Chapter 5

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The Model for the Messianic Community
by
Ari Levitt*

Chapter 5.
The Appearance of Yeshua

Into this mix of “people-types” that were in the synagogue came a young Jewish Rabbi/Theologian named Yeshua ben Yosef (literally, “Salvation, the son of Yosef” [usually transliterated as “Joseph”]) from Nazareth in the Galilee, teaching the people that the Kingdom of God had come among them in fulfillment of the writings of the Prophets. In fact, He went so far as to claim to be the Messiah the Jewish people had awaited for centuries, and frequently referred to Himself using the title “ben Adam” (“Son of Man” or literally “Son of Adam”; “bar 'enash” in Aramaic, Daniel 7:13-14) that some of the Prophets had used to describe the Messiah. Many, throughout the Galilee particularly, heard Him teach, some believed Him, many did not, and many followed Him around the countryside more out of curiosity than anything else.

Out of the hundreds of people who followed Him, Yeshua selected twelve men to be his core group of talmidim [disciples], and for about three years they traveled throughout Israel from synagogue to synagogue, teaching Torah and emphasizing that the Kingdom promised in the Torah, the Writings, and the Prophets (the three sections of the Tanakh, or Hebrew Scriptures) had finally come to Israel. When He wasn’t teaching in the synagogue, Yeshua loved to teach in the Temple, which was filled with living illustrations that He used to explain the Scriptures to His talmidim.

What we must eventually come to fully understand is that neither Yeshua nor any of His talmidim after Him taught anything other than the Hebrew Scriptures and how to live them out in daily life! They did not start a new religion; they did not start even a new form of Judaism. They lived and breathed, walked and talked, wrote and taught, all within the confines of Judaism, the Temple, and the Synagogue. The only thing “new” that they taught was that the long-awaited Messiah had come and had brought the Kingdom of God to dwell among the Jewish people. Not a single one of them every became a “Christian” or taught anything contrary to Torah, and every one of them died fully Torah-observant Jews.

After His execution and resurrection, Yeshua appeared to a core group of His talmidim and instructed them to complete His work of taking the message of the Kingdom of God, first to Jerusalem, then to all of Judea [to the Jew first], then to Samaria, and finally to the rest of the world [and then also to the Gentile] (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:7-8). After receiving this commission, these talmidim were referred to as His Shliachim, Ambassadors, or Emissaries. [44]

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44. Shlichim is the plural of the Hebrew word Shliach, which means an emissary; to send or one who is sent; one sent forth with the full power and authority of the sender; the Greek equivalent is apostoloß (apostolos), from which we derive the English word Apostle. The Ambassadors that Israel sends to foreign governments today are called Shliachim in Hebrew. [RETURN]

Page last revised on Monday 25 July 2016

Page last updated on Wednesday, 03 August 2016 11:28 AM
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Major content changes after May 3, 2015 are identified as "Revisions”)