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The Secret Codes in Matthew: Examining Israel’s Messiah, Part 22: Matthew 27:27-28:20, by Kevin M. Williams

And so we end this series on Matthew much as we began, discussing immersions: “baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” In the Israeli tradition, this immersion was known as the mikvah: the ritual transformation from spiritual impurity to spiritual purity, from uncleanness to cleanness, from being outside the community of the redeemed to being accepted into the community of the redeemed. For a Gentile, undergoing the mikvah meant spiritually being “born again,” to use the Jewish idiom, dead to one’s former life and alive to the Bible and the God of Israel. Being immersed “in the name of” signified full identification with the unified Godhead, the composite unity so well known in the holy prayer of Israel, the Shema, “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is One God.” “One” here is the Hebrew word echad, a unity made up of many parts, but a unified whole.

Paul looks at the burgeoning results of the Great Commission as: “Therefore remember, that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called ‘Uncircumcision’ by the so-called ‘Circumcision,’ which is performed in the flesh by human hands—remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one” (Ephesians 2:11-14).

Gentiles who claim the Jewish Messiah as their own have become circumcised in the spirit, included in the commonwealth of Israel, partakers in the covenants (plural), given hope, and become part of “one” body. What does all of that mean? Well, that is work for a different commentary.

Thank you for joining me on this long journey through the pages of the Gospel of Matthew. It is my prayer that you have been encouraged, enlightened, and emboldened to grow in your identity in Yeshua as one of His precious, chosen few.



1 The Sabbath Rest, © 1995, First Fruits of Zion, Littleton, CO, p. 14.
2 Drinking at the Sources, Jacque Doukhan, © 1981, Pacific Press Pub Assoc, p. 127-28.
3 ibid.
Unless otherwise noted, the New American Standard Bible is used with permission.


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Category: Biblical Studies, Fall 2006, Pneuma Review

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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