- The Fourth Forgiveness Saying
- The Haftarah of Yitro and the Besorah of Redemption
- Haftarah of Yitro and the Mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven
- Only when we recognize the True Messiah can we enter the Kingdom
- The entire first Jewish Gospel is a Midrash on just Isaiah 6:9-10
- Understanding the Judicial and Forensic language of Isaiah 6:9-10
- HaGe’ulah (The Redemption) that both forgives and heals
- See, Hear, Understand with the Heart, Return, and be Healed!
- Summary of the first Four Forgiveness Sayings of Messiah
The Fourth Forgiveness Saying:
וַיִּגְּשׁוּ אֵלָיו הַתַּלְמִידִים וַיֹּאמְרוּ לָמָּה זֶּה בִּמְשָׁלִים תְּדַבֵּר אֲלֵיהֶם׃ וַיַּעַן וַיּאֹמֶר כִּי לָכֶם נִתַּן לָדַעַת אֶת־סוֹדוֹת מַלְכוּת הַשָׁמָיִם וְלָהֶם לֹא נִתָּן׃ כִּי מִי שֶׁיֶשׁ־לוֹ נָתֹן יִנָּתֵן לוֹ וְיַעֲדִיף וּמִי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ גַם מָה־שֶׁיֵּשׁ־לוֹ יִנָּטֵל מִמֶּנּוּ׃ עַל־כֵּן בִּמְשָׁלִים אֲדַבֵּר אֲלֵיהֶם כִּי בִרְאֹתָם לֹא יִרְאוּ וּבְשָׁמְעָם לֹא יִשְׁמְעוּ אַף־לֹא יָבִינוּ׃ וּתְקֻיַּם בָּהֶם נְבוּאַת יְשַׁעְיָהוּ הָאֹמֶרֶת שִׁמְעוּ שָׁמוֹעַ וְאַל־תָּבִינוּ וּרְאוּ רָאוֹ וְאַל־תֵּדָעוּ׃ כִּי הַשְׁמֵן לֵב־הָעָם הַזֶּה וְאָזְנָיו הַכְבֵּד וְעֵינָיו הָשַׁע פֶּן־יִרְאֶה בְעֵינָיו וּבְאָזְנָיו יִשְׁמַע וּלְבָבוֹ יָבִין וָשָׁב וְרָפָא לוֹ׃
The Reason for Speaking in Meshalim
As soon as Yeshua was alone His followers, along with the twelve, began asking Him, “Why do you speak to them in meshalim-parables (במשלים)?” Yeshua answered them, “To you it has been granted to know ‘The Mystery’ (Hebrew “Sod,” singular) and mysteries (sodim, sodit, plural) of the kingdom of heaven, but it is not granted to those who are outside. They get everything in meshalim (במשלים). For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. In their case, the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,
‘Listen well, but you will not understand. (שִׁמְעוּ שָׁמוֹעַ וְאַל־תָּבִינוּ)
Look closely, but you will not know; (וּרְאוּ רָאוֹ וְאַל־תֵּדָעוּ)
Fatten the heart of this nation, (כִּי הַשְׁמֵן לֵב־הָעָם הַזֶּה)
And make its ears heavy and seal its eyes, (וְאָזְנָיו הַכְבֵּד וְעֵינָיו הָשַׁע)
So that it will not see with its eyes, or hear with its ears, (פֶּן־יִרְאֶה בְעֵינָיו וּבְאָזְנָיו יִשְׁמַע)
Or understand with its heart, or return and be healed.’ (וּלְבָבוֹ יָבִין וָשָׁב וְרָפָא לוֹ)
Therefore, I speak to them in meshalim, so that while seeing they may see and not perceive, and while hearing, they may hear and not understand, otherwise they might return and be forgiven.”
The Haftarah of Yitro and the Besorah of Redemption:
The Fourth Forgiveness Saying of the Messiah has as its centerpiece the Haftarah portion Isaiah 6:1–7:6; 9:5-6 (haftarah refers to the weekly reading of the prophets). Just previous to the Rabbi Yeshua’s midrash on a small section of this selected Haftarah portion (Isaiah 6:9-10) He tells the “Mashal of the sower, seed, and soils” (cf. Brit Chadashah, Mattai 13:10-15; Markos 4:10-12; Lukas 8:9-10; the Hebrew passage above is from Mattai 13:10-15).
וַיֹּאמֶר לֵךְ וְאָמַרְתָּ לָעָם הַזֶּה שִׁמְעוּ שָׁמֹועַ וְאַל־תָּבִינוּ וּרְאוּ רָאֹו וְאַל־תֵּדָֽעוּ׃ הַשְׁמֵן לֵב־הָעָם הַזֶּה וְאָזְנָיו הַכְבֵּד וְעֵינָיו הָשַׁע פֶּן־יִרְאֶה בְעֵינָיו וּבְאָזְנָיו יִשְׁמָע וּלְבָבֹו יָבִין וָשָׁב וְרָפָא לֹֽו׃
He said, “Go, and tell this people: (וַיֹּאמֶר לֵךְ וְאָמַרְתָּ לָעָם הַזֶּה)
‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive; (שִׁמְעוּ שָׁמֹועַ וְאַל־תָּבִינוּ)
Keep on looking, but do not understand.’ (וּרְאוּ רָאֹו וְאַל־תֵּדָֽעוּ׃)
“Render the hearts of this people insensitive (fat), (הַשְׁמֵן לֵב־הָעָם הַזֶּה)
Their ears dull (heavy), (וְאָזְנָיו הַכְבֵּד)
And their eyes dim (besmeared), (וְעֵינָיו הָשַׁע)
Otherwise they might see with their eyes, (פֶּן־יִרְאֶה בְעֵינָיו)
Hear with their ears, (וּבְאָזְנָיו יִשְׁמָע)
Understand with their hearts, (וּלְבָבֹו יָבִין)
And return and be healed.” (וָשָׁב וְרָפָא לֹֽו)
In Judaism, parables (meshalim) are a common method of teaching that our rabbis use to reveal truth to those who are their disciples (talmadin); while concealing these truths from others (whos are not their talmadin). This parable (mashal-מָשָׁל) depicts the presentation of the besorah (Good News) of Messiah as sowing the Word of Adonai (sowing His Seed/seed) to the people of the world (a field). In the world, people respond differently to the Gospel of Redemption (Besorat HaGe’ulah). Just as various types of soil are hospitable or inhospitable to seed growth these varied responses to Adonai’s Word can be divided into four types of response:
Response #1. Some persons reject the message from the outset of hearing it.
Response #2. Others initially accept the besorah (Good News) of Divine Redemption, howbeit superficially. For when trials and persecution come (due to their public profession of faith in Yeshua, the Messiah) they fall away.
Response #3. Still others, who do not fall away due to social pressures, fall away when tested by their desires for material wealth and love of worldly pleasures.
Response #4. Then there are those persons who are not overcome by suffering, trials, persecution, or the seductive influence of materialism, and the love of worldly pleasures. These persons are identified as the truly converted ones (the good soil). Ultimately, the lives of these believers result in others coming to hear and believe in the Jewish Gospel of Redemption Message.
Haftarah of Yitro and The Mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven:
After Rabbi Yeshua has told his followers the mashal of the Sower, Seed, and Soils, He is asked “why” He used parables. Yeshua explained that for a person to receive truth (emet) he or she must have first a proper relationship with the source of truth. The source of all truth is designated by the word “mystery” (singular). Rabbeinu Yeshua points out to His disciples that it had been granted for them to know The Mystery. He informed His followers that they already had access to The Mystery. This was so because The Mystery was not a special body of knowledge. It was a very special Person. The Messiah is The Mystery. Since the disciples of Yeshua had a proper relationship with the Messiah (singular), they had been granted in Him (singular), to know all mysteries (plural).
Only when we recognize the True Messiah can we enter the Kingdom:
The reason the Messiah was speaking in parables was because in His time (and in the future as well) the Master knew all to well that a very large number of persons would espouse to be His followers for very superficial and selfish reasons. He knew these persons would inevitably fall away. Therefore, the Messiah taught His closest followers in a very special language medium, parables. He did this using carefully selected words and phrases that would allow Him to convey truth to only those persons who were sincerely committed to understanding and doing the will of Adonai. Thus, the disciples of Yeshua possessed the sole item required to understand the mysteries of Adonai: faith that Yeshua was the Messiah. Exercising faith in and maintaining a right relationship with Yeshua is doing the will of Adonai (singular). Thus, only as persons recognize the true Messiah can they believe, repent, receive redemption, and enter the kingdom of Heaven. Meshalim are used throughout the Messiah’s teaching to veil The Message; otherwise people would attempt to affirm the Messiah and come into His kingdom of Heaven without actually understanding and sharing in its true moral and spiritual significance.
The entire first Jewish Gospel is a Midrash just on Isaiah 6:9-10:
Discerning the difference between an authentic follower in Yeshua and a false follower is so incredibly important to Mattai, the writer of the first Jewish Gospel (his name means “Given of the Almighty”) that in his Testimony he portrays Messiah as directly quoting only a ‘single’ fragment of one portion of Scripture from the Tanakh. The single fragment of Scripture that Yeshua quotes is Isaiah 6:9-10. Just as a skilled rabbi might build an expansive sermon around one solitary section of selected Scripture reading, so it appears that the entire Jewish besorah according to Mattai is an expansive midrash (exposition) of just this one Isaiah 6:9-10 passage!
Understanding the Judicial and Forensic language of Isaiah 6:9-10:
To better understand the judicial and forensic language (and context) of the Isaiah 6:9-10 passage go to the weekly Torah and Haftarah (nevi’im, prophets) portions and study week seventeen (titled Yithro). Therefore, study Exodus 18:1–20:23 and Isaiah 6:1-7:6; 9:5-:6. Especially meditate on the judicial pronouncements that are being expressed from the Throne of Adonai as part of His Proceedings of the Heavenly Court (Isaiah 6:1-13).]
HaGe’ulah (The Redemption) that both forgives and heals:
Included in Messiah’s brief midrash (message, commentary) on the Isaiah passage is his selected translation. He quotes from the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Tanakh). Interestingly, this is the only quotation found in the First Jewish Gospel that can be said to actually be in full agreement with the Septuagint. Yeshua uses the Greek word iaomai as a replacement for the Hebrew word “heal.” “Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn [Teshuvah, repent], so that I should heal [iaomai] them” (Mattai 13:15b). The Hebrew translation uses the word, “rapha,” for heal.
Isaiah 6:10 Greek Version (Septuagint)
ἐπαχύνθη γὰρ ἡ καρδία τοῦ λαοῦ τούτου καὶ τοῖς ὠσὶν αὐτῶν βαρέως ἤκουσαν καὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτῶν ἐκάμμυσαν μήποτε ἴδωσιν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς καὶ τοῖς ὠσὶν ἀκούσωσιν καὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ συνῶσιν καὶ ἐπιστρέψωσιν καὶ ἰάσομαι αὐτούς
Mattai 13:15 Greek Version
ἐπαχύνθη γὰρ ἡ καρδία τοῦ λαοῦ τούτου καὶ τοῖς ὠσὶν βαρέως ἤκουσαν καὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτῶν ἐκάμμυσαν μήποτε ἴδωσιν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς καὶ τοῖς ὠσὶν ἀκούσωσιν καὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ συνῶσιν καὶ ἐπιστρέψωσιν καὶ ἰάσομαι αὐτούς
Markos 4:12 Greek Version
ἵνα βλέποντες βλέπωσιν καὶ μὴ ἴδωσιν καὶ ἀκούοντες ἀκούωσιν καὶ μὴ συνιῶσιν μήποτε ἐπιστρέψωσιν καὶ ἀφεθῇ αὐτοῖς
See, Hear, Understand with the Heart, Return, and be Healed!
Both iaomi (Greek-ἰάομαι) and rapha (Hebrew-רָפָא) are indicative of healing in general (physical or spiritual). However, in the phrase “so that I should heal them,” in the third Jewish Gospel of Markos, the Greek word used is aphiemi (forgive-ἀφίημι), not iaomi (heal). Thus, in a very subtle way, the one Hebrew word and two Greek words are put in apposition (made nearly equal) to one another. Therefore, the Hebrew word rapha as translated in Greek involves both healing and forgiveness. Hence, failure to sincerely repent of one’s sins and profess faith in Yeshua, the Messiah, tragically leads to one failing to receive the rapha (Hebrew) that both universally heals (iaomai) and forgives (aphiemi).
Summary of the first Four Forgiveness Sayings of Messiah:
So what have we learned through the first four of the Ten Forgiveness Sayings of Messiah?
Forgiveness Saying #1. Only Adonai can forgive sins and He can forgive whomever He wants, whenever He wants, wherever He wants, through whomever He wants. And it is the will of Adonai that we receive cleansing for sin and the gift of eternal life through our exercising faith in the Person, Words and Spirit of the Messiah, Adonai’s Beloved Son (Beni Yedidi).
Forgiveness Saying #2. Adonai will forgive the sins of anyone who “Hears” and “Understands” and “Obeys” His Voice that is spoken (by Him) through the Word of His Beloved Son, Ha-Mashiach Yeshua.
Forgiveness Saying #3. In the kingdom of Adonai forgiveness is a compulsory act. Those who fail to show mercy to others will be shown no mercy by Adonai. If one does not forgive his brother from his heart then Adonai will be moved in anger to turn him over to Judgment. Divine Forgiveness or Judgment? The decision is entirely up to you and me.
Forgiveness Saying #4. The entire Testimony of the First Jewish Gospel is anchored on one direct quote of Messiah from one Scripture fragment. The Message of Messiah the King is that the people of Israel have ‘eyes to see and ears to hear but they do not see or hear.’ This means that because the people of Israel have yet to be regenerated in their hearts (spirits) they cannot see (discern) the exact “Form” of who Adonai is and thereby hear (listen to, understand, and obey) His “Voice.” The clear indictment of the Master to His own people is that until His ‘brothers’ recognize that the Spirit (Form) that indwells Him ‘is’ the Spirit of the Holy One they will remain unable to Hear ‘The Voice’ of Adonai. The plight of the people of Israel is that as long as our ‘hearts’ are not right with the Holy One we are limited to only exercising the capacity of physical sight and hearing. In this limited condition our people are restricted to the futile exercise of attempting to understand supernatural-spiritually discerned knowledge through the failed use of ‘only’ natural human logic.
Therefore, only when we cease in pride to approach the Holy One according to our own human physical (naturalistic) understanding and logic (that is corrupted by self-vanity and spiritual ignorance) will Adonai begin to open-up our spiritual eyes and ears so that we might begin to see His True Form (Face) and hear His True Voice. Then will all Israel be Saved (which is the promise that is intrinsic to the mystery spiritual meanings of Yom Kippurim and Jubilee).
Isaiah and the Messiah testify as one unified witness that the People of Israel have hearkened to their own physical understanding, ambitions, and selfishness and not to the spiritual understanding of the Holy One that is sourced only in the heart of man (our spirits). This is why so far the people of Israel have not recognized Messiah Yeshua and thereby have yet to hear:
The Rapha (רָפָא) that both Forgives and Heals!
However, we believe that this condition is one that is soon destined to change for the better (cf. Isaiah 59:20-21):
“And a Redeemer will come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, says Adonai. And as for Me, this is my covenant with them, said Adonai: ‘My Spirit that is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, nor out of the mouth of your seed, nor out of the mouth of your seed’s seed, says Adonai, from now on and forever.'” Amen, Amen.