Interpreting the Bible isn't simply an intellectual matter. Certainly it involves the intellect,
but there is much more to understanding what the Bible says than simply understanding with the mind, which is a
Greek concept, not a Hebrew one. The Hebrew meaning of what it means to know something is demonstrated by the statement
in the Torah, "Adam knew his wife." Adam did not simply have an intellectual concept of his wife. He
knew her personally, intimately, physically, and practically. Likewise, to know the Lord means much more than to
know he exists. Yeshua' brother Jacob told us, "You believe there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe
that -- and shudder." (James 2:19) Real belief and understanding involves action. There is a great deal of
difference between saying I believe there is a million dollars buried in the back yard and getting out a shovel
and digging it up!
We've studied Isaiah 53 from several perspectives. We've considered rabbinic interpretation, examined to see if
the passage could be referring to Israel or some other individual. Finally, we saw that the key to understanding
the passage is that it contained the familiar image of a root or shoot (shoresh) sprouting up, which is beyond
dispute a Messianic image in other places in Isaiah, such as Isaiah 11:10. The figure of Isaiah 53 would be exalted
over the Kings of the earth, yet he would also serve as a priest who would sprinkle many nations, which is a priestly
function. Let us go back to this rich text again and consider how to understand it in a Hebrew way, that is, practically
Let's go back to the text and consider the implications for each of us.
53:1 Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
53:2 For he grew up before him
like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
53:3 He was despised and rejected
by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised,
and we esteemed him not.
The arm of the Lord is his power at work to save his people. God delivered Israel from Egypt by his mighty arm
(Exodus 6:6). The word for arm is "zeroah," the same word used for the shank bone of the lamb found on
the Passover Seder plate today to remind us of the Passover Lamb. Isaiah 53 described one who would come as a sacrificial
lamb for us. What can you say about the response to the message of the Messiah? How was the Messiah to be viewed?
The prophet said he would be rejected, despised, and one people would prefer to avoid looking at. When Messiah
came the Judean leadership, as foretold, did not accept him. In fact, many saw his crucifixion as the punishment
he deserved, just as Isaiah foresaw. How have you responded to the Messiah? Many times in Israel's history the
prophets were rejected. Remember, most of those who came out of Egypt did not make it into the Promised Land. Many
in Israel rebelled against Moses in his day. It is no surprise that many, often those in power, rejected the Messiah
when he came. Yet the faithful remnant among Israel believed and took the message of God's love through the Messiah
to the known world of that day. How have you responded?
53:4 Surely he has borne our
griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
53:5 But he was wounded for
our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with
his stripes we are healed.
53:6 All we like sheep have
gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Though many thought the Messiah was suffering for his own sin, what was actually going on was that God was providing
atonement for us. Human nature is corrupt. We all go astray and wander from the Good shepherd. We all have guilt
and sin. Can you admit that? The prophet Isaiah confessed that he was among those who needed healing and payment
for our sins. He used the word "we." Do you recognize yourself among the we? Do you recognize and admit
that you yourself are one of the ones who has gone astray? Will you receive the Messiah's payment for sin as your
own, not just as a general payment for sin, but as the payment for your own personal sins? Will you receive God's
loving offer of forgiveness through Messiah's suffering as the sin offering?
53:7 He was oppressed, and he
was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before
its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.
53:8 By oppression and judgment
he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
53:9 And they made his grave
with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in
The servant willingly accepts his suffering and death. Though he was mistreated and oppressed he never objected
to the treatment he received. He even said "father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do."
Why was he so willing to suffer and die? Because he loves us and it was God's will for Messiah to suffer and die
to provide payment and forgiveness for our sins. Yeshua said "Greater love has no man than this than to lay
down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) How have you responded to God's loving offer?
53:10 Yet it was the will of
the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief; when he makes himself an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring,
he shall prolong his days; he will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand;
53:11 he shall see the fruit
of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to
be accounted righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities.
53:12 Therefore I will divide him
a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death,
and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
God has provided a guilt offering (asham) for us through the Messiah. This is the same term used of the Levitical
sacrifices made in the ancient Temple (Leviticus 5 & 6). If Moses said we needed a guilt offering, what does
this imply about us? The guilt offering of Temple times was the sacrificial animal upon whom the sins of the worshiper
were symbolically placed before it was slaughtered. God demonstrated through these sacrifices that guilt could
not go unpunished. There was a principle of justice which had to be fulfilled. But could an animal really atone
for a human's sin? Way before the Temple was built, Abraham was called to offer up his son Isaac on Mount Moriah
(Genesis 22). This was the same place where the Temple was eventually built by David. The ram was provided as a
substitute for Isaac, but does that hint to us that, in essence, God has the right to demand the sacrifice of a
son? Only the death of a man satisfies the just punishment. Yet even then, how could one sinful man, worthy of
his own punishment, offer himself in the place of another? God did not allow even Moses to sacrifice himself in
place of Israel when Moses offered (Exodus 32:30-32). How can the sacrifice of one man be of enough value for his
punishment to satisfy the judgement deserved by many? Only if that man were without sin. The Levitical sacrifices
were to be spotless. They foreshadowed the sinless Messiah who would be the perfect sacrifice. Because the Messiah
was perfect he could take the place in judgement and suffer our punishment. Because the Messiah was more than a
man, he was God residing among us clothed in human nature, his sacrifice was of infinite value.
When you receive the Messiah as your guilt offering, in payment for your sin, your guilt is done away with. Will
you receive the Messiah as your substitute sufferer punished in your place for your sins? The prophet said Messiah
would justify many. This means that all who trust him are counted righteous before God because of their faith in
Messiah's vicarious atonement. "Many" means not everyone, yes, a great number, but not everyone. Are
you among the many?
The prophet said that after the death and burial of the Messiah he would see the light of life and be satisfied.
Messiah rose again, just as Isaiah said he would. But there is more. Not only does Messiah satisfy justice by dying
to pay for the sins of his people, he also provides something very wonderful. There is a reward to be distributed,
the spoils of victory. What are the spoils he distributes? We are told Messiah has a kingdom for us, a great inheritance
(Luke 12:32). When we receive the Messiah we are not only forgiven of our sins and counted as righteous before
a Holy God, we also come into the Kingdom of God, spiritually speaking, and we have a new relationship with our
Maker, a close friendship with all guilt and sin removed so that nothing comes between us. When Messiah returns
we will be co-heirs with him, as it is written: "The meek will inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5)
God is reaching out to you now. He is giving you a chance to come into a renewed relationship with him. How amazing
that God would love us to this extent! The only obstacle that can get in the way is your unbelief, but God is able
to overcome that, as well. Why not pray and ask the God of Israel to help you to believe whatever is the truth.
700 years before Yeshua was born the Jewish prophet Isaiah spoke of one who would come to suffer and die for the
sins of his people and then rise again. Could Yeshua be the one Isaiah spoke of? Why not ask God to help you believe
If you now believe the prophet's message spoke of Messiah Yeshua, tell God you receive his free gift of forgiveness
today. Confess your sins to Him and then thank Him that Messiah came to suffer for your sins. Ask him to renew
your heart so that you will live a life of grateful obedience as he enables you. God has shown his love and provided
the way back to Him through Messiah Yeshua. Will you turn to God and receive the love he offers?
Remember if you were born Jewish, you
are still Jewish. However, you are now a Jewish person who has atonement with God by the finished work of Messiah.
By all means, do the Feasts of the Lord, but do them with new a understand you have be forgiven by God.
ONE THING THAT JEWISH EVANGELISM DOES NOT MEAN IS CONVERTING THE JEWISH PEOPLE.
BY AND LARGE, THE JEWISH PEOPLE ALREADY BELIEVE IN ONE GOD, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB.
JEWISH EVANGELISM "DOES" MEAN MAKING JEWISH PEOPLE AWARE THAT THEY ARE
SINNERS ACCORDING TO THE HEBREW SCRIPTURES, AND THAT THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB HAS PROVIDED A SIN OFFERING
The Apostle Saul (Paul his Greek name) set an example for us to follow today. Though he was called of God to be
a witness primarily to the Gentile people amongst "the nations," it is evident through his writings and
teachings that Saul also ministered to the Jewish people wherever he went. It is clear that he had a heavy burden
on his heart for his brothers and sisters in the flesh for he wrote in the letter to the Romans 10:1, "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be
Please remember that as you make the Messiah of Israel known to Jewish people, do so according to the Biblical
injunction found in Zechariah 4:6, "Not by might, nor by power, but
by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. "By trusting in the arm of the LORD (His Spirit), and not in the arm of our flesh, we can
effectively declare God's redemption through Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Christ) to the Jewish people.
The proper order for witnessing God's Salvation should never be twisted around. God says "to the Jew first"
in Romans 1:16. Unfortunately, in the history of the Church all too often people have neglected witnessing to our
Jewish people at all.
The Jewish people should never be persuaded to renounce their heritage when they accept Yeshua (Jesus) as Lord.
Neither should a Jewish person be taught that his/her faith in the God of their fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
has been abrogated. As Jews, they will always be Jewish (culturally and racially) even after becoming born-again
children of God through Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Christ). Thus, a "completed" or "a fulfilled"
Jew is a much better term to use than a "converted" Jew because the latter implies that the person's
very identity has been taken away, and it has not. That is wrong Christian doctrine. It is really the gentile who
"converted" to the God of Israel.
God is speaking even now to His people of the Abrahamic Covenant, "Come
now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
though they be red like crimson, they shall
be as wool" (Isaiah 1:18).
I pray you will be the one to help a Jewish person understand his/her sin problem?
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
In the Word of God, it tells us to "Study to show thyself approved unto God" (II Timothy 2:15). The Lord
God will always honor His Word. He says "My Word will not return unto me void" (Isaiah 55:11).
As you present the Holy Scriptures to lost Jewish souls, pray that the Almighty God will use His Word to cut deep
into their hearts.
We by no means have all the answers to the questions you will be asked, but these are the most common ones:
Question 1. We don't believe in the same God. Jews believe in only one God. Christians worship three Gods.
(1.) We worship the same God. Christianity (Messianics) is an extension or fulfillment of Judaism. The first Believers
(Christians) were all Jewish! (Acts 2:1-11).
(2.) Believers (Christians) worship only one God. (See I Timothy 2:5; Galatians 3:20; Mark 12:29, 30).
(3.) The composite unity of God is evident in the Old Covenant. (See Genesis 1:26, 11:6-7; Isaiah 48:16).
Question 2. God has no Son.
(1.) God says He has a Son. (See Psalms 2:7; Proverbs 30:4).
Question 3. No one can be both God and man.
(1.) The Tanach (Old Covenant) speaks of a God-Man. (See Psalms 45:6, 7 [cf. Hebrews 1:8, 9]; Psalms 110:1; Isaiah
Question 4. The Virgin Birth is impossible.
(1.) God can do all things. (See Matthew 19:6).
(2.) Isaac's birth was a miracle. (See Genesis 18:11, 12).
(3.) The Virgin Birth was prophesied as a special sign to Israel. (See Isaiah 7:14). While the word here for 'virgin'
can be translated as 'young woman', the Spirit of God has dictated this word to mean 'virgin'.
(4.) The Seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15 reminds us that while we know that every child born from a woman is
the result of the seed of man, and yet in the case of the Son of God (Yeshua), He is born from the seed of the
woman. Indeed, this was a miracle of miracles!
Question 5. Yeshua (Jesus) was of
(1.) He could not have entered the Temple if he was illegitimate. (See Deut. 23:2; John 7:14, 10:23).
(2.) We have an accurate genealogy of Yeshua' lineage in Matthew 1 and Luke 3.
Question 6. Jesus is not the Messiah.
(1.) Read Isaiah 52:13-53:12 and compare with the Gospel accounts given.
Question 7. We believe in two Messiahs.
Answer (1.) There is but one Messiah in a twofold work. (See Zech. 12:10).
Question 8. Messiah will only come once.
(1.) Messiah must come twice
a. To die. (See Psalms 22:1-21; Isaiah 53:1-10).
b. To rule. (See Isaiah 9:6,7; 11:1-5).
c. Both comings foretold. (See Zech. 12:10).
(2.) Messiah's Scriptural role is:
a. As a Sufferer. (See Psalms 22).
b. As a Shepherd. (See Psalms 23).
c. As a Sovereign. (See Psalms 24).
Question 9. Our Messiah is yet to come.
(1.) Daniel's prediction. (See Daniel 9:24-27).
a. Purpose of His coming. (See v. 24).
b. Time of His coming. (See v. 25, 26).
c. His Death. (See v. 26).
d. Destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 A.D. (See v. 26).
Question 10. How can you prove Jesus rose from the dead?
(1.) Death would have no power over Messiah. (See Psalms 16:10; 49:15).
(2.) Fact of history. (See Acts 2:22-27; 4:33).
Question 11. Our leaders do not believe in Yeshua (Jesus).
(1.) Unbelief foretold. (See Isaiah 53:1-3).
(2.) Messiah to be despised and rejected. (See Isaiah 8:13-15).
(3.) Leaders to mislead Israel. (See Isaiah 43:27; Ezekiel 34:1-10).
Question 12. Believing in Jesus
violates the Law.
(1.) See Matt. 5:17-19; Ro. 3:31; 10:4
(2.) He is the Prophet like unto Moses. (See Deut. 18:15-18).
Question 13. Why do we need to believe
in Jesus? We have good morals.
(1.) All are sinners before God. (See Psa. 14:1; 51:5; Jer. 17:9; 53:6; 59:2).
(2.) Only blood atones for sin. (See Leviticus 17:11).
(3.) Jesus made our atonement. (Hebrews 9:11-12, 28).
(4.) Jesus said He was the way. (John 14:6).
Question 14. Why bother with us
Jews? Leave us alone.
(1.) God commands us to take the message of Salvation to the Jews.
(See Romans 1:16).
Question 15. Christians hate the
(1.) Not all Gentiles are Christians. (See Matt. 7:21-23).
(2.) Genuine Christians will bless the Jews. (See Genesis 12:1-3).
(3.) Jesus taught love for all. (See Matt. 5:44).
(4.) Paul taught love for all. (See Gal. 6:10; I Corinthians 13).
Question 16. We Jews do not accept the New Covenant.
(1.) Moses promised a greater prophet. (See Deut. 18:15-18).
(2.) Jeremiah predicted a New Covenant. (See Jer. 31:31-34).
(3.) No New Covenant would imply that the God of Israel permitted the destruction of the Temple without giving
Question 17. Christianity is a Gentile
(1.) Christianity is based upon Judaism. (See Matt. 1:1; Rom. 1:2; 3:21-23).
(2.) Mary was a Jewish woman. (See Luke 1:27).
(3.) Jesus was a Jew. (See Matt. 1:1; John 4:9; Rom. 1:3).
(4.) The Disciples were Jews. (See Matt 10:2-4; Acts 3:1).
(5.) The New Covenant was written by Jews. (See Romans 3:1, 2)
(6.) The Church was started with Jews. (See Acts 2:5, 41-43).
(7.) Salvation comes from the Jews. (See John 4:22).
Question 18. If I become a Christian, I will no longer be a Jew.
(1.) A Jewish believer is a "completed" Jew. (See Romans 2:25-29).
(2.) Paul, a believing Jew, remained a Jew. (See Acts 22:3; Rom. 11:1; Phil 3:5).
Question 19. I was born a Jew, I'll
die a Jew.
(1.) Nothing can make you cease from being Jewish. (See Romans 11:1).
(2.) You are not changing your religion. (Acts 26:6-7).
(3.) Your returning to God, not to another religion. (Jeremiah 15:19).
Question 20. Why do Jews suffer? Are we Jews chosen to suffer?
(1.) Jews suffer because of disobedience. (See Lev. 26:13-16, 32, 33, 44; Deut. 18: 15-19 [rej. of Messiah]; Deut.
Question 21. Jews are blamed for the death of Jesus.
(1.) Jews did not crucify Jesus. (See John 18:31, 32). Crucifixion was against the Jewish Law.
(2.) The Romans crucified Jesus. (See Matt. 27:27-31). All peoples, Jew and Gentile, are responsible for the death
of Christ. (See Acts 4:25-27).
(3.) Jesus knew beforehand what would happen. He willingly gave Himself. (See Matt. 17:25; John 10:11, 17, 18)
Question 22. Why so many denominations of Christians? They can't all be right.
(1.) Men are always introducing their ideas into their religions, which include changing God's Word. (See Rev.
22:19; I Tim 3:7)
(2.) It is God's Word that counts. (See Isa. 55:8-9).
(3.) We must study, believe, and obey God's Word rather than men. (See Prov. 3:5, 6; Acts 4:19, 20; 5:29).
Question 23. Everyone gets to Heaven
his own way.
(1.) God has one standard of holiness. (See Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:23; 6:23).
(2.) God has one way of Salvation. (See Joel 2:32; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:12, 13).
(3.) Only one way to Heaven. (See John 14:6).
To study the Feasts of the LORD from a Messianic view point,
click here: The
Seven Festivals of the Messiah