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
Sefer Yochanan (Gospel According to John) Chapter 5 Pt.1 Wholeness at the Pool of Beit-Chasda [House of Kindness/Practical love] (John 5:1-24)
Belief, faith, trust, is a journey begun that does not end. If your faith ends it proves itself to be counterfeit. I’m not speaking of doubt, doubt does not negate faith, to the contrary it qualifies faith.
1After these things, words, events (ha-devariym[H]) there was a recurring festival (heorte[G], chag[H]) of the (ho[G], ha[H]) Judeans, religious Jews (Ioudaios[G], Ha-Yehudiym[H]), and Yeshua[H] [A] (Iesous[G] YHVH Saves) went up to Jerusalem (Yerushalayim[H], Flood/Downpour of Peace, wholeness, wellbeing).
1After these things, words, events, there was a recurring festival of the Judeans, religious Jews, and Yeshua went up to Jerusalem.
We note that these events follow the healing of the child of the officer of the king in Cana, Capernaum, and the Galilee region, 151 km, approximately 32 hours walk from Jerusalem.
Both the Hebrew and Greek texts refer to a singular festival, “a festival of the religious Jews/Judeans”. While some suggest that this festival is one of the Regaliym (Aliyot or pilgrimage festivals), this is untenable given the chronology of John’s Gospel.
Based on Yeshua’s reference to the approaching harvest in the previous chapter and the fact that it has almost been a year since His ascent to Jerusalem for the Passover (Pesach) the festival in the present verse is most likely the post-Torah festival of Purim which celebrates the deliverance of Israel from the evil Haman during the Persian exile (recorded in the Scroll of Esther). In fact this is the only option given that the Passover is just over a month away at this point in the chronology. Nor can the present festival be Passover because John’s Gospel uses the definite article “The” when referring to Passover, whereas the festival in question is simply called “Festival”.
The fact that Yeshua venerated this festival (Purim) shows that He was not opposed to honouring God’s continued work in Israel’s history and the spiritual history of humanity. An educated estimate of this festival’s occurrence in the first century CE places this particular Purim celebration on March 17th 29 CE, a weekly Shabbat day. As I have stated, it’s the only remaining festival that occurs prior to Pesach (6:4), and is therefore the only plausible choice here with regard to the chronology of the book of John.
Yeshua also venerated the extra-Biblical festival of Chanukah (Dedication) [John 10:22-23] which celebrates the deliverance of Israel from Greek (Syro-Phoenician) oppression, and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem on December (Kislev) 25, 165 BCE (1 Maccabees 4:36-40). The fact that Yeshua made Aliyah (going up) to go and celebrate an extra Biblical festival (something the Torah does not require of Jewish males) shows His veneration of those things which continued to memorialize the ongoing delivering work of God. Those foolish Messianic Gentiles who now rebuke Christians for celebrating Christmas (another extra Biblical festival) because it occurs on a pagan date, should take careful note of the date of the rededication of the Temple by the Maccabees. Unlike many modern Messianic believers, Yeshua did not miss an opportunity to reveal God’s redemptive work to humanity. Thus, in our present text it is during Purim that He shows a suffering man the path, not only to healing, but to wholeness and a life lived free from condemnation.
“Went up” is a topographical phrase. Yeshua travelled south to Jerusalem going up to Mt Moriah (Temple Mount).
2 Now there is in (Yerushalayim[H], Flood/Downpour of Peace, wholeness, wellbeing) by the sheep gate (probatikos[G], sha’ar-hatzon[H]) a pool, which is called in Ivriyt[H] (Hebraisti[G], Hebrew) Beit chasda[H, A] (House of Kindness/Practical love, from the Hebrew root chesed), having five (chamishah[H]) porticoes, covered walkways lined with columns (stoa[G], ulamiym[H]).
2 Now there is in by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Beit chasda, having five covered walkways lined with columns.
The Greek text simply says “probatikos” sheep, and not “Sheep Gate”. However, historical context, archaeological evidence and common scholarship all point toward this being a reference to the north-eastern gate of the wall surrounding 1st century Jerusalem.
Notice, “Now there is in Jerusalem”. This means that contrary to popular Christian scholarly myth, the writer of John’s Gospel could not have written His original manuscript after 70 CE (the year of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans). The evidence continues to mount in support of the likelihood that the writer of John’s Gospel initially wrote his Gospel for a first century Jewish, Samaritan, Israeli audience, and only secondarily intended it to be distributed to the wider body of Jewish and Gentile believers throughout the known world.
“the sheep gate (sha’ar-hatzon[H])” This gate was probably named in connection to the main animal market where sacrificial sheep were bought and sold (some scholars dispute the existance of such a market in the 1st century), which was located directly outside this gate in the Second Temple era, and probably owed its location to the gate of Nehemiah’s time.
“Then Eliashib the high priest arose with his brothers the priests and built the Sheep Gate; they consecrated it and hung its doors. They consecrated the wall to the Tower of the Hundred and the Tower of Hananel.” -Nehemiah 3:1 (NASB)
Scholars suggest that the Mishnah reference to “Sha’ar Tadiy” (Tadi Gate) [Mishnah. Middot 1:3] is a mis-spelling given that there is no known translation for the Mishnaic Hebrew word “Tadiy”. Therefore, they suggest that this gate is in fact “Sha’ar Taliy”, Gate of a Lamb, or, the Lamb’s Gate. Some suggest that this is the original Hebrew name for the gate mentioned in John 5:2.
Very near the site of the ancient Sheep’s Gate is the modern city gate dating to the 16th century. This modern gate is known as the “Lions’ Gate.” (ref. Rev.5:5-6; Isaiah 11:6)
The Lions’ gate is situated in the northeast corner of the Old City of Jerusalem, and provides access to the Temple Mount from the Kidron Valley. During the Byzantine period (6th Century CE) this gate was referred to as the “St Stephen’s Gate”, because it was believed that it was outside this gate Stephen, the first Messianic Jewish martyr was murdered (Acts 7:58).
Over the centuries, those who built up Jerusalem have had to reuse the ancient location of the gate due to the fact that Jerusalem gives way to the Kidron Valley on its north eastern side, thus it has always been the site of the north-eastern gate, which has been renamed multiple times over the centuries.
“Beit chasda[H, A] (House of Kindness/Practical love, from the Hebrew root chesed)” This pool is probably named for the healing and mercy shown by God to those who sought Him there. The pool was excavated in the 19th century, and is located directly north of the Temple Mount.
It is possible that prior to the second Temple era this pool was used to wash the sacrificial sheep before bringing them into the Temple. Though this seems unlikely given that no such requirement is commanded in the Torah. It is also highly unlikely, even tenuous, to suggest as some do, that this pool was being used by the Greco-Roman cult of Asclepius at the time of Yeshua (1st century CE). According to archaeological record the use of this pool for Roman rites dates back only as far as the second century CE (Encyclopaedia of Judaica 9: 1539), when it was used as a healing sanctuary of sorts, possibly related to neo pagan syncritism. Given the volatile Religious-Political climate of the first century CE, the use of this pool by the Asclepius Cult seems implausible at best. Further still we see that the movement of the pool’s waters is attributed to an Angel of God, and not to a foreign deity (v.4).
Those who claim that verse 4 is unreliable because it appears in fewer ancient manuscripts are, like so many revisionist scholars of our time, convinced that they have greater integrity than that of the scribes of Messianic (Greek) Scripture. Suffice to say, this is the height of hubris and a sad reflection on our post enlightenment propensity for self-delusion.
It is thought by some that this pool may be synonymous with the “Upper pool” mentioned in 2 Kings 18:17 and Isaiah 7:13, and by others that it is the pool known as “The Great Pool”.
"between Hebron and Jerusalem, is the fountain Etham, from whence the waters come by way of pipes, unto the great pool, which is in Jerusalem.'' - Cippi Hebraici, p. 10.
Therefore, the pool of Beit Chasda has a connection to the sacrificial Lamb of God Yeshua and the gate close by connects us figuratively to the attributes of His Messiahship, being both the humble self-sacrificing Lamb of God and the mighty returning Lion of Judah, King of the Jews and Ruler of the nations.
3 In these (the porticoes) lay a multitude (plethos[G]) of the sick, feeble, weak (astheneo[G]), blind (tuphlos[G]), lame, limping (cholos[G]), dry, withered, paralysed (xeros[G]) waiting for the moving (kinesis[G]) of the waters (hudor[G]); 4 for an angel, messenger (angelos[G], malakh[H]) of the Lord (YHVH[H]) went down during a certain season, on a certain occasion (Kairos[G]) into the pool and stirred up, agitated, disturbed (tarasso[G]) the water (hudor[G]); whoever then entered first into the water, after the stirring up was made sound, healthy, pure, whole (hugies[G]) from whatever at the time (depote[G]) was the disease, trouble, sickness (nosema[G]) which had tight hold of, arrested, possessed, restrained, held back, detained (katecho[G]) him, or held him down.
3 In these porticoes lay a multitude of the sick, feeble, weak, blind, lame, limping, dry, withered, and paralysed, waiting for the moving of the waters; 4 for an angel, messenger of the Lord went down during a certain season, on a certain occasion into the pool and stirred up, agitated, disturbed the water; whoever then entered first into the water, after the stirring up was made sound, healthy, pure, whole from whatever at the time was the disease, trouble, sickness which had tight hold of, arrested, possessed, restrained, held back, detained him, or held him down.
Based on archaeological excavation (beginning early 19th Century), it is thought that the water of the pool became agitated when the pipes to the upper pool were opened and the flow of water into the lower pool caused a small whirlpool-like effect. This practical solution does not negate angelic intervention, nor does it suggest that healings associated with this pool were psychosomatic. Yeshua did not discount the paralysed man’s testimony regarding the potential healing he might have received in the pool, rather, Yeshua showed that He needed no mechanism in order to heal, and that He was offering not just physical healing but everlasting wholeness.
While modern scholars claim that the manuscripts containing verse 4 are “inferior”. It is none the less a valid explanation of the miraculous healings that were clearly taking place at the pool, and one, that unlike the pagan rite theory, is far more plausible. If the paralysed man had been seeking healing from a Greco-Roman deity Yeshua would have rebuked him specifically for it. Therefore, as I have previously mentioned I see no reason to discount verse 4 or to accept the theory of pagan influence regarding the use of the pool of Beit Chasda in the first century CE.
5 And a certain (tis[G]) man (anthropos[G], iysh[H]) was there who had been infirm, ill, weak, suffering (astheneia[G]) for thirty-eight years. 6 Yeshua[H] [A] (Iesous[G] YHVH Saves) having seen (vayare[H]) him lying there, and having known (ginosko[G], vayeida[H]) that he had already been there a long time (chronos[G]), He *said to him, “Do you wish, desire, are you willing, do you intend (thelo[G]) to become, be born (ginomai[G]) sound, healthy, pure, whole (hugies[G])?”
5 And a certain man was there who had been infirm, ill, weak, suffering for thirty-eight years. 6 Yeshua having seen him lying there, and having known that he had already been there a long time, He *said to him, “Do you wish, desire, are you willing, do you intend to become, be born sound, healthy, pure, whole?”
Note the past tense “having seen” and “having known”. Yeshua had foreknowledge of this man’s condition and the length of time that the man had suffered.
“Are you willing to be born whole?” This is an interesting question that denotes something more than what is seen on the surface. Of course the man is willing to be physically cured but Yeshua is not only asking him if he is willing to be cured. Yeshua does not work miraculous signs except for the purpose of directing a person or persons to salvation in Himself through the redemptive work of God. Therefore, Yeshua is asking the man if he is willing to repent of his sinful condition and be born into everlasting wholeness, purity, health. This is affirmed by the latter verse and its warning against a worse fate (5:14).
7 The sick, weak (astheneo[G]) man answered Him, “Adoniy[H] (Lord, Sir, kurios[G]), I have no one to put, carry, gently throw (ballo[G]) me into the pool when the water (ha-mayim[H]) has been stirred (tarasso[G]) up, and while I am coming, another steps down before me.” 8 Yeshua[H] [A] (Iesous[G] YHVH Saves) *said to him, “Get up, arise, awaken (egeiro[G], kum[H]), take up (airo[G]) your mat, bedding (krabattos[G]) and walk, conduct your life, live (peripateo[G], vehit’hleikh[H]).”
7 The sick, weak man answered Him, “Adoniy I have no one to put, carry, gently throw me into the pool when the water has been stirred up, and while I am coming, another steps down before me.” 8 Yeshua said to him, “Get up, arise, awaken, take up your mat, bedding and walk, conduct your life, live.”
Both the Greek peripateo and the Hebrew h’leikh (from halakhah “The way of walking”) infer walking in moral uprightness. In other words, “Awaken (from your sinful state), take up the bedding (that supported your complacent slumber), and walk rightly (before God and man)”. Therefore, the physical healing was a figure that was to point the man toward salvation (Himself) and not an end in and of itself.
9 And Immediately (eutheos[G]) the man became, was born (ginomai[G]) sound, healthy, pure, whole (hugies[G]), and picked up his mat, bedding (krabattos[G]) and began to walk, conduct his life, live (peripateo[G], vehit’hleikh[H]). Now it was a Shabbat[H] (sabbath, sabbaton[G]) on that day. 10 So the (ho[G], ha[H]) Judeans, religious Jews (Ioudaios[G], Ha-Yehudiym[H]) were saying to the man who was cared for, healed (therapeuo[G]), “It is the Shabbat[H] (sabbath, sabbaton[G]) and it is not permissible for you to carry your mat, bedding (krabattos[G]).”
9 And Immediately the man became, was born sound, healthy, pure, whole, and picked up his mat, bedding and began to walk, conduct his life, live. Now it was a Shabbat on that day. 10 So the Judeans, religious Jews were saying to the man who was cared for, healed, “It is the Shabbat and it is not permissible for you to carry your mat, bedding.”
After thirty eight years of suffering this man took Yeshua at His word and acted on his belief in Yeshua by beginning to stand. In doing so the man entered the convergent power of God and was immediately and fully healed. This was a life transforming moment that meant all other considerations were put aside. In picking up his mat the man disregarded the extra-Biblical pre-rabbinic law of the first century CE. It is clear from the man’s response to Yeshua and the miraculous experience of his healing, that he saw Yeshua as a man of God and His word as a binding halakhic practise. Though he had not yet had a chance to properly acquaint himself with Yeshua because Yeshua had quickly slipped away in the crowd (v.13).
The objection made by the Religious Jewish residents of Judea and Jerusalem was one that misinterpreted Jeremiah 17:21-22 to refer to all burdens rather than to those burdens pertaining to work resulting in profit. It is clear from the writing of the prophet Nehemiah 13:19 that the prohibition against carrying a burden on Shabbat was specifically regarding trade and did not apply to bedding or any other aid to rest, which was the very reason Shabbat was instituted in the first place. The Talmud affirms the right understanding:
"he that rolls up a bed of the brasiers or tinkers (i.e. on the sabbath day) is bound to a sin offering.'' -Talmud. Bavel. Shabbat, fol. 47. 1. & 138. 1.
The Mishna (oral law) prohibits carrying a burden in a public area on Shabbat (Mishna. Sabbat, c. 10. sect. 3). But in a walled city like Jerusalem an “eruv” (Jewish religious law injunction) allows for carrying a burden on Shabbat. According to late rabbinic law healing of a life threatening illness was permitted on Shabbat but healing a chronic illness was not (Babylonian Talmud. Yoma 84b). Regardless, neither the Mishna nor the writings of our rabbis are binding. The body of extra-Biblical tradition that forms rabbinic halakhah (practise) does not meet the standard of inspired Scripture and is therefore inadequate in its assessment of this healed man’s actions. More importantly, those complaining about the carrying of a mat on the Shabbat had entirely missed the sign that was standing before them, a man miraculously healed by God, a miracle that was intended to point them (religious Judeans) to the Messiah and redemption.
It is important to note that Yeshua did not break a single command of the Torah during His lifetime. All instances where He is accused of violating Torah are in fact lawful exceptions and or valid applications of Torah Law. After all, He is the Davar (Word, Essence) of God, the Author and Goal of the Torah (Rom.10:4). In order to be the perfect, sinless sacrifice for the redemption of humanity, Yeshua was required to live a sinless life in a frail human body. If He had broken Torah Law as some falsely claim, He would not have been qualified to be the spotless sacrificial Lamb of God.
We note that this particular Sabbath was both the weekly Sabbath and the Sabbath of the first day of Purim (14 Adar). In addition to the weekly Sabbath Jewish festival days are also referred to as Sabbaths and in the year 29 CE Purim fell on a weekly Sabbath. However, Purim is also celebrated on the 15th of Adar (Shushan Purim) in walled cities like Jerusalem. Therefore, this man was probably physically healed on the weekly Sabbath of Purim 14 Adar 29 CE during the two days of Purim celebrated in Jerusalem.
The Greek therapeuo means to be “treated, cared for, attended to” by a physician, and only means healing by inference. We note that it is not the same as the word Yeshua used, which is hugies, and means to be made “sound, healthy, pure, whole”. Therefore, the Religious Jews of Jerusalem perceived of a physical healing but did not see the wholeness and spiritual healing that Yeshua was offering to this man.
11 But he answered them, “He Who made (poieo[G]) me sound, healthy, pure, whole (hugies[G]) was the one Who said to me, ‘take up (airo[G]) your mat, bedding (krabattos[G]) and walk, conduct your life, live (peripateo[G], vehit’hleikh[H])’” 12 They asked him, “Who is the man Who said to you, ‘take up (airo[G]) and walk, conduct your life, live (peripateo[G], vehit’hleikh[H])?”
But he answered them, “He Who made me sound, healthy, pure, whole was the one Who said to me, ‘take up your mat, bedding and walk, conduct your life, live’” 12 They asked him, “Who is the man Who said to you, ‘take up and walk, conduct your life, live?”
Notice that the man uses the Greek word hugies, meaning “sound, healthy, pure, whole”. Perhaps he has begun to understand the greater significance of Yeshua’s ministry to him. He had taken up his mat at the instruction of Yeshua and was innocent of any wrong doing relating to the Shabbat. In fact, his obedience proved him more righteous than his accusers.
It seems that the religious Jews of Jerusalem in question were eager to find the one they perceived to be a false teacher and have him answer before a religious court for teaching actions that they believed were contrary to Jewish religious law.
13 But the man who was healed (iaomai[G]) did not properly behold, consider (eido[G]) Who it was, for Yeshua[H] [A] (Iesous[G] YHVH Saves) had slipped away while there was a crowd in that place.
But the man who was healed did not properly behold, consider Who it was, for Yeshua had slipped away while there was a crowd in that place.
It seems that Yeshua had not remained to receive any credit for the miracle and that the pool of Beit Chasda had been crowded with people, so that the healed man had not had time to properly identify his healer.
14 After these things Yeshua[H] [A] (Iesous[G] YHVH Saves) found (heurisko[G]) him in the temple (beveiyt-haMikdash[H], ho-hieron[G]) and said to him, “Behold, pay attention, now (hineih[H], horao[G]), you have become, been born (ginomai[G]) sound, healthy, pure, whole (hugies[G]); do not sin, miss the mark of God’s holiness (hamartane[G]) anymore, so that nothing worse, more severe (cheiron[G]) happens to you.”
After these things Yeshua found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold, pay attention, now, you have become, been born sound, healthy, pure, whole; do not sin, miss the mark of God’s holiness anymore, so that nothing worse, more severe happens to you.”
“Yeshua found him in the temple” We note that the man was in the Temple and was very likely there to give thanks to God for his physical healing.
Iaomai is now the third Greek word used to describe the man’s healing. Iaomai is most often used to describe physical healing. Thus, the author makes it clear that the man has been physically healed, while leaving room for the spiritual lesson afforded by the earlier uses of the Greek hugies, meaning “sound, healthy, pure, whole”, and applicable figuratively, spiritually etc.
“do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” While it is true that certain sin leads to physical illness (ref. Ex. 4:11; Lev. 26:16; Num. 12:9-10; Deut. 32:39; 2 Chr. 7:13; 21:14-15), Yeshua is not threatening a worse physical illness, rather He is completing the remez (hint), the sod (mystery) of the teaching He began when he asked the man “Are you willing to become pure?” In other words, “If I work a miraculous physical healing in you, are you willing to repent and receive the everlasting spiritual wholeness that I am offering you?” Therefore, “something worse” refers to eternal torment (the lake of fire [Rev. 19:20; 20:10, 14, 15]).
“beveiyt-haMikdash[H], ho-hieron[G]” means inside the temple area itself, and does not refer to the outer court of the gentiles which is not considered part of the temple proper from a Jewish perspective.
15 The man went away, and told the Judeans, religious Jews (Ioudaios[G], Ha-Yehudiym[H]) that it was Yeshua[H] [A] (Iesous[G] YHVH Saves) Who had made him sound, healthy, pure, whole (hugies[G]).
The man went away, and told the Judeans, religious Jews that it was Yeshua Who had made him sound, healthy, pure, whole.
There’s no reason to presume that the man was a tell-tale who was trying to get Yeshua into trouble. To the contrary, given his healing and obvious faith in Yeshua He was more likely hoping that the Judean religious Jews would see that Yeshua was a tzaddik (righteous one), and would become His followers.
16 For this reason the Judeans, religious Jews (Ioudaios[G], Ha-Yehudiym[H]) were persecuting Yeshua[H] [A] (Iesous[G] YHVH Saves), because He was doing these things on the Shabbat[H] (Sabbaton[G], Sabbath).
For this reason the Judeans, religious Jews were persecuting Yeshua, because He was doing these things on the Shabbat.
The religious Jews of Jerusalem were clearly intent on tearing Yeshua down. This based on what they saw as a violation of the Shabbat. It is also possible that these same Judeans were present when Yeshua had performed miraculous signs during the Passover and were jealous and suspicious concerning Yeshua’s rise to fame among the Am Ha-aretz (common people, lit. people of the land).
17 But Yeshua[H] [A] (Iesous[G] YHVH Saves) answered them, “My Father (Pater[G], Aviy[H]) is working, labouring (ergazomai[G], poeil[H]) until now, at this moment (arti[G], ad-atah[H]), and I Myself am working, labouring (ergazomai[G], poeil[H]).”
But Yeshua answered them, “My Father is working, labouring until now, at this moment, and I Myself am working, labouring.”
In order to understand what Yeshua is saying we must have an understanding of the Shabbat within the meta-narrative of Scripture. The Father created all things in six days and took pause on the seventh, the Shabbat. This day is commanded to Israel as a constant reminder of the creation, God’s choosing of Israel as His people, and an opportunity to rest and refuel for the work ahead. This rhythm of rest and symbol of Jewish identity remains extremely important. However, The last we hear of God “resting” in Scripture is at the beginning of Genesis. Based on this the Talmud recognizes a dividing of history into six one thousand year days, making up a kind of historical week that will end with the seventh and eternal Shabbat day, the Messianic Millennium (Talmud Bavli Sanhedrin 97b). This is consistent with the teaching of Brit Ha-Chadashah (NT) [Hebrews 4:9-11], which explains the Olam Haba (World to come) as an everlasting Shabbat.
Therefore, when Yeshua says “My Father is working, labouring until now, at this moment, and I Myself am working, labouring.” He is testifying to the fact that God has been actively participating in creation from the Shabbat of the beginning until the present time, and Yeshua has been and continues to participate with the Father in His redemptive work, even on the weekly Shabbat which remains in time and space until the end of all things when the everlasting Shabbat is made manifest to the renewed and restored creation.
Yeshua, Who was establishing a superior priesthood (Hebrews 4), was more than justified in His actions on the Shabbat.
“Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple [a]break the Sabbath and are innocent?” -Matthew 12:5 (NASB)
“7 You shall put pure frankincense on each row that it may be a memorial portion for the bread, even an offering by fire to the Lord. 8 Every sabbath day he shall set it in order before the Lord continually; it is an everlasting covenant [a]for the sons of Israel. 9 It shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place; for it is most holy to him from the Lord’s offerings by fire, his portion forever.”
” -Leviticus 24:7-9 (NASB)
18 Because of this therefore the Judeans, religious Jews (Ioudaios[G], Ha-Yehudiym[H]) were seeking all the more to kill (apokteino[G]) Him, because He not only was breaking the Shabbat[H] (Sabbaton[G], Sabbath), but also was calling the God (ho-Theos [G], ha-Elohim[H]) His own (idios[G]) Father (Pater[G]), making Himself equal (isos[G]) with the God (ho-Theos [G], lei-Elohim[H]).
Because of this therefore the Judeans, religious Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Shabbat, but also was calling the God His own Father, making Himself equal with the God.
It is clear from the text that Yeshua’s first century Judean audience understood that Yeshua was making Himself equal with God and that what He had said was blasphemy. By claiming to have an intrinsic filial relationship with God Yeshua was revealing the fact that He is the promised Servant King Messiah, Imanu-El (God with us). This revelation is consistent with the meta-narrative and theme of John’s Gospel, which from the beginning makes the deity of the Messiah an unavoidable issue (John 1).
The fact that the Judeans were seeking to kill Yeshua is further evidence that they believed He was claiming to be one with God and was therefore guilty of the greatest of blasphemies in their eyes.
If Yeshua had broken the Shabbat and if He was not God with us as He claimed, then the Judean religious Jews had every right to stone Him to death according to the Torah (Ex. 31:14; Lev. 24:16). However, Yeshua is God with us and He has never broken the Shabbat. After all, He is the Lord of the Shabbat (Matt. 12:8).
19 Therefore Yeshua[H] [A] (Iesous[G] YHVH Saves) answered and was saying to them, “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 Son (ho-huios[G], ha-ben[H]) can do (poieo[G], la’asot[H]) nothing (oudeis[G]), lo-yuchal[H]) of Himself, unless it is something, a word (davar[H]) from His soul (minafsho[H]) He sees, discerns, perceives (blepo[G], yireh[H]) the Father (ho-Pater[G], et-Aviyv[H]) doing; for whatever the Father (He) does (oseh[H]), these things (houtos[G]) the Son (ho-huios[G], ha-ben[H]) also (gam[H]) does, has done (poieo[G], ya’aseh[H]) likewise (homoios[G], kamohu[H]).
Therefore Yeshua answered and was saying to them, “Amen, Amen, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something, a word from His soul He sees, discerns, perceives the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does, has done likewise.
Yeshua the Son can do nothing separately from God the Father because God is echad (a complex unity). The Father and Son are One, of one mind. Yeshua is God with us, He has submitted Himself to the Father because by entering time and space and taking on the frailty of human existence He is subject to the freewill of man and must therefore submit His will to that of the Father. This does not make Him less or unequal but shows the depth of love of God, Who, manifest in the Son, has entered His creation in order to personally redeem it.
Were Yeshua to do that which is not God’s will He would be inferior to God, but to submit Himself completely to do God’s will in the Ruach Ha-Kodesh (Holy Spirit) is to show that He is one with God, not inferior but demonstrating the very nature of God manifest in human form. This is consistent with the appearances of the Malakh HaShem (Angel/Messenger of YHVH) of the Tanakh, Who in a number of places is clearly the resurrected and transcendent Messiah.
Authority does not negate equality. Authority denotes position whereas equality expresses nature. The value of like things does not change based on the roles they have.
20 For the Father (Pater[G], ha-Av[H]) loves, cherishes, has an intimate friendship with (phileo[G], oheiv[H]) the Son (ho-huios[G], ha-ben[H]), and shows, points out, teaches, demonstrates, makes known to (deiknumi[G], umoreh[H]) Him all things (pas[G], kol[H]) that He (The Father) Himself is (has been) doing, making, constructing (poieo[G], ya’aseh[H]); and will show Him (Yeshua) greater (megas[G], gedoliym[H]) works, deeds, actions (ergon[G], ma’asiym[H]) than these, so that you will marvel, wonder, admire, be amazed (thaumazo[G], titamahu[H]).
For the Father loves, cherishes, has an intimate friendship with the Son, and shows, points out, teaches, demonstrates, makes known to Him all things that He (The Father) Himself is (has been) doing, making, constructing; and will show Him (Yeshua) greater works, deeds, actions than these, so that you will marvel, wonder, admire, be amazed.
The “greater works” are about to be made manifest in the life of Yeshua unto the salvation of all who will believe. Up to this point in time Israel has witnessed the miraculous works of God and is privileged to carry His written word: now, the Living Word is manifest in her presence to fill the redemptive purposes of God in her midst and cause her to marvel at the goodness born of God’s Holiness through the vicarious work of Yeshua.
The purpose of the works that the Father manifests through the Son is to cause the Judean religious Jews to marvel and admire the Son and the Father. Of course this will be extended to include all Jews and later Gentiles also. However, Yeshua is speaking these words directly to His opponents the Judean religious Jews. God’s plan for them is their salvation through Yeshua, Whom the presently despise but will later admire and believe in (John 11:45; 12:41; Acts 2).
21 For just as the Father (ho-Pater[G], ha-Av[H]) raises, wakens, arouses (egeiro[G], yaiyr[H]) the dead (ho-nekros[G], et-ha’meitiym[H]) and gives (has given) them life, quickens living (zoopoieo[G], veychayeh[H]), even so the Son (ho-huios[G], ha-ben[H]) also gives life, quickens living (zoopoieo[G], yechayeh[H]) to whomever He wills, intends, designs (thelo[G], yechpatz[H]).
For just as the Father raises, wakens, arouses the dead and gives them life, quickens living, even so the Son also gives life, quickens living to whomever He wills, intends, designs.
Ezekiel 37:5 attributes the act of resurrection to God Himself. Once again, this statement denotes the unity of God the Father and God the Son. Only God gives life, therefore, if the Son also gives life He is God with us.
“18 No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” -John 10:18 (NASB)
22 For not even the Father (ho-Pater[G], ha-Av[H]) judges (krino[G], yadiyn[H]) anyone, men, human beings (iysh[H]), but all, every kind of (pas[G], kulo[H]) judgment, sentence, decision (krisis[G], ha-mishpat[H]) has been given (didomi[G], natan[H]) into the hand (beyad[H]) of the Son (ho-huios[G], ha-ben[H]),
For not even the Father judges anyone, men, human beings, but all, every kind of judgment, sentence, decision has been given into the hand of the Son,
With regard to judgement God is no hypocrite, the Father Who is outside all things and in Whom all things exist does not pretend to be a human being or to have the frailty of a human being. However, the Son, God with us, experiences all things as we have and is therefore fully qualified in His own frailty to judge humanity (Phil. 2:5-7; Heb.4:15). Not that God the Father is unqualified, but that He perfects His qualification in the Son Who was crucified before the creation of the world in anticipation of humanity’s decision to sin. Therefore, God remains Judge in the sense that He gives judgement over to the Son in order that the Father might outwork His perfect justice.
“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” -Hebrews 4:15 (NASB)
23 so that all (pas[G], chulam[H]) will honour, pay homage to (timao[G], yechabdu[H]) the Son (ho-huios[G], ha-ben[H]) even as they honour, pay homage to (timao[G], yechabdu[H]) the Father (ho-Pater[G], ha-Av[H]). He who does not honour, pay homage to (timao[G], lo-yechabeid[H]) the Son (ho-huios[G], ha-ben[H]) also does not honour, pay homage to (timao[G], mechaveid[H]) the Father (ho-Pater[G], ha-Av[H]) who sent Him (pempo[G], shelachu[H]).
so that all will honour, pay homage to the Son even as they honour, pay homage to the Father. He who does not honour, pay homage to the Son also does not honour, pay homage to the Father who sent Him.
Yeshua is describing His role as King over Israel in the line of David. He is the King Messiah and has therefore been given authority by God and has submitted Himself back to God.
To deny that a son is born of a father is to call the father impotent. Therefore, to deny Yeshua’s Sonship is to deny God’s potency and is an act of dishonour toward God.
These words are a warning to the Judeans. They will be afforded the opportunity to honour Yeshua in the future, however, if they choose to dishonour Him they will prove that they have not known nor truly ever honoured the Father, El Elhohay Yisrael.
It is interesting to note that the Judeans had an officer of the Sanhedrin named “Av Beit Din”. Father of the House of Judgement, responsible for trying cases of religious law.
"and the father of the house of judgment", who judges thy judgments, or determines thy causes, is mighty over thy people, &c.'' -Targum on Song of Songs 7:4
Within early Jewish post Biblical literature a clearer figurative example of the role of the King Messiah in judging Israel would be hard to find.
24 “Amen[H] [G]Amen[H] [G] (B’emet[H], B’emet[H]), In truth, In truth, It’s certain, it’s certain, I say to you, he who hears, listens to, comprehends (akouo[G], ha’shomeia[H]) My word (logos[G], davariy[H]), and continues to believe, trust in, have faith in (pisteuo[G], uma’amiyn[H]) Him who sent (pempo[G], le’sholchiy[H]) Me, has (echo[G]) everlasting life, perpetual living, a living world (zoe-aionios[G], chay-olam[H]), and does not come (ve’lo yavo[H]) into judgment, sentencing (krisis[G], ba’mishpat[H]), but has passed (metabaino[G]) out of (ek[G]) the death [both physical and spiritual] (ho-thanatos[G], mimavet[H]) into life, living (zoe[G], la’chayiym[H]).
“Amen, Amen, I say to you, he who hears, listens to, comprehends My word, and continues to believe, trust in, have faith in Him who sent Me, has everlasting life, perpetual living, a living world, and does not come into judgment, sentencing, but has passed out of the death [both physical and spiritual] into life, living.”
“Shomeia” from “Shema” is the call of God to Israel from the very beginning (Deut. 6:4).
“continues to believe” The Greek is a present and continuous tense. Belief, faith, trust, is a journey begun that does not end. If your faith ends it proves itself to be counterfeit. I’m not speaking of doubt, doubt does not negate faith, to the contrary it qualifies faith.
“has everlasting life” Not will have, but already has, in Messiah Yeshua by trusting the Father we have already begun to live eternally.
“And does not come into sentencing” Although all will be judged at the end of the age (2 Cor. 5:10), we who believe have nothing to fear regarding the Judgement because Yeshua’s sacrifice has afforded us freedom from sentencing and condemnation. Yeshua promises us that we will not come into sentencing because by His work we have already “passed out of death (the second death) into life”. In other words the just judgement that was upon us because of our sin has been mediated by Yeshua, He has taken our rightful punishment and has therefore removed all possibility of us suffering the second death. Thus, “has passed out of the death [both physical and spiritual] into life, living.”
“14 Therefore, since the children share in [a]flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.” -Hebrews 2:14-25 (NASB)
“18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear [a]involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.” -1 John 4:18 (NASB)
Copyright 2020 Yaakov Brown
Founder of the Beth Melekh International Messiah Following Jewish Community,