Parable #21. Lost Sheep (as Children):
- Today is Day #21
- The Twenty-first Mashal of Messiah
- Eight Points about Being A Little One
- Five Observations about the Mountains of Israel
- Fourteen Insights about the One Hundred Sheep
- Interpretation of the Twenty-first Parable of Messiah
Today is Day #21:
1. Today is “Day #21” in the forty-nine day Countdown to Shavuot.
2. Today is twenty-one days which are three weeks of the Omer.
.היום אחד ועשרים יום, שהם שלושה שבועות בעומר
Haiyom echad v’esrim yom, shehaym shloshah shavuot ba’omer.
“You shall count for yourselves — from the day after the Shabbat, from the day when you bring the Omer of the waving — seven Shabbats, they shall be complete. Until the day after the seventh sabbath you shall count, fifty days.” (Leviticus). “You shall count for yourselves seven weeks, from when the sickle is first put to the standing crop shall you begin counting seven weeks. Then you will observe the Festival of Shavu’ot for Adonai Eloheinu.” (Deuteronomy).
“Blessed are You, Adonai Eloheinu, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning the counting of the Omer.”
ברוך אתה, אדוני אלוהינו, מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצוותיו וצוונו על ספירת העומר.פ
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, melech ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sefirat ha’omer.
The Twenty-first Mashal of Messiah:
מַה־דַּעְתְּכֶם כִּי־יִהְיוּ לְאִישׁ מֵאָה כְבָשִׂים וְאָבַד אֶחָד מֵהֶם הֲלֹא יַעֲזֹב אֶת־הַתִּשְׁעִים וְתִשְׁעָה עַל־הֶהָרִים וְהָלַךְ לְבַקֵּשׁ אֶת־הָאֹבֵד׃ וְהָיָה כַּאֲשֶׁר יִמְצָאֵהוּ אָמֵן אֹמֵר אֲנִי לָכֶם כִּי־יִשְׂמַח עָלָיו יוֹתֵר מֵעַל הַתִּשְׁעִים וְתִשְׁעָה אֲשֶׁר לֹא אָבָדוּ׃
“What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them is lost, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go and go seek the lost one? It will be that when he finds it, amen, I say to you that he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine who were not lost.”
כֵּן אֵינֶנּוּ רָצוֹן מִלִּפְנֵי אֲבִיכֶם שֶׁבַּשָׁמָיִם שֶׁיֹּאבַד אֶחָד מִן־הַקְּטַנִּים הָאֵלֶּה׃
“For it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.”
Eight Points about Being A Little One:
Point #1. Just before teaching the Mashal of the Lost Sheep (as Children) the Messiah strongly rejected His disciples efforts to send away all of the Jewish mothers who were bringing their babies and toddlers (little ones) to the Messiah to be blessed. Messiah rebuked His disciples and said to them:
ישוע קרא אליו ילד, העמידו ביניהם ואמר: אמן אומר אני לכם, אם לא תשובו ותהיו כילדים לא תכנסו למלכות השמים. לכן מי שישפיל את עצמו להיות כילד הזה הוא הגדול במלכות השמים. כל המקבל ילד אחד כזה בשמי, אותי הוא מקבל. פ
[Ha-Mashiach] Yeshua (the Salvation of Adonai) called to Him a child, stood between them and said, “Amen, I say to you, if you do not return and be like [little ones] children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven (מלכות השמים). Therefore, whoever humbles himself (שישפיל-to lower one’s self) to be as this [little, small, lowly] child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Anyone who receives one such child in My Name, he receives Me.”
Point #2. The disciples of Messiah had just asked Him the question, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?” So the episode of the Master rebuking the disciples for trying to keep the little ones from ‘disturbing’ Him was a great opportunity for Messiah to teach us about what real greatness is in the eyes of our Father in heaven (אבינו שבשמים).
Point #3. Messiah had just said that “Whoever humbles himself as (and He lifted up a baby that had been handed to Him by his mother) this little one, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
The Master then followed up with three very interesting comments. First, the Mashiach said that whoever received such a little one in His name as being the greatest in the kingdom of heaven that it would be for that person as if he had received Adonai Eloheinu Himself (i.e. Messiah is the Voice of Adonai, He is speaking the words of Adonai Avinu here). Secondly, He sternly warned that if someone caused one of these little ones to stumble, to lead the little one astray from his/her natural humble, harmless, and innocent orientation (1, 2, 3) toward Elohim Avinu and all of life, then such a person would be deserving of eternal judgment. Third, Eved HaKadosh (the Holy Servant) then drew the most incredible picture of the heavenly Father. The Messiah said:
ראו פן-תבזו אחד הקטנים האלה כי אמר אני לכם מלאכיהם ראים תמיד את-פני אבי שבשמים: פ
הזהרו שלא תבוזו לאחד הקטנים האלה. הריני אומר לכם כי המלאכים שלהם בשמים רואים תמיד את פני אבי שבשמים. פ
Point #4. What is correlated here is that the face of the baby and the Face of the Father in heaven. Both are one and the same Face! The angels who are ministering spirits to the little children of the Holy One are fully aware of whose Image the little ones are bearing. The angels in heaven know what the Face of the Father looks like. The Face of the Father is as the face of a baby (the little lamb), for the image (צלם האלהים) of His natural Face (absent the presence of evil) is perfectly innocent, harmless and joyous (happy, playful).
We rejoice to see His true Face!
The prophet Habakkuk bears witness: “Your eyes are too pure (טְה֤וֹר-tahor) to look at the perversity (עָמָ֖ל-amal, the lit. “heavy,” “toil,” “vexing labor”) of wickedness” (רָ֔ע).
The prophet-king David has said: “In your Presence is fullness of Joy” and “at your right hand are pleasures forever more.” Therefore has the Messiah Himself joyfully declared:
“Happy are the pure (tahor) in heart, for they shall see Adonai!”
Point #5. The ultimate revelation of the Holy One is the pure, innocent, harmless, beautiful, playful Face of a baby. Hence, on the first day of Sukkot when the infant Messiah was born a multitude of the heavenly host appeared praising Adonai and saying: “Glory to Adonai in the highest (כָּבוֹד לֵאלֹהִים בַּמְּרוֹמִים), and on earth shalom among men with whom He is pleased!”
Here is the most exalted picture of the perfect Image of the Holy One!
When the taint of the memory of evil is removed from the consciousness of the redeemed this Happy, Playful Face is His Most Holy Face that the glorified righteous ones will bear in the eternal dwelling, where even the memory of sin and evil will be completely erased. When we are perfected our Father in heaven, who presently is seen as a fearsome consuming fire (אֵ֥שׁ אֹכְלָ֖ה), will be to us as an innocent, harmless, and playful lamb (a baby)! Like Abba Avinu, therefore,on the day of our resurrection:
We shall have eyes that are too pure to behold anything else but what is good, gentle, playful, and kind.
Point #6. It is a true saying of the wicked that in their perversity of mind the Holy One appears to them to be as they are: completely mistrusting, manipulative, and above all “shrewd” (תִּתַּפָּֽל-twisted). This is a picture of the face of the Devil who is more ‘crafty’ (עָר֔וּם-cunning, ) than any other. However, to the righteous, holy, and wise the Holy One appears to us as one who is innocent, pure, lovely, gentle, and kind. Therefore, the Messiah said:
“Amen I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little ones (תִהְיוּ-lit. to exist-הָיָה as something born-כִּילָדִים, from יֶלֶד), you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then becomes humble as these little ones, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives such a little one in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”
“Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!…”See (to it) that you do not despise (תָּבוּזוּ-disrespect) one of these little ones [who still bear the pure Image-Tselem Elohim], for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the Face of My Father who is in heaven”
Point #7. What was it that was “lost” that the Son of Man came to “seek and to save?” It was our original resemblance to our heavenly Father! There is a reason why the lamb sacrifices at the Temple had to be less than twelve months old in age. This was so because the sacrifice had to accurately bear the “lost” image of the Father, the Face of a harmless, innocent baby. Therefore it is written:
Behold the Lamb of G-d!
Point #8. In ancient times one was born at age one (not zero). This means that the little lamb that had to be sacrificed at age one had to be sacrificed before reaching the age of twelve months.
Abba Avinu is teaching us that ultimately He does not desire His people to become warrior-like but innocent, kind, gentle.
Nonviolence will rule someday on earth. Just not today. After the Conquering Messiah Ben David Ben Judah (violently) puts down the rebellion and wickedness of humankind then will The Lamb (הַשֶּׂה) who was slain ascend to peacefully rule over the Kingdom of Adonai.
During the future messianic era we believe that one hundred percent of the populace of Israel will live in a general state of peace, security, and happiness as this new (near future) generation of Israel will gladly support the Messiah’s demands for moral order (not just in Israel but everywhere else on earth).
Everyone of Jewish birth (ancestry to fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) will possess the knowledge of Adonai. The world will be idyllic. It will be like the Garden of Eden (גן עדן-Gan Eden). For Israel (Jewish) and its International Commonwealth (Gentile) the entire world populace will exist in a constant state of “shalom” (שָׁלוֹם-health, security, tranquility, welfare, comfort and peace).
We believe in the future messianic kingdom an incredibly small percentage of a much larger global populace (40-60 billion people) will live in a state of complete peace. We further believe that over ninety-percent of the earth’s populace will be “Rich in Adonai.” Humankind as a whole will possess a great rich love life with Adonai (and with one another; cf. Habakkuk 2:14):
“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Adonai (כְּב֣וֹד יְהוָ֑ה), as the waters cover the sea.”
Five Observations about the Mountains of Israel:
Observation #1. In Ezekiel (chapter 36) Adonai speaks to the mountains of Israel. He tells the Mountains, hills, and valleys that He is absolutely against the surrounding (Gentile) nations trying to appropriate “His Land” (of Israel) as their possession.
Observation #2. Adonai tells His people that He is fully aware of the misconduct of the Gentile nations regarding Israel and it has stirred Him up to “jealousy” for us. Therefore, the Holy One says He will restore the Land of Israel to His People:
“For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you will be cultivated and sown. I will multiply men on you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities will be inhabited and the waste places will be rebuilt.”
Observation #3. Furthermore, to fully address the threat of a future breech in the relationship between His People and Himself Adonai has promised to cause His people to “walk in His Spirit.” He will do this by establishing a new thing,
He will make His own Spirit of Holiness to permanently indwell our spirits.
This will ensure that we will walk in a manner that is worthy of their intimate status with the Holy One. So the Eternal One says: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk according to My statutes and ordinances.”
Observation #4. About the fruitfulness of the Land the Holy One says that His people will one day say of the restored Israel: “This desolate land has become like the Garden of Eden (גַן־עֵ֑דֶן); and the waste, desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.”
Observation #5. So also will the Holy One cause the Israeli population to greatly increase, like a prosperous Shepherd increases the number of His flock: “I (the Lord G-d) will increase their men like a flock…so will the waste cities be filled with flocks of men. Then they will know that I am Adonai.”
Fourteen Insights about the One Hundred Sheep:
There are only three places in the Tanakh that reference (the value of) a flock of one hundred sheep or lambs. It is in the Genesis account that we learn that when Jacob (later called Israel) first “returned” to the Land of Israel he purchased a parcel of land in the ancient City of Shalem. This parcel of land located in the ancient City of Shalem
(שָׁלֵ֜ם עִ֣יר שְׁכֶ֗ם-lit. Shalem, a city of Shechem) was located in the territory of Shechem that was situated at the foot of the two mountains of Mount Gerazim (the Mount of Blessings) and Mount Ebal (the Mount of Curses). The other two references are located in Joshua and the Book of Job.
Insight #1. When Jacob returned to Israel he, therefore, came to the city of Shalem. Shalem means “Peace.” This place name informs us of what kind of a community the Holy One wants us to be:
We are all called to become a community of Shalem.
Later, in the time of Joshua, it is on this plot of land that the remains of Joseph and his brothers (the twelve patriarchs) were put to rest: “Now they buried the bones of Joseph, which the sons of Israel brought up from Egypt, at Shechem, in the piece of ground which Jacob had bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for one kesitah (קְשִׂיטָ֑ה-a hundred pieces of silver); and they became the inheritance of Joseph’s sons.”
Insight #2. In an act of prophetic role play this plot of land was purchased by Jacob for one hundred pieces of silver called a “kesitah.” The kesitah is an ancient form of silver coinage that was stamped with the ‘likeness’ of a lamb. It represented the value of a flock of a hundred sheep.
Insight #3. Since this symbolic time of Jacob’s redemption of the land, the City of Peace, the entire family and nation of Israel has been depicted as a single flock of one hundred sheep.
Insight #4. The Messiah organized the people of Israel around this figure of one hundred several times in His teaching. In the Tanakh the number 100 represents “total completeness.”
Insight #5. In the symbolic Torah meanings of metals gold represents Divinity, silver represents redemption, and bronze (copper) represents judgment. The purchase of the land of the City of Shalem (fifty miles north of Jerusalem) is symbolic of the “redemption” of the Land and People of Israel by El-Elohe-Israel (the Mighty One of Israel).
Insight #6. This reference to the redemption of Israel by the Almighty predates the actual time when Jacob was given his new name of “Israel.”
Insight #7. The redemption (of the Lamb) that is spiritually depicted in Jacob’s prophetic purchase of Shalem is actually credited to father Abraham and not the son Jacob. This is because the promise of the redemption of the Land and People of Israel was given by Adonai to Abraham and not to anyone else. Therefore, Jacob did not purchase Shalem on his own behalf; rather, his action was an expression of his belief in the promises Adonai had made to his father Abraham (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).
Insight #8. This sacred location of Shalem is the first place where father Abraham camped when he originally arrived in the promised land of Canaan (Genesis 12:6):
The sacred site was marked by an Oak Tree at Moreh.
Insight #9. The redemption of the Land and People of Israel, where the leaders of the 12 tribes rest (are awaiting resurrection), is marked by the Oak Tree at Moreh. There is an entire grove of oak trees in the valley of Moreh that represent our individual and collective identification with and dependence upon the Messiah and His sacrifice of redemption for us on the accursed tree.
Insight #10. All of these facts are prophetic. They speak of the redemptive ministry that the Messiah the Lamb of Elohim accomplished when He sacrificed His life as an atonement for our sin.
Insight #11. The name Shechem is prophetic as well. Shechem literally means “Shoulder” and it speaks of “Governance.” The governance of the (International) Kingdom of Adonai rests upon the shoulder of the Messiah (Isaiah 9:6):
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and his Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty All-powerful One, the Everlasting Father, The Sar Shalom.”
Insight #12. The Messiah purchased our peace (Shalem) through His blood (His Life). Redemption comes through the shedding of blood (Leviticus 17:11): “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.”
This purchase of our peace by the Prince of Shalom was foreshadowed in the testimony of Abraham’s first sacrifice (upon entering the Promised Land) next to the Oak Tree at Moreh.
Insight #13. “Moreh” means to teach. The word picture here is one of the “Rabbi from heaven” who casts His teaching (meaning) of the Torah upon us like the heavens cast their rains (root of mowreh is יָרָה “yarah”) upon the dry land that there might be life springing up everywhere. Each letter in the ancient (Moses’ time of writing) twenty-two letter Hebrew alphabet is a word picture. *The literal Word Picture of the word תוֹרָה – Torah is:
The casting of arrows/rain (yarah) from the “Person who is nailed to the Tree.”
*The earliest example of the 22 letter Paleo-Hebrew can be found in the Zayit Stone discovered in July 15, 2005 in the Guvrin Valley, about 50 km (35 miles) southwest of Jerusalem. One side of the stone carries the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet extending over two lines:
Line 1— א ב ג ד ו ה ח ז ט י ל כ מ נ ס ע פ צ
Line 2—ק ר ש ת
As seen in the last letter (right to left) immediately above the ancient Hebrew letter Tav is literally a picture of two wooden sticks configured in the form of a crude cross. The letter Tav conveys the meaning of covenant, purchase,
Insight #14. At the Oak Tree of Moreh is where Adonai first promised the Land of Israel to father Abraham and his descendants:
“So Abram went forth as the Adonai had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan. Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the Oak of Moreh (אֵל֣וֹן מוֹרֶ֑ה). Now the Canaanite was then in the land. The Adonai appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’ So he built an altar there to the Adonai who had appeared to him.”
Interpretation of the Twenty first Mashal of Messiah:
This parable (mashal) is a look into the future where the cardinal virtues of the “Little” will dominate the global culture; these are the twin virtues of “humility” and “meekness” (i.e. innocence, harmlessness, and being teachable).
In the messianic kingdom, symbolized by the flock of one hundred sheep and the Good Shepherd seeking the lost lamb on the mountains, we learn that the conditions of the Kingdom of Adonai will be so ideal that it will be as if ninety-nine percent of the population will be completely in the will of the Holy One (in the flock) and only one per cent will be having difficulties (away from the flock). In the Kingdom of Adonai the highest priority will go to returning to safety all who have gone astray.