As Though Hiding His Face From Us

Shalom friends,

My name is Julia Blum. Thanks to the kind and generous words of Dr. Eli in the previous post, I don’t really need to introduce myself, as he has introduced me already.  I am privileged and honored to take over the administration of the Jewish Studies blog:  From my classes, I already know some of the students, so I know what an amazing, wonderful, excited and exciting audience we have! I am very grateful for each and every one of you – and I look forward to hearing from you! This blog has been a wonderful addition to your eTeacher experience and I hope and pray that it will continue to be a blessing to everyone who follows.

I would like to begin with my favorite topic – one that I spent many years researching, writing and praying over: The Hidden Messiah.  In the series of posts I’ll present here, we will first see the Messianic Secret of the New Testament against its Jewish background; then we will follow the idea of the hidden and revealed Messiah though Luke-Acts; and then finally, we will learn the profound lessons of the transitional chapter of Luke’s Gospel (Luke 24). So – let the journey begin!

 Messianic Secret  of the New Testament against its Jewish background (Part 1): Messianic Secret 

“Any discussion of… Messianism is a delicate matter, for it is here that the essential conflict between Judaism and Christianity has developed and continues to exist”, Gershom Sholem wrote to begin his famous Messianic Idea in Judaism.  In the light of these essential differences, a consensus between Jewish and Christian scholars regarding the so-called Messianic Secret appears all the more striking. Scholars from both sides recognize the fact that in the Gospels Jesus is frequently portrayed as seeking to maintain an element of secrecy about his own person and work throughout the length of his public ministry (sometimes even openly discouraging use of the title ‘Messiah’). This feature of the Gospels is well-known and widely acknowledged; it is known today as the “Messianic Secret” – a term which derives from a classic study by William Wrede.   

Let us have a look at some scriptures where Jesus directly forbade others to speak of Him as Messiah: He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered and said, ‘The Christ [Messiah] of God.’ And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one.[1] A similar ban accompanies all His healings of Israelites: the cleansing of the leper, the raising of Jairus’ daughter from the dead, and the healing of the two blind men, to name a few. These and many other stories are almost unavoidably accompanied by a concluding commentary: and He strictly warned him… and said to him, ‘See that you say nothing to anyone’;’[2] but He commanded them strictly that no one should know it;[3] and Jesus sternly warned them, saying, ‘See that no one knows it.’[4] He didn’t just recommend that they not say anything – He forbade them to talk about it, and almost always strictly or sternly.  Actually, the only thing that Jesus did sternly was to forbid people to discuss His Messianic identity and miracles. In fact, the only time in the entire New Testament that He reveals his Messianic identity is in the scene with the Samaritan woman in John 4. Just think of that! The only time when He speaks of it, is not to a Jewish person but to a Samaritan woman, and even then only at a time when His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food[5] – that  is, when there was not a single Jewish person in sight!  In the same way, the healing of the demon-possessed man from the Gentile country of the Gadarenes also presents a striking contrast to all the stories quoted above: In answer to his request to follow Him, Jesus tells the healed man, ‘Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.’[6]   Thus, Jesus was ready to reveal His identity to the Gentiles, but was very careful not to reveal it to the Jews.

It is important to distinguish between texts and history, and therefore, between two different audiences: the audience of the readers of the Gospels, and the audience of Jesus inside the Gospels. All the texts of the NT were written decades after His death and resurrection, and the Gospels’ authors, while turning to their contemporary readers, were repeating tirelessly that Jesus was the promised Messiah: But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (John 20.31) – but that is not what we are talking about. We are not studying what the evangelists tell us about Jesus; what we are interested in is what Jesus of the Gospels says about himself, or allows/does not allow others to say about him to his own contemporaries. The Gospels consciously and purposely portray Jesus hiding and concealing his messiahship from His audience. In other words, the messiahship of Jesus is something the author and the readers know, but the original participants did not know.

This Messianic Secret – this contrast between the messiahship of Jesus and his injunctions to secrecy in the Gospels – undoubtedly requires some explanation. We will seek this explanation in the Jewish patterns of messianic expectations which Jesus and his followers may have made use of. Jesus was Jewish, and of course He was influenced by contemporary Jewish ideas – by His Jewish upbringing and the whole Jewish context of His life. We will try to identify those aspects of the Messianic Secret that may trace back to the time of Jesus, and even before that, to see this puzzling feature of the Gospels against its Jewish background and to seek an explanation of this New Testament quandary in Jewish thought of the time.

[1] Luke 9:20-21

[2] Mark 1:43-44

[3] Mark 5:43

[4] Mat. 9:30

[5] John 4:8

[6] Mark 5:19

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. Kurt

    I love intrigue! I wonder if there is a distinction between who is better at keeping a secret – Jew or Christian?

    1. Julia Blum

      Love your rhetoric question, Kurt! This is an amazing way to put it: who is better at keeping a secret – Jew or Christian? Both sides did a great job – but, as Yeshua said, the time is coming and has come already… Blessings!

  2. Ioanna

    Dear Julia,
    Thank you so much for sharing with us this subject of the unrecognized Messiah it gives me a better understanding in scriptures and prophesies and the sayings of our Lord about himself.
    I would love to hear some more about the terms “the son of God ” and ” the son of man” to understand why the Israelite wanted to kill him when Yeshiva said he is the son of God making himself God being a man!!!!!
    Thank you and God bless you

    sharing this study of yours with my group we have been so blessed.
    Ioanna

    1. Julia Blum

      Dear Ioanna, thank you for your kind words. Indeed, I am planning to publish a study on “Son of Man” – I don’t know exactly when , but probably in a few weeks . Stay tuned!

  3. Mary Anne

    Hi Julia. Thanks so much for exploring a very important and timely topic! If I may: In my studies of the Scriptures, both Old and New, I believe Jesus was not purporting that his Messiah-ship was a “secret” in any way, but He was in fact making it very plain that in order to truly ascertain His kingdom (which was spiritual, not earthly), His believers must seek God (through Jesus) “in spirit and in truth”. The Jews (and Samaritans / Gentiles) of His day, however, were looking for a different type of Messiah to establish an earthly kingdom and rule through man-made, earthly rules and religious regulations. But many times Jesus said ““My kingdom is not of this world; if it were, My servants would fight to prevent My arrest by the Jews. But, My kingdom is not of this realm”, “The kingdom of God will not come with observable signs. Nor will people say, ‘Look, here it is,’ or ‘There it is.’ So you see, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” Jesus, therefore, forbade certain people from proclaiming His power and miracles because He did not want them to propagate their false beliefs that He was going to destroy the Romans and establish His kingdom on earth. He was, instead of being secretive, proclaiming that He was not the “Type” of Messiah that the people were yearning for – but that He was the Messiah, nonetheless – but His Kingdom and domain were Spiritual, not Earthly. As Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 15:47, “The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is from heaven. As was the earthly man, so also are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven.…” Jesus’ mission as Messiah and Savior of the world was to shake people’s long-held earthly beliefs – that their man-made rituals and ceremonialism was all what they needed to attain God. He preached, instead, that in order to access God, a man must seek God internally thru a 1-1 relationship with Him , in a man’s heart and mind, not externally through formal religion. They must become the “2nd man” – by shedding the first man who is earthly in nature. So, bottom-line, my sense is that Jesus’ message was not meant as a secret in any way nor did he forbid people from proclaiming Him for the reasons we might expect. It was that most people of His day (not just Jews – all religions) rejected the nature of Jesus’ kingdom. Those he did not “forbid” (and those people were not many but did exist, as you point out), did in fact, grasp and accept the nature of His kingdom. He, therefore, permitted only those individuals to spread the Good New of Jesus and His Kingdom.

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you, Mary Anne, for your deep and thoughtful comment. Of course, I agree with much of what you write: people always (not only in Jesus’ time) look for visible victories and earthly kingdoms. Yet, I think that the whole theme of “hidden” Messiah is a very important piece in this big puzzle that is called: Israel and Jesus. I really hope that my articles on this blog would be helpful in assembling this puzzle.

  4. gar

    Julia
    Looking forward.

    Are there any links to the two topics you mentioned that you spoke on having ” special interest” referenced above? The “sealed book” and the “hidden” identity of Jesus to the Jews.

    These are both significant pieces of the larger(wisdom built the house) puzzle…….. aka” The House of God”

    1. Julia Blum

      Hi, thanks for asking. The “sealed book” is a small piece in one of my books (“The one who sees me Lives”), it was also a topic of my message at some conference years ago. The “hidden Messiah” is a theme of my posts here, as you probably know, but of course, it is an abridged version, I suppose I will soon put here the link to the full study . Like you, I also see these themes as very significant pieces in the big puzzle of God’s mystery.

      1. jane z mazzola

        I just finished reading your book, Julia, THE ONE WHO SEES ME, LIVES. It is quite a story & journey, very moving. I’d surely recommend it to others. I ordered it from Amazon.com.

        Blessings,
        Jane M

        1. Julia Blum

          Thank you, Jane! Look forward to meeting you here!

  5. Kat H

    Some would say that we repent from sin; I say that we repent to God. A slight difference in language, but a big difference in how we read the scriptures.

    1. Julia Blum

      I agree!

      1. Larry Prince

        I agree as well. The focus then is upon, not how bad we are (from the the perspective of the pristine purity of the Almighty G-D that’s a “given,” anyway), but upon how glorious, good and beautiful He is, and His Word is.

        A friend of mine once said he had a conversation with a fellow, and he asked the man whether he thought God loved him because he was good. The man said why yes, of course. My friend said, “I don’t.” Flustered, the man got defensive and replied, “What do you mean?”

        My friend responded, “I don’t believe God loves me because I’m good. I believe He loves me because He’s good.”

        The man said, “I’ll have to think about that.” My friend was just glad that he no longer had to think about that … he knew it.

    2. jane z mazzola

      That is an interesting way of putting the step toward salvation, Kat. Thank you.

      Blessings,
      Jane M

  6. Dan Bruce

    Any time G-d’s revealed word to man is replaced by the teachings of man, as the Jewish leadership in ancient Israel did from a time before Isaiah onward (with some notable exceptions, such as that of King Josiah), spiritual blindness results. People can’t see through the man-made error to see G-d’s truth. We see that happening in the church and rabbinic Judaism today, with the same result. Yeshua spent much of his ministry pointing out that the Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes of his time focused their attention on observing their own man-made precepts instead of the teaching from their Hebrew Scriptures. Consequently, because they were looking for a man-defined messiah, they could not recognize the true Messiah of the Tanakh. Of course, those who heard John the Baptist, who introduced the New Covenant that bypassed the Temple system with a message of repentance and faith, and later saw and heard Yeshua who preached and expounded the same message, were able to see Truth, because they saw and heard He who is the Truth firsthand. Yeshua was thus not hidden to those who knew the Scriptures and honored G-d’s teachings above man-made teachings and commandments. At least that’s the way I understand why Yeshua did not reveal himself except to the Jewish remnant who G-d had chosen to hear and understand. In answer to your last question, you can download my books at no charge in PDF format and read what I have written on my website (click on my name). You might find my book HE IS THE ONE especially interesting. Thank you for asking.

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you, Dan. I will download and read your books.

  7. Dan Bruce

    Jesus was constrained to hide his identity from Israel (but apparently not from non-Jews, such as Samaritans) because of the judgement G-d had pronounced through the prophet Isaiah, “Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed” (Isaiah 6:9-10). The spiritual blindness of Israel with respect to G-d’s plan of redemption is further clarified in Isaiah, chapter 29, verses 10-14: “For the L-rd hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. Wherefore the L-rd said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” That latter passage from Isaiah makes clear that the “sleep” of Israel would be extended to include the wisdom of its wise men and the understanding of its prudent men about the entire testimony of Moses and the prophets, all of that to occur in the future, after the time of Isaiah, when God was prophesied to do a marvellous work and wonder among the people. Seven-hundred years later, when Jesus’ disciples asked Jesus why he preached to his kinsmen in parables, he repeated the words of Isaiah as the reason. In Matthew 13:10-17, Jesus specifically invokes the words of Isaiah: “And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them. … Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” Isaiah 53 foretold what would be the result of Jesus hiding his identity from Israel in obedience to G-d’s word. To his disciples, he spoke plainly as G-d had given him to share with them, and they shared with all of us who have since followed them.

    1. Julia Blum

      Shalom Dan, I am not sure that I would agree with you on the matter of “spiritual blindness of Israel” ; nevertheless, I am absolutely fascinated by the fact that in your comment, you touched upon two very special for me issues: the sealed book from Isaiah 29, and “Jesus hiding his identity from Israel in obedience to God’s word” foretold by Isa 53. I wrote and spoke on both topics – but I don’t know many others who write about it. Could you please elaborate (or maybe refer me to some of your books or articles)? Thank you!

  8. Larry Prince

    Hmm…
    I’m learning, little by little. I just took Julia’s wonderful advice in many of her postings to not rely too heavily on the English translations, but to dig into the Hebrew. I did so with “honor” from my last post (re: Proverbs 25:2) and found that that the same word translated “honor” (“of kings,” in context) is the word for “glory” (“of God,” same verse), and it is the word K-B-D (כבד), which means to “be heavy”, and thence “be important; honour, majesty, glory.” Now I’m not sure that I can “connect the dots” of that with my notion of “duty” (as I speculated in the last message), but I can envision making that connection via another “notion” — that of “noble calling.” We are created in G-D’s own image. He has called us to be a kingdom of priests (not just in Revelation 1:6 and 5:10, and in 1 Peter 2:9 (royal priesthood), but in the Tenach, in fact, in the Torah, in Exodus 19:6 — by the hand and mouth of Moses, even while he’s laying the groundwork for the Levitical priesthood, and the royal line of Judah (two different tribes, not to mix-and-match duties or stations)! But wait. Could there be another priesthood? Where kings can be priests, and vice versa? Genesis 14:18, Psalm 110:4, and Hebrews chapters 5 thru 9 all seem to agree that there is … one that predates and will postdate the Levitical priesthood. And how many “persons” are in that illustrious “body”? I think I count 3. Melchizedek himself (whose true identity is still somewhat mysterious, at least to me, although I have my speculations), Yeshua Hamashiach, and the body (bride) of Christ. Us.
    Just some thoughts …
    Larry

    1. Julia Blum

      Great job, Larry! There is a slide in our DHB course, that does exactly the same: connects the word Kavod (glory, honor) with Kaved (Heavy). It is very impressive that you did it on your own, Are you taking DHB, by the way? If not, I really recommend you: from your comments I feel that you would enjoy this course greatly. Blessings!

  9. Ruth Gibbs

    Would you agree that the secrecy surrounding Jesu’s identity as Messiah becomes more earnest towards the end of His life?

    I think all of heaven including the Father rather give the game away on several occasions early on in Jesu’s life – what with all the angelic appearances and prophesies, the Angels and shepherds, kings, Anna and Simeon, John the Baptist was rather specific about who Jesus was, and Jesus told John in prison who exactly He was – as did the Father when His Son was baptized and again when He was transfigured – many huge crowds bore witness to phenomenal miracles – which Jesus expanded on when he sent his 12 and then 72 disciples out

    I wonder if increased caution was required with time to remain hidden from the enemy – not only the human enemies – but also the demonic – until the time heaven had planned for Him to lay down HIs life?

    1. Julia Blum

      It’s a very interesting thought, Ruth. Let’s keep thinking together about it.

      1. Larry Prince

        Proverbs 25:2 — “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor” (… perhaps the duty?) “… of kings is to search out a matter.”

        HaShem has created a wonderful universe and “Meta-Cosmos” (just made that word up, hee-hee). And He has made everything discoverable (line upon line … precept upon precept … here a little, there a little — Isaiah 28:10), both in His Word, and in His world. Psalm 19 reminds us that He wants us to discover. We are the only creatures that He gave the capacity to discover, and the desire (nay, the passion) to discover. And the joy of discovery. Why doesn’t He just reveal everything right now? Is He teasing us? Being mean? No, of course not. He’s grooming us. And refining us. And learning to grow in patience, grace and faith is the core of that grooming process — and we don’t even get to know the end result! But He never said we would understand everything; He just assured us that He does! Patience … how I used to hate that word. Hmm … that’s the first time I’ve really reflected on that — *used to* hate that word! That’s a nice thought. It must mean I’m (we all, who follow Him, are) growing. And we’ve got all the time in the world. And then some.

        Love the journey.
        שלום

        1. Julia Blum

          Thank you, Larry! Btw, Patience is a first word that many people learn in Israel : סבלנות (comes from the root sevel, suffering, – more like long-suffering in English).

  10. Venelouis PoL@R

    Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ bless you and your work, you explain very well and this a hot topic, very interesting. Thank you

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you Venelouis. i am very glad you are enjoying the articles.

  11. ND

    Hi Julia,
    An indeed interesting topic to focus on. I am also doing some readings on these issues. Prof Karen Armstrong also touches on some these topics in the book called “A History of God”. Please share the articles and we are all ears!

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you! I’ll try to find this book.

  12. John Marks

    Hi Julia, I enjoy your informative discussion, especially the examples of Hebrew used to understand meaning . Am sorry I cannt add to this, I do not consider my Hebrew sufficient. I did read the OT and NT and have studied Hebrew from The OT plus. THe idea of a Messiah hidden for political reasons is important. But how the Jews made of his suffering and theirs a religion which would conquer the world….! how they used the moral teaching of Moses, the complex stories of the books of the Bible that Jesus was to develope….And how after horrific suffering their religion would conquer not only the might of Rome but all the world as Christianity ! And how they not only survived two thousand years, often persecuted by the very religion they had created, but at the end would reborn Israel. There is one of the mysteries and miracles of history! And after two thousand years Judaism and Christianity is beginning to approach each other
    I wish you strength in your work and look forward to reading your blog. shalom, John

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you, John! After reading your comment, I think you will enjoy my next post, it resonates so much with what you wrote. So – stay tuned for the next post 🙂 , it is coming soon!

  13. Mädeli

    I am always surprised to see images portraying Jesus with long hair, as the image you used to accompany this article.
    As far as I can gather it was/is a disgrace for a man to have long hair; specifically according to 1 Corinthians 11 verse 14: “Doesn’t the natural order of things teach you – if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace for him;…”
    Now I’m wondering…..would the King of the Universe – the Creator of the ‘natural order of things’, have worn His hair long?

    1. Julia Blum

      Hi Madeli, thank you for an interesting comment. The only reason for me picking this image was the fact that His face was not visible – so it seemed a perfect illustration for my title, “As though hiding His face from us”. Did Jesus have long hair? The Scripture says nothing about His physical appearance, so I think the answer depends on what you mean by “long.” Definitely , it could not have been so long as to appear feminine – however, it could have been longer than the typical hair length of men today.

  14. Gustavo Perera

    Hi Julia:

    As always your approach to peeling the layers off the hidden to reveal truth or secrets (sod) is compelling. I look forward to learning more about this interesting topic.

    Shalom.
    Gustavo

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you, Gustavo, it’s always a blessing to hear from you.

  15. Roger Anderson

    Teaching recently about Trinitarian concepts a man replied that his problem of comprehension came from Jesus’ sudden appearance, as if he just plopped out of nowhere. I discussed the idea of progressive revelation from Genesis to Revelation with him. Thank you for your insights into the hidden Messiah, they will be helpful for a more in depth study.

    1. Julia Blum

      Hi Roger, it is important to understand that between Tanach and New Testament, there was a huge corpus of so called inter-testamental literature – and they continued this progressive revelation. Of course, these texts are not God’s Word – but they can’t be ignored., because Israel’s understanding of God’s plan with her could be traced through these texts .

    2. Hopeton

      Thanks very much for your insightful teahings.

  16. Leonard David Logan

    Good to hear this. Clarification always helps.

  17. George W Walker.

    Yes, so that is a direction in which to go.

    One question more, the pointing and its naming, id also like to ask question, re: Shewa, regarding the sound of the name Shua, the person related to David’wife, Bathsheba, and the relative of Tamar, whose childten were the children of Judah.

    Thank you, i really wish i had better knowlege regarding this language.

    If i am in error, prefer that to speaking untruth, but i shall redouble efforts on that.

    1. Julia Blum

      Hi George, these names (Shua and Sheba) in Hebrew have the same first and last letter, but they are still different names: שבע שוע

      Blessings!

  18. Duncan

    Hi Prof Julia,Thank you for making this teaching available. I think your “detective story” analogy is right on, I’m looking forward to your explanation of this. I learn a lot from reading everyone’s questions too, so thanks for them as well. A few people mentioned something that resonates with me: understanding Jesus at that point in history and in the larger Biblical context was completely foreign to my even though I grew up going to church. I’m ashamed to admit I never read the entire Bible until several years ago; up to that point it was only disjointed pieces of the NT. After reading the OT and NT I was pleasantly shocked by the continuity and the implications, but left with some vexing questions, especially how on earth did the followers of Jesus in Acts become the “church” today? I’ve found a lot of people have been trying to answer that question for a long time. I think I’ve found as many if not more more answers from Dr. Eli’s blog and books and I am excited to learn from you as well.

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you, Duncan! It is always a great joy to see someone with the open heart and mind and ready to deal with these “vexing questions”. So glad you’ve been following this blog and have found some answers already. I hope, you will keep asking the questions and will keep finding the answers from the articles on this blog. Blessings!

  19. George W Walker.

    I am interested in the facts as they are un truth, but i did say probounced opposite.
    Re:Pharez and Zareph.

    I also noticed that there is a similarity to the sound of the Name of Sara and also Terah, or is it Teraph.

    The Father of Abraham, the same sound is very similar to an alleged name of the objects in the Epod, used for divination.

    What you commented on, the sound of Pharez, being similar to the word for Violence and the violent.

    This also indicates the concept of the first and the last concept, which is how the Holy are treated with disdain, and mistreatment.

    When Jesus was greeted in his entry to Jerusalem before his cruxifixion, he was trested with much to fride his donkey, which walked on the objects on the road.

    He was then treated a little like the first, but than was cduxified like a last person.

    Thanks for you comments.

    1. Julia Blum

      HI George, I think you have to check out these names in Hebrew : the interesting features that you found in English spelling , may not be there in Hebrew. For instance, Pharez and Zareph, in Hebrew, consist of completely different letters ( פרץ זרח) and don’t have this opposite spelling. The same is about Terah and Sarah : in Hebrew, they don’t sound similar. While we can observe some remarkable details in the translated text as well, the ultimate test is in the original Hebrew text: it should always be checked there. That is why we are here – and we are happy to help you, or anyone who wants this help!

  20. Timoteo

    It is a wake up knowledge. Something essential escapes our consciousness, but the Holy Spirit is able to reveal through someone what would be aware. Thank you for being the one to reveal this secret knowledge. It is really a spiritual eye opener.

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you ,Timoteo! I also think this is very essential knowledge, that is why I’ve spent many years dealing with this topic. I believe, it is very important to share this knowledge, and I am really grateful both for this opportunity to share and for the great interest of the followers of the blog.

  21. Jerry S.

    Thank you for continuing this blog.
    I was taught, concerning Messiahs command for anonimity during His ministry years, that He was to be revealed at the Triumphal Entry, Luke 19:28-40 where His title was established and in keeping with Daniels 70 weeks, Daniel 9:24.
    Is this topic to be touch on in future posts?
    J.

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you, Jerry, for your comment. Personally, I don’t think Jesus was revealed at His entry to Jerusalem and I don’t think His title was established then. Of course, several messianic prophecies were fulfilled when He entered Jerusalem – but many messianic prophecies had been fulfilled even before that as well, and yet, His Messiahship had not been revealed yet and He was still hidden Messiah. God is the only One who can open the eyes to see the Messiah when the appointed time comes. In my future posts, I will go through Luke-Acts, and then we will see when exactly the appointed time came and when His title was established. I hope , you will find it convincing – and I would really appreciate your comments.

  22. George W Walker.

    Miz Blum,

    I am writing this Comment, in order to inquire about the posibility of the Reason for Jesus Hidden Messiah Characteristics being perhaps hidden in the Appearance of two Messiahs.

    The reason I’m enquiring, is that I know first of all, that There was a pair of Sons born of Juday and Tamar.

    I dont know what the prediction meant, but i wonder if the Blessing on Judah’s sons at the end of Jacobs life, was a Prediction of Messiah’s Coming?

    I have really never seen anyone, that has spoken of these verses as referencing the Coming of Messiah.

    To me, having read these words, ive seen them almost at the beginning of having read them as a prediction of his Appearance.

    Im speaking of the Sons named Pharez and Zareph.

    Their names are pronounced exactly the opposite, almost as if they are the first and the last, as well as the way they were born, both being first.

    I have also seen the possible indication of This being used, in the birth of Seth, pronounced as it is, but then looking at the name of God, In Greek, Thes, very close to the Greek Name, Theos, the exact opposite pronunciation.

    Appreciate any comment.

    1. Julia Blum

      Shalom George, thank you for sharing. I must say that in Hebrew, the names of these brothers don’t have this opposite spelling – however, the topic of Pharez and of this root ((perez – פרץ) is very interesting, indeed. One thing that immediately comes to my mind, is the quotation from NT where Jesus is saying :

      12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force (Mat. 11:12)

      In Hebrew, both violence and the violent are rendered by the words coming from this root: פורצת , הפורצים

      I don’t know yet what to make of it – let’s keep thinking together!

  23. Charné Owen

    Dear Julia
    I have always wondered about this topic because Jesus healed many people in the crowds! It appears that it was only in instances when He was alone with those He healed that He told them not to tell anyone. Looking forward to the next ‘episode’! Thank you!

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you, Charne! I don’t think these are the cases when He was alone with those He healed; I believe , these are just those cases where the Scripture zooms in (still, with many people around) and therefore , we can see the details and hear His words. Don’t you agree?

    2. Julia Blum

      Dear Charne, as I was reading my Bible today, I saw this verse and was reminded of your comment. Here is the verse:15 But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great multitudes[a] followed Him, and He healed them all. 16 Yet He warned them not to make Him known,. Just wanted you to see that it was not only “in instances when He was alone with those He healed that He told them not to tell anyone”. Blessings – and stay tuned for my next post, it is coming tomorrow!

  24. Guillermo Cevallos

    Shalom y Gracias Julia por permitirme acompañarte en este interesante viaje que nos permite ampliar nuestros conocimientos.

  25. Henrietta Wisbey

    Thoughtful and insightful Julia!
    Knowledge alone can never teach. There has to be a gradual process unveiling and revealing truth.

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you , Henrietta! I fully agree: we need both knowledge and revelation.

  26. Angelika Walter

    Shalom Julia,
    I´m very pleased that you continue Dr. Eli´s study group. I always liked to read Dr. Eli´s blog and learned much from him, but I, too, have every confidence in you, that you will continue his work well.
    You touch on a great question, many people struggle with: why is God hidden in this world? Why is Messiah hidden for Israel? Is there a plan of God behind all this?
    I think many Christians much too quickly boast against the “blind Jews”, but when I put myself in the shoes of these people at this time or even unbelieving Jews today, I know it´s by far not that easy. What would I have expected? Almost certainly not a divine Messiah who will die on a cross for my sins – this is revelation! Perhaps Messiah keeps his identity in secret because only this way he judges the secrets of human heart.
    God bless you
    Angelika

    1. Julia Blum

      Shalom Angelika, so good to hear from you! Thank you for your kind words! Thank you for your confidence and for the encouragement! Thank you also for your thoughts about the Jews and Yeshua : you are so right! This is exactly what I want to show here, on this blog, with God’s help.

  27. Catherine

    Always been struck by Jesus willingness to talk about his identity to the Samaritan woman. Great topic and welcome aboard

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you, Catherine! Yes, it is almost like a detective story: why do we have to know that His disciples went to buy food? Because it’s important that we know that He was alone with the woman, and there were no Jewish people around. Amazing!

  28. Gabrielle Manser

    Shalom Julia. I am new to this forum but delighted to be part of this teaching. There is nothing more wonderful than having a delicious secret revealed, and when it helps bring us closer to the heart and mind of Yeshua – the center of all things to me, then it is even more wonderful. Thank you for this excellent opportunity.

    1. Julia Blum

      Shalom Gabrielle, I am glad you are here! Welcome! ! I am also new to this forum (at least, as administrator), and it was my first post – so let’s continue the journey together!

  29. Heather

    Thank you Julia. The secrecy of Jesus also makes me think of the passage in Romans where the Gentiles have been given salvation in order to provoke Israel to jealousy. I am so sorry for Israel that they didn’t listen to Him, and so glad for us that they didn’t listen. What a conundrum.
    May He bless your work mightily Julia.

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you, Heather! Romans 11, I believe, is one of the most important chapters in the Bible for comprehending and unlocking the mystery of Israel.

  30. Johnson Kanduri

    It’s very good to knows about who is Jesus Christ

  31. Donald Ashton

    Julia, a thought provoking article indeed.

    I always understood that the rabbis has an issue with reconciling the different messianic prophecies, which fall into two strands – the conquering king and the suffering servant.
    To distinguish these strands, they proposed two messiahs – Messiah ben David and Messiah ben Joseph.

    Jesus came as Messiah ben Joseph – the suffering servant – but, of course, the jews of his day wanted Messiah ben David to drive out the Romans and return the land to them.
    In other word the title Messiah had a strong political undertone significantly different to the mission of Jesus and its use would undermine his work.
    As Dr Eli stated in his book “The Jewish Gospel of John”, the Samaritans did not hold to the idea of a Davidic dynasty and here Jesus is quite happy for the title messiah to be used because the political undertones did not exist.

    I am sure you will expand such details in a later blog and I look forward to that.

    טוֹדָה רבָּה

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you, Donald! We will definitely talk about Messiah ben David and Messiah ben Joseph, it is a fascinating topic, especially for those who know the true Messiah.

  32. David Russell

    Hello Professor Julia,
    I look forward to reading further and getting to know your scholarship which I am certain is impeccable. Much of my life has been spent in circles where the Jews of Jesus’ time are portrayed as hostile, incapable of understanding, and formerly, were the ones calling for His crucifiction. I find Hebraic roots scholarship intriguing and informative, and agree with the previous comment about furthering love for the Lord and His ways!
    David Russell

    1. Julia Blum

      Shalom David! This is one of the main points of my studies and writings: to show that portraying the Jews of Jesus’ time ” as hostile, incapable of understanding, and calling for His crucifixion” is wrong. The whole picture is much, much more complicated – and I’ll try to show it in my coming posts.

  33. Jane Z. Mazzola

    Hello Julia,
    Welcome to this forum! You have some big shoes to fill, but I have every confidence that though your feet maybe smaller, you’ll fill the shoes quite well!

    Interesting topic..When reading the Gospels, I often observed this dichotomy of Jesus’s “secret” enterprise w/one situation & openness with another. I’ll look forward to your future posts of explanation & analysis.

    Best wishes,
    Jane

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you , Jane, for your kind words and for the encouragement!

  34. Jonell Bowman

    I absolutely love digging deeper into Jesus’ life and Jewish culture. It helps me love him more and more.

    1. Julia Blum

      Wonderful Jonell! so glad to hear!

  35. simon sinnasamy sandanam

    So glad to understand more to a great topic.

  36. David Hereford

    This is one more example of the “filters” Father is removing from me so that I can know Him for what He says and not what I think He is saying.
    Thank you so much for sharing with us His work in your life.

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you, David! It’s always great to hear from you. So glad you are following the blog!

  37. Paul Herman

    Now I see the point that Yeshua left His announcement of His Messiah-ship was left to His disciples and future believers in Yeshua. I can also see that this secrecy built a tension in the lives of His disciples, knowing Yeshua is the Messiah and keeping it a secret from others.

    1. Julia Blum

      You are right, Paul : In this sense, the contrast between the Gospels and the Acts is drastic, we will see it when I’ll post my research on Luke-Acts.

  38. Elizabeth Seibel-Ross

    So interesting. The necessity to maintain the secrecy of His Messiahship must have gone beyond mere political expediency/survival and even fulfillment of the expectations of the time, looking towards the accomplishment of His greater mission in the fulness of time. I think this very secrecy must have been at least partially responsible for the resultant development and separation of the two communities of faith which must also have been necessary to fully develop His purposes. And now the growth of the one new man, God’s family of the faithful?

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you , Elizabeth! we will see in the next posts why He had to maintain this secrecy – and you are absolutely right: “the development and separation of the two communities of faith” , undoubtedly, were the results of this Messianic secret. It’s very important to understand, though, that this secrecy was part of God’s plan for Israel and for the nations. We will discuss it in the coming posts.

  39. Kat

    Good morning Julia! I am currently rethinking this idea. I was evangelized twice (The Ten Commandments -Exodus 19:8 and the NT sinner’s model ? ). I see two perspectives: 1. My Christian perspective tells me that the law was written in my heart means love, joy, peace(Galatians 5:22. 2. My somewhat Judaism perspective tells me that the law was written in my heart so that I would ‘”Know the Lord” (a revelation, not human evangelism Hebrews:8:11). I hope to understand better.

    1. Julia Blum

      Blessings, Kat! I hope the articles on this blog will help you “to know the Lord” and “to understand better” – this is our mission and our vision, after all.

  40. Leah Houseman

    So glad you’re addressing this – a great topic! Thank you, Julia!

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you, Leah! it is a fascinating topic indeed!

      1. Pip Corteen

        Timely…and a pleasure to read your work. Thank you

      2. Larry Prince

        Hi, Julia.

        I’m not sure how to respond directly to you, so I’m “piggybacking” by replying-to-a-reply of yours to someone else’s (Leah’s) reply! (Hope that it reaches you.)

        I’m a new student at eTeacher (in Yahuda Cohen’s Biblical Hebrew A class, now several weeks under way), and I have also joined the hub at Friends of eTeacher.

        I’m fascinated with all things Hebraic, and Christian, and Biblical, and relating to our God. I’m actually a latecomer to my faith … I was raised Jewish (but not in any strict sense … my mother was a reform Jew, my father was not religious … let’s leave that as it is), and after many … lost and wandering years I accepted Christ. I’m 70 years old now, and I’ve been following Jesus for about 12 years, the last several with increasingly pro-active desire to learn — not merely academically, but to really get to know the Lord I love better and better. With His guidance throughout the journey.

        Several churches later (including one short stay with a Messianic-but-not-really fellowship … sigh), I’m very glad, even excited, to be a new eTeacher student, and (for the last several years) active in a local church, where I’ve been developing friendships and participating in ministries.

        I thank you for this topic of “the hidden Messiah” … it’s challenging my understanding (but not my faith). I was at first glance going to dismiss it as too technical and complicated — and potentially disruptive rather than unifying, but I’m reexamining my own views as perhaps too cut-and-dried and, well … “unexamined.” And considering that it may have an opposite and beneficial effect when considered conscientiously. Food for thought.

        I shan’t dismiss this lightly, but it requires more patient and prayerful (without anxiety) study on my part, with an eye on it’s spiritual essence, not simply an intellectual gymnastic (Not for a minute am I suggesting that *you* presented it in that light, only that *I* — well — think too hard! And talk too much … mostly to myself! LOL). Once again, thank you.

        1. Julia Blum

          Thank you ,Larry, for being open and for being ready to “reexamine”. I can try to make these articles less technical and less complicated, but still, my desire and calling is to share this intellectual knowledge about Jewish messianic expectations with my brothers and sisters, in order for them to have a better understanding of spiritual essence, as you put it. There are so many misconceptions and misunderstandings in the spiritual realm about God’s plan with Israel and Yeshua’s (Jesus) revelation to Israel, that I really hope that you ( and many others) will find these posts helpful.

        2. jane z mazzola

          Larry,
          It’s the end of August, & I’m re-reading the post & comments. I love yours! Thoughtful, sincere, & humorous, all in one package!!

          God bless you & everyone!
          Jane Mazzola