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The Secret Codes in Matthew: Examining Israel’s Messiah, Part 19: Matthew 24-25, by Kevin M. Williams

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come” (Matthew 24:14).

Contrasting of the “gospel of the kingdom” with the modern Evangelical preaching of “the gospel” has been discussed earlier studies and will not be reiterated here overmuch. Yeshua and His disciples were not introducing of a “new” religion that would one day be called “Christianity” (neither was it an accreditation of any given branch of Judaism). The good news of the kingdom of God was as old as the Exodus from Egypt, when God established His kingdom in the wilderness, and later led His people into the Holy Land.

The “gospel of the kingdom” was not new theology to the Hebrews sitting there with Yeshua on the Mount of Olives. What was new, or perhaps better said “re-newed,” was the mission that this “gospel of the kingdom” would be preached to the whole world. That had been Israel’s Great Commission, later reiterated to the disciples in Matthew 28:19, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” Into what were they to be made disciples? They were to be imitators of Yeshua—certainly—and likewise they were all to seek “the kingdom of God.”

For just as the lightning comes from the east, and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be (Matthew 24:27).

The idiom “Son of Man” had a two-fold definition. It could very easily mean an average, every day person walking on the street, but it could also carry a much greater and specific implication—the Messiah.

In part, Yeshua’s use of the phrase “Son of Man” would help keep Him from the long arm of the Pharisees who sought to kill Him. To proclaim oneself the “messiah” was considered a blasphemous crime worthy of capital punishment. The title “son of man” however, was far more ambiguous and problematic to make stick in a religious trial.

When Yeshua identified Himself with the “Son of Man,” particularly in relation to the use of this phrase in the book of Daniel, He kept himself free of a trial (for now) while still getting His message across to the people.

There was no doubt that Yeshua’s audience understood the intention. By this time the “Son of Man” was equal in definition to the “Son of God,” principles well established in the extra biblical texts such as Enoch 105:2, 4 Ezra 7:28-29 and the War Scroll of the Dead Sea (4Q385).

One of the titles of the Messiah, based on Daniel 7:13-14, where the text has “bar-enosh” (Aramaic). “Bar-enosh,” like the Hebrew ben-adam, can also mean “son of man,” “typical man,” “one schooled to be a man,” or simply “man.” Yeshua is all of these; the Messiah, a typical (ideal) man, and one schooled both in heaven and on earth to be a man. Yeshua refers to himself by this title frequently, stressing his full identification with the human condition as taught in Romans 5:12-21 …7

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Category: Biblical Studies, Pneuma Review, Winter 2006

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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