In fact, theology in the traditional Christian Scholarship (Post the original Jewish Ecclesia: Messiah following Jews) sense, does not exist in the Messianic Hebrew faith, because to the Messianic Jew belief not acted on is unbelief.
1After (meta[G]) these (tauta[G]) words, essences, things (ha-devariym[H]) Yeshua[H, A] (Iesous[G], YHVH Saves, Jesus, Joshua) was walking (peripateo[G], halakh[H]) in the land (b’eretz[H]) of the Galilee (ha-Galiyl[H], a circuit), for He was unwilling to walk (halokh[H]) in Judea (Ioudaia[G], b’Yehudah[H]) because the Judeans, religious Jews (Ioudaios[G], Ha-Yehudiym[H]) were seeking to kill Him (Yeshua[H, A]).
“After these things” Means after the making whole of the lame man on the Sabbath of Purim [John 5:5-16] (which will become poignant in verse 23), after the feeding of the 28,000 (5000 men) [John 6:1-15], after the sign of walking on water and calming the storm [John 6:16-21], after the profession of His identity as the true manna from the heavens [John 6:48-51] and the means of salvation for all who will believe…
The Hebrew text of the Ha-Brit Ha-Chadashah (NT) says “Achar ha-devariym” After these words, essences, things…
“Yeshua was walking” The Hebrew “halakh” means more than just “physical walking”, it means to walk with spiritual, religious, moral integrity according to the perfect practice of God’s word. In Judaism our “halakhah” the way we practically walk our faith is inseparable from our theology. In fact, theology in the traditional Christian Scholarship (Post the original Jewish Ecclesia: Messiah following Jews) sense, does not exist in the Messianic Hebrew faith, because to the Messianic Jew belief not acted on is unbelief (ref. the book of Yaakov [James]). Therefore, one could understand the text by way of remez (hint) drash (comparative teaching), to say “Yeshua’s halakhah was among the common Jewish people of the Galilee, for He was unwilling to practice the halakhah of religious hypocrites.”
Regardless, the reason “Yeshua was not willing to walk in Judea” is clearly stated in the text, it was because the Judean religious leaders “wanted to kill Him”, and while it was His intention to go to the cross, He was determined that His death happen at the “opportune time.” We note that His life was not taken from Him by the authority of men but was given of Him by the authority of God (John 10:17-18).
The sign/miracle that became the catalyst for the Religious leaders’ plan to kill Yeshua was the making whole of the man at Beit Chasda (House of kindness/practical love), because Yeshua had performed a miracle on the Sabbath (John 5:5-16). This is affirmed as we read on, in the discussion over Yeshua’s sanity and the hypocrisy of those who claim Moses as their guide and yet do not keep the Torah that Moses gave to them, albeit from God via Moses. How sadly ironic that the miracle which ignited such hatred toward Yeshua was performed in the House of Kindness by the Kindest man Who ever lived.
“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.” -John 5:18 Author’s translation
“for He was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Judeans, religious Jews, were seeking to kill Him.” We see here one of the many examples showing why it is foolish to translate the Greek Ioudaios as “Jews” in general. The context of this passage shows clearly that Yeshua was walking among Jews in the Galilee but did not walk among the Jews of the region of Judea because a group of religious Jews from Judea were intent on killing Him. Therefore, in the context of this passage all are Jews, some are Galileans, some Judeans, some religious, some secular, some of one sect, some of another, all Ioudaios but not all Ioudaios from the region of Ioudaia, though most made regular aliyah (going up) to Jerusalem in Judea for the three Regaliym (Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot). It is the foolish general translational choice to equivocate all instances of Ioudaios, that has led to some of the most heinous anti-Semitic theology and action of the so called “Christian Church”. It shames the Name of Christ and has mislead countless people of genuine faith for millennia.
2 Now the feast (Chag[H]) of the Judeans, religious Jews (Ioudaios[G], Ha-Yehudiym[H]), the Feast (Chag[H]) of Sukkot[H] (Shelters), was near.
“Now the feast of the Judeans, religious Jews” Because all observant Jews (from all over Israel and not just from Judea) went up to this feast, the “Feast of the Judeans” here refers to a feast all Jews participated in. Once again, context is key to translation, interpretation and understanding.
“The feast of Sukkot was near” Much time has passed since the end of chapter 6. The events of chapter seven begin some months later. The feast of Shavuot (Pentecost) has been skipped by the author and we now find ourselves nearing the end of the year at the time of the later harvest heading toward fall and winter. The author of the Gospel of John does not intend his Gospel to relay a blow by blow historical and chronologically detailed account like that of Luke. The theme of this Gospel regards the present deity of the Messiah and His redemptive purpose as the Lamb of God come to give Himself as a vicarious sacrifice for all who would receive Him. Thus, the next point in the revelation of the theme begins prior to Sukkot, that festival which prophecies the future dwelling of God with His redeemed creation.
A sound understanding of the festival of Sukkot (Lev. 23:33-43; Num. 29:12-39; Deut. 16:13-16) and its customs is key to a correct interpretation of John 7:37-39 and 8:12. The festival of Sukkot is the backdrop for John chapters 7 and 8.
Sukkot begins 5 days after Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) on the 15th of Tishri (Shabbat or seventh month of the Biblical lunar calendar). It is highly likely given Yeshua’s strict observance of the Torah, that He had gone up to Jerusalem for Yom Kippur and had returned to the Galilee for the 5 day interim period between Yom Kippur and Sukkot. He had every intention of going up for Sukkot, in His own timing (according to God’s timing).
Sukkot is the festival of the later harvest and is full of completions: seven days, seventy sacrificial bulls etc. It has a long standing connection to the nations, from the time of the giving of the Torah in the presence of seventy elders, to the time of the prophet Zechariyah, and in the Talmud of rabbinical Judaism, and beyond.
“16 Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.17 And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the
Concerning the seventy bulls required by Numbers 29:12-34, which were to be sacrificed over the seven days of the festival of Sukkot, the Talmud Bavliy says:
“Rabbi El’azar said, ‘To what do these seventy bulls correspond? To the seventy nations…” (Sukkah 55b)
Based on the many correlations between the number seventy and the nations in the Torah, rabbinic tradition teaches that seventy is a number for the nations and that the seventy bulls sacrificed during Sukkot are meant as an atonement for the nations.
Jewish Tradition and Practice During First Century CE Sukkot Celebrations at the Temple in Jerusalem:
Apart from the continued Torah instructed practice of dwelling, sleeping, eating and drinking, in temporary shelters, first century Jews practiced various other rites during Sukkot in Jerusalem each year.
The waving of the four species or Lulav (still practiced today) made up of branches of palm tree, myrtle, and willow, bound up together in a bundle. These were carried in the right hand, with an etrog (citron native to Israel) in the left. The lulav is waved three times first toward the east, then south, east, north, toward the heavens and then toward the lower regions and brought back to rest over the heart of the worshipper. This signifies that God is Creator and sustains of all things.
In the first century the priests walked around the altar once, with the lulav in their hands, saying the words "Hoshana Save now, I plead to You, O Lord, O Lord I plead to You, send now prosperity" (Psalm 118:25): and on the seventh day, they went around the altar seven times (Mishnah. ib. c. 4. sect. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Maimon. Hilch. Lulab, c. 7. sect. 5, 6, 9, 23).
There were great Menorah-like four branched candles stands in the Temple precinct. At sundown on the first day of the feast, they went down to the court of the women where golden candlesticks had been erected, and at the head of them four golden basins, and four ladders to every candlestick, and four young priests had four pitchers of oil, that held a hundred and twenty logs (an ancient measure of oil), which they put into each basin. Wicks were made from the old breeches and girdles of the priests, and it was these oil soaked wicks that the priests would light. There was not a court in Jerusalem which was not lit up with that light, and religious men, and men of good works, danced before them, with lighted torches in their hands, singing songs and hymns of praise, which continued for the following six nights (Mishnah. Succah, c. 5. sect 2, 3, 4; Maimon. ib. c. 8. sect. 12.).
On every day of the festival water was drawn from the pool of Siloach (sent), and was poured along with wine upon the altar as a libation offering, which was celebrated with great rejoicing (simchateinu). During the illumination in the court of the women, many instruments were employed such as harps, psalteries, cymbals, and two priests with trumpets, who sounded them when they were given the signal, and on every day, as they brought water from the pool of Siloach to the altar, they sounded with trumpets, and shouted; the great "Hallel" (Psalms 136), was sung all the eight days (Mishnah. ib. c. 4. sect. 8, 9. & c. 5. 1, 4, 5. & Eracin, c. 2. sect. 3). The whole festival was one of great rejoicing, according to Leviticus 23:40.
3 Therefore His brothers (achiym[H]) said to Him (Yeshua), “Leave here and go into the region of Judea (Ioudaia[G], b’Yehudah[H]), so that Your disciples (talmidim[H]) also may see Your works, deeds (ergon[G], ha-ma’asiym[H]) which You are doing, making (oseh[H]).
It seems clear that Yeshua had many disciples outside His intimate retinue and that many of them were not always with Him but were Judean Jews who often spent time in Judea among the religious community there. The suggestion of Yeshua’s biological brothers is a practical one, and in and of itself is not wrong.
4 For no one does anything, word (davar[H]) in secret (kruptos[G], seiter[H]) when he himself seeks to be known (l’hivodeia[H]) publicly, become famous. If You’re going to do these things, show Yourself to the world (kosmos[G], ha-olam[H]).”
“no one does anything in secret when, he himself seeks to be known publicly.” Initially the suggestion of Yeshua’s brothers may have been well meaning, a desire to see Yeshua succeed in His role as a great teacher of Israel. However, their disbelief alluded to in the following verse illuminates their true motivation. Like so many others of their generation and like so many human beings throughout the generations, the thought of failing to promote one’s gifts in order to form a mass following seemed ludicrous to them.
We are guilty of the same idolatrous sin today: Mega Churches, Media promotion of certain faith leaders, buildings, empires, mass followings, and all contrary to the ministry of Messiah Yeshua. Our motivation has been self-promoting idolatry, whereas Yeshua’s motivation was to walk according to the redemptive purposes of God and in full obedience to the Father regardless of what that meant for His own reputation and well-being.
“Secret, hidden” The use of the Greek kruptos, meaning “secret, hidden, concealed” is poignant, given that Yeshua had explained earlier (some months past, but directly precedent to this chapter) that He is the “true bread from the heavens”( John 6:48-51), the manna that had been hidden, kept secret, concealed from the eyes of the Jewish people up to this point in history. Yeshua is the hidden manna in that He can be seen only by those who receive Him. He has no need of popularity because His intent is not to please the public but to honour God His Father. Modern believers would do well to emulate Him.
“The one who has an ear, let that one hear what the Spirit says to the body of believers. To that one who overcomes, to that person I will give some of the hidden, secret, concealed (krupto) manna (bread from the heavens), and I will give that person a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but the one who receives it.’” -Yeshua’s Revelation to Yochanan 2:17
5 For not even His brothers (achiym[H]) were believing in Him, thought Him true, were persuaded of Him, had faith in Him, trusted Him (pisteuo[G], he’emiynu[H]).
Yeshua’s brothers are named in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark as: Yaakov, Yosef, Yehudah, and Shimon. These were sons of Miriyam (Mary) and Yosef (Joseph), Yeshua’s biological mother and earthly but not biological father (Matt.13:55-56; Mark. 6:3).
“A stranger I have become to my brothers and a foreigner to the children of My mother…” -Tehilim (Psalms) 69:8 Author’s translation
It’s important to note that the disbelief of Yeshua’s brothers did not persist after His death and resurrection. We know for certain that Yaakov became not only a believer in Yeshua but also a leader of the early Messianic Jewish sect (The Way) [Acts. 2:17, 15:13, 21:18, Galatians. 1:19, 2:9, 12]. He is also the most likely author of the book of Yaakov (James) included in the Ha-Brit Ha-Chadashah (NT). Another brother Yehudah is thought to be the author of the NT book of Yehudah (Jude).
6 So Yeshua[H] said to them, “The true measure, opportune time for Me (ho kairos[G]) is not yet here, but your true measure, opportune time (ho kairos[G]) is all the time, any time, always now (pantote[G]).
In other words, pursuing popularity, self-promotion and idolatry are always the go to for those who are spiritually blind. In and of itself fame is not wrong, the Scriptures tell us that because HaShem was “with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land” (Joshua 6:27), but when the pursuit of fame seeks to promote self rather than the Gospel, or worse, in place of the Gospel, it becomes idolatry.
7 The world (kosmos[G], ha-olam[H]) can’t hate you, but it hates Me because I testify (meiiyd[H]) of it, that its deeds are perpetual, intense, multiples of evil (raiym[H]).
The sin affected people of this world love those who tell them what they want to hear, but those who challenge sin and teach the need for sacrifice and repentance are hated by this world. Why? Because our evil actions are perpetual, so much so that evil has become the norm. Therefore, when our long held beliefs are challenged we do what all sin affected people do, we become defensive and attack the one who has exposed the lie of our existence.
8 Go up to the feast (Chag[H]) yourselves; I do not go up to this feast (Chag[H]) because the true measure, opportune time for Me (ho kairos[G]) has not yet (oupo[G]) fully come (pleroo[G]).” 9 Having said these things to them, He stayed in the Galilee (ba’Galiyl[H], b’Galeela[A]).
Notice that Yeshua’s brothers were religiously observant Jews who had clearly planned to make aliyah (going up) for the Regaliym Festival of Sukkot (Shelters).
Both the context and the grammar tell us that Yeshua was not saying that He wouldn’t go at all, rather He was saying that He would come at the appropriate time. The present tense of the Greek is better translated as “I’m not presently going up”.
10 But when His brothers (achiym[H]) had gone up to the festival (Chag[H]), then He Himself also made aliyah[H] (went up), not openly (b’gelya[A]), but in secret, hidden, concealed (kruptos[G]). 11 So the Judeans, religious Jews (Ioudaios[G], Ha-Yehudiym[H]) were seeking Him at the feast (Chag[H]) and were saying, “Where is He?”
Yeshua had always intended to attend. It is likely that He followed soon after His brothers and arrived in time for the beginning of the feast so as to make His chagigah or sacrifice according to first century practice. The journey from the Galilee to Jerusalem was approximately 3 days by foot, with stops to rest each evening). However, the Mishnah allows for the sacrifice to be made at another point during the festival (Mishnah. Chagiga, c. 1. sect. 6. Maimon. Hilch. Chagiga, c. 2. sect. 4, 5, 6, 7). Therefore, regardless of when He went up, He non the less kept the Torah requirement, as was His custom.
The anger of the Religious leaders was such that they were actively searching for Yeshua at the festival. However, we note that they at very least considered Yeshua an observant Jew, or else why were they looking for Him at the feast?
12 There was much murmuring, grumbling, secret displeasure (goggusmos[G]) among the crowds concerning Him (Yeshua[H]); some were saying, “He is a good man”; others were saying, “No, on the contrary, He causes people to go astray (planao[G]).” 13 Yet no one was speaking openly of Him for fear of the Judeans, religious Jews (Ioudaios[G], Ha-Yehudiym[H]).
The people of Israel were undecided as to whether Yeshua was a good, even truly prophetic figure or a heretic. Some spoke quietly against Him, others spoke quietly in His favour, but such was the power of the religious leaders that none spoke publicly concerning Him for fear of religious persecution or being “Put out of the synagogue”.
14 But when it was now the middle (alt. chol ha-moediym[H] intermediary days) of the feast (Chag[H]) Yeshua[H] (Jesus) went up into the Temple (hieron[G], ha-Mikdash[H]), and began to teach.
Some date this Sukkot festival to the year 29 CE, the definitive middle of the festival being at the convergence of yom shiyshiy and the beginning of the only weekly Shabbat of the festival. If this dating is correct the ministry years of Yeshua spanned 27-30 CE.
“…into the Mikdash (temple)” 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. In other words, at the time of these events Yeshua’s teaching was made available only to Jews.
15 the Judeans, religious Jews (Ioudaios[G], Ha-Yehudiym[H]) marvelled, were astonished, admired His teaching (thaumazo[G]) saying, “How has this man become knowledgeable, learned in sacred things, having never been educated?”
“How has this man become knowledgeable, learned in sacred things, having never been educated?” In other words, “How is this hick from the Kinneret (Galilee) able to clearly articulate Jewish halakhic teaching without ever having attended a yeshivah or studied under a famous rabbi or scholar?”
Interestingly the Talmud acknowledges that Yeshua was taught by the great Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Peracyah, the chief teacher of his day (Sanhedrin 107b, Sotah 47a). However, that is utter nonsense, given that the rabbi in question lived a hundred years earlier. Still, the point is that Jewish tradition does not record Yeshua as being ignorant of religious training and knowledge.
16 So Yeshua[H] answered them and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me (sholkhiy[H]). 17 If anyone is willing to do His will, that one will know of the teaching, whether it is of the God (ho Theos[G], Elohiym[H]) or whether I speak (adabeir[H]) from Myself.
In reality Yeshua’s learning, knowledge, and application were in this world but not of it. His wisdom and practice are from above, the impartation of the Father God. His teaching, perpetual, sacred and transcendent.
“…whether it is of the God or whether I speak from Myself.” The beautiful irony here is that in either case the teaching is of God.
18 He who speaks from himself seeks, craves, demands (zeteo[G]) his own judgement, opinion, view, glory (doxa[G], k’vod[H]); but He who is seeking the judgement, opinion, view, glory (doxa[G], k’vod[H]) of the One who sent Him, He is true, faithful, trustworthy (alethes[G], ne’eman[H]), and there is no injustice, unrighteousness (adikia[G]) in Him.
Note the intrinsic connection between judgement (discernment, view) and glory (honour). This link between judgement and glory bears fruit in verse 24 where Yeshua challenges the false judgement/glory of His hearers.
19 “Didn’t Moshe[H] (drawn out) give (natan[H]) you the Instruction (Ha-Torah[H]), and yet none among you does, acts out (oseh[H]) the Instruction (Ha-Torah[H])? Why do you seek to kill Me?”
In fact Moses gave Israel the Instruction of God, the author and goal of that Instruction being Yeshua Himself. The religious Jewish community of the first century were proud of their connection to the Torah and Moses, and yet they did not do what the Torah required. This is true of so many people of faith today. We are aware of what we should do but non the less act in a contrary fashion. Yeshua is not exposing their inaction but their hypocrisy.
20 The crowd answered, “You have an evil spirit, demon, divinity, god (daimonion[G], sheid[H])! Who seeks to kill You?”
In modern terms, “You’re a demonized psycho, a sicko, crazy person…”
21 Yeshua[H] answered them, “I did (poieo[G]) one (echad[H]) deed, work (ergon[G]) and you all admire, marvel (thaumazo[G]).
The work Yeshua speaks of is recorded in John 5:5-16, and concerns the making whole of the lame man at the pool of Beit Chasda on the Shabbat of Purim now some months prior. John 5:18 quite literally says that the religious Jewish leaders “sought to kill” Yeshua because of this miraculous sign performed on the Shabbat. Thus, what follows concerns actions that are permissible by first century Jewish halakhah on the Shabbat, even when they contradict the Shabbat commandment.
22 For this reason Moshe[H] (drawn out) has given (natan[H]) you circumcision (ha-miylah[H]) [not because it’s from Moses, but from the fathers (ha-Avot[H], Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov)], and on the Sabbath (Ha-Shabbat[H]) you circumcise (tamulu[H]) a man.
“Moses has given you circumcision” Leviticus 12:3
“…not because it’s from Moses, but from the fathers” God originally gave the commandment of circumcision to Avraham in Genesis 17:1-27, which he carried out on Yitzchak in Genesis 21:4, and it was perpetuated by Yitzchak and Yaakov respectively. This occurred centuries prior to the command given through Moses, which was a reiteration of the original command.
"we do not circumcise because Abraham our father, on whom be peace, circumcised himself and his household, but because the holy blessed God commanded us by Moses, that we should be circumcised, as Abraham our father was circumcised.'' -Maimon. in Mishnah. Cholin, c. 7. sect. 6.
23 If a male receives circumcision (timol[H]) on the Sabbath (Ha-Shabbat[H]) so that the Instruction (Torah[H]) of Moshe[H] will not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made an entire human being (anthropos[G]) sound, whole, fully restored (hugies[G]) on the Sabbath (Ha-Shabbat[H])?
The Torah commands that a Jewish male be circumcised on the eight day (Gen. 17:12; Lev. 12:3), however, it also prohibits work on the Shabbat (Exodus 20:9-10, 23:12, 31:14-15, 34:21; Lev. 23:3; Deut. 5:12-14 etc.) Therefore, if the eighth day of a new born male’s life falls on a Shabbat there is a practical conflict. It is clear from the text that the halakhah of the first century Judean Jews under these circumstances was to practice circumcision on the Shabbat. The Talmud tractate Shabbat 128b-137b records this halakhic practice for posterity. Therefore, that which Yeshua referred to was a well-known and accepted halakhic practice. Yeshua was not denying its validity, rather He was using it as an example so as to expose the hypocrisy of His accusers.
Yeshua is using a form of reasoning which in Judaism is called kal ve’chomer or a light and heavy argument. He is essentially saying, “You permit the breaking of the Shabbat in order to circumcise, how much more important is it to make a person whole on the Shabbat?”
Jewish tradition agrees with Yeshua’s reasoning. The Talmud Bavliy sites the principle that saving a life suspends the Shabbat:
“Rabbi El’azar answered, ‘If circumcision. Which involves only one of the 248 human body parts, suspends Shabbat, how much more must [healing] the whole body suspend Shabbat.” -Talmud Bavliy Yoma 85b
"…the preservation of the soul life, suspends the Shabbat…” -Talmud. Bavliy. Shabbat, fol. 132. 1.
Put simply, a suffering person cannot rest, therefore, in order for the suffering person to keep the Shabbat that person must first be made whole. After all, Shabbat means “Seventh, blessing, stop, rest, pause, completion, wholeness, sound construction and transcendent peace.”
24 Do not separate, select, prefer, determine, judge (krino[G], tish’petu[H]) according to sight, seeing, appearance (opsis[G], lemareih[H]), but, instead by righteous, innocent, faultless observation (dikaios[G], tzedek[H]) separate, distinguish, make just, right judgment, alt. conclude justly (krisis[G], mishpat[H]).”
This verse challenges the false sight of the religious Jewish leaders and those among the crowd who oppose Yeshua’s teaching. He brings to summation the idea seeded in verse 18 concerning the intrinsic connection between judgement and glory, as a means of challenging His hearers to choose a different way of looking at, perceiving, judging, accessing things. If they were to follow His advice they would receive Him and His teaching and find redemption.
Every modern believer is promptly challenged to do away with the foolish, decontextualized popular pseudo Christian phrase, “Don’t judge”. While it is true that Scripture indicates elsewhere that we are not in any position to condemn others or pass judgement on them, it is certainly not true that we should not judge. A lack of judgement results in sin. Rather, we are instructed to judge well, truly, rightly, based on Godly sight born of the righteousness purchased for us in Messiah. Therefore, “Stop judging by mere appearances and make a truly just judgement.”
Copyright 2020 Yaakov Brown
Sefer Yochanan (Gospel According to John) Chapter 6 Pt.2Eat My Flesh & Drink My Blood (John 6:33-71)
“For the soul living of the flesh is in the blood; and Him I have given to all of you upon the altar to purge, make reconciliation upon your soul existence: for the blood, He is in the soul purging reconciliation.” -Vayikra (Leviticus) 17:11 (Author’s Translation)
What follows is the extension of Yeshua’s exposition regarding the manna from the heavens and His identity as the “True Manna” from the heavens. This idea is further developed and illuminated in the hearing of His listeners and culminates in a sifting of the wheat from the chaff (making a distinction between the devout disciples and the faithless ones). Leaving only the faithful few at His side.
34 Therefore (oun[G]), they said to Him (Yeshua), “Lord, Master (Kurios[G], Adoniy[H]), always give (tanah lanu[H]) us this (touton[G], et[H], ha-zeh[H]) the bread (ho artos[G], ha-lechem[H]).”
34 Therefore, they said to Yeshua, “Lord, Master, always give us this the bread.”
“Therefore” relates to all that has gone before, the sign of the loaves and fishes, the sign of the walking on water, and the subsequent teaching regarding the true Author of the manna given to Israel’s forebears.
They are responding to the words that Yeshua has just spoken concerning His identity as the bread from heaven, however, they have not understood what He has said.
“JOHN 6:33 For the bread (lechem[H]) of God (Theos[G], Elohiym[H]) is Him (hu[H]) Who comes down (hayoreid[H]) out of the heavens (ouranos[G], ha-shamayim[H]), and gives (notein[H]) living (zoe[G], chayiym[H]) to the world (kosmos[G], laolam[H]).”
“They” That is, some of those present. It is impossible to know how many addressed Yeshua with this request.
“Lord” To call Yeshua Lord denotes respect but it does not reflect the inner being of those who are petitioning Him.
“Always give us this bread” This is an ironically insightful use of language, however, it is clear from their response later in the text, that they were seeking something other than what Yeshua was offering.
At Yeshua’s final Pesach (Passover) Seder meal one of those present reflected their first century Jewish understanding of the metaphysical nature of the Olam Haba (World to come/Kingdom of God & His Messiah King):
“When one of those who reclined at table with Him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” -Luke 14:15 (ESV)
Our sages say of the manna:
“in the manna were all kinds of tastes, and everyone of the Israelites tasted all that he desired; for so it is written in Devarim (Deut.) 2:7, "these forty years the Lord your God has been with you, you have lacked nothing", or "not wanted for anything"; what is anything? when he desired to eat anything, and said with his mouth, O that I had fat to eat, immediately there was in his mouth the taste of fat. Young men tasted the taste of bread, old men the taste of honey, and children the taste of oil.'' -Shemot Rabba, sect. 25. fol. 108. 4.
"whoever desired flesh, he tasted it, and whoever desired fish, he tasted it, and whoever desired fowl, chicken, pheasant, or pea hen, so he tasted whatever he desired.'' -Bamidbar Rabba, sect. 7. fol. 188. 1.
35 Yeshua[H, A] (Iesous[G], YHVH Saves, Jesus, Joshua) said to them, “I Am, I exist, I’m present, I’m happening, I AM He (ego eimi [G], Anachiy hu[H]) the bread (ho artos[G], lechem[H]) of the life, living (ho zoe[G], ha-chayiym[H]); all (kol[H]) who come (ha-bah[H]) to Me (eme[G]) will not hunger, continue to be hungry (peinao[G]), and all who believe, are persuaded of, have placed confidence, trusted (pisteuo[G], yamiyn[H]) in Me (eme[G]) will never at any time, perpetually (popote[G], od[H]) suffer from thirst (dispsao[G]).
35 Yeshua said to them, “I Am, I exist, I’m present, I’m happening, I AM He the bread of the life, living; all who come to Me will not hunger, continue to be hungry, and all who believe, are persuaded of, have placed confidence, trusted in Me will never at any time, perpetually suffer from thirst.
“I AM, I Exist” This is the self-existing statement of God the Father (Ex. 3:14; Jn. 1:1-3; 6:20; 8:58). For the religiously observant Jewish reader there is no question that Yeshua is claiming deity.
“I Am the bread of perpetual living” Yeshua is not just a form of bread but is the eternally sustaining bread of the unbroken age (Olam Haba)
“all who come to Me will not hunger, continue to be hungry,” Coming to Yeshua is the first step in response to His invitation. One can’t believe, trust, without first having come.
The Kohen who wrote the book of Hebrews reminds us:
“But without faith it is impossible to please God: because in order for a person to come to God, that person must first believe that God exists, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” -Hebrews 11:6 (Author’s translation)
To hunger is to be devoid of the necessary fuel for existence. Therefore, to be free from hunger is to be perpetually energized.
“and all who believe in Me will never at any time, perpetually suffer from thirst.” Coming to God through Yeshua is the beginning, believing is a continuing act of the will and by its nature means the receipt of salvation (yeshuah). To thirst means to be devoid of the primary resource of life. To use modern terminology, the body is made up predominantly of water, and can survive not more than three days without it. How much more important then, are the metaphorical waters of eternal existence. Yeshua promises these mayiym chatiym (living waters) to all who continue to believe in Him.
36 And I (ve’Aniy[H]) behold, pay attention (hineih[H]) have spoken to you, since (hoti[G]) indeed (kai[G], gam[H]) you have seen, observed (horao[G], chaziytim[H]) Me (otiy[H]) with your eyes, and yet are not (lo[H]) persuaded, convinced, trusting, believing (pisteuo[G], te’miynu[H]).
36 And I, behold, pay attention, have spoken to you, since indeed you have seen, observed Me with your eyes, and yet are not persuaded, convinced, trusting, believing.
In other words. Yeshua is expounding on the concepts He has seeded in order to provide His hearers with the greatest possible opportunity to receive His teaching and come to repentance.
37 All [individually] (kol[H]) that My Father [the Father] (ho Pater[G], Aviy[H]) gives (yit’nenu[H], didomi[G]) Me will come (Yavo[H]) to Me (eme[G]), and the one who comes (erchomai[G], ve’haba[H]) to Me I will certainly not (lo[H]) cast, drive, send, repulse (ekballo[G], eh’dafenu[H]) outside (exo[G], hachutzah[H]).
37 All (individually) that My Father [the Father] gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast, drive, send, repulse outside.
In one verse the foolish debate pitting predestination against freewill is silenced. “All individually that my Father GIVES Me (Predestination)… and the one who comes to Me (Freewill)…”
Therefore the answer to the false choice “Freewill or Predestination?” is “Yes!”
Grace is offered to all but can only be received by the repentant.
Predestination can’t exist without Love. Love can’t be reciprocated without Freewill. Therefore, the Chooser, knowing the outcome, proposes relationship, and the chosen choose to be predestined.
Predestination is a fruit of God’s nature stemming from the fact that He sees the end from the beginning (something we are incapable of ). Freewill is the seed of our view from within time and space, that when fully grown produces the tree from which it came.
38 For (kiy[H]) I have not (lo[H]) come down (katabaino[G], yarad’tiy[H]) from (min[H]) the heavens (ouranos[G], ha-shamayim[H]) to do, make, accomplish (poieo[G], la’asot[H]) My own will, determinations, wishes (thelema[G], retzoniy[H]), but the will, determinations, wishes of Him (thelema[G], im-retzon[H]) Who sent Me (pempo[G], sholchiy[H]).
38 For I have not come down from the heavens to do, make, accomplish My own will, determinations, wishes, but the will, determinations, wishes of Him who sent Me.
Having descended from the Father in the heavens, Yeshua has come to do the will of the Father Who sent Him. The Hebrew “sholchiy” meaning sent me is related to the Hebrew Shaliyach, sent one, emissary or Apostle. In these terms Yeshua is the first and Ultimate Apostle. As is the case in all things, Yeshua submits His will to God’s will, thus showing the order and unity of the Godhead. The Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son but the Son is not outside the Father, and therefore He submits to the Father.
39 And this is (ve’zeh[H]) the will, determination, wish of Him [the Father] (thelema[G], retzon ha-Av[H]) Who sent Me (pempo[G], sh’lachaniy[H]), that of all [individually] (kol[H]) that He has given (didomi[G], hanitan[H]) Me I destroy, render useless (apollumi[G]) nothing (lo-yovar[H]), but raise it up (anistemi[G], akiymenu[H]) on [in] the extreme, uttermost, last (eschatos[G]) day (hemera[G]) [bayom ha-acharon[H]].
39 And this is the will, determination, wish of Him [the Father] Who sent Me, that of all [individually] that He has given Me I destroy, render useless nothing, but raise it up on [in] the extreme, uttermost, last day.
“All that He has given Me” Includes all creation and those human beings who have been predestined to become His. Note that nothing given to Yeshua will suffer destruction. The resurrection is the resurrection and transformation of the present body into a transcendent metaphysical body. We will not rise as spirits alone (a pagan Gnostic idea) but as a redeemed unity of body, mind, spirit, heart, soul, breath.
It’s interesting to note that the Zohar speaks in similar terms regarding the resurrection of the latter day:
ולא יתאביד כלום, "and not anything shall be lost", but all shall rise again; for, lo, it is said, Dan. 12:2, "and many of them that sleep in the dust", &c.'' -Zohar in Exod. fol. 43. 4.
40 For this is the will, determination, wish (thelema[G], retzon[H]) of My Father (Pater mou[G], Aviy[H]), that everyone individually (pas[G], kol[H]) who beholds, sees (theoreo[G], ha-roeh[H]) the Son (ho uihos[G], et ha-Ben[H]) and believes, is persuaded, trusts (pisteuo[G], uma’amiyn[H]) in Him will have, hold (echo[G]) eternal, perpetual, unending, life, living (zoe aionios[G], chayeiy olam[H]) [living in a perpetual world], and I Myself (ego[G], va’Aniy[H]) will raise him up (anistemi[G], akiymenu[H]) on [in] the extreme, uttermost, last (eschatos[G]) day (hemera[G]) [bayom ha-acharon[H]].”
40 For this is the will, determination, wish of My Father, that everyone individually who beholds, sees the Son and believes, is persuaded, trusts in Him will have, hold eternal, perpetual, unending, life, living [living in a perpetual world], and I Myself will raise him up on [in] the extreme, uttermost, last day.”
Note that all who believe will hold or have (past tense) unending life. This life begins upon receipt of Yeshua and not at the resurrection. Those who receive Yeshua have already begun to live eternally. The life a believer lives in Yeshua is transcendent by nature of His transcendent person dwelling within each believer.
“Yeshua said to her, ‘I Am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will continue to live, even if he dies.’” -Yochanan (John) 11:25
"They shall be gathered from their captivity, they shall sit under the shadow of their Messiah, "and the dead shall live", and good shall be multiplied in the land.'' -Targum Hosea 14:8
"the holy blessed God will quicken the righteous, and they shall not return to their dust.'' -T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 92. 1.
"the land (of the living), whose dead live first in the days of the Messiah.” -T. Hieros. Kilaim, fol. 32. 3.
It is said that Rabbi Jeremiah wanted to he buried with his clothes and shoes on, and his staff in his hand, so that when the Messiah came, he would be ready (T. Hieros. Kilaim, foi. 32. 3. col. 2.).
Kimchi says regarding Isaiah 66:5:
"They shall live at the resurrection of the dead, in the days of the Messiah.''
And regarding Jeremiah 23:20:
""ye" shall consider, and not "they" shall consider; which intimates the "resurrection of the dead in the days of the Messiah".''
Iben Ezra says regarding Daniel 12:2:
"The righteous which die in captivity shall live, when the Redeemer comes;''
41 Therefore the Judeans, religious Jews (Ioudaios[G], Ha-Yehudiym[H]) were grumbling, muttering, speaking in a low tone (gogguzo[G]) about Him (Yeshua), because He said, “I Am, I exist, I’m present, I’m happening, I AM He (Ego[G] eimi[G], Anochiy[H]) Him (hu[H]) the bread (ho artos[G], ha-lechem[H]) that came down (katabaino[G], hayoreid[H]) out of heavens (ho ouranos[G], min-hashamayim[H]).” 42 They were saying, “Is not this Yeshua[H] [A] (Iesous[G] YHVH Saves), the son (uihos[G], ben[H]) of Yosef[H] (Joseph: YHVH adds), whose father (et aviyu[H]) and mother (et imo[H]) we know (yod’iym[H])? How does He now say, ‘I have come down (batiy[H]) out of the heavens (ek ho ouranos[G], min-hashamayim[H])?”
41 Therefore the Judeans, religious Jews were grumbling, muttering, speaking in a low tone about Him, because He said, “I am, I exist, I’m present, I’m happening, I AM He, Him the bread that came down out of heaven.” 42 They were saying, “Is not this Yeshua, the son of Yosef, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of the heavens?”
Those Judean religious Jews speaking about Yeshua (behind His back as it were) did so in a muttering low tone in order to speak ill of Him without Him being able to hear clearly. These same Judeans may have consisted of those who had been offended by His healing on the Shabbat during Purim in Jerusalem.
The Hebrew text makes it very clear why the Judeans were upset. In Hebrew Yeshua said “I Am Him the bread that came down from the heavens”. To them this could be heard as nothing short of blasphemy. The “I Am” phrase being the same as in the former use and referring to Yeshua’s deity.
Notice that these particular Judeans were familiar with the family of Yeshua. Perhaps even close to the family in community with them. They knew Yosef and Miriyam and were incredulous at the idea that an uneducated labourer’s son might claim such high standing.
“How does He now say” is equivalent to, “What qualifies him to speak this way?” or “This guy’s got a lot of chutzpah if He thinks He can get away with saying…”
43 Yeshua[H] [A] (Iesous[G] YHVH Saves) answered and said to them, “Do not mutter, grumble, speak in a low tone (gogguzo[G]) among yourselves. 44 No one (oudeis[G]) is able, has the power to (dunamai[G]) come (erchomai[G], lavo[H]) to Me unless My Father [the Father] (ho Pater[G], Aviy[H]) Who sent (pempo[G], shelachaniy[H]) Me draws, drags (helkuo[G]) him; and I (Kago[G], va’Aniy[H]) will raise him up (anistemi[G], akiymenu[H]) on the extreme last (eschatos[G]) day (hemera[G]) [bayom ha-acharon[H]].
43 Yeshua answered and said to them, “Do not mutter, grumble, speak in a low tone among yourselves. 44 No one is able, has the power to come to Me unless My Father [the Father] Who sent Me draws, drags him; and I will raise him up on the extreme last day.
Yeshua rebukes them for their rudeness and explains their own incredulity to them. The Greek uses helkuo, meaning to drag, perhaps an allusion to the way His hearers will later come to faith in Him.
45 It is written (grapho[G], katuv[H]) in the Prophets (Prophetes[G], Neviyim[H]), ‘And they shall all (vekulam[H]) be taught (y’lamdu[H]) of God (Elohiym[H], Theos[G]).’ For yes (Lachein[H]), everyone individually (Pas[G], kol[H]) who has heard (shama[H]) and learned (v’lamad[H]) from (min[H]) the Father (ho Pater[G], ha-Av[H]), comes to Me (yavo eilay[H]). 46 Not that anyone human (Adam[H]) has seen the Father (ho Pater[G], et ha-Av[H]), except the One Who is from the God (ho Theos[G], ha-Elohiym[H]); He (Hu[H]) has seen (ra’ah[H]) the Father (ho Theos[G]), the God (et ha-Elohiym[H]).
45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ For yes, everyone individually who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me. 46 Not that anyone human has seen the Father, except the One Who is from the God; He has seen the Father, the God.
“And no man has ascended up to the heavens, except He Who came down from the heavens, even the Son of man Who is in the heavens.” -Yochanan (John) 3:13 (Author’s translation)
“It is written in the Prophets” Isaiah 54:13; Jeremiah 31:34; Micah 4:2. The Neviyim (the Prophets) is a section of the wider body of Hebrew Scripture (Tanakh) that collects the prophetic writings of God’s prophets.
“And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.” - Isaiah 54:13 (KJV)
“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” - Jeremiah 31:34 (KJV)
“and many nations shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” -Micah 4:2 (ESV)
The Zohar confines those being taught by God to the ethnic, religious, chosen people of Israel:
"they are truly taught of God from whom prophecy comes, which does not to all the world, but to Israel only, of whom it is written, "and all thy children are taught of God".''
47 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 believes, is convinced, is persuaded, trusts, has, holds (echo[G]) eternal, perpetual, unending, life, living (zoe aionios[G], chayeiy olam[H]) [living in a perpetual world].
47 Amen Amen, In truth, In truth, It’s certain, it’s certain, I say to you, he who believes, is convinced, is persuaded, trusts, has, holds eternal, perpetual, unending, life, living.
As is always the case the double Amen is a testimony to the firmly established nature of that which Yeshua is about to say.
Once again it is affirmed that the person who believes in Yeshua already has life unending.
48 I am, I exist, I’m present, I’m happening, I AM He (ego eimi[G], Anochiy Hu[H]) the bread (ho artos[G], ha lechem[H]) of the life, the living (ho zoe[G], hachayiym[H]). 49 Your fathers (pateros[G], avoteiychem[H]) ate the manna (manna[G], ha man[H]: “What is it?”) in the wilderness (eremos[G], bamid’bar[H]: ba[in the] mi [from] davar [Word, essence, substance]), and they died (apothnesko[G], va’amutu[H]). 50 This is the bread (ho artos[G], ha lechem[H]) which comes down (katabaino[G], hayoreid[H]) out of the heavens (ho ouranos[G], min-hashamayim[H]), so that one may eat of it and not die (me apothnesko[G], velo yamut [H]).
48 I am, I exist, I’m present, I’m happening, I AM He the bread of the life, the living. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down out of the heavens, so that one may eat of it and not die.
Yet another “I Am” statement. The writer of John’s Gospel saturates His account with titles and figurative language pointing to the deity of Yeshua.
Yeshua reminds His hearers that the manna their forebears ate was temporal, resulting in the eventual death of their ancestors. Yeshua however was born in Beit Lechem “House of Bread”, the source of all sustenance, and He is the Bread of Eternal Living. The bread that once eaten will perpetuate a person’s life.
51 I am, I exist, I’m present, I’m happening, I AM He (ego eimi [G], Anachiy[H]) the bread (ho artos[G], ha lechem[H]), the living (ho zoe[G], hachayiym[H]) that came down (katabaino[G], hayoreid[H]) out of the heavens (ho ouranos[G], min-hashamayim[H]); if anyone eats of this one specific (toutou to[G]) bread (artos[G], lechem[H]), he will live (yich’yeh[H]), breathe (zao[G]) into (eis[G]) the unbroken age (ho aion[G], le’olam[H]) into the world everlasting; and the bread (ho artos[G], ha lechem[H]) also which I will give (didomi[G], et’nenu[H]) for the life, living (zoe[G], chayeiy[H]) of the world (ho kosmos[G], ha-olam[H]) is in My flesh (sarx[G], b’shariy[H]).”
51 I am, I exist, I’m present, I’m happening, I AM He the bread, the living, that came down out of the heavens; if anyone eats of this one specific bread, he will live, breathe into the unbroken age, into the world everlasting; and the bread also which I will give for the life, living of the world is in My flesh.”
“I AM, I Exist” This is the self-existing statement of God the Father (Ex. 3:14; Jn. 1:1-3; 6:20; 8:58).
“if anyone eats of this one specific (toutou to[G]) bread (artos[G], lechem[H])” The Greek text is interesting, leaving no room for a general or esoteric application of the bread Who is Yeshua. “This specific Yeshua (bread)” there is no other means of eternal sustenance.
Elsewhere Yochanan writes:
“Yeshua said to him, I Am Ha-Derekh (the way), Ha-Emet (the truth), and Ha-Chayiym (the life, living): no one person can come to the Father, except through, by, with Me.” -Yochanan (John) 14:6 YBYV
“Yeshua said to her, "I Am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will continue to live, even if he dies.” -Yochanan (John) 11:25
“he will live, breathe into the unbroken age, into the world everlasting” Notice that living and breathing are a unity. The Breath and Spirit are intrinsic and necessary. The Spirit of God is the breath of the believer Who maintains an unbroken life from the inception of belief into perpetuity.
“and the bread also which I will give for the life, living of the world is in My flesh.” Some so called “Messianics” teach a disconnect between these words and the symbolism alluded to by Yeshua concerning the bread (matzah) and the wine (Kos Ge’ulah) of Pesach (Passover). They’re wrong!
Unlike the synoptic Gospels Yochanan’s (John) Gospel does not allude to the symbolic use of the Pesach elements by Yeshua as pertaining to His body and blood. Therefore, the present text is an allusion to that which John does not mention elsewhere but is fundamentally important. Yeshua is saying that He will give His flesh, His human existence as a sacrifice so that those who believe might have the life eternal which He has promised. Therefore, there is an intrinsic connection between the present verse and the symbolic use of the matzot at Pesach (Passover). Yeshua is the Pesach Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world.
52 Then the Judeans, religious Jews (Ioudaios[G], Ha-Yehudiym[H]) began to argue, fighting (machomai[G]) with one another, saying, “How can this man give (didomi[G]) us His flesh (sarx[G], b’saro[H]) to eat (phago[G, le’echol[H])?”
52 Then the Judeans, religious Jews began to argue, fighting with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”
“Then the Judeans, religious Jews began to argue, fighting with one another” We note that the Judean religious Jews were not in agreement over what Yeshua had said and done. Some were clearly of the opinion that there was value in Yeshua’s signs and mashaliym (parables, metaphors, allegories), while others were fiercely opposed to Yeshua’s teaching. Thus, there was an argument between the Judean religious Jews concerning what they perceived as a difficult teaching.
53 So Yeshua[H] [A] (Iesous[G] YHVH Saves) said 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 say (Aniy omeir[H]) to you, unless you eat (phago[G], tochlu[H]) the flesh (ho sarx[G], et b’saro[H]) of the Son of the Man, humanity (ho uihos ho anthropos[G], ben ha-Adam[H]) and drink (pino[G], ush’tiytem[H]) His blood (aima[G], et damo[H]), you have, hold (echo[G]) no life, living (zoe[G], chayiym[H]) in (en[G]) yourselves (heautou[G], Qnoma[A]: underlying substance).
53 So Yeshua said to them, “Amen Amen, In truth, In truth, It’s certain, it’s certain, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of the Man, humanity and drink His blood, you have, hold no life, living in yourselves.
“Amen Amen” This is firmly and eternally established truth. Listen, pay attention, hear, receive, understand, implement!
It is not as many suppose, that Yeshua’s Jewish hearers thought He was suggesting cannibalism or pagan ritual. They were used to rabbis speaking in mashaliym (parables) and using metaphorical sayings like these. To the contrary, they considered it a hard teaching because they understood that Yeshua was saying they must live and continue to live as He lived, and that somehow He was also saying that it was possible for His very substance to be received by them and enable them to live this way. It was not difficult because it was non-kosher but because it was hyper-kosher.
A similar idea is addressed by our rabbis in the Midrash Rabbah to Ecclesiastes 2:24 where the issue of food and drink in the grave is addressed:
“‘The days of his life’; and that alludes to the grave. So are there food and drink in the grave that accompany a person to the grave? Of course not. Therefore, ‘food and drink’ must mean Torah and mitzvot’” -Midrash Rabah to Ecclesiastes 2:24
The point being that it was common practice for the rabbis and sages of Judaism to use figurative and metaphorical language when addressing spiritual subjects that are beyond the paradigm of the present age. In this respect Yeshua’s teaching was no different from that of a number of His contemporaries.
54 He who chews (trogo[G]) My flesh (sarx[G], b’sariy[H]) and drinks (pino[G], vehashoteh[H]) My blood (aima[G], et dami[H]) has, holds (echo[G]) eternal, perpetual, unending, life, living (zoe aionios[G], chayeiy olam[H]) [living in a perpetual world], and I (Kago[G], va’Aniy[H]) will raise him up (anistemi[G], akiymenu[H]) on the extreme last (eschatos[G]) day (hemera[G]) [bayom ha-acharon[H]].
54 He who chews My flesh and drinks My blood has, holds eternal, perpetual, unending, life, living [living in a perpetual world], and I will raise him up on the extreme last day.
The Torah instructs us that “the life of the flesh is in the blood”. Yeshua is expounding the ultimate fulfilment of this phrase from the Torah. The blood of flesh affected by sin and subject to the temporal world is inevitably destroyed but the blood of God with us (Immanuel) is sinless, and having entered the world manifest as a human being, God Himself offers His blood to humanity so that we might transcend the limitations of the fallen creation and be born from above into eternal life through Yeshua, Who is God with us. It is Yeshua’s blood that has been given upon the altar to make atonement for all who receive Him.
“For the soul living of the flesh is in the blood; and Him I have given to all of you upon the altar to purge, make reconciliation upon your soul existence: for the blood, He is in the soul purging reconciliation.” -Vayikra (Leviticus) 17:11
“and I will raise him up on the extreme last day.” This phrase is completely consistent with the teaching and future hope of the P’rushiym (Pharisees). Yeshua is not alluding to anything new, He is simply illuminating the fullness of what is known and revealing its ultimate Goal, that is, Yeshua Himself (Romans 10:4).
55 For My flesh (sarx[G], b’sariy[H]) is true (alethes[G], be’emet[H]) food (brosis[G], ochel[H]), and My blood (aima[G], damiy[H]) is true (alethes[G], be’emet[H]) drink (posis[G], shikuy[H]). 56 He who chews (trogo[G], ochel[H]) My flesh (sarx[G], b’sariy[H]) and drinks (veshoteh[H]) My blood (aima[G], damiy[H]) abides, remains (meno[G], yaliyn[H]) in Me (en, biy[H]), and I (va’Aniy[H]) in him (vo[H]).
55 For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. 56 He who chews My flesh and drinks My blood abides, remains in Me, and I in him.
“My flesh is true food” Here, “true” is synonymous with “indestructible”. The temporal food of the fallen creation does not qualify as “true” food because it perishes along with the body. But Yeshua’s flesh, His life, is true food and true drink because it does not perish. He is from everlasting to everlasting and is thus able to sustain all who come to God through Him.
“He who chews My flesh and drinks My blood abides, remains in Me, and I in him.” Notice the present and continuous verb “trogo” (chews, chewing). The act of eating Yeshua’s sacrificial way of living, the act of continuing to feed on His character and chew on His nature, is a perpetual exercise. Receiving Him is the beginning of an eternal meal. The present and continued practice of holiness born of faith.
“abides, remains in Me, and I in him.” Note that we who eat His flesh and drink His blood (metaphors) are related to Him in the same way that He is related to God. We are in Him and He is in us but we are never outside of Him.
57 Accordingly (kathos[G]) the living (ho zoe[G], hachay[H]) Father (Pater[G], ha Av[H]) sent (apostello[G], sh’lachniy[H]) Me, and I (Anochiy[H]) live, breathe (zao[G], chay[H]) through (dia[G]) of My Father (Aviy[H]) [the Father] (ho Pater[G]), so he who chews on (trogo[G], ha ochel[H]) Me, he also will live, breathe (zao[G], yich’yeh[H]) through (dia[G]) Me.
57 Accordingly the living Father sent Me, and I live, breathe through of My Father, so he who chews on Me, he also will live, breathe through Me.
Once again Yeshua gives all glory back to the Father Who has given all glory to the Son. Yeshua never fails to submit His ministry to the Father. In this example we find the nature of the One Whom we seek to abide in.
The life of the disciple of Yeshua is lived in, through and with Him, and this of the Father. Ultimately all life is from God.
It is worth noting the very similar ideas expressed in the Talmud Bavliy:
“Says Rab, the Israelites shall "eat" the years of the Messiah: says R. Joseph, it is certainly so; but who shall "eat him?" shall Chellek and Billek (two judges in Sodom) אכלי לה אכלוהו, "they ate him" in the days of Hezekiah.” -T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 98. 2. & 99. 1.
Therefore, the sages taught that sinners ate the Messiah (Metaphorically speaking) in the days of Hezekiah. This agrees with Yeshua's message of redemption from sin through the eating of His flesh (Metaphorical). In other words, only the person who admits to being a sinner can receive and benefit from Yeshua's substitutionary sacrificial blood.
58 This is the bread (ho artos[G], ha lechem[H]) which came down (katabaino[G], hayoreid[H]) out of the heavens (ho ouranos[G], min-hashamayim[H]); not as your fathers (pateros[G], avoteiychem[H]) who ate (phago[G], ochel[H]) and died (apothnesko[G], yamutu[H]); he who eats chews on (trogo[G], ochel[H]) this specific (touton ho[G]) bread (artos[G], lechem[H]) will live, breathe (zao[G], yich’yeh[H]) into (eis[G]) the (ho[G]) unbroken age (aion[G]), the world perpetual (leolam[H]).”
58 This is the bread which came down out of the heavens; not as your fathers who ate and died; he who eats chews on this specific bread will live, breathe into the unbroken age, the world perpetual.”
Yeshua reaffirms the fact that He is the “True” eternal manna from the heavens which will remain, as opposed to the temporal manna of Israel’s forebears, which perished.
59 These things (devariym[H]) He (Yeshua) said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum (K’far Nachum[H]).
59 These things He (Yeshua) said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.
As discussed in previous articles, K’far Nachum was the home town of Yeshua’s ministry years. Appropriately named “Village of Comfort”.
60 Therefore many of His disciples (mathetes[G], talmidim[H]), when they heard this said, “This is a hard (sleros[G], kasheh[H]) word (logos[G], ha-davar[H]); who is able (dunamai[G]) to hear it (akouo[G], lish’ma[H])?”
60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a hard word; who is able to hear it?”
Take careful note that these are His disciples (not the twelve but the wider following), and not the Judean religious Jews (though some of them may be included). Therefore, it is those who have been following Yeshua who have decided that what He is saying is too hard to accept (which is what “hear” infers).
Let me repeat, it is not as many suppose, that Yeshua’s Jewish hearers thought He was suggesting cannibalism or pagan ritual. They were used to rabbis speaking in mashaliym (parables) and using metaphorical sayings like these. To the contrary, they considered it a hard teaching because they understood that Yeshua was saying they must live and continue to live as He lived, and that somehow He was also saying that it was possible for His very substance to be received by them and enable them to live this way. It was not difficult because it was non-kosher but because it was hyper-kosher.
“This is a hard word” A hard word or case is one that is difficult to discern by using common sense. The Torah alludes to this very thing in regard to the judgements of Moses:
“And they judged the people at all times. Any hard case they brought to Moses, but any small matter they decided themselves.” -Exodus 18:26 (ESV)
The point is that Yeshua the “Prophet” like Moses, is the One Who must be looked to in order for this “hard word” to be adjudicated.
In rabbinical Judaism the phrase “hard saying (word)” is used in the same way:
מה הדבר קשה, "is this an hard saying with you?"'' -Mishnah. Nidda, c. 8, sect. 3.
61 But Yeshua[H, A] (Iesous[G], YHVH Saves, Jesus, Joshua), seeing, discerning, perceiving (eido[G]) that His disciples (mathetes[G], talmidim[H]) muttered, grumbled, spoke in hushed tones (gogguzo[G]) at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble (skandalizo[G], l’mich’shol[H])?
61 But Yeshua, seeing, discerning, perceiving that His disciples muttered, grumbled, spoke in hushed tones at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble?
The wider body of disciples had fallen into the same disbelieving and rude behaviour of those who had been confronting Yeshua. Therefore, Yeshua gives them an opportunity to repent. Put simply He is saying, “Will you choose to walk in the light of My teaching, even when it’s hard, or will you choose to stumble over My teaching like those walking in darkness?”
62 What then if you become spectators watching (theoreo[G]) the Son (ho uihos[G]) of Man (anthropos[G]) [ben ha-Adam[H]] ascending (anabaino[G], oleh[H]) to where He was before (proteron[G])?
62 What then if you become spectators watching the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?
Yeshua qualifies His challenge by pointing out that “harder things (devariym, from Davar)” are yet to come, such as the death and resurrection of the Son of Man and His ascension to the Father in the heavens. In other words, “If you can’t navigate the present teaching how will you make sense of the ultimate fulfilment of it?”
63 It is the Spirit (ho pneuma[G], ha-Ruach[H]) Who gives (hanotein[H]) living (chayiym[H]), bears living (zoopoieo[G]); the flesh (ho sarx[G], ha-basar[H]) profits nothing; the words, substance, essence, spoken things (ho rhema[G], hadevariym[H]) that I have spoken to you are Spirit (pneuma[G], ruach[H]) and are living (zoe[G], chayiym[H]). 64 But there are some of you who do not believe, trust (ya’amiynu[H]).” For Yeshua knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe (ma’amiyniym[H]), and who His betrayer (ha-moseir[H]) would be.
63 It is the Spirit Who gives living, bears living; the flesh profits nothing; the words, substance, essence, spoken things that I have spoken to you are Spirit and are living. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe, trust.” For Yeshua knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who His betrayer would be.
“It is the Spirit Who gives birth to life” This is an allusion to the beginning of creation and the Spirit of God brooding over the deep. This illuminates the phrase “Yeshua knew from the beginning… who His betrayer would be.”
It is not a spirit but the Spirit of God Who gives life.
“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God hovered, brooded, nurtured upon the face of the waters.” -Bereishit (Genesis) 1:2
“the flesh profits nothing” This is not a Gnostic teaching as some suppose, it does not mean that all physical things are “evil”. Flesh here refers specifically to the sin affected flesh of fallen humanity. Because the fallen nature and its flesh will perish the specific form of flesh in question profits nothing.
“the words, substance, essence, spoken things that I have spoken to you are Spirit and are living.” The word of Yeshua is of the same Spirit Who brooded over creation and are therefore perpetual and living, never perishing.
65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one is able to (dunamai[G]) come to Me unless it has been given (didomi[G]) him from the Father (ho Pater[G], ha Av[H]).” 66 As a result of this many of His disciples (mathetes[G], talmidim[H]) withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.
65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one is able to come to Me unless it has been given him from the Father.” 66 As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.
Yeshua’s words may have seemed overly harsh to those who had been following Him so faithfully for so long. However, Yeshua was intentionally weeding out those who would fail to perpetuate faith in Him. Many believers today choose to be offended by the hard teaching of some, not because the teaching is error but because it has exposed their sin and challenged them to pursue a deeper faith.
67 So Yeshua said to the twelve, “You don’t want to go away also, do you?” 68 Shimon[H] (Hears God) Kefa[H] (Peter: Rock) answered Him, “Lord (Kurios[G], Adoniy[H]), to whom shall we go? You have words, utterances, spoken things (rhema[G], divreiy[H]) of eternal living (zoe aionios[G], chayeiy olam[H]).
67 So Yeshua said to the twelve, “You don’t want to go away also, do you?” 68 Shimon Kefa answered Him, “Lord to whom shall we go? You have words, utterances, spoken things of eternal living.
Peter, is speaking on behalf of the twelve, note that He says “to whom shall we go?” He responds to Yeshua in humility. Peter is not saying that He or the twelve are finding Yeshua’s words “easy”, to the contrary, they too are finding Yeshua’s teaching “hard”, rather Peter is saying, “We know you, we trust Your character, we see Your nature, we are witness to Your sinless life, Your teaching is difficult to receive but it’s Your teaching which we believe is from God, so, to whom will we go but You? You are speaking eternity into our temporal existence.”
Where the many disciples who left Yeshua failed through pride, Peter and the twelve remained through humility. They too found Yeshua’s teaching hard, but rather than allow their own inability to understand guide their decision making they instead chose to trust in Yeshua, His nature, character and His relationship with them. Like the disciples of Yeshua we too must learn that the person of Yeshua, the person of God is our certain secure peace, and not temporal things, events or circumstances. The hard things that come from God are worthwhile because they pierce and illuminate the complacent ease of the darkness. We don’t receive the hard things because they are hard but because they are from God.
69 We have believed, are convinced, trust (pisteuo[G]) and have come to learn, know (ginosko[G]) that You are the most Holy (hagios[G], k’dosh[H]) One of the God (ho Theos[G], ha Elohiym[H]).”
69 We have believed, are convinced, trust and have come to learn, know that You are the most Holy One of the God.”
Peter echoes the sentiment held by the twelve. They have come to know Yeshua’s person, His character, and the testimony of His deeds, and they are convinced that He is the promised holy One of God.
70 Yeshua answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a slanderer, accuser (diabolos[G], satan[H])?”
70 Yeshua answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a slanderer, accuser?”
Yeshua chose His own betrayer. God is in control of all things. To have security in the storm is to know that God is in the storm.
Both the Hebrew satan and Greek diabolos mean slanderer or accuser. Neither word is a noun unless qualified and if qualified by the definite article “The”, each word refers to that individual “the Satan”. In the present case the text is speaking of an accuser, Yehudah the disciple. He is not “the Satan”, he is an accuser (satan).
71 Now He meant Yehudah[H] (Judah, Judas) the son of Shimon Iysh k’riyot (Simon a man of the town), for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.
71 Now He meant Yehudah the son of Shimon Iysh k’riyot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.
It is sadly ironic that the King born of Yehudah is to be betrayed by Yehudah from the tribe of Yehudah. Yehudah was the son of a man from the village of K’riyot. It is interesting to note that in modern Hebrew K’riyot means “collisions” or “crashes”. So the name of Judas Iscariot meant Praise the son of a man of collisions.
Copyright Yaakov Brown 2020
Founder of the Beth Melekh International Messiah Following Jewish Community,