The Real Messiah
By Daniel Rendelman
Movies, books, sermons, and Sunday school lessons teach us about the grace and kindness of the Savior. Even the unsaved heathen on the street of San Francisco know that “Jesus is merciful and sinless.” Most people are familiar with the graceful “Jesus” of modern Christianity, but is this really all of Him? Is He just a pale skinned Savior that gave his life at Calvary?
Mainstream Christianity often presents a story telling Savior with blond haired and blue eyes. Messianic believers often only view Y’shua as a strict observant Jewish man dedicated to the restoration of Israel.
In our search for the Hebrew roots of the Bible and a more accurate understanding of the Torah it is easy to fall into the trap of placing the Messiah in our own unique box of religion. Isn’t Y’shua more than just a hippie or a Hebrew?
How do you describe the Messiah?
What one word best defines Y’shua as you know him?
Or better yet, is that ALL of Him?
We can have our faith renewed if we will consider the personality of Y’shua in its totality. Yes, yes, Y’shua is a Rabbi and a teacher of the Torah, but He is so much more than that.
It’s the personality of our loved ones (and not so loved ones) that makes them unique or special or even frustrating. It’s also personality that brings relationships together. We are told that “opposites attract” and it’s true. Extroverts are often married to introverts. And we as sinful beings are magnetically pulled and attracted to the sinlessness and perfection of YHWH. What drew you to Messiah originally? What pulls you to Him today? Honest answers to these questions is important. If we keep the awesome personality of Y’shua before us we will stay aflame with love towards Him.
What one word best defines Y’shua as you know Him? Or better yet, is that all of Him?
The truth is that personality is so important to think upon when you read the words that someone has written or hear the things a person has spoken. Some people are gentle while others are gruff when they communicate. From having a relationship and knowing a person you know how to take that person’s comments. Not taking personality into consideration can cause great harm and many misunderstandings.
Haven’t you ever sent an email that was misunderstood?
Haven’t you once written a letter or a text message that was either totally taken out of context or just taken the wrong way?
Much is lost in translation because we often to fail to consider the personality and character of the person on the other side of the letters. Now if it’s easy to misunderstand someone today, how much more is it possible for us to misinterpret the words of our Messiah that were spoken 2,000 years ago? Recognizing the personality of our Messiah will clarify some of His hard statements and bring some of His other comments to life.
These statements by the Savior leave many people in amazement or confusion…
“Woman, why do you bother me…”
“How much longer will I be with you…”
“You brood of vipers…”
“O ye of little faith…”
These hard words of Messiah make perfect sense when they are viewed with the Messiah’s character in mind. His personality plays a huge part when we try to comprehend the Words of the Bible. But, what is His personality really like?
Think of the various traits of all of the people in your life. Now, lump those great character traits into one perfect person and you have Messiah. Read through the Gospels and you will see that Messiah / Moshiach always had the right words to say; always showed up when needed; always treated others fairly; always helped those in need. That’s the real Messiah Y’shua.
Y’shua is the person you would call for help in the middle of the night, the friend you would love to take on vacation, and the psychiatrist that you can bear your soul to. Y’shua is the heart surgeon on call, the guy that always makes you laugh, the one with all the right answers, and even the person you would trust to care for your aging ailing parents. Messiah is all of this and more.
He’s the friend you have always wanted, the teacher you never had, the spouse you once dreamed of, the fair judge, the kind cop, and the only person you can count on to be completely honest. He’s more technical than a nuclear physicist and more broad than a three year old. He’s even more fun than a three year old. And He’s more serious than a politician during a heated debate. At the same time, Y’shua is the culmination of all that is good in humanity. Isn’t that amazing? No wonder the disciples and the crowds wanted to be with Him.
Recognizing the personality of our Messiah will clarify some of His hard statements.
It wasn’t just his miracle power that attracted people, it was also his personality. The disciples and the crowds wanted to be with Y’shua just to be with Him. Imagine that! The prophet Isaiah / Yesha’yahu said he had “no beauty that we should desire Him,” Isaiah 53:2. The character of Y’shua is why John cried, “He must increase and I must decrease.” It’s why people followed Him across the Land of Israel and followed Him to the execution tree. People loved Y’shua because of His approach. Imagine that.
In our busy world, we compartmentalize people so easily. Two people meet for the first time and the conversation will no doubt shift to occupation. We think that what we do is who we are. We equate profession with personality and we make career equal to character. Such a practice usually works well as accountants are usually precise and analytical and nurses are often compassionate and busy. This type of thinking creates a problem though when we superimpose our ideas on Messiah. How would you describe a “Messiah” or a “Rabbi” or a “Savior,” anyway?
The Biblical Y’shua is absolutely compassionate, graceful, and Jewish. He is also cunning, smart, funny, and dangerous. Dangerous? Funny? Read that last sentence again and let those words sink into your soul. Y’shua is “cunning, smart, funny, and dangerous.” Yep. That’s Y’shua.
Of course religion has made Messiah something else. There aren’t many hymns about a dancing Messiah who could also be abrasive. The praise and worship leaders seldom tell us to praise Y’shua for being tricky. Or enjoyable. Or happy. Yet Messiah is all of this and more. A candid and straightforward reading of the Gospels will show us the true Y’shua and all that is good in YHWH. Know this, “how you look for Y’shua is how you will find Him.” If you need a fresh revelation of Messiah or if you need to fall in love with Y’shua again, simply open your heart and find Him anew.
Consider Y’shua as dangerous. The things He said and did things that got Him into a heap of trouble with the religious of his day. He often hung around prostitutes and other out casts. His unconventional take on the Torah is what got him killed. For example, His observance of the Shabbat in Matthew 12 would not endear Him to most Orthodox Jews or Messianics today. “At that time Y’shua went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.” He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God / Elohim, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread-which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” Such actions and words were scandalous, yet Y’shua magnified the Spirit of the Torah through His dangerous life and lifestyle.
Do you worship Y’shua for being dangerous?
Do you worship Y’shua for being dangerous? Well, maybe you should consider His dangerous side more often.
Messiah is also smart. Like super smart. He would often answer questions with questions and He baffled the brightest minds. As a child He was teaching the teachers of Israel. When asked about the greatest commandment Y’shua answered with two commandments which He considered equal. That was smart. When asked if about paying taxes or paying tithes, He knew the hearts of the people and said to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto Elohim what is Elohim’s.” His intellect makes Stephen Hawking resemble a bowl of noodles and Einstein a babe.
Consider the mind of Y’shua when Y’shua answered the religious leaders who tried to trap Him in regards to John the Baptist. “They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Y’shua was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority to do this?” Y’shua replied, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. John’s baptism-was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!” They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ …” (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.) So they answered Y’shua, “We don’t know.” Y’shua said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things,” Mark 11:27-33. Who could have come up with such an awesome answer? Only Y’shua had such wisdom.
And though Y’shua was dangerous and smart, He could also be honest and playful. While we expect the Son of YHWH to be honest, it isn’t comfortable to consider the King of Glory as fun. But fun He is. The Scriptures talk of the fun loving Messiah messing with His disciples after the resurrection. Instead of appearing in His glorious light, Y’shua disguises Himself on the road to Emmaus. He walks with some of His disciples after they leave the empty tomb. They have no idea that they are talking with the very resurrected Master. He even acted as if He hadn’t heard of the rebel that was crucified. It was only after Y’shua walked with them, entered their home, and broke bread that He revealed Himself. Read about this account in Luke 24 and see how playful the Savior can be. He did the same with Mary Magdalene and a few other disciples in John 21.
And though Y’shua was dangerous and smart, He could also be honest and playful.
“I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Y’shua stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Y’shua. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
“No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Y’shua loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread,” John 21:3-9.
Can you imagine the smile on Y’shua’s face when Peter, half naked, jumps off of the boat and into the water?
Y’shua was playful at a time that we would expect Him to be proud. He was amusing when he could have been reverent. That’s the beauty of our Messiah. He was the life of the party at weddings (He even provided the wine) and He was engaging during Passover when He allowed people to worship Him with palm branches.
The humbleness of Messiah is just another reason why Y’shua is worthy of our adoration. He humbled Himself to be born among the animals. He humbled Himself to serve the very disciples that would betray Him. He humbled Himself to be beaten and bruised. “Who, being in very natureof YHWH, did not consider equality with Elohim something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death-even death on a cross / execution stake,” Philippians 2:6-8. That’s our Y’shua, the humble lamb that was led to the slaughter.
Humble. Fun. Smart. Dangerous. Now add abrasive and gentle to that list. (Y’shua is the real Mr. Personality!) Can you worship Y’shua for being both gentle and abrasive? In the Gospels, He was both harsh and soft at the same time.
Picture the scene at the Holy Temple when Y’shua confronted the money changers in their sin. He turns over the tables and pours out the coins. He then finds some rope and makes a whip. The sheep and other livestock are set free and the voice of Y’shua rises above the noise to shout “My house is to be a house of prayer.” Listen to the loud sounds of the people gasping, the money falling, and the animals running for freedom. Then, in the midst of such “chaos” Y’shua shows His gentleness to the doves that were kept in cages. He sets the birds free so that not even one of their feathers are harmed. That’s Y’shua as peaceful and indignant simultaneously. “When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Y’shua went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me,”John 2:13-17. Y’shua could be full of zeal and quietness and still not sin. He indeed is worthy of worship.
Y’shua expressed Himself as quiet, loud, calm, extravagant, playful, and passionate. And unbelievably He has invited us to be the same. What we have seen in this message is just a small taste of the real Messiah. You can open the Scriptures and read of Him anew if you will allow your heart and your mind to reconsider the greatness of Y’shua. This is His life and it should be our life.
Y’shua has called us to share in His divine personality and character. He didn’t just model good behavior in His life so that we could have a perfect target to shoot for. Y’shua has filled us with His life and infused us with His goodness. We have been given His word to know Him so that we could share in HIs very divine nature. This nature may surprise you as Y’shua is more than what you have been exposed to in the Church or off the Internet.
When Y’shua said to be “meek as a dove and cunning as a serpent” He was actually telling his followers to be like Himself! He could be both gentle and sly at the same time and still not sin. Y’shua could be both cunning and meek without acting fleshly. That’s how great He is. Too bad we haven’t considered His great personality before as knowing Him better allows us to love Him greater. And it’s our love for Him that should be the purpose of our obedience.
Our faith should not be about legalistically “keeping Torah.” Our faith should be about “releasing the Torah keeper” in our lives. There is a difference. When we simply “keep Torah” we minimize the life of Y’shua to a pure and perfect example to follow. This is dangerous because perfection is so far from us. Instead of viewing Y’shua as simply our goal, we should view Him as our life.
Our faith should not be about legalistically “keeping Torah.” Our faith should be about “releasing the Torah keeper” in our lives.
With Y’shua as our life we have the Torah keeper in us, including His personality. When His life fills our life then His personality transforms us so that it becomes our personality. Obedience should be the byproduct of our love relationship with Y’shua. Now, let’s get to the point of teaching… are you in love with the person of Y’shua? It’s hard to love a two-dimensional person who is only loving and kind or observant and graceful. It’s easy to love and be in love with the real person and personality of Y’shua. By considering the personality of Y’shua behind His words and actions we can have our faith renewed and our love of Messiah set aflame. The book of Galatians calls his perfect mannerisms the “fruit of the Spirit.” This fruit is available for each of us as we allow His life to manifest in our life. The love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control of Y’shua is for us today. It is through abiding in Y’shua that we can manifest such fruitful attitudes. Pray and ask the Messiah to fill your life with His and allow His personality to become yours. Make Philippians 2:5 your cry. This passage says to “let the same personality/character /attitude that was in Y’shua Ha Moshiach be in you.”