The Hidden Saviour In Heaven

The Messianic Secret against its Jewish background (Part 2): 

“Before these things Enoch was hidden,

And no one of the children of men knew where he was hidden” 

(I Enoch 12.1)

 

In the next two posts, we will  show that referring to the coming of the Messiah as hidden and revealed may be taken as representative of first century (A.D.) Palestinian Judaism.  In order to prove this statement, we are going to look at the evidence from different streams and representatives of this Judaism.

Dead Sea Scrolls – If we turn to the Qumran library, the different texts from this library testify to the powerful presence of the “hidden and revealed” motifs in the community of Qumran. The distinguished Dead Sea scholar Michael O. Wise writes in his book, The First Messiah, that Judah (this is his name, according to Wise) was the first hidden messiah and that his life helped to lay the foundation for Jesus as the hidden messiah.  Judah’s key phrase, wondrous mysteries, (רזי פלא), contains the most prominent term for “mystery” in the Qumran writings – the word raz –  which is generally regarded as a Persian loanword taken over into Aramaic and Hebrew. The biblical Greek translation of raz is mysterion, and two Hebrew terms associated with raz are sod and nistarot – the latter is often translated as hidden. All these terms convey the idea of the essential heavenly knowledge known only to God and granted to humans by revelation. Members of the community were expected to “walk perfectly together, each with his neighbor, in everything revealed to them” – while remaining hidden was seen as an an essential part of messianic consciousness and messianic behavior. “He who nurtures the Holy Shoot to become a Tree of Truth is himself hidden, without esteem, unknown, his secret sealed up.[1]

Apocalyptic Literature – In the Second Temple Period, the apocalypse turns out to be the main carrier of eschatological ideas and messiah concepts. Why? What was so special about this literature? An explanation should be sought in the history. The Hebrew Scriptures teach the concept of God reigning visibly and tangibly in the history of His people. A king was God’s anointed one. If the king was righteous, God would bless the people and this blessing, as well as the kingdom itself, was a very tangible, earthly reality. However, what happens if the king is unrighteous? Gradually, the vision of an “anointed one to come” who would rectify the wrongs perpetrated by the ruling king and remedy the ill of the present situation, is emerging within the framework of actual history,.  The worse the current historical situation became, the stronger would be a hope for the reverse order that the messiah would bring. Thus, in the post-biblical age the transcendent motif began to ring very clearly: As things on this earth were bad and the unrighteous were winning, for the first time the clearly cut-out concept of the transcendent kingdom and transcendent last-day savior made its way into Jewish thought. The Messiah would become a fully transcendent figure, a heavenly counterpart of the righteous on the earth. While they are oppressed and lowly, he is enthroned and exalted, but hidden. However, when he is manifested at the eschatological judgment, they will also be exalted. In the center of this process of reinterpretation and rethinking stands ‘One like the Son Man’ of Daniel 7: I saw in the night visions, and, behold, One like the son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days…

Thus, the hidden and revealed Messiah occurs many times in the apocalypses, especially in the Book of Enoch, where we see the heavenly Son of Man being hidden in heaven till the appointed time comes: For the Son of Man was concealed from the beginning, and the Most High One preserved him in the presence of his power; then he revealed him to the holy ones and the elect ones.”[2]   The Ezra Apocalypse (4th Ezra) – composed, says scholarly consensus, in the late 1 CE in Hebrew, also played on the theme of the hidden and revealed Messiah. In this work, God explains to a visionary who writes in the name of Ezra: “For my son Messiah shall be revealed with those that be with him.”[3] There is no way, however, that anyone could find and see the Messiah by his own efforts – “the anointed one whom the Most High has kept unto the end”[4], has to be revealed when the appointed time comes: “Just as no one can explore or know what is in the depth of the sea, so no one on earth can see My son or those who are with him, except when his time and his day have come.[5]  The same terminology is found in the Apocalypse of Baruch (2 Baruch), a composite Jewish work written in the latter half of the first century of the Christian era: “And it shall come to pass when all is accomplished … that the Messiah shall then begin to be revealed[6].  In all these writings, the Messiah is the pre-existent being, who will be revealed by God Himself; and even if men do see the Messiah before he is revealed, they will not see him as he really is – as the Messiah – until he is revealed to them by God. The crucial moment here is timing:  then, in those days, his time – these words appear again and again in the apocalyptic texts.

With this transcendent Messiah hidden in the heaven till the appointed time comes, we come to the turn of the era. Of course, all these texts are of human origin and are not the Word of God – but the writings of the NT should be seen against the background of these texts, and no NT scholar can ignore them. I personally believe that  in these texts, we can see the human reflection of God’s plan for Israel: The Messiah was to be hidden till the appointed time comes. If we know these texts, if we know this plan.  we can better understand how important it was for Jesus to keep his messianic identity hidden and concealed – until the appointed time comes.

 

[1] 1QH 8.

[2] 1 Enoch 62.7

[3] 4 Ezra 7.28

[4] 4 Ezra 12.32

[5] 4 Ezra 13:52

[6] 2 Baruch 39.5

About the author

Julia BlumJulia is a teacher and an author of several books on biblical topics. She teaches two biblical courses at the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies, “Discovering the Hebrew Bible” and “Jewish Background of the New Testament”, and writes Hebrew insights for these courses.

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  1. Michael Krainak

    Julia: I am interested in your thoughts on the coming of the hidden and revealed Messiah in the context of the two first and second Jewish Wars. 1) The Great Revolt: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-great-revolt-66-70-ce 2) The Bar-Kokhba Revolt (132 – 135 CE) http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-bar-kokhba-revolt-132-135-ce

    Thank you

  2. Jose Geraldo Mendonça

    não sou letrado ,não tenho curso superior, não sei uma palavra em hebraico ,mas minha alma se alegra quando leio suas explicaçoes e os comentarios aqui registrados .grato a todos por tudo isso.

  3. Anita Tadeuszow

    I find the words of Shaul offer clarity to the situation … why so few of the tribe of Yehudah have recognized Ye’shua as the promised Messiah down through the ages …Romans 11 (NASB)
    Israel Is Not Cast Away

    ” I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 3 “Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” 4 But what is the divine response to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.

    7 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; 8 just as it is written,

    “God gave them a spirit of stupor,
    Eyes to see not and ears to hear not,
    Down to this very day.”

    9 And David says,

    “Let their table become a snare and a trap,
    And a stumbling block and a retribution to them.
    10
    “Let their eyes be darkened to see not,
    And bend their backs forever.”

    11 I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. 12 Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! 13 But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too.

    17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; 21 for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. 22 Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?

    25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written,

    “The Deliverer will come from Zion,
    He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”
    27
    “This is My covenant with them,
    When I take away their sins.”

    28 From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; 29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. 32 For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.

    33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34 For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? 35 Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory [n]forever. Amen.

    1. Julia Blum

      This is an amazing chapter, Anita! Thank you for referring to it and quoting it here! The words “enemies for your sake” (verse 28) are absolutely crucial for understanding God’s plan with Israel.I am talking about these words in my article “Lock Number three: “as though” reality”, maybe you will be interested to have a look.

  4. Dr. Edoardo S. Recanati

    Somewhere else I read about your explanation on the Sons of God and the Nephilim. I could not find a place to put my comments, so I try here.
    In the beginning G-d created most of the world, under His qualification of Elochim. He then gives order to the aretz to produce all living creatures, including human beings. Then, He forms Adam, from the adama. But, He did not intend them to cavort together, the Sons of Elochim and the daughters of Adam. So He became very furious and decided to send the flood. He also induced the fruits of these bad alliances in many, many miscarriages, nephilim, from modern Hebrew Apalot.

  5. Gustavo Perera

    Hi Julia,

    I trust that your reflections during Yom Kippur brought more clarity of vision for the new year.

    I have been wanting to ask you for your insights into a question that has been intriguing me these past days with respect to the topic of the ”hidden savior.” I am glad for Geneva Neale’s contribution because it means that the topic is alive.

    In the Gospel of Mark (Chapters 3-5), and on at least two ocassions when Yeshua has encounters with impure spirits or demons, the scripture records that the impure spirits immediately recognize Yeshua as the ‘Son of God.’ In Mark Chapter 5, it says that the impure spirit bowed down before Yeshua and declared: ‘You of son of the highest God.”

    My question is how could the impure spirits (demons) recognize Yesuha as the Son of God but others could not. In the same Chapter 5 when Yeshua is talking with the disciples about his use of parables he says that he speaks that way so that ”they may not understand and then come to repentance” (paraphrased).

    I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Blessings.

    1. Julia Blum

      Hi Gustavo, it is always good to hear from you. Thank you for your question, I believe I can give you an answer from the Scripture. You remember , James (Yakov) is saying :” You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! . (James 2:19). I think, it totally explains the fact that “the impure spirits (demons) recognize Yesuha as the Son of God” while many people did not. The demons are spiritual beings – and as spiritual beings, they do possess spiritual knowledge that can be withhold from – or revealed to – human beings.

      1. Gustavo Perera

        Thank you very much for your reply Julia. It makes perfect sense and that verse from James did cross my mind.

        Thanks again for the clarity.

  6. Dr Iathane Cromwell

    Shalom Julia,

    I would like you to do a fully writing of the book of revelations which would fit in with the Hidden Messiah perfectly but within the jewish concept.

    1. Julia Blum

      That’s a great idea! Thank you! I will definitely think about it! Have you read anything about it (the Book of Revelation and Hidden Messiah)? of course, there are books on apocalyptic literature, but I haven’t come across anything about Hidden Messiah in the Book of Revelation. Or have you, maybe, written about it? Can you please let me know?

  7. Gustavo Perera

    Dear Julia, Dan, and Nick:

    What comes to my mind is the exchange between Jesus and the disciples when Jesus asked: ”Who do you say that I am?” Peter said: ”You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus then said: ”Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”

    I consider myself a novice when I compare my limited knowledge of the scripture to yours. Perhaps I can share a little of my experience (learning curve or revelation curve) as a believer:

    I became a ‘Christian’ some 32 years ago. I was very active in Christian Church ‘ministry’ – a Sunday School Teacher and Deacon with responsiblity for Ministry Strategy and Infrastructure; I got to stand behind the pulpit many times. Some 14 years ago I hit the wall; it was devastating. A counselor of mine who was trying to help me find light above the dark clouds gave me a book to read entitled: ”Where do I go with my broken dreams?”

    In my search for answers, I came across an old friend (mechanic) who loved to debate scripture; he told me:
    ”My friend, you were not baptized into the Spirit, you were baptized into a denomination and its doctrine.” It hit me hard but there was truth to it. With no ministry and very limited interaction within the Christian community, I began a journey into the Torah which has brought me to this point (E-Teacher).

    In learning the Torah, I unlearnt the New Testament (what a paradox). For years, and I have mentioned this too many times, I struggled with the positions of the Father and the Son. I was told by friends and family that I had moved away from ‘Grace’ and gone back to the ‘Law,’ However, I stuck with it.

    Now, I have re-started my journey into the New Testament, and just looking at the first book Matthew (beatitudes), Jesus is ‘building fences around the Torah.’ My understanding of it is that he is not downplaying the Torah, but rather, challenging us all to ‘go beyond’ the Torah. I did not know back then what I know now but today I am better off for it.

    The journey has allowed me to reconcile the Father and the Son and by extension my faith as a believer. I am sure it is not going to be (or has not been) the same for everyone. This has been my personal journey…crisis…discovery…unlearning…re-learning through revelation…and reconciling.

    Shalom,

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you, Gustavo, for being so open and sincere and sharing your journey! (and by the way, I missed you in our last class yesterday! It has been a blessing to have you in the class!)

      1. Gustavo Perera

        Dear Julia,

        I am so sorry I missed the last class yesterday; it was my grandson’s birthday yesterday and as it turned out, I had to host the small celebration. I will get the recording though. You have been a blessing to me also and you have stirred up my interest in learning more about the Hebrew roots and meanings.

  8. Gustavo Perera

    Dear Julia and Dan (and others);

    The discussion is rich and I do hope that you will continue to ‘unpack’ this idea; there is so much to learn through this discussion. I am discovering that truth comes by revelation and that revelation comes not only at the right time but also, through searching the scriptures.

    I used to struggle with idea of a separate G-D and Yeshua and how to reconcile the ”ancient of days” with the ”son of man.” My perennial struggle was: ”Who do I pray to? ‘Elohim or Yeshua? But I believed that I have been able to reconcile the two concepts. This morning in my study in Matthew, and reading again from Micah 5:1: ”yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; and his GOINGS FORTH ARE FROM ANCIENT TIME, FROM DAYS OF OLD.”

    From this, I am able to reconcile the idea of the ”Ancient of Days” and ”Son of Man” being from the beginning of times.

    Shalom,
    Gustavo

    1. Julia Blum

      Hi Gustavo, it is always such a blessing to hear from you! I am very glad that you enjoy this discussion and find it enriching and helpful.

  9. Dan Bruce

    Julia, I’m having a bit of a problem with your terminology of a “hidden Messiah” based on the idea that Jesus hid his identity and Messianic mission from Israel. Such was not the case, at least in the beginning of his ministry. The B’rit Hadashah makes it clear that Jesus taught openly. In John 8:20, Jesus himself said, “I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.” The miracles were also done openly, apparently witnessed by thousands. Eight centuries before Jesus’ ministry, G-d had decreed through the prophet Isaiah that Israel would have spiritual blindness, eyes that could not see (i.e., could not recognize that Jesus’ actions were fulfilling Messianic prophecies) and ears that could not hear (i.e., could not understand the meaning of Jesus’ teaching about His kingdom). By the time of the first coming of Jesus, the Jewish leadership and most of the Jewish people had lost the ability to understand the Tanakh because they had replaced its teachings with the precepts of men (namely the teachings of the Sadducees, Pharisees, and scribes). Akin to the viel that covered the face of Moses after he had seen the glory of G-d, perhaps the idea that Jesus was increasingly veiled as his ministry progressed might be a better description than hidden. Just a thought.

    1. Julia Blum

      Hi Dan, thank you for your thoughtful comment. I am publishing it now, for the sake of discussion, but I will reply after Shabbat. Blessings!

    2. Julia Blum

      Hi Dan, thank you for your comment, I understand your point – but I still believe, that Jesus’ Messianic mission was hidden from Israel because it was God’s plan from the beginning. It was also prophesied by Isaiah that the Suffering Servant would hid His identity; in this sense, this Messianic secret was part of His program. In my last post on this blog, The Key of the transitional Chapter, I show that the eyes of the people of Israel were restrained, as were the eyes of the disciples on the Road to Emmaus. Restrained is a passive verb, (both in English and in Greek the passive form is used ehre), and it means that Somebody restrained their eyes, it didn’t depend on them. In Mat. 13 when Jesus is quoting Isaiah’s words about Israel’ spiritual blindness, He is saying to his disciples: “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them, it has not been granted”.” It is passive form again – and once again, it means, that the decision was not theirs.

      1. Dan Bruce

        So, are you saying that those Jews in ancient Israel who rejected Jesus as the prophesied Messiah of Israel are not responsible for their rejection since they were restrained by God?

        1. Julia Blum

          Let me ask you a question, Dan: do you think that the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luk. 24) were responsible for not recognizing Jesus when He was walking with them? As you can read in my last post here, I do read the story of Emmaus as the spiritual key to the whole Gospel of Luke: “What was the difference between the disciples on the road to Emmaus, and Jesus’ townsfolk from Nazareth? In both cases,… the eyes fixed on Jesus were restrained by none other than the Lord Himself. (we know already that no one else can restrain or open someone’s eyes). However, the eyes of the disciples on the road to Emmaus were finally opened in the breaking of bread (once again, by none other than the Lord Himself) – while the eyes of the people in Nazareth remained restrained”.

          1. Dan Bruce

            Julia, indeed I do think the disciples on the road to Emmaus were responsible for not recognizing Jesus as their Messiah, since faith in the resurrected Jesus is a personal responsibility both then and now. Cleopas and the other disciple did not expect him to have been crucified and die, nor did they believe the report of His resurrection, although they had enough knowledge to understand. Apparently they did not understand the true meaning of Isaiah 53, for instance, because the teachings of the Jewish leaders had caused them to have blindness as to the true meaning of the Scriptures about Messiah (same is true for many Jewish people today). Jesus had said beforehand that the Jewish people had enough testimony to recognize him, and that they would be held accountable, as he verified in John 5:45-46 “Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.” In the case of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, according to Luke 24:27, Jesus opened their eyes to Him by explaining the true meaning of the Scriptures that were hidden behind the false teachings that held sway over the Jewish people back then, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” It was the understanding of the Scriptures that opened the disciples eyes and ears. In prophecy, G-d had decreed that the Jewish people would have spiritual blindness and reject Jesus as Messiah, because in his omniscience he knew beforehand that they would choose the precepts of man over the teachings of G-d, but G-d himself did not cause anyone to reject Jesus and not have faith in him. Rejecting Jesus is a sin unto death, and, as we know from the B’rit Hadashah, G-d never tempts anyone to sin, as we are told in James 1:13, “Let no one say when he is tempted, I am being tempted by God; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.” The spiritual blindness of Israel was the result of each Jewish person choosing to substitute man-made precepts for the teachings of G-d in the Scriptures (pagans have always done the same), not because the message of salvation under the New Covenant through repentance and faith was hidden from them. Jesus walked and taught and did miracles openly among them. That’s the way I understand His very public ministry and the spiritual responsibility of everyone who heard and saw Him.

          2. Julia Blum

            Dan, I see you have your own strong views with regard to this topic. In these complex subjects I am always reminded that ‘His ways are higher than our ways …’, and that is why we need to diligently search the Scriptures for ourselves and be open to ask questions and receive answers that might surprise us. May I suggest you continue the journey with me as different aspects of this question are unfolded. I believe it is a very important subject that will help us understand, with humility, the over-arching plan of God for the salvation of the world, and the role of Israel in that plan.

          3. Nick Edwards

            Dan,
            Does the Messiah, destined to reign in the Kingdom of God on earth, equal or supersede the ineffable God the Father HaShem? Does the Son (prince) outshine the Father (king)? Does belief in Jesus supercede all that preceded Him – i.e. replacement theology?
            My understanding is that the purpose of the Kingdom and the Messiah is to usher in closeness to God-HaShem in an atmosphere of revelation and clarity.
            I am not trying to start one of those endless theological arguments. It just seems that Julia’s blog assumes that all was not revealed at the time of Jesus.
            Respectfully,
            Nick

          4. Dan Bruce

            Nick, yes, belief in Yeshua does supercede all that came before him in time. Of course, it is more accurate to say that Yeshua was the fulfillment and completion of everything revealed through and to Israel before him. Jesus himself said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil,” and he also clarified that “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” There is only one way to oneness with G-d, and that way is Yeshua. The ceremonial Law given the Israel is no longer a way for achieving atonement. The plan of redemption introduced through Israel found its fulfillment and completion in Yeshua, who is the king of Israel according to the promise and the light of salvation to the world. Now you may ask, who is Israel? The answer is simple according to the Scriptures: All who believe in Yeshua as Lord and Savior are in Him and thus in the kingdom of Israel. Is there still a place for the Jews assembled as national Israel in G-d’s plan? Yes, the land promise is still being worked out in history, as we have seen in 1948 and 1987 and even today. As for redemptive history, though, all of those promises have been fulfilled in Yeshua. He is the cornerstone of the New Covenant Temple comprised of those who believe in him as Savior and Lord, both Jew (totally Jewish in the beginning) and Gentile.

          5. Julia Blum

            Dan, I just replied to your other comment and here I will just repeat the last words of my response there: As Nick wrote, we are not going to start one of those endless theological arguments. Let’s just leave one another in God’s hands – because, once again, His thoughts are not our thoughts. .. Blessings!

          6. Nick Edwards

            Dear Dan,
            I apologize for my “stream of consciousness” questions/comments when I responded to your letter with Julia. Thanks to an attempt to understand Judaism/O.T. (the resources of Jesus and Paul), I have learned that forgiveness and redemption were always available via repentance. Even the sacrificial law (korban), is about drawing close to God, not paying a price as such. Growing close to God is the goal-a much deeper and fulfilling journey taught in Judaism. Atonement and legal status is not the end game. As a Christian, I have been “born again”, thanks to what I’ve learned from Judaism, and there is continuity where there was once an “old” way and a “new” way.
            Your friend,
            Nick

          7. Dan Bruce

            Fine, Julia, but I urge you to remain true to the Scriptures and the teachings about personal responsibility in achieving atonement through faith by grace.

  10. Annette Campbell

    I believed that the revelation of Jesus has happened and will happen again. As mentioned in Revelation 1:19 So write down what you see, both what is now, and what will happen afterwards. I believe that is the revealing of Jesus to John and what he is writing will be Jesus revealed to all mankind as God wants us to see him and as we will be ready to receive. As the word also says that some saw him then and believed on him (and we know some did not believe) there will be some that will believe who have not seen him. The word also says that if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away, behold all things have become new. That I believe is how we can see him now as we wait for our forms to be changed to see him as he is.

    1. Julia Blum

      Hi Annette, I also believe that the revelation of Jesus has happened and will happen again. However, it doesn’t cancel the fact that He had to be Hidden Messiah during his earthly life. It is an important understanding and knowledge , as we are trying to contemplate the mystery of Israel and Jesus.

  11. Leonard Logan

    Thanks, Julia, for filling in the background!

  12. Dorothy Healy

    Thank you Elizabeth for your deep and insightful comments. You have touched on something very profound, especially with regards the gestational period the world. In the light of this hidden/revealed theme, we can see that Jesus was sown as a seed into our world, and the gestational period commenced. A period that has is exact timing in accordance with the Father’s will. It particularly resonated with me as our small prayer group only last week sensed strongly that a time of giving birth was coming. “He is the head we are the body …” Perhaps this is what the woman giving birth in Revelation 12 is about. It certainly gives food for thought. Right now He remains hidden, not only to Israel as a whole, but to the whole secular world, and other faiths also – but it will not always remain so.
    Romans …22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

    1. Elizabeth (Lisa) Seibel-Ross

      Thank you Dorothy. Isn’t it wonderful to have a place to study and share together? 🙂 Lisa

  13. Elizabeth Seibel-Ross

    I’m so enjoying these revelations from your work and the opportunities you’re giving us to think about meaningful things, and appreciate the fact that they’re not hidden at this time! To me the texts that you’ve shared echoes the Biblical line that always separates the profane from the holy. Sacred things are always guarded/protected: after hearing the words of the angel Marium hid and nurtured them within her heart, a pearl of great value is buried in a field (its value sheltered by disguise), wasn’t the arc covered with badger skin – so why not the Son of Man (“even if men do see the Messiah before he is revealed, they will not see him as he really is – as the Messiah – until he is revealed to them by God”? The revealing of the treasures of the Lord over the great arc of time, seems to me to be like any other normal gestational process (only this is the birth of His true nature and Purposes into this world) in that certain things have to happen at specific times while others await their turn in the process. Along the way we as believers and witnesses to these revelations nurture the truths revealed to us, and by living in community with each other, get a bigger picture of the realities of our moment in time, by walking perfectly together as neighbors.

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you so much, Elizabeth, for this comment: It is so insightful, so profound, so beautiful!

      1. Elizabeth (Lisa) Seibel-Ross

        I wanted to thank you for your kind words to all of us, in addition to sharing your work. I find both uplifting and sustaining! 🙂 Lisa

  14. Jo Ann Abreu

    Thank you for your comments they were very interesting and a lot to think about. I am sill confused about the hidden and reveled Messiah. To me the Messiah is Jesus Christ the Son of God.

    1. Julia Blum

      Hi Jo Ann, this is the whole point of this study ” to show that Jesus as Messiah (Christ) was hidden during his earthly life, and revealed after. I think, my last post , about Messiah hidden and revealed in Luke-Acts, will help .

  15. jane z mazzola

    I have pondered, not just recently, this subject: the idea of the “hidden” Messiah or of God’s revelation to some but not to others. Are we not all creations of the same God? Should not everyone have that same opportunity of knowing? Should some be included but others, cast aside, even if God is making that decision? And finally, then, where is “free will” if one is not even given the “eyes to see”? I realize God’s answers to Job’s questions, more like a non-answer than explanation, but I’ve never been overly smitten w/it, IMHO! I realize I can’t/won’t have all the deep answers, maybe not even the right questions. But I do find it perplexing.

    OTOH, I received your books, Julia, that I ordered from Amazon, IF YOU ARE THE SON OF GOD & THE ONE WHO SEES ME LIVES. I hope these may shed some light on our discussion. Blessings to all, Jane

    1. Julia Blum

      I hope so, Jane. Like you, I had many questions ((still have some), but I myself received a lot of answers through this book, while writing it (I mean, IF YOU ARE THE SON OF GOD), – and I know than many other people did . I hope, it would be a blessing to you too.

  16. Eric Schwartzbaum

    It seems to me that Matthew 11:25-27 is relevant to this discussion, since it seems that Jesus is tying his relationship to with the Father to the idea of the hidden and revealed Messiah. If we consider that these ideas were in the minds of the Jews that Jesus ministered to then this gives insight into his motivation for saying them. He was identifying himself and mission to those with eyes to see,

    “At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”

    1. Julia Blum

      Yes, Eric, you are absolutely right: this verse is very relevant for this theme, and I am using it in my study of the “Hidden Messiah ” in NT. In a week, a first article of this study will be published on this blog.

  17. Gustavo Perera

    Hi Julia and Dorothy:

    I am so sorry I missed last week’s class. I have been out of town a lot these past two weeks. I really enjoy the classes and the Hebraic insights that you add to scripture interpretation. I will try to share some more.
    Best.
    Gustavo

    1. Julia Blum

      Don’t be sorry, Gustavo! I’ve been missing you and your comments – but it’s nice to be missed, right? 🙂 Looking forward to seeing you in the class!

      1. Gustavo Perera

        Thank you so much Julia. A tropical storm is expected to directly impact us tomorrow; hopefully, the internet does not go down. Shalom.

  18. Todd

    Your sign off comment is very poignant, “The Messiah was to be hidden till the appointed time comes. If we know these texts, if we know this plan. we can better understand how important it was for Jesus to keep his messianic identity hidden and concealed – until the appointed time comes”.

    I would like to comment on the phrase, “if we know this plan”. Whether Messiah’s first or second coming, all the signs were/will be present, however it always seems that there is ‘one thing lacking’ as far as our awareness of how things will unfold i.e. what &/or how this plan will play out? In Daniel it notes, the ‘wise will know’ (Daniel 12:10). We also see it is the 5 wise maidens who are ready. There are many other examples to choose from.

    Yes, wisdom is given to those that ask, but what we may be missing is the context or path by which wisdom comes. James 1 helps paint a broader picture of how this unfolds. Yeshua rightly said He is the Way, yet He didn’t explicitly note the Way & yet He did. Additionally, the narratives throughout the bible paint the picture of what this Way looks like. It isn’t always pretty, in fact, it is very humbling, & it has been downright distressing, but it is worth it.

    This is where the ‘one thing we lack’ comes into play. That one thing is trust/faith, such that when things are not playing out as we expect, we have His voice, trusting in Him & His Way, esp when it looks like a dead end – stuck between an advancing army & the deep blue sea. The thing that was lacking is now brought to fullness – what matters is trust expressed through love (Gal 5:6b). This is then what is hidden is revealed – something we could never have anticipated (Deut 29:29). He can entrust to those He trusts, because their love, trust & hope is full, tested, proven & found faithful to the end, no matter the ‘sugar’ or ‘chilli’ thrown at them. He is at work to find those in whom He has perfect assurance that they will forever be perfect.

    Hindsight is wonderful. There are many gems as we examine how things unfolded at Yeshua first advent. There are shadow pictures of what to expect, but our God is also a God of surprises. Unsurprisingly, wisdom seems to always surprise us. In the most fearfully reverential way, God is a ‘trickster’. To us it looks like a trick or a surprise, but to Him, it is & He is wisdom.

    I say all this, for the more I learn, the more I am becoming convinced that all of creation will be surprised or tricked in/at the when, & how Messiah will return. About three years ago, I was awoken by a booming voice, asking the question, “ARE YOU READY TO RECEIVE THE KING”? This was followed by three loud resonating knocks on a door. It rocked me to my core, for my honest answer was a resounding No! Since then, I have been furiously at work, working out my salvation, listening & learning from Him, getting ready to receive my King. Many are consumed with interpreting the signs of Yeshua’s second advent, & that has it’s place. But as I am sure it is for many of us, I saw that my love, trust, hope tank was empty & dry. I & many family are working together with Ruach haKodesh to fill that once empty tank, so that we are ready for when He returns, however that may unfold, whether I am alive or sleeping at that moment. It hasn’t been as we expected, but it has been better than we could have hoped for.

    So, wrapping back to the start of this commentary, you have done wonderful work in unraveling & unfolding yet more facets to Yeshua’s first advent, & some of these are no doubt shadow pictures of what is to come. And yet I hope we are found ready when He surprises us, just like He did the first time, & I hope we are found full, complete, blameless & perfect, such that He recognizes us because we are just like Him.

    Shalom

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you, Todd, for your wonderful and deep insight! Yes, there were many surprises in Yeshua’s first coming – in a sense, the whole Hidden Messiah series is all about it. When we look back from here, when we know already how the things unfolded – it seems to us that it was so overwhelmingly easy to recognize Him and that He came exactly as he had been expected. It’s very different when you are in the middle of the story, when everything happens in real time. Together with you , i think that we all will be surprised at “when &how Messiah will return”.

  19. Paul Herman

    I never knew that the Apocalyptic Literature had the wealth of meaning that you have shown. When I think of the term, “appointed times,” I think of the feasts of Israel and their hidden prophetic meanings. They point to Messiah. For believers, the Messiah is Yeshua who fulfilled the prophetic meanings of the first four, and He will come back to fulfill the last three.

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you Paul, it’s wonderful to hear. This is the main point of this blog and these articles – that the readers could learn something, that they could say: I never knew. And you are so right regarding the feasts: they are so prophetic, the whole story of Messiah is in these feasts!

  20. Gustavo Perera

    Julia’s thoughts are like the knitters needle and Dorothy Healy’s insights are like the knitters wool. All the other comments are like weaves into an unfolding ball of knowledge…I can only behold!!! And learn!!

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you Gustavo, for your so kind words and so expressive (and flattering 🙂 ) comparisons! so glad you are enjoying the blog!

    2. DOROTHY HEALY

      What beautiful creative language Gustavo! Thank you. (by the way, I miss your comments in our DHB course. Please speak up more.)

    3. Julia Blum

      Gustavo, I completely agree with Dorothy’s comment: both regarding beautiful language and regarding missing your comments in our class!

  21. Peter K. O. Adeyemi

    Thanks Julia, for unveiling from some of the inter-testamental literatures, interesting insights into the hidden Messiah. I find the article quite revealing. Thanks for the good work.

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you, Peter. I hope you will keep finding the articles on this blog helpful or even “revealing”. Blessings!

  22. tom englehart

    very interesting. Shows there is a lot to learn

  23. Edith Powney

    Though he was walking alongside them on the road to Emmaus the identity of the Messiah was hidden from the disciples but beginning with Moses and the prophets he explained to them all the things found there concerning himself.
    After he left them their eyes were opened and they understood who he was in that all he had done was in fulfillment of Torah and they said ‘Did not our hearts burn ?
    Is

    1. Julia Blum

      I was really touched by your comment, Edith, because this whole study started from “the road to Emmaus”. We will deal very soon with amazing and very profound lessons of this story. Stay tuned for my “Emmaus” post! 🙂

  24. Therese Baca

    Thank Julia for sharing your insights, knowledge and humble approach toward unity. JESUS blesses the FATHER for having revealed to the little ones (Lk 10:21 & Mt 11:25) speaks of His nature of being hidden, until the FATHER reveals. It is a constant reminder to be humble, simple, pure of heart. He is the “Mystic One”, so very close.

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you, Therese, you are so right: it is a constant reminder to be humble and to remember that only by His mercy and through His revelation we are able to recognize Messiah.

  25. Tony Taylor

    Thank you for the insight. This is a very interesting and thought provoking view. I look forward to studying it further.

  26. ND

    Hi Julia,
    Would you advise then that those to whom Jesus has been revealed thus far do what they can, (as they do to other nonbelievers), to preach and share the great news of the revelation of Christ to nonbelieving Israelites/Jews so that they repent ?

    Daniel

    1. Julia Blum

      Hi Daniel, I don’t think it’s my place to advise in these matters. It always depends on His leading and his guidance – and the bottom line is always His revelation. The Messiah can only be known through revelation by God -like He was revealed to Peter: “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven”. So, your prayer and following His guidance – this is my advice. However, the more you know the better you understand how to pray; in this sense, i really hope that you find helpful the articles on this blog.

  27. Gabrielle

    Thank you Julia. Apart from the overall subject of your teaching (which I am valuing very much) you are helping me to see the importance of other texts.

    “Of course, all these texts are of human origin and are not the Word of God – but the writings of the NT should be seen against the background of these texts, and no NT scholar can ignore them.”

    My church history has been to steer me away from exploring these writings as ‘unreliable’ and ‘adding to scripture’ but people write books today that add color and understanding. How foolish to create fear and block avenues of learning. Thank you again.

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you, Gabrielle. I am glad if my posts help you (and others) understand that between Tanach and New Testament, there was a huge corpus of so called inter-testamental literature – and these texts can’t be ignored. Israel’s understanding of God’s plan with her could be traced through these texts – and that is why they are vitally important for both scholars and regular believers seeking to understand God’s plan with Israel.

  28. JOHN C TUGGY

    Thank you very much for this information.

    This helps me understand specially the motif of hidden identity throughout the G of Mark, as well many passages in the G of JOHN, as you have pointed out.

    If this was the expectation of the Jewish people at the time of Christ, this consolidates many of the misconceptions that the disciples had about Jesus’ role as the suffering Messiah/Servant.

    Thank you.

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you, John! You are absolutely right: the ideas that the disciples had about Jesus, the questions they asked, show and prove more than anything else how different their Messianic expectations were. We have to be aware of that, because there are so many misconceptions regarding Israel and Jesus. I am glad you find these posts helpful.

  29. Jacob

    Very interesting to know . And I want to know more .
    Thanks very much .
    salom.

  30. Kat

    “there is no way, however, that anyone could find and see the Messiah by his own efforts”

    Wouldn’t this include prayer? I bring this up because my “prayer” in Judaism was very different than my later
    re-evangelized prayer of salvation (sinner’s prayer). I believe that repentance gave “the Spirit” ( Romans 8:18-30) access to me before I heard the gospel and the Spirit interceded. In Christianity I had access to God and He heard me. This changes how I see hidden

    1. Julia Blum

      Hi Kat, I also like very much this sentence that you quote. Like Jesus said to Peter, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.” Of course, it starts with our prayer – but it’s always His Spirit that reveals.

  31. Nick Edwards

    Great article-helps to better understand the Jesus story. Obviously, we still await Messiah and Kingdom !

  32. Mark Stevens

    Dear Julia,
    Thank you for your insights on this topic. I am still a little confused on the “hidden -revealed” aspect of the Messiah as far as who that relates to. Does this mystery relate to the nation of Israel as a whole or to individuals . Jesus obviously did reveal himself as the Messiah to individuals and still does, but as the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 11: 7 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; 8 just as it is written, “GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY.” , the nation of Israel as a whole has been denied the clarity of vision regarding the revealed Messiah.
    So when you speak to the issue of of timing, are you relating the concept to Israel as a whole?

    1. Julia Blum

      Hi Mark, thank you for writing and thank you for your questions. There are several aspects of this mystery. First, there is the Messianic secret (see my previous post): the fact that in the Gospels, Jesus was maintaining secrecy about his own person and work – it means that as Messiah, He was “hidden” from those around him throughout the length of his public ministry . Of course, there were also those like Peter – but we know that ” this was not revealed… by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven”. One of the purposes of this study is to show that, unless the Father in Heaven reveals it, Jesus remains “hidden” from His contemporaries during His life – and that it was God’s plan and choice. Then, if we speak about Israel as the nation – we all know that Jesus is still “hidden” from Israel, and in this sense, the appointed time hasn’t come yet. Once again, though, it’s God’s time and God’s choice – and it’s very important to understand that.

      1. Dorothy Healy

        As Paul says in Romans 11:26, quoting Ps.14, “There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer and shall turn away the ungodliness from Jacob,” and Zech. 12:10 “… I shall pour upon the house of David… the spirit of grace and supplication and they shall look upon ME whom they have pierced and shall mourn for HIM …” As Sara said, there is also a ‘hidden and to be revealed Israel’. I believe that when Messiah is revealed to Israel, the whole world will witness this and be deeply affected, and finally Israel will take her rightful place of honour in the world.

        Right now we are also seeing many thousands of Muslims throughout the world (esp. Middle East) having dreams and visions of Christ and being converted. We live in interesting times indeed. This study is very timely.

        1. Julia Blum

          Thank you, Dorothy, your insights are always so profound. It’s always a blessing to hear from you.

    2. Larry Prince

      Hi, Sara and Julia!

      I’m fascinated by the notion of a hidden and revealed Israel.
      I am a Jew and a Christian. There are some Christians who believe (unfortunately, in my view) in a “replacement theology” — building that idea, perhaps, around Paul’s comment in Romans 9:6 (taken out of context) that “not all Israel are of Israel,” and some other sad notions based on prejudicial and anti-Semitic views that have been (essentially) handed down to them by their peers and predecessors. (Here’s a sad comment: Most anti-Semites don’t even realize that most of them are Semites!) I’ve come to conclude in my heart that most of those within the world at large, or even within “Christendom” who disparage Jews and Israel can basically be counted on to disparage other things! It may very well be a favorite pastime! (Enough of that. Enough of me.) I really wanted to say, having a recently new and passionate interest with things Judaica — in composite with Christ and Christianity — and having a strong fascination with things mystical, I am eager to partake of and participate in discussions and explorations of things eternal. Hidden Israel. (Perhaps hidden meanings and multiple applications, hmm?)

      And Mark, thank for your reminder about the veil presently over “Israel’s” eyes. Romans 11 touches on that … Romans 9 through 11 make up an indivisible packet, I think. Romans 11:26 is particularly and poignantly fascinating: “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” Who does he mean by “all Israel?” I choose not to speculate, but to wait and anticipate. I believe the Church and Israel are two distinct bodies ( with some overlap, of course, which I myself believe I am an example of — a “completed Jew,” as some of my friend like to chide me with) … two bodies, each with their own destiny and dispensation, both chosen of God, and both important players in the Millennial Kingdom (I believe in that, too), and both interactive with one another there and beyond. (Ahh … Beyond!)

      ἀγάπη and שָׁלוֹם to all!
      Larry

      1. Julia Blum

        Shalom Larry, I am very grateful for your participation and your comment! Your comments are always very insightful, and I am glad to have a “completed Jew” on these pages. We will get also to Paul, I promise, and of course, we will discuss Romans 9 through 11, – but our first portion of NT, as I mentioned already, will be Luke-Acts. I hope, this study will be a blessing for you too, as it was for me, because I received many answers to me questions through this study. Let’s keep thinking about it together.

  33. Sara

    Just as you speak of a hidden Messiah that is to be revealed, I believe there is a hidden and to be revealed Israel. Do you have any article on that?

    1. Julia Blum

      Hi Sara, I think it is a very powerful observation (revelation). I don’t have a special article on this topic, but I wrote many times about the different parallels between Israel and Yeshua. Something very close to what you wrote, I had written in one of my books, If you are Son of God come down from the Cross. The entire book is about God’s plan with Israel and the parallels between Israel and Messiah.

  34. Dorothy Healy

    Thank you Julia for this very interesting background context on 1st C Judaism, and the writings that reveal an expectation of a hidden and revealed Messiah. Even if many Jews of Jesus’ day had some knowledge of this, it would not have helped them to identify Yeshua as the One for whom they waited, for they couldn’t know just how this hidden and revealed idea would play out.
    This reminds me of Jn. 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him. As the Apocalyptic writings say, the Messiah will be revealed by God Himself, and it was not up to Jesus to reveal himself as such, except as directed by the Father.

    1. Geneva M. Neale

      Thank you Julia this is such a topic that speaks to my wanting to learn. This is interesting explanation on talks which I have heard before on my spiritual journey throughout my life of being taught texts from the Old Testament and New Testament. I have taught young people and seniors, as a member of the Methodist Religion and as an adult. I read every book on the shelf as a member of Unity School of Practical Christianity Teachings. Le Summit, Missouri. USA. I am constantly living with the awareness in the spirit of “The renewal of my mind.” If I find myself in any situation where there is contention or discord, I center myself before entering any participation.” I like the caption on this subject. “The circle and the image in the clouds.” The Hidden Saviour in the Heavens.
      Geneva M. E. Neale (Audain) (http://www.thepassionandthepoetry.com Author

      1. Julia Blum

        Thank you, Geneva! I am so glad you find these articles helpful, and I am grateful for your comments and contribution.