What Is the Good News of Yeshua? (Part 20)
At long last, the people of Israel had returned to their homeland, now a broken and castaway nation. Though they managed to rebuild both Jerusalem and the House of God, they nevertheless remained under the thumb of external subjugation, governed by a succession of warring, foreign empires. Under the influence of their ungodly occupiers, many of the people held onto and adopted foreign customs alien to the will and word of God. They spawned the corruption of their own priesthood, endured the installation of puppet kings, and formed competing segments of a new legalistic, Temple-less Jewish religion—a religion that had been imported from their excursion into exile. The kingdom of Israel—the nation of God’s covenant people—was barely more than an empty shell.
“But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son (having come from a woman)…” (Galatians 4:4, mjlt)
With echoes of an ancient past, God once again placed His people’s future in the lap of obscurity. In one of Israel’s unremarkable towns, God chose for Himself an unremarkable man… one who just happened to be the descendant of the kind of men that patriarchs and kings and saviors are made of. But when this insignificant carpenter found His virgin betrothed-one with child, it would take an angelic appearance to convince Him of what the God of Creation was about to do. The Word, through whom everyone and everything had been made since the beginning, would now Himself be miraculously made… a human being (John 1:1-3,14).
He would be a son of Adam, a son of Abraham, and a son of David (Matthew 1:1). This great “Son of the Highest” would ascend to “the throne of David His father,” and through Him, the God of Redemption would restore that failed and broken covenantal line. As the eternal King of the Jews, He will “reign over the house of Jacob to the ages,” and of His awesome and everlasting reign “there will be no end” (Luke 1:32-33). This is the One whom Israel had been waiting for: a King, “a Savior—who is Messiah, the Master” (Luke 2:11). And because this One would not simply save His people, but “save [them] from their sins” (Matthew 1:21), His Name would be called…
For His first three decades, Israel’s humble King would live the normal, unassuming life of a Jewish tradesman’s son. He was circumcised on the eighth day according to the covenant of the Torah (Luke 2:21), given the redemption of the firstborn at the Temple (2:22ff), and lived in obedient submission to His dutiful and faithful parents (2:51). As Yeshua grew, the young man continued to advance in wisdom and stature. Israel’s hidden Messiah would find favor both with God and with men (2:52).
When He was about thirty years old, Yeshua seemingly burst onto the public scene. He began to proclaim a message to the people of Israel concerning some kind of “Good News”—saying that the Kingdom of God was at hand, but that they must repent of their ungodly ways (Mark 1:15) and be spiritually born again (John 3:3ff). Everywhere He traveled, He declared liberty from a bondage that many didn’t even know they had—teaching that everyone who sins is a slave to it, but that the truth of His word would make them free (8:32ff). Reports of this powerful new voice quickly spread throughout the surrounding region, as He spoke also at the Temple and in the synagogues. As He stood up to read on one particular Sabbath, having unrolled the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, He read aloud,
“The [Spirit] of Adonai is upon me,
Because He anointed me
To proclaim Good News to the poor;
Sent me to proclaim release to captives,
And receiving of sight to the blind;
To send out the bruised with release;
To proclaim the acceptable year of Adonai.”
(Luke 4:18-19, mjlt)
“And having folded the scroll, having given it back to the attendant, He sat down [and] began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your ears.’ [And all] were in wonder at the favorable words that were coming out of His mouth” (Luke 4:20-22). And from that moment, the God of Revelation began to make His plans clear—everything written about the Messiah in the Torah, the Prophets and the Psalms was finally about to be fully revealed.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below!