Why Not Jesus? (Episode 4)

Let Yeshua Speak

This week (Dec 30) on Shabbat Night Live, Yeshua never spoke in his own name; he spoke only in the name of his Father.

In this final episode, Keith Johnson shows us, using Yeshua’s own words, what the Messiah’s name really means, why it has so much power, and how his name was written in three different languages.

Watch the episode — included on this blog post.

While you watch, consider the questions below. The timeline for each discussion topic in the video is noted on each question. Post your answers in the comments section, and let’s get some discussion going!

  1. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 16:00) In our fallible attempts to recognize and understand the messiahship of Yeshua, many evangelical Christians have often failed to explore his own words to his followers regarding his identity. How have many believers focused too heavily upon historical testimony of those in power or archeological experts, perhaps to assuage personal doubt, rather than apprehending the subtleties of his own self-identification throughout his ministry?
  2. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 20:00) How is insight into this matter arguably presented by the dramatic scenario of Matthew 28:1-8? Despite the familiarity of this juncture, why has the aside from the angel who tells the women of Yeshua’s resurrection, “as he said,” been overlooked as a verification and example of YeHoVaH’s plan for our salvation?  How is this aspect enhanced by the evident terror experienced by the Roman guards?
  3. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 24:00) Similarly, how have Yeshua’s words to the women upon beholding him soon afterward been poorly served by the failure of many translations to provide his first word to them as an expression of affirmation? Why has his repetition of the angel’s conventional greeting “be not afraid” not been taken literally by readers of scripture who seek to understand Yeshua’s inherently divine nature?
  4. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 28:00) How does this passage, as translated in the 1560 Geneva Bible, demonstrate the vital factor of intention through the phrase “God save you”? More importantly, how has this insight been allowed to dissipate over the centuries through the endless repetition of “contemporary” translations that seem destined to fail, owing to the dynamics of the  English language, whose desire for economy and relevance continues to demand change?
  5. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 32:00) Similarly, how can the fact that Yeshua’s very first word here references YeHoVaH be viewed as a subtext of the full phrase as an expressed desire for the salvation of his immediate listeners and eventual readers? How might Matthew 28:9 potentially become more than a mere plot point for the faithful with regard to the profundity of Yeshua’s rising from the dead?
  6. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 36:00) How can such factors as political hierarchy and class structure be viewed as inadvertent influences on the historical English translations discussed here? How might the evolution of the three medieval estates (nobles, clergy, peasantry) into the society of the Renaissance be seen in retrospect as a mixed blessing, one that brought scripture to an accessible and popular level but also presented new challenges for evangelization?
  7. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 40:30) Why is it important to recognize the significance of the personal address by Yeshua to Saul in the Book of Acts? Moreover, how does the varying reference to the Hebrew or Aramaic language in particular translations serve to enhance the directness of this encounter, along with Saul’s ensuing loss of sight, ultimately demarcating him as Yeshua’s chief evangelist?
  8. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 44:00) Similarly, how has the expression “Road to Damascus Moment” become trivialized as a cliché denoting a non-spiritual realization rather than the profound experience described in Acts 9 and 26? How can this traumatic development instead be viewed as a paradigm of conversion for the unbeliever who becomes moved by YeHoVaH on an intimate level, recognizing his own spiritual blindness and capacity for zeal in worship?
  9. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 48:00) How do Yeshua’s words in John 5:43 and 12:27 dramatize the importance of our use of the divine names as acknowledgment of belief and obedience to doctrine rather than arbitrary historical remnants? How does the practice by many believers of neither speaking the word “God” nor fully spelling it out in writing demonstrate less an adherence to the commandments than a deeply felt expression of hope for salvation?
  10. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 51:00) How does the recurrence of the familiar proclamation “blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John reveal the responsibilities involved in our commitment to evangelization as believers? How does an identification with “name” in this context require us to be genuine representatives or ambassadors of YeHoVaH, with all of the knowledge and obedience that this entails and however modest our worldly circumstances, rather than “cultural Christians”?

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