MY BLOODY SHABBAT

WHY THE INJUSTICE FACED BY NON-WHITES IS DISTURBINGLY FAMILIAR AND A PAINFUL NEO-MITSRAIM WITH ONE HOPE

“I’m down to get killed for the real that I speak…black boys calling me white, white boys be calling me nigger; I ain’t fitt’n in my skin is havin’ me feelin’ disfigured”

-Sevin

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It’s enough. This shabbat, I feel it’s about time we took this matter seriously. There’s blood being shed and though it may be from a few individuals now, it’ll be from more later. Nothing in history has demonstrated that a disregard for any man/woman because of his or her race has ever ‘gone away’. Let’s face it, the issue of race is an old question and it has always provoked certain feelings. I get that. I know that for a fact, that although I am black African, I can still feel the pain experienced by fellow people of color. We witnessed in Africa such a brutality in colonial days that marred our African identity and culture in a way that’s virtually irreparable.

I’m reminded of the intentional use of the word ‘Mitsraim’ as a descriptive word for ancient Egypt under Ramses. The word itself is a play on the Hebrew word for suffering–a word echoing pain, torment, devaluing. I am Christian, evangelical studying in a Christian Evangelical school that is seeking to find that African identity that was lost when other cultures were imposed upon us. Seeing us as somewhat backward, unintelligent and incapable, we got ‘re-created’ in the western image and no matter what some historians state, we were not ‘Christianized’ we were de-valued and robbed of our African identity [Bert Gary, a biblical scholar based in Israel actually raises the question that attacks what we know as ‘western Christianity’, he asks in his book, Jesus Unplugged, “There is much emphasis in the church today–by laity and clergy–on being respectable, nice and presentable. Yet where in Scripture did Jesus say that we should make being well-dressed and well-behaved priorities? Is the Church guilty of reducing Christianity to mere social etiquette? The Jesus of Scripture rejected these priorities with both word and deed”]. It’s no small wonder that Africans who branched off from missionary-established churches to form indigenous African Churches that sought to ‘Africanize’ the Christian Gospel were looked upon with suspicion. Also, the educated elite, who sought to restore authority and governance back to Africans had one motive…to educate and elevate the status of their own–still they did so with so much pain.

It’s heartbreaking that it’s because of this that we as Africans have it so ingrained in us to fight and steal in order to have our identity in and through what we own. What’s even more terrible about this is that the leadership that we are right now seeing in Africa that is so torn and broken (I purposefully won’t say corrupt because that is not the real problem) is in this state because of nil-succession in leadership and a lack in communicating how it was understood by our fore-fathers since it was largely disregarded in favor of a ‘better’ western model? What! We no longer have real respect and value for what our fore-fathers gave us, what do we want to be? Big businessmen, wealthy earners, empty individuals–not just spiritually but mentally; ask these same individuals what they hope to do with all their acquired wealth and status and you’ll swear that you can hear a pin drop in the room because of the silence. It’s only as I was growing up, that I got to understand the saying; “If you want to hide anything from an African, put it in a book” because we truly have lost our love for knowledge and wisdom, we now chase the wind till our great grand children can feel the hollowness of our vain pursuits.

We are in such a prison mentally that conquering the modern African child’s mind is just that, child’s play. How long can we stand and casually watch? How long do we here in Africa have before we experience what our counterparts in western countries are facing right now? Have we truly forgotten the price paid for our freedom? Have we indeed forgotten that injustice anywhere, is really and truly a threat to justice everywhere? Are we going to let the blood of those before us become worthless because of how we handle our so-called freedoms? How much more so the blood of the very Son who tread African soil when he sought refuge from Herod–the very Son who was nailed to the cross because of injustice? Do we even care? [I actually like what Lecrae Moore pointed out in an interview last year about how bad things have become in society. When asked about where are we going wrong, he pointed out that we merely observe the evils around us and criticize them but when asked to do something about it, we can’t, why? It doesn’t affect me].

Are we so blinded by watching all the glamour of the artists and celebrities–most of whom are colored, selling us ‘the good life’ on TV but living lives that are in no way close to good? Are we all letting the lives of the youth, the fathers and the elderly go down to the grave in vain because ‘it doesn’t involve us’? Is the blood of a colored individual that worthless? As someone so disturbingly pointed out on an interview in a popular UK show, “Why do the former enemies of the commonwealth, the descendants of Nazi Germany have it easy in matters migration, but those of African race/descent are treated as outcasts and terrorists yet their forefathers helped their forefathers in the WWII…a white man threatening death is said to be ‘demonstrating terrorist inclinations when he’s about to blow up a plane..a black/colored individual is thought to be a terrorist and a roach?’ Seriously, world, what’s going on here??

Shabbat reminds me of the battle the Lord waged against Egypt, her injustice and her gods. That battle freed the Israelites and showed them that God truly sees and he’s the giver of identity; giving Israel her first sweet exchange, being for worthlessness. Making out of a distorted psyche, a renewed perspective. They are made human beings when God decrees this day as a day to sit, reflect and delight in God; a day when they truly realize that they are defined by God. Then comes the rest of the spirit…negro spirituals have plenty to say about this. They speak of a hope in the midst of the storm, a longing for peace and rest for their souls…the cry for liberty. In comes the living Shabbat, Jesus suffers a cruel trial, dies a merciless, unjust death and rises triumphant. There’s nothing better than this message; that in the darkest depths of our despair here and now, our Jewish non-western Messiah breathed hope to us. He offers us a different kind of rest, not merely one that ignores the world and the suffering but one that guarantees us victory, even as we rise to the occasion and speak and act in love to those who hate us without reason…he has shown us that he has triumphed over the fallible governments of this world for his rules over all and one day, he’ll show it to all the world, that no man of no race is superior to the other for one Man trumps all.

I am by no means racist, but eracist. For I believe the Bible that tells me that before the Judge of all the earth…”there is no male or female, no Jew nor Gentile, no slave or free…all stand equal before him”. I am an eracist. This means that I believe in the equality of all because that’s exactly how we were created.

“Head up, while I’m walking in the MOB, people part like the Red Sea was it the color they saw? They clutching to their purses, as if I was young and thirsty like my people went an’ hang onto branches in front churches. They treat us like colored skin was made of sin and deemed worthless, my heart ain’t bad but can’t get past what they see on the surface, I tell ’em ‘God bless you’ and just keep walking in public, they take it in but no relief from the hurting, still getting pulled over, beaten up, illegally searched, cousin still got killed by cops…what’s done in the dark will rise to the surface”

-Faith Pettis

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WHEN YOU TOOK THE PLACE OF MY TEARS, FATHER

WHEN WE HE TRULY IS, THE REALEST WE’LL EVER KNOW

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[Sevin]
Can I let my heart cry out?
Won’t let this flame die out

[Verse 1: Sevin]
Yeah
They really ain’t got no choice
I’m gonna make ‘em feel my heart the way that I empty mine
But an empty heart just leaves an empty mind, so send a sign
Coulda sparked, but the hood has darkened my attempts to shine
I bear the world with an injured spine, my strength declined
Yeah
Cause I need less of me and more of You
You are infinite, You’re the interest of my mortal view
You’re in control, and You implement my morals too
And You command that I recognize the only Lord is You
True
But is that too much to ask for being God Supreme
Two choices, casket full of cash, or a Sovereign King?
We are such prideful beings, we hit the stage, the crowd’ll scream
But they won’t cheer for the One that engineered everything their eyes have seen?
Dang
How we get so far from light?
You’re the face of truth, so they refute the martyred Christ?
I have realized that in Him is where real lies
If God so loved the world, no wonder Jesus cried

[Hook]
Yeah, You’re the realest one that I know
Feel free to take my life, Lord, I just feel it’s something I owe
Yeah, You’re the only one that I serve
And I swear I’ll preach Your Word until they throw me under my curve
Yeah, you’re the realest One that I know
Feel free to take my life, Lord, I just feel it’s something I owe
Yeah, you’re the only one that I serve
And I swear I’ll preach Your Word until they throw me under my curve

[Verse 2: Sevin]
Never did it for the fetty, nah, never did it for the fame
Never forsaken the fellowship with a brother and nothin realer than when we comin together in his name
Kill it
If it ain’t real, I don’t feel it – Novocaine
They say that my name shoulda been sport, and I musta been born on the court in gym shorts because i got so much game
But you know the name
Yeshua, the Blessed Christ
Line of Judah, Sovereign Ruler, nigga Hallelujah, he the Breath of Life!
The S-O-N of Man, came and He died for the remission of sins
So Mary don’t cry, Mary don’t cry
In the twinkle of an eye we gonna be risen again
So keep your eyes just peeled to the sky, no fear
If we die we gon meet up in the end
Submerged in that living water, I be swimming harder than a cheetah with a fin (ah ah ah)
Yo, God gave me the keys to the door
Boy, when I testifying in the west I slide like skis in the snow

[Hook]

[Verse 3: Eric C. Tha Tempa Tantrum]
And at my worst I’m gonna praise Jehovah
Looking up at the face of vultures
They be perched on the cross that I drag cause it breaks my shoulder blades
The pain brings me closer to you
Every time I take a hold of You, Father, You take me over
They wanna kill me cause I tell ‘em You really make it rain
We live in similar days to Noah
But, now I be kicking it with my Father somewhere over the rainbow whenever You say it’s over
You think You’re feelin me, shoulda got rid of me, but Lord You’re getting me feeling You are The Way deep in the pit of me and now I’m in love with Your Holy Spirit that You let live in me
You waiting for the day when You finally appear to me
I’m in the front row waiting for the curtain to open
And when the bands all playing tell em “send up the horn section” cause I’m ready for that trumpet to blow!
And when You stand on stage for the second time I’ma go crazy
Wanna give it your stance fo sho
He let the body open up for the Father to get the crowd hyped
And now He ready to headline the show
Somebody let ‘em know the Champ is here
The devil prolly be reliving him on the cross when Christ return
Jump in the box at the top of the rope
1,2,3, pin, death defeated, it was a massacre
Yeah
And He’s still the Champion of the World, baby (He’s the greatest One that I know)
Can’t nobody compare too, and illuminati gonna be bowed down to His throne
Yeah
You the only One that I fear, and I thank you for the blood, that be dripping off of the cross, cause He took the place of my tears

JESUS’ FATHER’S DAY SPEECH

HOW JESUS’ WORDS CHALLENGE AND INSPIRE FATHERHOOD TODAY

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the Gardener…any branch in me that does not bear fruit, he prunes”

-Jesus

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This is one for the season. I didn’t realize it until now but this particular text from John 15 packs a punch. While reflecting and meditating, I came to realize that there are plenty of chapters and verses that speak about Jesus’ relationship with God as his Father. All these verses are great, but Father’s day is unique and though it is no excuse for a celebration, it does emphasize something deeply rooted in the hearts of fathers all over the world. This thing is the greatest question plaguing children world over. Where are the fathers; who is he that I might connect with them? That’s right, relationship and connection is the missing factor among many youth today and they need answers.

I hear my friends’ hurt reverberate and echo in each word they speak and feel the pain buried in their hurts well up to the point that they literally feel like they are choking on their emotions. Seeing young women my age struggle to raise a child is no joke, especially when they knew that they got that child because of the love they felt their man have for them. It is no small matter when a child grows up never knowing his father. This actually is a a major issue. For where a boy would want to learn about life and how to win a woman’s heart and be the kind of man that she’ll need him to be, his father is not present to help.

As some of you reading this might know, I am a huge fan of comic books and I sometimes speak from my theological background as a graduate student on issues through them. I hope you realize by now that comics in some fantastic way, communicate something true about society. Take for instance, Peter Parker who is well known for being one of the world’s most loved and characters. Fans love the character not for any other reason than the sheer fact that they can relate to him. Think about it, in his earlier prints, it was revealed that a certain gentleman used to have his way with the young Peter and Peter could not share this information with his aunt for fear that the man might harm him; a bold move by Marvel and one of the reasons I love the company so much. At a time when many did not address these issues directly, they dared to do so through the pages of comic books.

Something else that I hope is not missed is Peter’s reaction to the loss of the only father figure he ever knew; he made an oath. He swore to embody that which had been passed on to him by his beloved Uncle Ben, that ‘with great power must also come great responsibility’. Peter changed entirely and sought to prevent the loss of innocent lives at the hands of crazed lunatics who sought to do harm to others. The point? A father figure is still a deeply influential figure to a child. And out of the loss of such a one, a fictional Peter Parker became a superhero!

Are we then to wear tights and fight crime? Are we to take on a new monicker to dazzle and impress the citizens of the world? The answer is a resounding, no. We are to call the fathers back. For those of you who have lost your father and someone else has taken over his stead, try your best to learn from him. Hard as it might be, they are there for a reason. There are lessons to be learnt that only they can give. We might not necessarily like them, but they deserve their honor. They are fathers.

As Jesus makes it clear, that his unique connection to the Father validated his authority and those who believe in him are connected to him. Although Jesus and the Father are not related in the same way we understand kinship, it is nonetheless beautiful and a mystery. As king, he makes those who trust in him, fellow sons and heirs of his and his Father’s kingdom. Most especially and most beautifully is the connection they have. Because of this connection, Jesus is able to say,

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other”

He has declared productivity to those who remain connected to him. For some of you seeking a productive connection. For truly this post is for the fathers/father-figures and their sons; do not let this moment pass and reconnect. You will make an impact on this world and the world itself cannot wait to see you bloom into who you are supposed to be.

For those of you who do not have a father, it is hard, I know but right now, God’s here and he loves you. If you give him this chance he will not, as I have experienced for myself, fail you. You are completely safe in his loving embrace. Yes, we do not know why we’ve had to endure, pain, hurt and suffering for so long because of this issue but take his word, he knows what you are going through. He understands pain. And isn’t that the point of having a parent? Do they not teach you from what they’ve actually experienced and endured in life?

This is his promise to those of you trusting in him right now, I will cause you to bear much fruit if you abide in me. That means, in the face of opposition; I trust, in the face of fear; I trust, in the face of doubt; I trust, when the chips are down; I trust. I do not believe in chances and that’s probably why I’m going as hard in this post as I am right now. There is hope for you. If you’ve read this post to this point, I believe that it’s for a reason.

For those of you seeking a hand and support in the form of prayer or encouragement, my contacts are as below. Feel free to introduce yourself and talk, I find it hard, especially for men to live without strength and that incredible re-assurance that they can still be the man they need to be in the face of all odds. Also, for the young women who desire to be more and need an exemplary example of manhood that they can look up to in a world that is robbing women of their worth and reducing their worth to mere eye-candy.

Catch me on;

email: brian.opati@gmail.com.

cell: +254-728-670657

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The Lord is with you and the Father to the fatherless…

Be blessed!

UIOU TOU THEOS: JESUS AS SON OF GOD

JESUS AS SON: PART 4 “ENTER THE DIVINE KING”

“The beginning of the Gospel…”

-Mark 1:1

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The understanding that I am about to discuss briefly below is a debated one. Although I hold on to the classical belief of Jesus’ deity, I have my reasons. Truly, it is my sincere desire that this post will help show why classical Christianity has taken up this belief; the belief in Jesus as God. May those of you seeking truth find it…

The Gospels. There isn’t much one can say about them as they are already widely known as the accounts chronicling the life, and teachings of Jesus. Apart from serving this crucial role, the problem then arises of why 4 accounts? [Notice how tackling this particular issue is essentially a textual problem]. The accounts, as theologians have come to see, provide a specific insight into how the divinity of Jesus was necessary and sufficient to carry out the roles of Servant [Mark], Son of Man (a human being) [Luke], King [Matthew] and Divine Authority [John]. In other words, the divine nature of Jesus is the cream of the cake as far as the texts are concerned as it serves as the over-ruling ingredient in his presentation in the Gospel accounts.

Jesus introduction in the accounts as being ‘a gospel’ immediately notified the early/first readers of the Gospel accounts to the fact that it was making a radical statement. You see, at the time, rulers of Rome, specifically Caesar referred to the reports of their enthronement as embodied deities as gospels/good news. But you see, the Gospels take it a little bit further for Jesus; they claim that Jesus’ birth is good news as seen in the events surrounding his birth. Jesus’ incarnation as man through birth was big and hence, unlike Caesar, he also has the title of Immanuel/Emmanuel ‘God with us’ (as seen in Luke’s account).

Apart from Caesar being known as the ‘Embodied God’, he also went by another title, “Son of God”. Now, in the Roman sense, Caesar was attributing his authority as an earthly ruler to the fact that he (according to Roman belief) was descended from the gods. Now, Jesus, on the other hand is an equally peculiar figure. He went on stating that his kingdom was ‘not of this world’ and that his ‘father was God’ making himself equal with God. I hope that at this point some of you have begun to see the trend and relationship between godhood/deity and kingship because in the ancient world those two things played an enormous role together. Their roles were almost inseparable.

This tie in with the Jewish belief of the day shed light to Jesus’ work and to why communicating him to the Jews as well as the Gentiles [as seen in the Gospels] was made relatively easy. Actually it is in this same light that the Sanhedrin questioned Jesus, asking him if he was ‘the Son of the Blessed’ (i.e. God). Jesus’s answer? “Yes”. What else followed after his reply? “And you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Father in heaven coming in the clouds with great power and glory”. What did those who heard it do? They rent their clothes shouting ‘BLASPHEMY!’.

So, the people back then knew that what Jesus was talking about was a big deal indeed. Caesar who had also crowned himself kurie et dieu ‘Lord and God’ did not know that Jesus went by these very titles in his day and age. As peculiar as this information must be, it must also be understood that as of this particular point in time the Jewish rabbinic teachings from the Babylonian Exilic Period did include something of a “Two-Throne in Heaven” theory. This theory stated that according to the prophets such as Daniel, the Messiah is shown to have a throne by Yahweh’s side. This problem perplexed the rabbis for centuries as it raised questions about the identity of the Messiah as being more than a human being reigning with God.

Some scholars turned to such texts as Psalm 45 that spoke about the Messiah as ‘God’; other texts such as Isaiah 48:16 that spoke about ‘the Lord God and his Spirit have sent me’; other texts like ‘the Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand’ (Psalm 110:1, Matthew 22:44) were used by Jesus to hint at his divinity. What’s most shocking though is that the Bible goes on to say that once Jesus put out that argument to the religious scholars of the day, ‘no one even dared question him again’.

But what makes things very strange about Jesus is his claim to be the “I AM” of Exodus 6 as witnessed in the Gospels (mainly John) as well as the rest of the New Testament. It is clear that Jesus ‘lowered himself and took the form of a servant’ according to Philippians 2, but that was not all. The text continues to say, ‘he humbled himself even to the point of death, even death on the cross’ and ‘therefore God has exalted him giving him him the name that is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord…’. The text in Philippians supports Jesus’s claim to be I Am of the Old Testament when the text applied to God is applied to Jesus in the book (i.e. Isaiah 45: 23-24). God as Yahweh God, the covenant name for the Israelite God made this claim; and Jesus is revealed to be he thus making his equality with God all the more interesting (especially if seen through  how it is portrayed in Philippians chapter 2).

Stranger still, Jesus is revealed not to be the spoken word of creation at Genesis but the Speaker of the word by the Father himself in Hebrews 1. Jesus is established to be creator who ‘by the might of the word of his power not only created but sustains all things’. It is he as Caesar was to the Romans who has absolute authority as the pantokratos (i.e. supreme ruler) to judge his citizens; but Christ’s is a wider scope, i.e. everyone ever created (John 1) ‘he came to the world-to his own, but his own did not receive him’. Evidence for this is seen in Jesus’s claim in John that, “the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgement to the Son.

Finally, his revelation to John echoes the points stated above. His vision of Christ is the amalgamation of all his roles. He is seen possessing the head and hair that is reminiscent of Daniel’s vision of the Ancient of Days (i.e. God); his gold sash and long robe reminiscent of the garments of the high priest (note the lack of the urim and thummim as well as the ephod—indicatve end of the previous error of priesthood that was still a picture of the veiled mysteries to come but in Christ have now been made manifest; and the single sash of gold as representative of one people and not tribal as we saw in the old testament); his flaming eyes as Judge of All the Earth (reminiscent of Abraham’s conversation with Yahweh before Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction); his voice like the sound of rushing waters (indicative/reminiscent of his authority and identity as God–ref the prophets for more e.g. Isaiah, Ezekiel…); the sharp double edge sword proceeding from his mouth (reminiscent of Hebrews’ reference of Christ upholding all things by the power of his sheer utterance–another fun bite is the fact that it alludes to Jesus’s divine authorship of the Scriptures as a whole-as his book! as seen at the end of Revelation in chapter 22:6,16); his face shining in all his brilliance is indicative of his holiness as well as his divinity in his mortality/human form (is also a reference to 1 Corinthians 11:3 ,Ephesians 5:23 and 2 Corinthians 4:1-6).

All hail the King “eternal, immortal, invisible, the only true God…”

Maranatha Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

 

 

 

YESHUA BAR ELOHIM: THE ENIGMA OF JESUS AS SON

JESUS AS SON: PART 3 “JESUS AS EMBODIED ISRAEL”

When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. The more they were called, the more they went away; they kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning offerings to idols” (vv. 1–2).

– Hosea 11:1–7

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Another aspect tied to the title of Son of God, is that of the identity of the nation of Israel. As Hosea points out in the verse, Yahweh actually refers to Israel as his own beloved child, and as his son. Although it should be noted that Moses is the first to point this out in Exodus, but he isn’t permitted by God to speak of it. This particular identity is historic in nature; implying that it is tied to the Jacob, the father of the 12 sons of Israel. Now, what’s even peculiar about this is that Jacob who was given a new name by a divine stranger was called ‘Prince with God’. This identity ties well with the identity of the Messiah as Prince of Shalom (as the true Prince/Ruler with God).

Jesus exercises his authority as the ultimate Patriarch that will redefine the world by selecting the 12. Now, if this isn’t made clear enough, Jacob’s name literally meant liar; Jesus intentionally revealed his name as ‘The Truth’. There’s not only that revelation but the continued allusion to his very being as the ‘Vine’ and his followers as the ‘branches’ as seen in John 15. This identity is essential to Jesus’s teachings as he anchors his church to his identity as the sole source of teaching. This is how God’s working in the messiah manifests its weight; God has revealed that he redeems by redefining and replacing the old in a manner that only he could.

The kingdom of God is unlikely to be formed unless Jesus lived the life that Israel was to live in all its history, and that is a righteous, devoted life to Yahweh alone; this is based off Deuteronomy 6:6. So, the theory goes, that when Jesus lived the perfect sinless life, his very life was made capable of enveloping all who were going to fall under the umbrella of his name as Son. It is in this very belief that the generational gap that stretched over for centuries is now reduced because Israel Incarnate has truly become Immanuel. He is our direct connection to God the Father as he is also now our Elder Brother as the book of Hebrews tells us.

So, you see, there’s quite a lot going on here with Jesus’ title of ‘Son of God’. Each of these implications are reflected in Jesus’ teachings as well as the doctrines surrounding him in the entire New Testament. What then does all this mean for us today? I have 3 main ideas:

a. Jesus identity as Israel gives us direct access to God and as such we can approach him directly (not relying on traditions as the Pharisees did).

b. We are assured of a genuine cover of our lives when we submit to him; Jesus is capable of understanding us “at all our points of weakness” because he himself was tested but yet without sin as the book of Hebrews tells us.

c. Jesus has given his followers a new identity as the members of the divine city, we have become, in him true Israel; if we remain in him we continue to be true Israel according to John 15.

And, to make things even more interesting. The New Testament would paint Jesus’s life in the same way as the Israelite journey, especially Jesus’s Flee to Egypt, his Baptism, His Period in the Wilderness for 40 days, His Temptation, His Passion and the eschatological aspect of Israel; His Resurrection. The Resurrection is blanketed over mankind and over all creation for those who believe in him. This is why John 1 would tell us, “those who believed in him he gave the power to become sons of God”. Paul the Apostle on the same note would say, “As he is, so also shall we be”.

“Do not fear, I have overcome…behold I was alive, and was dead and now I am alive forever more”

-Jesus to John

YESHUA BAR ELOHIM: THE ENIGMA OF JESUS AS SON

JESUS AS SON: PART 2 “ENTRANCE OF THE KING”

I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;
    today I have begotten you…

Kiss the Son,
    lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
    for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

-Psalm 2

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It may come as a surprise to some of you reading this series that one of the implications of Jesus’s title as Son is that of royalty. In fact it’s even more peculiar that the 2 Psalm identifies the king as the Anointed, sound familiar? It’s actually at this point that the message of the Gospels comes clear. Jesus is portrayed as the King, that is the ‘Anointed’. Now, there’s a little more to this that’s revealed in the book of Deuteronomy where the role of the king of Israel is revealed.

The king in the book of Deuteronomy is revealed to be the ‘son’ of Yahweh, the one who would serve under him and be taught/instructed by him. This is pivotal to making sense of what’s going on in the Old Testament/Tanakh. There are of course many stories whose implications may not fully be grasped and as such may cause the biblical texts to be misunderstood. But do not worry, we are here to walk through this together. It is possible to gather some understanding through study.

I hope that the full implications of this understanding of Jesus as Son sheds some light on why Herod was so threatened in the Gospels? And why the New Testament’s adamant stance regarding Jesus’ exclusive claims to sonship are unrivalled? It is a difficult thing to compress in blog form but it is my hope that the essence of the meaning is being fully communicated. This is also fundamentally why Jesus’ message-the Good News/Gospel-is that of God’s Kingdom Come.

All the kings of Israel in the Old Testament were evaluated based on their willingness to submit to Yahweh and be taught by him. This is why, whether the kings were successful in building the nation and making it prosperous or not, it did not take away or add to Yahweh’s judgement. The minute they departed from his counsel, they were judged harshly. Now, what does this understanding have to tell us living in today’s world?

There are several implications but I’ll select a few;

a. The King has enlarged his territory over the world, not just geographical Israel as seen in Acts 1.

b. The extension of the kingdom does not exclude the original recipients of the Revelation of Yahweh’s word, i.e. the Jews as seen in Romans 9.

c. The new Israel formed by Yahweh is as wide as the whole world and as far reaching as the periods in time when other followers of Jesus lived as seen in Genesis 12.

d. The new people formed are proof of God’s power invading the world to transform it, “the old has gone, the new has come” as seen in the book of Revelation.

e. The life Jesus lived as submitted to God, yet being fully God is an example set for his followers as seen in Philippians 2.

f. This is why belief in Jesus automatically makes the believer an ‘heir’, or better yet, a ‘co-heir’ with him of the kingdom.

g. The belief in Jesus also automatically makes those called by his name to become the ‘kings and priests/ kingdom of priests’ that the Torah/Law of Moses speaks about. This is evidence of a government structure in the Anointed’s agenda as revealed in the New Testament.