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Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
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“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)

If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!


WARNING: The text used for my commentary is my own paraphrase and must not be
considered “a translation” or authorative in any way. It is, in fact, simply my commentary Sometimes the paraphrase is the only comment necessary for a particular passage.

Maps, when used, are from Created using BibleMapper 3.0.
Additional data from
Source of Dates Used

Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

For a glossary of unfamiliar terms, CLICK HERE. For assistance in
pronouncing Hebrew terms, a pronunciation guide is located HERE.

Sections of the Apostolic Writings
The Gospels and Acts • The “Pauline” Letters • General Letters • End Times

To find a passage‘s place in the One-Year Chronology, click on the hourglass.

The Good News of the Kingdom According to
Yeshua HaMashiach, the Son of God

The Gospel of John begins forty days after Yeshua’s tevilah, with Yochanan ben Zecharyah’s testimony to the Levites and cohenimpriests. The following day, Yeshua came out of the wilderness and Yochanan announced Yeshua as “the Lamb of God” and the day-to-day record of His activities continues until the end of the Feast of Shavuot when Yeshua finds that Yochanan has been imprisoned. John’s record pauses as Matthew, Mark, and Luke pick up the narrative when Yeshua departs into the Galilee and begins teaching in the Pharisee synagogues. John will then join the other Gospel authors to record the one miracle that allows us to synchronize the entire Gospel chronology, the feeding of the five thousand at the end of the summer, two days before the Feast of Trumpets. John closes his record with the declaration “Yeshua is the Messiah, the Son of God.” [From The Chronological Gospels, copyright ©2013 Michael John Rood, page 65.]

Be sure to read the important information about the book’s author here.
[It is important to remember that the Gospel accounts were never intended to be biographies of Yeshua. Rather, they were intended to be theological treatises. The events in Yochanan’s Gospel account are not presented in chronological order. The dates I have added are approximate and are based on a one-year ministry. (per Luke 4:19)]

~ 1 ~

I. Prologue: the Eternal Existence of the Word (1:1-14)

A. The Deity of Yeshua HaMashiach (1:1-2; Heb. 1:5-13)

Chronology event #1 - Pre-existence of Messiah1In the beginning[1a] was the Word,[1b] and the Word was with God,[1c] and the Word was God.[1d] 2He was with God in the beginning.[2]

B. The Pre-inarnate Work of the Son of God (1:3-5; Heb. 1:2)

 3All things were made through Him,[3a] and without Him, nothing was made that has been made.[3b] 4In Him was life,[4a] and the life was the light[4b] of men. 5The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness hasn’t overcome[5] it.

C. The Witness of Yochanan the Immerser (1:6-8; cp vv 15-34)

6There came a man sent from God, whose name was Yochanan. 7He came as a witness, to might testify about the Light, so that through Him everyone might believe. 8He himself was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.

D. The True Light; Rejected and Received (1:9-13; Jn. 3:17-21; 8:12; 12:46)

 9The true Light Who enlightens everyone was coming into the world.

10He [the Light] was in the world, and [even though] the world was made through Him, the world didn’t recognize Him. 11He came to His own [people], and those who were His own [people] didn’t receive Him. 12But to all who did received Him, to those who believed in His Name,[12] He gave the right to become children of God, 13who were born not of blood, nor of an act of will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

E. The Word Made Flesh (1:14; Jn. 14:9; Mt. 1:18-23; Lk. 1:30-35; 2:11; 1Tim. 3:16)

Chronology event #15 - Birth of Yeshua in Birth of Yeshua in Beit Lechem14The Word became flesh[14a] and tabernacled[14b] among us. We saw His Shekinah,[14c] such glory as of the unique[14d] Son from the Father,[14e] full of grace and truth.

II. The Witness of Yochannan the Immerser (1:15-34; Mt. 3:1-7; Mk. 1:11; Lk. 3:1-22)

 15Yochanan testified about Him. He cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me, because He existed before me.’”[15] 16From His fullness we all have received grace upon grace. 17For the Torah[17a] was given through MosheMoses; grace and truth were realized through Yeshua the Mashiach.[17b] 18No one has ever seen God. The unique Son, God, the I AM,[GN] [Who] is at the Father’s side, has made [Him] known.[18]

Chronology event #35 - Yochanan’s testimony about Messiah19And this was is Yochanan’s testimony, when the Judeans[19] of YerushalayimJerusalem sent kohenimpriests and Levi'imLevites to ask him, “Who are you?”

20He did not refuse to confess nor disavow, but openly declared, “I am not the Mashiach.”

21“Then who are you?” they inquired. “Are you EliyahuElijah?”

He said, “I am not.”[21a]

“Are you the prophet?”[21b]

He answered, “No.”

22So they said to him, “Who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

23He replied in the words of Yesha'yahuIsaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one shouting in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of Yehovah,’”[GN],[23]

24The ones who had been sent were from the P'rushimPharisees.[24] 25They asked him, “Why then do you immerse if you are not the Messiah, nor EliyahuElijah, nor the prophet?”[25]

26“I immerse in water,” Yochanan replied, “but among you stands One whom you don’t know.[26] 27He is the One who comes after me, whose sandal straps I’m not worthy to loosen.” 28These things were done in Beit-Anyah beyond the YardanJordan,[28] where Yochanan was immersing.

[February, 27 CE; approx 40 days before Pesach][*]

Chronology event #36 - Yochanan recounts Messiah’s baptism29The next day, [Yochanan] saw Yeshua coming toward him, and said, “Hinneh,[GN] the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world! 30This is He of Whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man Who has surpassed me, because He existed before me.’ 31I didn’t know Him,[31] but the reason I came immersing in water was that He might be revealed to Israel.” 32Then Yochanan testified, saying, “I saw the RuachSpirit descending from out of heaven like a dove, and it remained on Him. 33I didn’t recognize Him [as the Mashiach], but He who sent me to immerse in water told me, ‘On Whomever you will see the RuachSpirit descending and remaining on Him is He Who will immerse in the Ruach HaKodeshHoly Spirit.’[33] 34I have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

III. The Son of God Manifesting His Power in Public Ministry (1:35-11:57)

A. Yeshua’s First Talmidim (1:35-51)

Chronology event #37 - The 1st talmidim35The next day, Yochanan was there again with two of his talmidimdisciples,[35] 36When he saw Yeshua walking by, and said, “Hinneh, the Lamb of God!” 37And when the two talmidim heard him say this, they followed Yeshua. 38Yeshua turned and saw them following. “What do you want?” He asked.

They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is translated, Teacher),[38] “where are you staying?”

39“Come and see,” He replied.

So they went and saw where He was staying, and spent that day with Him.[39] It was about the tenth hour4:00 pm. 40Andrew, Shim'on KefaSimon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard Yochanan and followed [Yeshua]. 41He first found his own brother, Shim'on, and said to him, “We have found the Mashiach!” (which is translated as “Anointed One”). 42He [Andrew] brought him [Kefa] to Yeshua. Yeshua looked at him and said, “You are Shim'on benthe son of Yochanan. You shall be called Kefa” (which is translated as “Petros”).[42]

Chronology event #38 - To Kinneret and Beit Saida43The next day, He decided to set out for the GalilGalilee.[MAP] Finding Philip, Yeshua said to him, “Follow me.” 44Now Philip was from Beit-TzaidahBethsaida[MAP], the villiage of Andrew and Kefa. 45Philip found Natan'elNathanael, and told him, “We have found Him of whom Moshe wrote about in the Torah, and the prophets foretold: Yeshua of NatzeretNazareth,[MAP] the son of YosefJoseph.”

46Natan'elNathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of NatzeretNazareth?”[46]

Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

47When Yeshua saw Natan'elNathanael coming toward Him, He said about him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom is no deceit!”[47]

48“How do you know me?” Natan'elNathanael asked Him.

Yeshua answered him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.”[48]

49Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are King of Israel!”

50Yeshua answered him, “Do you believe just because I told you, ‘I saw you underneath the fig tree’? You will see greater things than these!” 51Then He said, Omein, omeinMost certainly,[GN] I tell you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”[51]

Chapter 2

1a. Before the beginning of time, in all eternity before anything except God existed, there was the eternally existing Word. [BACK]

1b. The Greek term translated “Word” is logos (λόγος). Literally, a logos is the sound (or its written equivalent) by which an object is identified, and encompasses all that is to be known about that object; therefore a logos is an exact representation of that object. A word, uttered by a living voice, embodies a conception or idea of what someone has said. About 500-600 B.C.E, the Greek philosopher Heraclitus first used the term Logos to designate the divine reason or plan which coordinates our changing universe; that is, the Mind that is behind all order in the created universe, which causes the universe to obey the natural laws, such as gravity, mathematics, and morality. Without this divine Mind, or “the Word,” the universe would collapse into utter chaos.

“Philo (20 B.C.E - 50 C.E.), a Jewish philosopher heavily influenced by Plato, taught that the logos was God’s creative principle in the realm of pure thought, which cannot have any direct association with anything in the tangible realm of matter. [Charles Swindoll, Swindoll’s Living Insights New Testament Commentary, Volume 4, Insights on John. Tyndale, 2014, Kindle version, location 524.]

In Hebrew thought, the eternal Word and the eternal Torah are one and the same. Since Yeshua has been revealed as the eternal Word, it follows that Yeshua is also the eternal Torah. “Jesus is what God has to say,” writes C.S. Lewis. Thus, Torah can never be done away with unless Yeshua can be done away with. [BACK]

1c. The KJV, NASB, and others read, “the Word was with God.” The Greek word translated “was” is the imperfect past tense of the Greek word eimi (eijmiv) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present. The Greek imperfect past tense describes an action without specific beginning or end that was continuously occurring in the past. The Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible in the third century B.C.E., uses the phrase ego eimi (ego eimi) to translate יְהוָֹה (YeHoVaH) the Name by which HaShem identified Himself to Moshe (Moses) from the burning bush: “I AM WHO I AM.” In the original Hebrew, it could easily be interpreted as “the self-existent One.” The Logos was eternally and infinitely self-existing with God for all eternity past and will continue to exist with Him for all eternity future; He has no beginning and He has no end. In order for the Logos to exist with God, He must somehow be “beside,” “near to,” or “in intimate fellowship with” God. [BACK]

1d. “… and the Word was God” as to His very nature. Not only is the Logos (Word) eternally and infinitely self-existing from all eternity past into and beyond all eternity future with God, the Logos is, in fact, God Himself. Everything that is true about God is also true about the Logos.

The earliest Hebrew Gospel manuscript reads, “In the beginning was the Son Eloah, and the Son of El was with El.“ The Roumant Book of John reads “In the beginning was the Son. and the Son was with God, and the Son was God.” [BACK]

 2. Yochanan emphasizes that the Logos did not come into existence at any time, but He was eternally self-existing with God as God. [BACK]

3a. “All things were made through Him.” The Logos was the Creative Agent through which everything that exists came into existence. [BACK]

3b. John emphasizes that there is nothing that exists that was not created by the Logos. In the ancient Hebrew mind, as today, there are only two states of existence: that which had a beginning, and that which does not. Everything that had a beginning was created; everything that does not have a beginning is Deity. Since the Logos had no beginning, He is clearly Deity. Why is this so important? Because even today there are false teachers (Jehovah’s Witnesses and others) who claim that Yeshua, the eternally self-existing Logos, was the first created Being Who then created all other created things. Others (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints [Mormons] and others, even some mainline “Christian” denominations) teach that Yeshua is not eternally self-existing, but that He came into existence as do all humans, through physical relations between His parents. Also, many uninformed “Christians” believe that He came into existence when He was born in Bethlehem, and later in life He somehow also became Deity. In fact, even when He was in His mother’s womb, the Eternal Logos was holding the entire universe together solely through the power of His will (Colossians 1:16-17). [BACK]

 4a. “In Him was life.” That is, He is the source of all life. [BACK]

4b. “Light” has become almost universally recognized as a metaphor for “Truth.” When a person has gained great wisdom through the attainment of Truth, we say that he has achieved “enlightenment.” In all five of his writings (his Gospel, his three general letters, and the Revelation), Yochanan frequently contrasts “light” against “darkness.” To him, “light” is everything that exists in the presence of truth and goodness; “darkness” is everything that exists in the absence of truth and goodness. See “What is Truth?[BACK]

5. The word translated “overcome” (κατέλαβεν katalamban, From kata and lambano; to take eagerly, i.e. Seize, possess, etc.) has two connotations, either or both of which are appropriate in this context. Positively, it means to lay hold of so as to make one’s own, to obtain, attain to, to take into one’s self, appropriate, to seize upon, take possession of; to understand, perceive, learn, comprehend, to lay hold of with the mind. Negatively it means to suppress, overtake, or overcome for the purpose of destruction. “Darkness” has not appropriated, comprehended, or understood the light; neither has it overcome or suppressed the light. [BACK]

12. The phrase “believed in His Name” means much more than simply acknowledging Him as an historical person [read this]. To “believe in His Name” means to absolutely and fully trust Him not only as Savior, but as Sovereign Lord, to obey all that He commanded. It means to believe that He is exactly who He claimed to be and that He will do exactly what He promised to do. [BACK]

14a. The Logos, the eternal Torah, literally became a human being, though without losing any of His deity, though He temporarily released some of His prerogatives of deity. [BACK]

14b. The word I have translated “tabernacled” is from the Greek ἐσκήνωσεν (eskēnōsen), to dwell as in a tent, encamp. From skenos; to tent or encamp, i.e. to occupy or, to reside; to fix one’s tent or tabernacle and live there temporarily. It corresponds to the Hebrew word מִּשְׁכָּ֔ן (miškān), a dwelling place, booth, tabernacle. It refers to a temporary dwelling like those in which we are commanded to live as a memorial of the time we dwelt in these temporary dwellings in the wilderness (Lev. 23:33-36).  How appropriate that Yeshua was born during the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot). [See “Yeshua’s Birthday.” See also the calculations for the date of His birth in Lightfoot’s commentary on Matthew 2.] [BACK]

14c. Shekinah (שכינה) denotes the dwelling or settling of the Divine Presence of God in the form of a “cloud of glory,” especially in the Tabernacle and Temple (for example, Exodus 40:34-35). It is derived from the verb shakan (!kX), to settle down, abide, dwell, tabernacle, or reside. Thus “the Shekinah glory” is “God’s visible abiding glory.” At the Transfiguration, Yochanan (the author of this book), along with Kefa (Peter), and Ya'akov (James), witnessed Yeshua “clothed” in the Shekinah (Matthew 17:1-13, Mark 9:1-13, Luke 9:28-36). [BACK]

14d. The word “unique” is translated from the Greek word μονογενους (monogenous), only, only-begotten; unique. From monos and ginomai; only-born, i.e. sole; sometimes translated “only begotten” or “one and only.” At least one reliable manuscript reads “God” instead of “Son.” Thus, David Stern renders it in the Complete Jewish Bible: “…but the only and unique Son, who is identical with God and is at the Father's side…”. [BACK]

14e. Most English versions render this phrase “Son of the Father,” though it is literally “Son from the Father.” The word translated “from” is παρὰ (para), from; dat: beside, in the presence of; acc: alongside of. From this word we get paramedic and paralegal. [BACK]

15. Yochanan declared that Yeshua existed before him, ever though Yochanan was six months older than his cousin Yeshua. [BACK]

17a. The Greek text uses the word νόμος (nomos), that which is assigned, usage, law; Usage: usage, custom, law; in NT: of law in general, plur: of divine laws; of a force or influence impelling to action; of the Mosaic law; meton: of the books which contain the law, the Pentateuch, the Old Testament scriptures in general. It is indeed quite unfortunate that the Greek language, so precise in other areas, has no suitable word for God’s loving instructions for the health, safety, and well-being of His people. [BACK]

17b. “Mashiach” (Hebrew משיח, mashiach), Messiah, means “Anointed One.” The Greek equivalent is Χριστοῦ (Christou). Ancient Israel annointed three classes of people: prophets, priests, and Kings, who are frequently referred to in the Hebrew Scriptures, as “annointed”, mashiach. Yeshua eternally serves in all three offices, so He is, most appropriately The Annointed One! [BACK]

18. The Greek text reads, literally, “oudeis heōraken pōpote Theon, monogenēs Theos ho ōn eis ton Patros kolpon exēgēsato,” “No one has ever seen at any time God; unique Son, God the I AM is at the Father’s side has made known.” The Scripture makes it clear that God is invisible (Romans 1:20, 1 Timothy 1:17). YHVH walked in the Garden with Adam and Havah (Eve) (Genesis 3:8). “YHVH appeared to Avraham by the oaks of Mamre” (Genesis 18:1) Ya'akov wrestled with YHVH all night, and YHVH changed his name to Isra'el (Genesis 32:24-28). Moshe (Moses) saw YHVH in the burning bush, and spoke to Him “face to face, as a man speaks to his friends” (Exodus 33:11). “[Yeshua HaMashiach] is the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:16). Therefore, we must positively conclude that every visible manifestation of YHVH is Yeshua. [BACK]

19. When the term Judeans (Ἰουδαῖοι, Ioudaioi, “Jews” in most English translations) is used in the Apostolic Writings, particularly in the Gospel accounts, it is almost always used not as a reference to people from the area of Judea or from the tribe of Judah, but rather as a disparaging term for the religious leadership in general. [BACK]

21a. Before his birth, the angel Gabriel had told Yochanan’s father that he would be Mashiach’s forerunner “in the spirit and power of EliyahuElijah.” Later on Yeshua said, “And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Eliyahu who was to come.” See Luke 1:5-17 and Matthew 11:14.   To me (feel free to disagree) this means that had the leaders of Israel accepted Yeshua as King Mashiach, Yochanan would have fulfilled the role of Eliyahu prophesied in Malachi 4:5-6. [BACK]

21b. “The Prophet” like Moses who was promised: the Mashiach. “YHVH your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him. … ‘I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.’” (Deuteronomy 18:15). [BACK]

23. Isaiah 40:3. [BACK]

24. The Perushim (Pharisees) were the theological ultra-conservatives of their day, about 6,000 in number, who followed a strict interpretation of the “Oral Torah,” the “Tradition of the Elders.” The most important thing to them was that every mitzvah (commandment) in the Torah be followed in exactly the ritual manner that they prescribed. God’s intent in giving the mitzvah was irrelevant to them as long as their ritual procedure was observed when following it. They had prescribed that immersion be conducted in the specially-designed pools called mikvot (plural of mikvah, see note 26). In their minds, Yochanan was not a priest, so he had no authority to be supervising immersion, and certainly not in the muddy Jordan River when there were sparkling clean mikvot in Jerusalem for that purpose. [BACK]

25. Immersion in Israel was not like Christian baptism. The one being immersed would totally immerse him/herself in “living water,” either free running water or in a specially constructed pool called a mikvah, which allowed water to freely flow into and out of it. Self-immersion was a very common practice. People immersed themselves every time they went into the Temple, and immersion was required as a regular part of many Torah observances. The person “immersing” another simply observed to ensure that the person was fully submerged, and to assist when necessary. The religious leaders who came to confront Yochanan were aggrivated that he was supervising their immersions without their official approval. They wanted to know by what authority, by whose ordination, did he dare perform this function that they had reserved for themselves. They had no idea that they were speaking to the legitimate Kohen HaGadol, the High Priest!

The “priesthood” had become a total farce! The Torah requires that a kohen (cohen, priest) must be a direct descendant of Aharon, but the priesthood in Israel had become a political office, appointed only with the approval of Rome, that was for sale to the highest bidder. The office of Kohen HaGadol changed every couple of years because it was by far the most expensive office that very few could afford. Very few priests were descendants of Aharon, or even from the tribe of Levi. Both of Yochanan’s parents, however, were descendants of Aharon (Luke 1:5-6), and his father Z'kharyah was in the Aviyah division of priests. It is my opinion (feel free to disagree) that Yochanan was the legitimate Kohen HaGadol sent by God to officially annoint the legitimate King of Israel, Yeshua the Messiah. [BACK]

26. It is important to understand that what Yochanan, Yeshua, and the Shliachim (Apostles) practiced and taught, and what was practiced by the early Messianic Believers, was not the form of Christian baptism that is practiced by the Church today, but rather the Jewish practice of tevilah [lit. immersion], which is the total immersing of one’s self in “living water” such as a stream (like the Jordan River) or a lake. If no stream or lake were available, as at the Temple grounds, a mikvah (container of living water conforming to specific requirements established by the P'rushim) was provided. Christian baptism is loosely based upon this concept, but has been significantly changed from the practice followed by the early Messianic Believers. Whereas Christian baptism is performed upon the individual by another, generally a member of the clergy, tevilah is performed upon one’s self by the individual, and may may or may not be observed by official witnesses. Yochanan was not immersing people; he was serving as a witness to their self-immersion. [See also “Yeshua’s Immersion.”] [BACK]

28. “Beit-Anyah, east of the Yarden” or “Bethany beyond the Jordan [MAP] is not the same as the village of Beit-Anyah where El`azar (Lazarus), Miryam (Mary), and Marta (Martha) lived. [BACK]

   * Dates are from The Chronological Gospels, copyright ©2013 Michael John Rood. [BACK]

31. Yochanan certainly knew his cousin, Yeshua, who was actually six months younger than him, so when he said that Yeshua existed before him, he had to have been referring to the fact that Yeshua was eternal. Yochan knew his cousin, but he did not know that He was the Mashiach until God revealed it to him at His immersion, as he goes on to explain. [BACK]

33. Please go HERE] for my brief discussion of Yeshua’s Baptism with Ruach HaKodesh. [BACK]

35. The author of this account was an early talmid [disciple] of Yochanan the Immerser, and was probably an eyewitness to these events. Most scholars believe that the “other talmid” mentioned verses 35-42 is the author, who never mentions himself by name in his gospel account. Whenever he wants to indicate himself, he simply uses terms such as “another talmid” or “the talmid whom Yeshua loved.”

In first-century Israel, every child was well-educated in the Torah. Education began at the age of six or seven, and was a life-long process. Formal public education in Israel is said to have been instituted by Ezra the Cohen about 459 BCE, who established a public school in Jerusalem, known as the beit sefer (house of the book), that educated fatherless boys about sixteen years and older. By the first century CE, the beit sefer was educating both boys and girls from about six or seven years old to twelve or thirteen years. The curriculum was intensive in Torah, and also included mathematics. Students were required to memorize and be able to properly interpret and teach large segments of the Torah. After about twelve years of age, the age of their bat mitzvah, formal education was completed for most girls, who then concentrated on the “home economics” that they would need to be successful wives and mothers, as they were now of marriageable age. Most young men would also conclude their formal education with their bar mitzvah ceremony in the Temple or synagogue at this point and enter apprenticeship with their father or uncle to learn the family trade. Select young men who were especially gifted students would be admitted to Beit Midrash (house of study, the equivalent of our semenaries), a school in the synagogue where the students would gather to listen to local and visiting rabbis discuss the discourse or exposition of the Torah and the Tanakh. After three or four more years, the rabbis would chose the brightest and best from among the most gifted of the Beit Midrash students to be their talmidim (disciples).

A talmid [disciple], however, is not someone who simply wants to know what his Rabbi (Teacher) knows, but strives to become what his Rabbi is. A talmid is totally consumed with a deep, burning passion, living with the Rabbi every hour of every day, week after week, month after month, and year after year, totally immersed in the Sacred Text, listening to the Rabbi teach and observing how the Rabbi conducts every minute detail of his life, in order to become an exact copy of that Rabbi. Are you ready to become a talmid of the Messiah? [BACK]

38. Some teach that Yeshua taught his talmidim to not allow themselves to be called Rabbi, because they say it means “my great one” (which may be one translation) (Mt 23:8 — See the note there.) But here whoever translated Yochanan’s letter from Hebrew to Greek, whether Yochana himself or some later scribe, felt it important to explain that the Hebew word רַבִּי (rabbi) translates to Greek as Διδάσκαλε (Didaskale), “teacher.” Remember that there is no valid word-for-word translation from any language into another, and that all translation requires the translator to interpret. [BACK]

39. Some teach that Yeshua was a homeless itenerant preacher, but here He clearly had some kind of residence into which He felt comfortable inviting outsiders. He spent a major portion of his one-year ministry in Capernaum, so He clearly had some form of residence there.  [BACK]

42. When this letter was translated into Greek from its Hebrew original for transmission to the Greek-speaking Jews of the Diaspora, it was necessary to translate some unfamiliar terms. “Kefa” (Hebrew כֵּף) and “Petros” (Greek Πέτρος) both mean “Rock.” Six things you didn’t know about Peter [VIDEO]. [BACK]

46. “Are you kidding? What could possibly come from that hick town?” Natzaret (“Branch Town”) was a beautiful, but small and insignificant village out in the middle of nowhere, akin to Podunk, USA. Ancient Nazareth was a tiny village, that “would have been 2,000 feet at its greatest east-west length and around 650 feet at its greatest north-south width, though the actual area inhabited in the first century was much less, perhaps only around ten acres. … Nazareth would have had a population of around two to four hundred in antiquity, that is to say, several extended families or clans” (, accessed 19 Nov 2020). By way of comparison, my high school campus was 27 acres with a student population of nearly 4,000. A “home” at this time in history was not a single-family dwelling. It consisted of numerous attached dwellings clustered around an open courtyard. Each family unit (parents and children) would live in these individual dwellings, and the collective “home” would be the residence of the entire extended family. More here and here. Surely nothing of any interest or importance could come from such a place. The residents of Natzaret, however, had hopes that the Messiah, the “branch” from the “roots of Jesse” (King David’s father) that was promised by Yesha'yahu (Isaiah) the prophet would come from Branch Town. [BACK]

47. “Well, this Israelite certainly speaks his mind, doesn’t he?” [BACK]

48. The prophet Micah prophesied that when Mashiach comes “… each person will sit under his vine and fig tree, with no one to upset him, for the mouth of Yehovah-Tzva'otADONAI (LORD) of Hosts/Armies has spoken.” Devout Jews were continually and earnestly praying for Mashiach to come. Apparently Natan’el had been in the courtyard of his home, under his fig tree, praying for Mashiach. When Yeshua said that He had seen Natan’el under his fig tree (literally or figuratively), Natan’el recognized that Yeshua had heard his prayer. Since only God hears prayer, Yeshua must be God; He was therefore obviously the Mashiach, the King of Isra'el. See Micah 4:1-4 for why this was so significant. Yeshua in His Deity heard Natan'el praying this prayer and let him know that his prayer was being answered. [BACK]

51. Is it possible that Natan'el was sitting under his fig tree reading the Torah portion that includes Genesis 28:12-13 when Yeshya “saw” him? Or perhaps he was reading and meditating on Micah 4:1-5? [BACK]

Originally posted on Thursday, 19 November 2020
Added numerous notes on Sunday 22 November 2020
Revised on Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Page last updated on Sunday, 24 March 2024 04:50 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return

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