit with the Seder theory.
It is no coincidence that the Greek metabaino[G] means to “pass over”. Thus, Yeshua is about to become the figurative Pesach Lamb of Israel and pass over from this world into death and resurrection “to the advantage of the Father”, meaning in order to provide the means by which the Father might be reconciled to His children (humanity).
In the case of Messiah “entirely loving” His disciples, His people ethnic Israel, He would now pretext the fulfilment of that love (death on a cross) by acting the role of the lowliest servant of the household. Thus, He entirely loved them with the taxing goal of their redemption in mind (His death and resurrection).
2 During the formal (evening) meal (deipnon[G]: probably one of two Passover Seders in the post exilic returned Jewish community of first century occupied [Roman] Israel), the devil (ho diabolos[G], ha Satan[H]: accuser, slanderer) having already put into the inner being, heart (ho kardia[G], ha-leiv[H]) of Yehudah[H] (Judah: praise) Ish Kariot[H] (a man of Keriot[H], A town in the south of Judah: Joshua 15:25), the son of Shimon[H] (heard), to betray Him (Yeshua), 3 Seeing, perceiving (eido[G]) that the Father (ho Pater[G], Ha-Av[H]) had given (natan[H]) all things (et ha-kol[H]) into His hands (b’yado[H]), and that He had originated (apo[G]) from God (Theos[G], Elohiym[H]) and was going back to God (Theos[G], Elohiym[H]),
“The Father had given all things into His hands” tells us that Yeshua was completely free to choose whether He would go through with His mission. Elsewhere we read:
“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life, breath, soul existence so that I may take it up again. No one, nothing has taken it away from Me or separated Me from it, but I lay it down on My own initiative, in My Own power, by My Own choice. I have authority, power, choice to lay it down, and to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” -Yochanan 10:17-18
4 He rose from the formal (evening) meal (deipnon[G]: probably one of two Passover Seders in the post exilic returned Jewish community of first century occupied [Roman] Israel), and put aside His garments, outer clothing (himation[G]); and taking a towel, He girded Himself. 5 Then He poured water (hudor[G], mayim[H]) into the basin (nipter[G]), and began to ritually wash (nipto[G]) the disciples’ (talmidim[H]) feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
In John’s Gospel Yeshua acts out the teaching that He is recorded as having given in the Gospel according to Mark 10:43-44.
The Greek text uses the word nipto[G] which can refer to ritual washing. In the present context Yeshua rises from the dining table in order to wash the feet of His disciples. This means that the practical feet washing performed for guests entering the home had already occurred prior to the meal upon the arrival of Yeshua and His disciples. In short, their feet were already clean (of the dust of the road). Therefore, the correct translation is “began to ritually wash the disciples’ feet”.
It is not by accident that the water is poured into a basin and Yeshua strips down to His undergarment, a seamless white garment like that of the priesthood of Israel.
“Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Yeshua, took his garments and divided them into four pieces; and they also took his undergarment (chiton) which was seamless, woven from top to bottom entirely. Therefore they said among themselves, ‘Let’s not tear it, but instead cast dice to decide who gets it’.” -Yochanan 19:23
“17 Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 18 “You will also make a basin of bronze with a bronze stand for washing. You are to place it between the Tent of Meeting and the altar and put water in it. 19 Aaron and his sons are to wash their hands and their feet there. 20 Whenever they go into the Tent of Meeting or come near to the altar to minister, to present an offering made by fire in smoke to Adonai, they are to wash with water so that they do not die. 21 They are to wash their hands and their feet, so that they do not die. It is to be an eternal statute for them, to him and to his offspring throughout their generations.” -Shemot (Exodus) 30:17-21 TLV
Yeshua is not only taking on the role of the lowliest servant of the household, as the Priest like Melkiy-tzedek (Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5 through 7), He ritually washes the priests whom He has chosen to administer His Gospel when He ascends to the Father. Therefore, as is necessary before the priests approach the altar where His death will take place, He washes their feet as a symbol of their identity in Him and the role that they are to play in the events that follow. The text of Exodus 30:17-21 tells us that the ritual washing of the priests cleanses them for approaching the Holy God of Israel. This is one of the reasons for Yeshua’s dialogue with Kefa (Peter).
6 So He came to Shimon Kefa[H] (Simon: hears; Peter: Rock) who said to Him, “Adonay[H] (Kurios[G], Lord), do You wash my feet?” 7 Yeshua[H A] (YHVH Saves, Joshua) answered and said to him, “What I do you do not see, perceive, recognize (eido[G]) now, in this moment (arti[G]) but you will know it intimately (ginosko[G], yodeia[H]) hereafter.”
It is interesting to note that Simon Peter’s name essentially means “He hears the Rock”. HaShem is the Rock of Israel, her place of strength and shelter, and His Son Yeshua is the physical manifestation of God as Rock.
“The Ruach Adonai has spoken through me
and His word is on my tongue.
3 The God of Israel has said,
the Rock of Israel has spoken to me,
‘He who rules over men righteously,
he who rules in the fear of God--
4 he is like the light of the morning when the sun rises,
a cloudless morning of glistening
as grass springs from the earth.’” -2 Samuel 23:2-4 TLV
Yeshua responds to Shimon Kefa by placing a marker in his mind that he is to recall later at such a time as is important for him to perceive of what Yeshua has done and the role that Simon Peter has been given in the outworking of God’s kingdom through Messiah Yeshua.
8 Kefa[H] (Peter: Rock) said to Him, “You will never wash my feet!” Yeshua[H A] (YHVH Saves, Joshua) answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” 9 Shimon Kefa[H] (Simon: hears; Peter: Rock) said to Him, “Adonay[H] (Kurios[G], Lord), then wash not only my feet (rag’lay[H]), but also my hands (yaday[H]) and my head (roshiy[H]).”
Kefa (Peter) protests because he does not want the Rabbi Whom he venerates, respects, and adores to lower himself to a place of dishonour and servitude. He may be brash but his heart is in the right place. However, Yeshua is focused on the time that is at hand and has no time for playacting Kefa’s misplaced zeal. Therefore, Yeshua is harsh with Kefa because of His deep love for this disciple. “Snap out of it son, this is for your good!” Kefa’s response is incredible, rather than be deterred he doesn’t skip a beat but says “Okay, I’m in boots and all!”
Yeshua is washing feet because He has recently explained that those who desire to serve Him must become His disciples and walk (using their spiritual feet) in His Light.
Kefa adds the symbolism of hands (actions) and head (leader, governor of the body), and Yeshua responds…
10 Yeshua[H A] (YHVH Saves, Joshua) said to him, “He who has bathed, washed the whole body (louo[G]) needs only to ritually wash (nipto[G]) his feet, moreover he is completely clean, pure (katharos[G]); and you are clean, pure (katharos[G]), but not all of you.” 11 For He saw (eido[G]) the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean, pure (katharos[G]).”
Yeshua explains that in Him His disciples are entirely clean and need only be reminded of the fact that in their transcendent state of salvation in Him they must, at least for a while, continue to walk their faith in the sin affected world as ones who have been redeemed (past, present, future) and are being sanctified (Hebrews 10:14). This mysterious tension between certain salvation and continued sanctification is explained further in Yochanan’s first letter:
“5 Now this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you—that God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with Him and keep walking in the darkness, we are lying and do not practice the truth. [a] 7 But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of His Son Yeshua purifies us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. [b] 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” -1 John 1:5-10 TLV
“But not all” refers to Yehudah (Judas), who has clearly not placed his trust in Yeshua as King Messiah and is therefore intent on following the desires of his baser nature and has been enticed by the lies of the father of lies Satan.
12 So when He had ritually washed (nipto[G]) their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know (ginosko[G], hay’da’tem[H]) what I have done to you? 13 You call Me the Teacher (Moreh[H]) and the Lord (ho Kurios[G], Adon[H]); and [b]you are right, for I am (eimi[G]). 14 If I then, the Teacher (Moreh[H]) the lord (ho Kurios[G], Adon[H]), ritually washed (nipto[G]) your feet, you also ought to ritually wash (nipto[G]) one another’s feet. 15 For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.
Here Yeshua says “Do you ginosko (know)” rather than “Do you eido (perceive, see)”. This is because He is asking them if they have gained knowledge that will result in practice.
The message is that as disciples of Yeshua they are to follow His example of service and to affirm one another in the priesthood they share in Him. This is pretexted by the Torah which says that the ethnic, religious, empirical Jewish people have been chosen as a nation of priests. Therefore, the Gospel and priesthood of Messiah continues to be first for the Jew. Yeshua is saying that the gifts and calling of God upon the ethnic Jewish people are irrevocable (Romans 1:16; 11:29).
“and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.” -Shemot (Exodus) 19:6 NASB
Only then is the offer of priesthood in Messiah extended to the nations, not as usurpers of Israel’s rightful place but as participants in the faith (a spiritual relationship) of Abraham. The later does not negate the former, nor does it cause the former to cease.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvellous light;” -1 Peter 2:9 NASB
16 Amen[H] [G]Amen[H] [G] (B’emet[H], B’emet[H]), In truth, In truth, It’s certain, it’s certain, I (Aniy[H]) say to you, a bond servant (doulos[G]) is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you see, perceive, recognize (eido[G]) these things, you are blessed (well off) if you do them.
The double amein reminds us once again of the firmly established truth of what follows. Yeshua admonishes His disciples to accept the sight He has imparted to them and see with spiritual clarity the King Messiah as their ever present Servant King and the Father as the Originator of Israel’s relationship to Himself. Yeshua’s disciples must remember that He is greater than they and has submitted Himself to His Master YHVH. Therefore, they should emulate their Master Yeshua for God’s glory. In doing so Yeshua promises them that they will experience true blessing as a result of their right actions in emulating Him.
"R. Meir says, who is greatest, he that keeps, or he that is kept? from what is written in Psalm 91:11, he that is kept, is greater than he that keeps: says R. Judah, which is greatest, he that carries, or he that is carried? from what is written in Psalm 91:12, he that is carried, is greater than he that carries: says R. Simeon, from what is written, in Isaiah 6:8, הוי המשלח גדול מן המשתלח, "he that sends, is greater than he that is sent".'' - Bereshit Rabba, fol. 68. 1.
“If you recognise these things blessed are you if you do them.”
"he that learns but not to do", it would have been better for him, if he had never been created; and says R. Yochanan, he that learns but not to do, it would have been better for him if his placenta/membrane (secundine) had been turned upon his face, and he had never come into the world.'' - Hieros. Beracot, fol. 3. 2.
18 I don’t speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but that the Writing (graphe[G], ketviy[H]) may be fully filled, ‘He who eats My bread (lachmiy[H]) has lifted up his heel (akeiv[H]) upon Me.[Psalm 41:10(9)]’
“Even my close friend in whom I trusted,
Who ate my bread,
Has lifted up his heel against me.
10 But You, O Lord, be gracious to me and raise me up,
That I may repay them.
11 By this I know that You are pleased with me,
Because my enemy does not shout in triumph over me.
12 As for me, You uphold me in my integrity,
And You set me in Your presence forever.
13 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
From everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.” -Psalm 41:9-13 NASB
We note that the fullness which the Gospel writer is alluding to begins with betrayal but ends with the betrayed one held up in His integrity and set before God’s presence forever.
“Lifted up his heel” is a Jewish idiom that means “He was inspired by his pride to do harm”.
19 From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe, trust, be persuaded (pisteuo[G], v’he’emantem[H]) that I am (ego eimi[G]).
“From now on” is an indication that Yeshua will no longer teach them in mashaliym (parables) but will speak in clear terms.
Yet again the Greek phrase ego eimi reflects the Divine title “I AM”.
Yeshua is placing yet another mental marker in the minds of the disciples so that when they see what is to come (His death, resurrection, and ascension), they might be certain of His Deity.
20 Amen[H] [G]Amen[H] [G] (B’emet[H], B’emet[H]), In truth, In truth, It’s certain, it’s certain, I (Aniy[H]) say to you, the one who receives whomever I send receives Me; and the one who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”
Again, the double amein establishes the truth of what follows.
Those who receive the disciples and their message of Yeshua’s Gospel are, in a spiritual and transcendent way, receiving Yeshua Who will dwell in them by His Spirit, that is the Spirit of the Father and the Son. Subsequently those who will receive the messengers (disciples) sent by Yeshua will receive Yeshua Himself and in doing so will receive God the Father in perfect reconciliation and preordained eternal relationship. Of course, the opposite is also true. Those who reject those sent by Yeshua (His disciples, including modern believers) reject Yeshua and in turn reject the Father. This is especially true of those who reject Jewish believers who bring the message of the King Messiah Yeshua.
של אדם כמותו ששלוחו
"the messenger of a man is as himself".
- Talmud Bavliy. Beracot, fol. 34. 2. Kiddushin, fol. 41. 9. & 42. 1. & 43. 1. Bava Metzia, fol. 96. 1.
“Whoever claims to abide in Him must walk as Yeshua did!” -1 Yochanan (John) 2:6
© Yaakov Brown 2020
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