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The Secret Codes in Matthew: Examining Israel’s Messiah, Part 8: Matthew 11-12, by Kevin M. Williams

There are some theologians today who feel that this same “Spirit of Elijah” will return in the last days, with the same message before the advent of the Messiah’s return. If Yeshua was considered harsh during His first visit, wait until He returns the judge the earth!

But even putting this argument aside, was Yeshua any more anti-Semitic than the prophets of old? Consider the following examples:

As for your adulteries and your lustful neighing, the lewdness of your prostitution on the hills in the field, I have seen your abominations. Woe to you, O Jerusalem! How long will you remain unclean? (Jeremiah 13:27).

And it came to pass after all thy wickedness, (woe, woe unto thee! saith the Lord GOD) (Ezekiel 16:23).

Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light (Amos 5:18).

If Yeshua’s comments were anti-Semitic, then He was in the company of some reputable Semites: Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, and others. Regretfully, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has often had to use jarring language and circumstances in an attempt to get His people’s attention, in every age of biblical history.

All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light (Matthew 11:27-30).

Poetic? Yes, but more importantly, very telling. Once again, for those who were listening, Yeshua is publicly yet surreptitiously disclosing His identity. He was giving them enough clues to reach their own conclusions but not saying so much as to provide evidence to have Himself arrested.

The grammar holds the secret. Yeshua says, “I will give you rest.” But who can make such a thing come to pass?

Thus says the LORD, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you shall find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16).

Only the Lord Yahweh can make this come to pass, but Yeshua is claiming that He can do this as well. Is He not alluding that the two are One? Would a Hebrew familiar with the Word of God, raised in the synagogues, having had a mandatory biblical education at least through the age of 12 recognize the implications of Yeshua’s code words? What about the Pharisees, who had gone on with their religious education? Would they hear the underlying implications?

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Category: Biblical Studies, Pneuma Review, Winter 2003

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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