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The Secret Codes in Matthew: Examining Israel’s Messiah, Part 12: Matthew 16:21-17:9, by Kevin M. Williams

For most, this is not the most inspiring speech nor the most encouraging battle-strategy for a counsel of twelve spiritual generals. But He is “going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will the recompense every man according to his deeds,” Again, the bigger-picture, God’s purposes are more important and more rewarding than anything we endure in this life.

Yet even this is a clue to Yeshua’s identity. In referencing Hosea 12:2, “He will repay him according to his deeds” the Son of Man identifies himself with the Lord. The entire verse reads, “The LORD also has a dispute with Judah, And will punish Jacob according to his ways; He will repay him according to his deeds.” The Lord has the dispute, but Yeshua will be His emissary bringing recompense. Those with ears to hear would recognize the position Yeshua was establishing for Himself.

“Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” And six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and brought them up to a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light (Matthew 16:28-17:2).

Yeshua’s promise in the last verse of chapter 16 comes to pass in the opening verses of chapter 17 in what is commonly known as the “transfiguration.” The chapter assignments in our translations can allow one to assume that the events in 16 are unrelated to 17, but in the original manuscripts, there are no such distinctions. In 16 we have the anticipation. In 17, only six days later, we have the fulfillment.

The point? This Yeshua was no mere mortal man. He was the reflection of the Father’s glory!

According to the Scriptures, there may be yet another reason:

And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him (Matthew 17:3).

In Exodus 34:29, we read that like Yeshua, Moses’ face shone. This lead to another tradition in Hebraic theology. The notion is that at the end of Moses life, as he was writing the yud-hay-vav-hay (הוהי the biblical name for the Anglicized Jehovah), the ineffable name of God, his face shone like the sun.1

This biblical and extra biblical accounts give great credibility to Yeshua being the Messiah of Israel. After all, Moses had promised the people of Israel, “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him” (Deuteronomy 18:15).

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Category: Biblical Studies, Pneuma Review, Winter 2004

About the Author: Kevin M. Williams, Litt.D., H.L.D. has served in Messianic ministries since 1987 and has written numerous articles and been a featured speaker at regional and international conferences on Messianic Judaism.

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