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 have the opportunity to draw close before God, to come before his throne, and if he were to say to you, “Come on the right side.” Now we know the tradition. There was a tradition among royalty when someone would approach a king, if the king requested that he came on the right side, it meant that he was in a predisposition to grant that request. So if the King of Kings were to say to you, “You come before me on the right side,” and you could make any request of him that you wanted, what would it be? For most people, they would think about some present they would want from him. But more important than a present from HaShem, more important than that is to be in his presence. That is the wisest thing that you could say is to request to remain there forever and ever. To be intimate with the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords.
And one of the things we’re going to see today in this study is a desire among those who want to serve God more than anything else. They want to be close to him. Take out your Bible and look with me if you would to the book of Mark and chapter three, the book of Mark and chapter three. Now we saw in our last session that people were coming to Messiah Yeshua from a variety of places. Not just in the Galilee where he was doing most of these signs and wonders and where he was doing by and large the most of his teaching. But they were coming from Judae in the south, from the Holy city of Jerusalem, from the Jordan River, from east of the Jordan River, and even from Edom, the enemies of God’s people. He was having a mighty impact and not just from those places.
Also from the north in Lebanon, from Tyre and Sidon, and they were coming. And why? Well, one of the things we see is that we tend to put an emphasis on signs and wonders and miracles rather than understanding the real emphasis should be upon the truth. All these signs and wonders, these miracles and healings, although they were blessings, all of them ceased to be. Meaning those who regained their sight, those who received as we saw last week, power in his right hand, he eventually died. It’s only the truth, the truth of that message of redemption, the truth of God that gives us eternal life. And the outcome of eternal life is to be drawn into his presence where we will spend eternity with him. And if that’s not your goal, if that’s not your chief desire, then you’ve missed out upon one of the simplest truths in the scripture.
Well, let’s begin. We left off last week in verse nine so let’s begin there. We saw this great response, these masses of people coming before him, and we read in verse nine that, “He spoke to his disciples in order that they should prepare a boat for him on account of the crowd.” Now, there was so many people coming that he requested a boat be prepared that he could go out a little way into the sea, that is the sea of Galilee, because he had a concern as it says in the last of that verse, “That they would crush or press against him.” Now, there’s another reason for this because if you keep reading in that same text, it tells us, “For many he had healed,” with the result that there were still others coming and falling down before him that he might, and here’s the key, “That he might touch them.”
Now, they put an emphasis upon his touch. We know in the scriptures that sometimes Messiah did lay hands upon one and he recovered. Other times he might make a mixture of mud and spit and use that as a way of bringing about healing. Other times he told them to go someplace and there was a variety of ways, but all of those different ways revealed an important truth. An additional truth that was being revealed at that time. First and foremost, we need to see that he was Lord over all. He could heal, he could create, he could do all things simply by speaking it into being. So some scholars, and I agree with them, they say that not only did he want to go out a little distance from them, not only because he didn’t want to be crushed, but also because to show that it wasn’t the emphasis on his touch, meaning on his physical body.
Now, why do I say that? Well, not too long ago, I was teaching about the fact that Messiah, and we’re going to see in a few minutes, that it speaks about Messiah as he did in the very first words of verse one or chapter one called him the son of God. And that expression, the son of God reveals the divinity of Messiah. And sometime ago someone wrote me a letter and said, “Well, if Yeshua is God, and he died upon that cross, that means that God died. Does it not?” No, it doesn’t. Why not? Because, what died upon that tree was his physical body. That body wasn’t divine. What was divine was who he is. That is the spirit of Messiah, not his flesh. And therefore here we see as well that there was not an emphasis on his touching, that is on his physical body.
But as we’re going to see on his identity and the truth that he gave. So look again at verse 10, “For many were healed so that there was others that fell down before him that he might touch them.” And who were they? “Those who had,” and Bibles translate that last word of the text differently. Some would say ailments. Others would say diseases, some would say plagues. But here’s the key that I want you to see. That that word in the biblical language is the same root word that comes from the idea of being flogged or that instrument that one would be flogged with. And what’s the emphasis? The emphasis is upon pain and suffering. These people were desperate. These people were hurting, hurting physically, perhaps emotionally. We’ll see in a few minutes, hurting spiritually, and they were in a desperate situation and they came mightily before him.
And we see in the scripture, what did he do? “He healed many of them.” That is many people were healed. Verse 11, now there’s an emphasis on not the pain, but it could be the cause, the source of all these problems. It says in verse 11, “And the unclean spirits.” Now they were there. More likely there’s a connection between these diseases and these unclean spirits. But notice their response, and this is one of the few times when we can learn something from an unclean spirit, because what did they do? Well, it says in verse 11, “And the unclean spirits, whenever him they saw.” Now the emphasis is a little awkward in English, but in the biblical language, the word him is emphatic. That is to say whenever him they saw, what happens? They would likewise fall down before him and they would cry out saying that, “You are the son of God.”
They were moved by that truth. Now everyone is going to be moved by the truth of Messiah. The question is what direction? They had no choice because of his authority, because of his power, because of his identity and make no mistake about it. When they said the son of God, they understood that he was God incarnate, God with us. And therefore they fell down. Now what’s equally important is his response. We read in the end of this passage in verse 12, “And he rebuked many of them in order that him,” once again, that word is in the emphatic. “That him they would not make manifest.” Now, why was that? I mean you would think that he would come and want everyone to know that he’s the Messiah. Now, that’s partially true, but we’ve already alluded to the fact in an earlier study, the problem was how the people, how the masses would understand this term Messiah.
See, they were thinking on the physical. Remember? We already saw that there was emphasis to touch him, his physical body. They were thinking about the physical, the physical outcomes of the coming of Messiah, and there are those physical outcomes. There is a physical outcome of the kingdom of God being established. That is the nation of Israel, taking her God-given position as the leader of the nations. That is putting the enemies, the physical enemies of Israel down. Them being defeated. And there’s a whole wealth of other physical outcomes and those are wonderful. But realize that all of these physical outcomes are required first for there to be a spiritual act. Meaning that sin has to be dealt with, they are conditional. And the problem is none of those people were coming. None of those individuals were seeking the forgiveness of sins. They were simply seeking the physical solution to the problem and the outcome of sin, but not the core of sin.
So Messiah, he rebuked those demons, those unclean spirits, because he wanted to re-educate the people about how it was necessary for Messiah to come into this world, to suffer and to die, and to give his life a ransom for the world. And we see when we look further on into the new covenant, we see that so often the apostle Paul, he would go in on the Sabbath day to a synagogue, and he would teach how it was necessary. And that word is an important word. How it was absolutely required that the son of man, that is Messiah, had to suffer and die, but on the third day be risen from the dead. Now let’s move on. Drop down if you would now to the second passage, verse 13. It tells us here that, “He went up into a mountain,” that is up on a mountain.”
He removed from all of this chaos and all of these people wanting his attention. And he did something. “He went up on this mountain and he called those whom he desired.” And what happens? “And they came to him.” Now what’s he doing? He is, and we’ll see this in no uncertain terms. He is calling his 12 disciples. We’re going to see twice that the number 12 appears and 12, don’t miss this. 12 biblically speaking, is related to the 12 tribes of Israel. And he chooses 12 disciples. Not to replace Israel, not to choose a new people, a different people, but to emphasize once again the importance of Israel in God’s plan. I was teaching not too long ago about God’s purposes being fulfilled, and we looked at a prophecy, and at the heart of that prophecy is what God is going to do in the last days to Israel, to the people of Israel, and to the land of Israel.
So look once more at that verse, verse 13, “And he went up onto a mountain and he called those that he desired and they went to him.” Now don’t miss this. He called, but they had to respond. And one of the questions that we should ask ourselves repeatedly, when we look at God’s word, are we responding properly to him? Are we responding in the way that he desires? Don’t miss the key way that this sentence is constructed. He called those that he desired and they responded to his desire, not theirs. And verse 14, “And he made 12.” now the first time 12 is mentioned, it is mentioned without the definite article. It simply says, “He made 12 which also he appointed as apostles.” Now what’s an apostle? Well, we could look at that word apostello in Greek and see that the word stello means to be sent. And the word apo means from.
Just one that’s sent from, that is sent from the Messiah. And that terminology has to do with being given an authority, we’ll see that in a moment. But, apostles. So you usually think first and foremost, the key understanding of the thinking of an apostle is what he’s been called to do. He’s been sent, where he’s been called to go to. But if we look at the scripture, we see something a little bit more foundational and what is that? Well, look again, verse 14, “And he made 12 which also he appointed as apostles in order,” and that’s an important word. It has to do with the primary purpose. And what was that? The scripture says, “In order that they should be with him.” That’s the key. If we want to be a servant, if we want to be used by God, if we want to accomplish his purposes, foundationally we have to be with him.
And that’s why we began this study by saying, if you could make a request from God, what would it be? And if I would like to receive this, I would like for him to do this for me. I would like him to solve this problem, deal with that need, or whatever. All of those things reveal that we’re thinking just like those masses. What did he do? He got up on a mountain. He departed from them. Now he blessed them, but the point that I need to share with you is this. What takes a greater priority are those who respond to the will of Messiah, which is that we might be with him. That’s an apostle. That’s a disciple. Read on in verse 14, “In order that he could send them.” Now that’s important. If you’re not with him, if you don’t have intimacy with him, you’re not going to be sent by him to do anything.
You can’t be a faithful servant of his. So in order that he might send them to do what? Well, don’t miss this. First and foremost, to proclaim. And that word has to do with proclaiming the truth of God. See, we have to give truth so that people can respond. And how does one respond to truth? Well, the answer is, faithfully. Because the same, in the Hebrew language, the same word for truth is related to the word faith. When we talk about faith, it is responding properly to the truth of God. So they went. They were commissioned first and foremost to share truth and it’s only the truth. And when we think about the spiritual things, we talk about the Holy Spirit. What’s he called? The spirit of truth. If we want to worship God, we have to worship him in spirit and in truth. It tells us in the scripture that he is the way, the signs, and the wonders, and the life? No.
He is the way, the truth, and the life. I mean, you do a good study of the word truth, you’re going to see that it’s foundational for everything that God wants to do in your life and through your life. It’s all rooted in God’s faithfulness and our faithfulness is when we receive his faithfulness in our life. Once again, he sends them out to proclaim and it’s only because of that truth that they were given. Look in verse 15, “Only then did they have the authority.” Remember that word? Exousia. We learned it. It’s authority, but it also has within it this idea of power. There’s an inherent relationship between the truth of God and the power of God. So we read, “And he sent them out to proclaim, he gave them authority to cast out the demons.” Now what we see here is that by truth comes power.
By this power comes the authority over the enemy to defeat them and to cast them out. Why? Well, there’s a very well-known parable that Messiah taught and it goes something like this. He speaks about someone who has the influence of an unclean spirit within his life. And he works hard. He does certain things. So the spirit leaps, but he doesn’t respond in faith. That is, he doesn’t have that personal relationship with Messiah. How do we know that? He’s absent of the Holy spirit. And because he’s absent of the Holy Spirit, there’s a void in his life. And what happens? That demon, that same demon comes back, he brings a bunch of his friends with him. And the last state of man is worse than the former. Why? Not that truth. Not that authority. Not that will of God being realized in his life.
So we see here that this truth, this authority, this power is necessary to defeat those demons. Verse 16, “And he made the 12.” Now we hear it the second time, that number 12 referring to the 12 disciples, a reference to Israel and God’s continual desire to use Israel, and accomplish his purposes, his plans, his kingdom purposes with Israel. “So he made the 12, and he set upon Simon Peter or Simon, the name Peter, and Jacob of Zebedee, and his brother John.” It says, “He set upon them the name literally Boanerges, which means, sons of thunder. They had power. And what we see here is that there’s a rock mentioned. Peter, is Aramaic for rock. And what we have here is very simply two things. It’s only when we have the truth, which is a rock, are we going to have power, that thunder, in order to accomplish the things, the purposes, the will of almighty God?
Well, there’s other disciples mentioned here, verse 18, “Andrew and Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James of [inaudible 00:22:04], Thaddeus, and Simon the Zealot. And Judas Iscariot who would betray him. Now what we see is that nothing surprised Messiah. He knew that he came in this world to die, and he knew that he was going to be betrayed by mankind. And he knew that one would do that and it’s Judas, this Judas Iscariot. Now, we’re going to see another important truth before we wrap up. Look now to verse 20, he came after appointing these 12, he returned back it says, “And he came to his house and once again gathered a great crowd so that they were not able any longer to eat.” Now that’s important because we see two things, people… Now, it’s symbolic. People weren’t coming to get fed physically. They weren’t simply coming for their needs to be met.
Here we see there’s an emphasis upon the truth and when we understand the truth, we’re going to deal with the core of the problem. We’re going to be able to identify the spiritual problems. Remember the dichotomy that we were talking about. All too often people focus upon the physical rather than upon the spiritual. We get the spiritual in order, the physical is going to fall into place. So we see a very important transition in these next two verses we’re going to look at. So Messiah, he comes back to his home, and people had been in his home. People had ate. We saw that earlier on in chapter two. That the tax collectors and sinners were dining with him. But now the eating had stopped because of the great number of people who had come. Verse 21, “And having heard,” and the phrase that continues, some Bibles will translate it his family, some will say friends.
It simply means those who are close to him. And I believe it is a reference to his family for what we see later on and we’ll learn next week. But the important thing is this. “And when they heard, his family, they came, they seized him saying for he had,” what? Literally it’s a word which means to stand outside, and it’s an idiom in Greek that he was beside himself. Meaning simply that this one they thought had gone crazy. Why? Because his emphasis was so different than the world’s. And because people were coming and heralding him as what? As the Messiah. And his family were thinking, “God can’t work in our family. God doesn’t choose us.” But the thing I want to close with is this. You will be amazed with how God will want to work in your life, in your marriage, in your family, in your neighborhood, if you avail yourself to the purposes of God.
So we read in this verse, look at it again. Verse 21, “After hearing this, his family, they went out and they,” and a very strong word, “They seized him.” Now this is the same expression, meaning to take someone into prison. They were serious in stopping what he was doing. And that’s what so often happens in the world. God begins to move and people move seriously against it. They simply didn’t understand the things that they thought were foolish, was exactly what God was about. So look again, verse 21, “And after hearing this, his family went and seized him saying for this one is beside himself.” Now, not only was he getting conflict from his family, but last verse, verse 22, “And the scribes,” the ones from Jerusalem, “they came down,” and what did they say? Well, we’re going to see next week. We’re going to see that there’s a very important teaching concerning the Holy Spirit and what I want to close with today is just simply laying the foundation for what we’ll learn next week. And that is this.
There’s an inherent relationship between understanding the truth that is the identity of Messiah, and the work of the Holy Spirit. And if we don’t understand Messiah, we don’t understand his purposes, his plans, his identity, what he came to accomplish, then the Holy Spirit is not going to work in our life. He’ll be just as foreign, and we will certainly not understand why he came. And we’ll find ourselves speaking against the very one that God wants to supply us to bring his order into our life. Very clear.
Throughout this book of Mark, over and over, we see God’s desire to bring change into us, a godly change. But if we’re not focused upon the truth, then that change and that truth is going to be so far removed from us, we’re going to find ourselves working against the very plans and the very purposes of God. So let me close with this question. Are you understanding the truth of scripture? Are you passionate about the word of God? Are you emphasizing the things that God would be emphasizing in your life? Or are you simply trying to get God to bless your way? If you are, you’re no different than the scribes and the Pharisees, and you’ll find yourself working against the very will of God. Well, until next week, we’ll close with that.
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 Yeshua. That is Jesus. As you walk with him, Shalom from Israel.