Rabbi Schneider - Minister Like Jesus
You see today, the traditional rabbinic concept of the Messiah is that He would restore Israel to Torah study. And in restoring Israel to Torah study and in the rebuilding of the temple so we would have the third Temple, that that would usher in the Messianic age. But in Rabbinic Judaism today, the Mashiach, the Messiah is not somebody that's divine. He's just a human being that has great charisma, that's able to restore Israel back to the Torah. In fact, according to traditional rabbinic mindset, there is a potential Messiah in every age. And it just depends on whether the citizens of Israel, the Jewish people are worthy enough for the Messiah to be manifest. But the fact is that we read in the Hebrew Scriptures that the Ministry of Messiah is far superior and is far greater than simply a man, that's a human being, restoring Jewish people back to the Torah.
Mashiach or Messiah is actually God incarnate. He's God clothed in humanity that has the ability to heal humankind. That's why Isaiah, in quoting the Messiah from the first person, said that the Messiah would be able to restore people, that He'd bring recovery of sight to the blind, that He'd free the oppressed, that He would free people from prison, that He would personally make people whole again. This is not something that one man can do simply by turning someone back to Torah. This is a work of the Spirit of God. This is the work of Elohim Himself operating by His Spirit and His Word through the Mashiach Himself. And so Messiah is a very personal being that is intricately involved in the repairing of the human soul.
And that's what you and I today are hoping in. That as we continue to look to Yeshua, as we continue to set our eyes on Him, even as the children of Israel in the wilderness when they were bitten by the serpent were commanded to look at the bronze serpent that Moses had put on the staff and lifted up and told the children of Israel that were bitten, "Look upon the serpent on the staff that I'm holding up and you will recover and be made whole," so too Yeshua compared that scripture to Himself, and He said, "Everybody that looks on me will be made whole". So last week I delve into that. I encourage you again, go back and get the teaching. I just wanted to point out particular today, before moving on, of the different concept that we have of the working on Mashiach being a man that is not just a man but is the God man that is able to do spiritual surgery on our souls and make us whole as compared to a more rabbinic understanding of Messiah that simply is a human being that returns Israel to the Torah.
Well, let's move on today. I want to talk about the fact that in the ancient writings we have prophecy that reveals to us that Machiach's ministry would be predominantly in Galilee. So let's go now to the book of Isaiah 9:1. "But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times he treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on he shall make a glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan," listen, "Galilee of the Gentiles". So once again this is a messianic prophecy, and Isaiah is revealing that Messiah is going to be ministering in Galilee. And as a result of his ministry there, it's going to be glorious.
Now let's look at the corresponding Brit Hadashah, our New Testament fulfillment of this verse in the book of Matthew 4. I'm going to begin reading here in verse 12. "Now when Yeshua Jesus heard the John had been taken into custody, he withdrew to Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, he came and settled in Capernaum". I'm going to skip down out of verse 14. This is an exact quote of the book that we just read from Isaiah 9:1. "This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet". And then he goes on to quote, "by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles". And then he continues there in verse 16, speaking of those Gentiles and the Jews that were living in Galilee. "The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light; and those who are sitting in the land of the shadow of death, upon them, a light dawned". So Yeshua's ministry was predominantly to the Jewish people living in the Galilee region.
Now, one point that I like to bring to our conscious bearing on for a second here is many of us that love Israel, many of us have been to Israel, and especially we love Jerusalem. Jerusalem is such an incredibly beautiful city. And we know that so much of our future is bound up in Jerusalem and the Israel's history is bound up in Jerusalem. The temple was there, Mount Moriah is there, etc. But I want you to consider that most of Yeshua's ministry was not in Jerusalem. It was in Galilee. In fact, Yeshua was predominantly in Jerusalem to be crucified. Yeshua said, "O, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that stone and kill the prophets"!
So I'm just pointing out that many of us have this glamorized view of Jerusalem, and we kind of condescendingly look at every place other than Jerusalem is being not so much. But I want you to consider that most of Jesus' ministry did not take place in Jerusalem. It took place in Galilee and in small villages around that area. What's an application? An application is beloved that even as Yeshua did most of His ministry, not in the central capital city of Jerusalem, but in outlying areas like Galilee, so you and I need to consider that our ministry, it may not be in the spectacular, but it's in the small places that we can reach. just had a situation where I have a small engine. I was trying to get this engine started in a tractor to mow my lawn. Couldn't get the thing started. There two days in a row couldn't get it started.
So I started looking online for someone that does small engine repair. So I found somebody that did small engine repair. They lived in my city. I called the guy about 6 o'clock at night because I had done everything I could to get the engine started, couldn't get it started. The tractor was down a hill and I couldn't push the tractor back up the hill. So the guy answers the phone, and I said, "Listen," I said, "Do you do house calls? I've got this tractor. I can't get it started so I can't push the tractor up the hill so I can't bring it to you". And the guy said, "Well, sometimes I do". He said, "I'm driving a tow truck right now, but if I get done early enough, I can come over tonight". I said, "Great". So we kind of left it at that. And then I reached out to another friend and he said that he had a friend that worked on small engines. He said he could bring him by tomorrow.
So when my friend told me that he could bring his friend over tomorrow to take a look at it, I called back the guy that said he could possibly come over later tonight and I said, "Listen, let's forget it for right now because I found a friend that thinks you might be able to fix it". So I left the guy voice message or I texted him rather, I said, "No need to come over anymore. I found another solution". Well, about a half-hour later approximately, my phone rings and I saw it was that guy that I had called or texted that I wouldn't need him anymore. And I just didn't answer the phone because I was doing something else. And then all of a sudden I heard like noise in my driveway. So I looked out my front window and sure enough there was this tow truck and this guy had told me that he drove a tow truck.
And so I realized that this guy was at my house already. He was pulling out. I really quickly call the guy back on the phone, I thought, "Well, maybe the Lord wants me to meet this guy". Because always in the back of my head, I'm thinking, "Maybe the Lord wants me to share his good news with someone". So I called the guy back, I said, "Listen, I saw that you just turned around in my driveway". I said, "You know, I'm here. Why don't you turn back around and come over"? So the guy came right back over. We walked over to my tractor. He started telling me a little bit about his life. He was basically it had some pretty bumpy things that he had encountered recently with just some bad things I won't even go into. He was trying to recover. He was trying to get his feet back on the ground. He have just a lot of brokenness. And he and I together were able to get my tractor started.
Afterwards, I asked him a couple questions or had him open up a little bit more. I was able to pray for him, give him a devotional book that I've written, and then blessed him when he left. And I said to him after I got done praying for him, I said, "You know, I'm always paying attention to relationships that might cross my path because I don't just take them as coincidences or random things that happen, because sometimes they're the Lord Himself bringing me into contact with somebody to share with that person that He loves them. So I just want to say to you today that I don't believe that you and I met today for no reason. I believe that it was God's plan as you're searching for your identity and looking to get yourself back on the ground. I bless you in the name of the Lord".
Again, I prayed for him, then he walked away. Why am I sharing that with you in reference to that messianic prophecy that we're looking at right now from Isaiah 9 and Matthew 4? I'm making the point that most of Jesus' ministry did not take place in the spectacular city of Jerusalem. It took place in the backwoods of Galilee. And many of our ministries will not take place on huge public platforms. I don't know why we have these glamorized ideas of the spiritual gifts we have and how we want to use our spiritual gifts and reaching the nations and all these things. That's great if God's called you to that.
But let's not forget that most of Yeshua's ministry did not take place in a great arena like Jerusalem. It took place in little backwoods villages, just like, for example, beloved, the places that you are and the place that I was able to minister to that young man that I met yesterday that helped me fix my small engine. I didn't meet that man preaching in a large crusade somewhere; it was a one on one relationship in my driveway. So let's not despise the small things. Jesus, again, minister to small groups of people sometimes in backwoods places. Pay attention to where you're at. Minister to the people, beloved ones, where you're at. Don't look for the glamorous thing all the time. Just apply yourself in your spiritual gifting where you are. Baruch Hashem.
And sometimes the ministry that we're being called to might not exactly be what we had in mind. And I'm wanting to relate that, this concept of sometimes ministering to people that might not be the type of people that we had wanted to minister to or might not be in the environment that we wanted a minister in, I want to relate that to the Ministry of Messiah and the fact that His ministry was not just to Jewish people, but to Gentile people, whom the Jewish people, during the time of Jesus, considered to be unclean.
Remember when Peter fell into the trance on the roof of his house, and he was waiting for lunch. And when he fell into the trance, suddenly he saw appear before him unkosher animals, animals that were not clean for Jewish people to eat. And when he saw the unkosher animals, some of you may remember the book of Acts, "Hear the voice, Peter, take, kill and eat". And Peter said, "Lord, I've never eaten anything unholy or unclean". And then the Spirit spoke to Peter and said, "What God has said, is clean let no man consider to be unclean". And while Peter was pondering what it all meant, suddenly there was a knock on his door, and it was a Gentile. And he said, "Come and minister to my master, who was a Gentile that believed in the God of Israel".
And then Peter realized that the meaning of the vision was that he wasn't to consider Gentiles as unclean. And Peter went with the man and the ministry of the gospel entered into the Gentile world. So hear the Word of God in the book of Isaiah 42:6, speaking of the Messiah. It says, "And I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations". Isaiah chapter 60:3, "Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising". Now who are the nations that Isaiah is describing here? The nations are Gentiles. Because scripturally speaking, there's only two classes of people. There's Jews and Gentiles. So if you weren't part of Israel, you were a Gentile, you were a part of the nations. So the point is, is that the Ministry of Messiah would go to the nations, go to the Gentiles.
So we read in the book of Acts 13:47-48 about the Ministry of Paul. "For so the Lord has commanded us, 'I HAVE PLACED YOU AS A LIGHT FOR THE GENTILES, THAT YOU MAY BRING SALVATION TO THE END OF THE EARTH.'" And it says, "When the Gentiles heard this". In other words, Paul was proclaiming the good news to the Gentiles and he was relaying to the Gentiles, that which formerly had been considered by Israel unclean. He was sharing with them how God sent him to the Gentiles. "And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed". In the book of Luke, we actually see Isaiah 42 and 60 being quoted, or Luke records concerning the Messiah, "A LIGHT OF REVELATION FOR THE GENTILES, and the glory of Your people Israel".
So we're looking at messianic prophecy. One of the things that we're unearthing from the Hebrew Scriptures is the revelation that Messiah would not be the Messiah of the Jews only, but He would be the Messiah of all people, from the highest to the lowest, from the lowest to the highest. And that should help you and I, beloved, do what the scripture commands us to do. The Scripture tells us to condescend to the lowly. Meaning that even as Peter had to condescend to all this and embracing, that which he formerly considered unclean, you and I need to enlarge our hearts and begin to love people in the name of Messiah that we formerly in the natural would not feel inclined to love. For such as the heart of God. How big, how deep, how wide is the love of the Lord.
And finally, let me say this to you that reflects on what we're saying today. That when we speak of the Messiah and is called to minister to the whole world, to the nations, to Jew and Gentile alike, it helps us to understand why God chose the Jewish people whom Yeshua is the fulfillment of. He didn't choose the Jewish people to simply be a special people that was unique unto themselves. He chose us as Jewish people to be the servant of the world, to be the priest of God to the earth, to bring the love of God to the entire world. And it's important for us Jewish people to realize that our choseness was not given to us to make us feel superior, but rather our choseness was the marking of the Lord to make us a servant to the entire earth.