Shalom and welcome to V’ahavtah Yisroel, a Hebrew phrase, which means you shall love Israel. We hope you’ll stay with us for the next 30 minutes as our teacher, Dr. Baruch shares his expository teaching from the Bible. Dr. Baruch is the senior lecturer at the Zera Avraham Institute based in Israel.
Although all courses are taught in Hebrew at the Institute, Dr. Baruch is pleased to share this weekly address in English. To find out more about our work in Israel, please visit us on the web at LoveIsrael.org. That’s one word, LoveIsrael.org. Now, here’s Baruch with today’s lesson.
Dr. Baruch: If you could communicate one thing to the Lord, what would it be? That is if you knew for sure that what you said he would hear and he would respond, what would you say to him? I’m afraid many people who kind of view God as a genie in the bottle, they would think and they would say, “How do I want God to bless me?”
And they would want to come up with the blessing that keeps on blessing, not just that day of about until they should die. And that’s how a lot of people are. They think about God and his blessings for this world, and if that’s your theology, if that’s how you think you’ve missed out on the simple truth of the gospel. Take out your Bible and look with me to the book of Mark and chapter one, the book of Mark and chapter one.
Now, we saw last week that there is a connection between the work of redemption and the releasing of the Holy spirit. It is only when one is redeemed by the grace of God, that he is prepared to serve God and it’s the Holy spirit, it is the Holy spirit that equips us, guides us, instructs us, empowers us for service to God. Now, we saw last week that John, who was immersing in the wilderness in the Jordan, he was one who baptized with water, but the one coming after him, the Messiah, he would baptize with the Holy spirit. Now it’s within that context, teaching us the time to serve God was at hand, that there was a transition. God was moving in those days in a unique way. Let’s begin. Look with me if you would to verse nine, Mark chapter one and verse nine. “And it came about in those days.”
Now that in those days sets the context. Remember that baptism of repentance, this calling that the kingdom is near and who happens to be there also at that location, Messiah, not happens to be, but what we see here by means of the Providence of God, and we read in that same verse that Yahshua came from Nazareth in the Galilee. Now that’s important. We talked about last week how everything we read in the New Covenant, it has a foundation in the Hebrew Bible, in the Old Testament, and the place called Nazareth is significant. Now, first of all, the word that is the basis for that name of that town, Nazareth, it means a twig. One of the places that it appears in the scripture is in the book of Isaiah in chapter 11. It refers to that that twig, that that sprouts from the stump of Jesse. Jesse, the father of David.
So, the twig from the stump of Jesse, everyone agrees is a reference to Messiah. So, Yahshua, he grew up in this town of Nazareth because of its connection with that word. Literally in the verb form, it means to guard or to keep. It’s a word of obedience. Now it says here, Nazareth of the Galilee. And Galilee is also significant because in the book of Isaiah once more in chapter nine we see that the revelation of Messiah, the light of the world was going to begin to be revealed in the Galilee. So, once again, we see how the writer of this gospel wants to emphasize things within the context of the Jewish scriptures, The Old Testament. Once again, first verse nine: “And it came about in those days that Yahshua came from Nazareth of the Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John.” Now many people, they they have problems with that statement. He was baptized by John? John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance.
Does that mean that Yahshua needed to repent? No, it did not. We know that he is without sin. He is perfect, spotless without any type of blemish. He never sinned. So, why was he immersed? Well, we need to understand a biblical context for immersion. Now, remember how I began a few minutes ago? If you could communicate something to God, what would it be? Well, the baptism of Yahshua communicates what he shared with his heavenly father and that should be the same thing that you and I share as well. And what does that? Well, look again at that scripture: “And he was baptized in the Jordan by John.” Now the reason for that was a message. Baptism communicates several truths. One of them is a desire to submit to God. I would suggest to you that the wisest thing that you can as a believer communicate to God is a desire to obey him.
That’s why we’ve been saved so that we can serve him, that we glorify him, be used by him and Messiah was saying when he went into that water and immersed in that water. That is he was buried by that water and then rose up. He was stating to his heavenly father that he was going to submit to God’s plan for his life. What does that plan? To go to Jerusalem, to be crucified, die, be buried, but on the third day rise again. So, he was stating a statement of obedience and that’s the wisest thing that you and I can share. Now in looking at this, we see in verse 10: “And immediately as he came up from the water, he saw the heavens.” And that word that is used here is splitting.
It means to open up we might say. “And the spirit, that is the Holy spirit, the spirit as a dove descending.” Now, one of the things that that we need to understand about scripture is that it’s very dangerous and obviously incorrect for us to take our culture and read that into the text. Oftentimes when we talk about the spirit descending upon him as a dove, well, we think of peace, perhaps we think of a dove being innocent or pure. We bring those concepts. Now, Messiah is indeed Holy, pure. He does indeed bring about the fulfillment of God’s will. In one sense, that’s the best description of peace, but we need to remember the biblical contexts. Now a dove was first mentioned in the scripture early on in the book of Genesis in regard to the flood. Remember Noah, he sent out a dove a few times and the dove departed and once it never came back, and that signified and end to a dispensation, an era, God’s judgment was over and something new was beginning.
And in that same way, when the spirit of God descended upon Messiah, it was stating to us that a new dispensation, a new time allotment was beginning. A time when we walk in obedience. Remember the spirits connected to what? Redemption that we now are called to live out the redemption that Messiah brings. Well, the next verse, I said to you that Messiah’s immersion communicated a truth to his heavenly father. That truth was a desire to obey his father’s will. So, he communicated to his heavenly father. And now notice the communication back in verse 11. And a voice came about from the heaven. “You are my beloved son in whom” … mostly we try and translate that well-pleased, it literally means to deem right. That is a confirmation that Yahshua being the anointed one of God was correct. He is the Messiah. Now, we as well, we need to demonstrate a desire to serve God.
All too often what happens is this, people believe that their salvation experience positions them where now God will do this and he will do that for them. He will assist them in becoming the person that they want to be fulfilling the objectives that they have. That’s not spirituality. That’s idolatry. Messiah did not come to do his will, but he came to do his father’s will. That’s why in the garden he says, not my will, but thy will be done. Now we need to understand that Messiah is fully man and fully God. Therefore, we always need to ask ourselves what’s being communicated in the scripture when Messiah, the man is being spoken of, he is an example. The perfect example for us. When Messiah, the son of God is being revealed well, then we see the truth of the gospel. Remember we learned last week, the gospel is that God has visited his people in the flesh.
So, we see his divinity being being emphasized. Well, let’s move on verse 12. Now he said to his father, “I am going to do your will.” When a person is immersed, they are not only connecting by faith to the person in the work. That is the death, burial, and resurrection of Messiah as a means for their redemption, the price that he paid upon that tree when his blood was shed. But also we’re saying that we want to serve God. We want to obey him, and if we’re going to do that, we have to learn how to overcome the enemy, how to overcome temptation. And that’s what we see in this next section, verse 12. “And immediately the spirit” … most Bibles say, let him, it’s literally a much more intensive word. Literally it says: “and cast him into the wilderness.”
Now the wilderness, remember we learned that the wilderness signifies dependence upon God signifies trusting him and we’re going to see an example of how the son of man, Yahshua, how he demonstrated how to overcome the attacks of the enemy. We read in this passage: “And immediately the spirit cast them into the wilderness and he was in the wilderness for 40 days.” Doing what? Being tempted by Satan and he fasted. We know in a scripture elsewhere, he fasted, he did not eat. He did not drink. What did he do? He did not rely upon the flesh and that’s what’s being communicated here. It is only when we trust in God not relying upon the flesh. Are we going to overcome the enemy and the greatest enemy is Satan the father of lies. He is a deceiver. He is a tempter. He is the accuser and we can’t have victory over him in and of ourselves, not in the flesh, but only in the salvation that Messiah offers.
Now, it also reveals to us in verse 13 that Messiah wasn’t alone in that wilderness. There was also … look at the end of verse 13 there was also there beast or animals. Now, why is that? Well to teach us once again a very important principle. Now Satan represents the spiritual. The beast represent the physical, and we read in that passage that the angels ministered unto him. Now what is trying to be conveyed here? Very simply, the angels took care of the beast, that threat. Now imagine not eating for 40 days, not drinking for 40 days a person becomes weak. His body will give off an odor, the death of the flesh. The animals would smell that. They would come near, but who dealt with those physical enemies, the angels. Why? To teach us. We fight the battle in the spirit, any of our fleshly enemies, we leave those for God, for his angels to deal with.
We don’t need to focus upon them. We focus upon the truth, the spiritual truth. Well, there’s another important passage that we see in this same section, verse 14 but after, meaning after this time, John was delivered over, he was in prison. Now what important truth about John, and we saw that this man was humble. He was committed. He didn’t put any emphasis in his clothes or or in eating at fine meals and places. He was committed to the kingdom. I mentioned last week, the scripture says of those born of women meaning in a natural way, there was no one greater than John. John lived 30 years. The last part of his life. He was in prison. He was in prison for faithfulness, for speaking the truth of God, and his head was severed from his body because of that. Now that tells us something, we can be exactly where God wants us and we can be suffering, but God, just like he was with Joseph, through all of his trials and turmoil, God will be with us.
Now, John ended his ministry and we read here that Messiah began his look again at verse 14 and after John was delivered over, Messiah came into the Galilee. Now once again, that’s important because the Galilee, as I said, Isaiah chapter nine is the place where the light of Messiah is going to begin to shine. So, he came into the Galilee and what’s that light that we’re speaking about? Spiritual truth, and he was proclaiming the gospel of God. Important statement. The good news of redemption that belongs to God without God in it, there is no redemption and he was proclaiming that the time had been fulfilled and the kingdom of God is near. And what’s the response? Repent and believe in the gospel. Now, order is important in the scripture. It didn’t say belief and repent. It says repent and believe. Why is that important?
Well, unfortunately today, and don’t miss this important point, because unfortunately today within the evangelical world, there is creeping in a very dangerous theology and that theology basically says that it’s honorable. We are called to give praise to God for everything he is sovereign, but in order to to emphasize that which is a good thing, there has been some theological truth compromise and some believe that the basis of everything is faith and faith is only from God. Now in one sense that’s very true, but what they say is faith leads to repentance, but that’s not what we see here. We see repentance and faith, repent and belief. Now God has equipped us with a conscience and that conscious can fall under conviction. Let me ask you a question. In the New Covenant, we find that the Torah was given and one of the purposes, the Torah has many purposes, but one of them is to bring us to the realization that we are in sin and we need the Redeemer.
That is through the reading and studying of the Torah. We learn our need for salvation, for justification, for Redeemer. The Torah creates in the non-believer creates conviction that we might seek the plan of justification. Now, that’s to who? The non-believer, so a person can fall under conviction as a nonbeliever and it’s true, this desire to turn from sin and towards God to seek forgiveness and redemption. That leads to what? It’s when we repent that God will supply the faith in order that we might be saved. So, a very important order. Regeneration does not lead to faith, but faith leads to regeneration. That’s the point. Well, let’s continue on one more section before we wrap up.
Begin with verse 16. Now in verse 16 a very important truth is being revealed to us concerning the continuity between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. Now, one of the things that that we have to to realize is that the New Testament takes truth from the Old Testament and basically fleshes it out, we might say, giving perfect examples so that we can understand and respond.
Verse 16: “And he walked along along the sea of Galilee.” Now it’s a double redundancy. We might say, he walked along along the sea of Galilee. It’s to emphasize in the Greek grammar, it’s to emphasize this location. He was near the sea of Galilee. Why is that important? Well, and Isaiah in the Hebrew Bible, the last verse of chapter eight I believe it’s the first verse of chapter nine but in that location it tells us that the Galilee, the sea of Galilee is very important, that that’s going to be where Messiah, is seen. In fact, there’s a town, Kfar Naḥūm, which is right along the sea of Galilee. You may know it better as Capernaum. That city was erected, it was established as a place for Messiah because Messiah and comfort go hand in hand. Now it was at that location, a spiritual location, one that’s reserved for Messiah. Then what happens?
Well, we read in verse 16 and he saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, so it emphasizes here he sees two brothers and they were casting their nets into the sea. Why? For they were fishermen. Now that all makes sense to us. Verse 17. “He saw them. That is Yahshua saw them and he gave them a command.” Now it’s interesting that that so often Messiah speaks in commands. That’s how God speaks.
“Come after me and I will make you to be fishermen of men and immediately they left their nets and followed after him.” Well, let me ask you a question. Does that ever bother you? I’ll make you fishers of men. Needly they leave everything and come to him. Well, anything I guess could happen once, but it’s significant. If we keep reading in this passage, we see it again to emphasize something more than a coincidence is happening. A random act taking place. Look if you would to verse verse 19 and he goes a little bit further and he sees Yacov or James, the one of Zebedee, meaning the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, and they were in the boat. They were mending their nets and immediately he called unto them. Now what did he say? The same thing: follow after me and I’ll make you fishermen or fishers of men. And once again, they left their father, that is Zebedee, and they left him in the boat with the other hired hands and they went after him. That is they followed after Messiah.
Now why would they do that? Why? Once again, everything is rooted in the scripture.
Look with me back into the Old Testament to the book of Genesis and Genesis chapter 48. Now there’s a very well known passage here known in Hebrew as birkat mashiach, the blessing of Messiah. Now this scripture that I’m going to read is still very, very much known and embraced in Orthodox Judaism today. In fact, many times you go into a home and you go into the room of the children and they’ll have the verse that I’m going to read in a few minutes on a poster above their bed because there’s the blessing, the blessing of Messiah here. Look with me as I said to the book of Genesis chapter 48 and verse 16, just one verse. This is where Jacob blesses the sons of Joseph. Remember that unique blessing that he gives to them? Verse 16. The angel. Now that word angel can mean a servant, simply one sent. The angel, the redeemer of me.
Now when the word goel in Hebrew appears, it’s not talking about a created angel. It’s talking about the servant of God, the Redeemer Messiah, and it’s for this reason, that word goel, the Redeemer is there that we get this understanding that it’s tied to Messiah, birkat mashiach, the blessing of Messiah. The messenger, the one who redeems me from all evil. Who else can do that? But Messiah to deal with all the evil. What’s he going to do? He will bless these young men. And, and will be called my name in then the name of the fathers, Abraham and Isaac. Now whenever we deal with the patriarchs, what should come into my mind is blessing or promise, the fulfillment, the outcome of the promises of God. So, we see here this blessing and what’s unique about it? Well, again, verse 16 the servant, the one who redeems me from all evil, may he bless these two young men and they my name be called, and then the name of what? Our fathers, Abraham and Isaac.
And here’s the key. Look at the last part of verse 16 now, I’ve never seen an English Bible translate this properly, but the word dog means fish. And what it literally says in this passage at the end is that made they become like fish in a multitude upon the earth, in the midst of the earth, but they might become like fish. Now why is that important? Well, because it was understood that there was a connection between fish and the promises of Messiah. Oftentimes you see driving down a road, a car and it’ll have a little fish on it and ichthus, which is the Greek word for fish. It’s an acronym, the meaning: Messiah, Yahshua, Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, but the important thing is here they understood this concept about being fish upon dry land as relating to the Messiah. So, when he says, follow after me and I’ll make you fishers of men, he was revealing himself as the Messiah. Where? In the exact location that Messiah was supposed to manifest himself and that’s why not just once but twice. Two brothers and remember the context in Genesis 48 Jacob is blessing the two brothers of Joseph. It all fits together so that we can understand the person and the work of Messiah. Well, we’ll close with this until our next study in the book of Mark.
Speaker 1: Well, we hope you will benefit from today’s message and share it with someone else. Please plan to join us each week at this time and on this station for the radio edition of LoveIsrael.org. Again, to find out more about us, please visit us at our website, LoveIsrael.org. There you will find articles and several other lectures from our teacher, dr Baruch. These teachings are in video form. You may download them or watch them in streaming video. Until next week, may the Lord bless you in our Messiah, Yahshua, that is Jesus, as you walk with him. Shalom from Israel.