Who is the Messiah? - Part 5 -
The Miracles Continue
Study Notes and Slides
Who is the Messiah? – Part 5
The Miracles Continue
Revision: Messiah is our Rock: “And they all drank the same spiritual (supernaturally given) drink. For they drank from a spiritual Rock which followed them [produced by the sole power of Yahweh Himself without natural instrumentality], and the Rock was Messiah. (1 Corinthians 10:4)”
The Value of Suffering
Before we continue to delve further into the subject of Yahshua’s miracles, it’s important to understand something about the environment that causes our need for them.
(Slide) Many of us want out of our suffering before we’ll allow suffering do its work. Before we can be healed we need to respect the value that suffering brings. Everything’s always about healing! There’s a wrong thinking that’s so prevalent today and it’s the thought that a brother who suffers is somehow a lesser entity, someone who can’t get their walk quite right enough. Dare I say, a thinking that a sick person in the faith is less loved then one who is healthy. This is wrong.
(Slide) Everyone in Scripture suffered. Shlomo HaMelek (King Solomon), the wisest man who ever lived, fell dramatically and suffered the eventual loss of his whole Kingdom. As incomprehensible as it seems he plummeted through more worlds than you have hot dinners. As splendorous as the Ark of the Covenant is, with all its external and internal gold and finery, its core was wood. Wood represents foolishness. (Click) Shlomo had chochma (wisdom). And what is wisdom? Wisdom is something that allows you to anticipate the Yetza Hara (the Evil Inclination) before it shows up. Sefer Mishlei (Proverbs) teaches the prevention of the Yetzar Hara, but Tehillim (Psalms) teaches how to send it into retreat after it wins a battle.
Sure, if we follow Yahweh’s Torah and live righteously no harm will befall us, but who follows his Torah and lives righteously continually? No-one. Every man is in a constant state of refinement.
(Slide) There are literally millions of books and teachings out there devoted to the subject of sickness and healing in the Bible. Much of it is baloney. The truth is that nothing will eliminate the struggles and challenges that buffet man throughout his life. What’s that I hear you thinking, you’ve come here wanting an end to your troubles and I’ve just told you they can’t be eliminated.
(Slide) We’ve been called to the fellowship of sharing in Messiah’s sufferings. “I want to know Messiah and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:10, 11)”
(Click) “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with Yahweh through our King Messiah YahShua, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of Yahweh. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because Yahweh has poured out His love into our hearts by the Ruach HaKodesh, whom He has given us. (Romans 5:1-5)”
(Click) “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Messiah, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. (1 Peter 4:12-13)”
(Click) “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. (John 15:18-19)” I’d be real concerned if a covenant believer was happy with the world. I’d be real concerned if a covenant believer didn’t want this abominable age to pass. This is a wicked generation. This is why miracles are so sought after! (Click) “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! (Matthew 12:29)”
“Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, ‘Teacher, we want to see a sign from you. (Matthew 12:38)’”
“As the crowds increased, Yahshua said, ‘This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. (Luke 11:29)’”
Correct Attitude Toward Miracles
Most religions breed miracle junkies. I wish people regarded illness and suffering with the same awe as they do miracles. Everyone flocks to a wedding, but no-one wants to go to a funeral, when a funeral causes one to think about things that really matter.
I ask you, what good is reviving a dying drug addict, if you have no intention to see that after he has revived, he gets the necessary help to not turn to drugs again? Reviving him is the miracle and the necessary help is the Torah. Because we live in an environment where people like miracles more than the Torah, we are living in an environment where we need miracles.
(Slide) The Talmud Shabbat 53b discusses a story of a man whose wife dies, leaving behind a newborn baby. He is so poor he cannot afford a wetnurse to nurse his child. Lo, a miracle happens and he grows breasts! Now he can feed his baby.
מעשה באחד שמתה אשתו והניחה בן לינק, ולא היה לו שכר מניקה ליתן, ונעשה לו נס ונפתחו לו דדין כשני דדי אשה והניק את בנו. אמר רב יוסף: בא וראה כמה גדול אדם זה, שנעשה לו נס כזה! אמר לו אביי: אדרבה, כמה גרוע אדם זה שנשתנו לו סדרי בראשית
Most people would react to this story in the positive. What a wonderful miracle, how great is our G-d! But in actuality, the rabbis pose that this person must not have been such a great individual since the miracle done for him required a change in the natural order. If he had been truly great then the miracle would have appeared from within the natural order, such as a wetnurse volunteering out of charity to help, or milk and an apparatus becoming available so the father could bottle feed the infant.
(Slide) Pause for one moment and ask yourself the question. What was Yahshua’s attitude toward miracles? Think about it. How did he truly view them? Did he wield them, showcase them, did he promote them, did he always do them, or did he just come to the earth to do miracles?
REV. ALBERT THOMAS STEELE writes in his book, JES-S' ATTITUDE TOWARD HIS MIRACLES:
“The very thing which Jes-s was apparently anxious to avoid, that of being known as a wonder-worker, appealed to his disciples as most opportune. This immediate popularity intoxicated them, but Jes-s had a deeper spiritual insight and a more profound knowledge of his mission. He strenuously sought to escape the fame of a wonder-worker. Gould in his commentary on the Second Gospel considers the position of Mark 1:35-39 of first-rate importance. This passage serves a double purpose: while doing works of benevolence it also shows how unwilling Jes-s was to resort to supernaturalism, which lent itself to false outward conceptions of himself and his work.”
(Slide) If he wanted to, he could have called down legions of angels and taken the Kingdom but force. “Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 26:53)” He could have healed not only everyone he came into contact with, but everybody wherever they were. We see that. He heals people miles away. Sometimes with a single sentence, “your son lives.” And at that same moment the son’s fever immediately lifts. No background information, no prayer, no rain dance, it’s done immediately.
Yahshua never stuck to a single formula for healing. On almost every occasion, he did something different.
(Slide) Have you ever wondered if there was a time when instead of stepping aside with a brother in prayer about a bad situation, that he might be much better served with some dietary advise? Picture the scene, an obese man asks for prayer about returning to a healthy weight. He gets a lovely prayer and there is no real constructive word about looking at changing his diet. “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? (James 2:14-16)”
Not all sickness comes from demons. Most sickness have a biological or a physiological origin and are a result of bad lifestyle choices. Overeating, eating too little, lack of exercise, lack of essential vitamins, not enough sunlight, too much sunlight, poor hygiene, lack of food, promiscuous lifestyle, exposure to hazardous substances, chemicals, radiation, electromagnetic waves, an unhealthy or extreme diet, injury or trauma are the source of 95% of people’s woes. The same can be said for one’s car or job. If you don’t change the oil in a car it can ruin the engine and the car breaks down. If you perform poorly at a job, you’ll lose it. Right now billions of people are attributing demonic influence to things that are happening that are really due to laziness, carelessness or plain old irresponsibility. It’s time to come out of fairy land and call things for what they are, plain old sin.
No Preacher, Teacher, Rabbi, Pastor or Elder has ever been called by Yahweh Elohim to minister to a demon. The devil never made you do it anymore than the serpent in the Garden of Eden forced Hava to eat the forbidden fruit. The most destructive force that you will ever face is the image staring across from you when you look into the mirror. The only thing HaSatan, that defrocked fallen Cheruv (Guardian One) and all of his band of defeated minions can do his little more than make a poor suggestion.
Yahweh controls the world, but He lets man have free will to choose what he might do. How do I know this? Because He asks us to choose! “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19).”
(Slide & Click Through) On the flip-side, there things that happen that are the work of evil spirits or demons. There is a spirit of jealousy(Numbers 5:14), a familiar spirit (I Samuel 28:7), a spirit (Job 4:15), a spirit of deep sleep (Isaiah 29:10), a spirit of whoredoms(Hosea 4:12), an unclean spirit (Luke 8:29), a spirit of infirmity (Luke 13:11), a spirit of divination (Acts 16:16), a spirit of bondage (Romans 8:15), a enticing spirit (2 Chronicles 18:20), a spirit of devils (Revelation 16:14), spirits of false the prophets (I John 4:1), seducing spirits (I Timothy 4:1), evil spirits (Acts 19:13), spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7), spirit of error (I John 4:6), foul spirit (Revelation 18:2), another spirit (2 Corinthians 11:4), spirit of the world (I Corinthians 2:12), unclean devil (Luke 4:33), dumb spirit (Mark 9:17), spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:3), perverse spirit (Isaiah 19:14), spirit of travail and vexation (Ecclesiastes 4:6), a haughty spirit (Proverbs 16:18), hasty spirit (Proverbs 14:29), and a lying spirit (2 Chronicles 18:22).
It’s all about discernment! Everybody thinks that they’re the most discerning person in the world! I’ve never a met a person who doesn’t think they are good at discerning. Even if they say they aren’t, usually their inwardly going, ‘I know what’s what when it comes down to the crunch.’
We’ve got to imitate Messiah at every turn and exercise caution. (Slide) “…examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22)” If someone discerns that a person is possessed, he must be sure that the person is committed to maintaining his new found freedom. This takes an ability to see into the person’s heart through Divine understanding or it takes good old fashioned relationship. (Click) "When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation. (Matthew 12:43-45)”
Remember the man with the thirty-eight year infirmity that Yahshua healed? Well, (Click) “Later (when Yahshua) found him at the temple (he) said to him, ‘See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you. (John 5:14)’”
Some infirmities come about for Divine prophecy, so as to show the glory of Yah. (Click) “As (Yahshua) went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His talmidim asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Yahshua, ‘but this happened so that the works of Elohim might be displayed in him. (John 9:1-3)”
We tend to approach miracles like a ladder in the game of Snakes and Ladders and afflictions like a snake we slide down that takes us further away from victory. Miracles are like short-cuts. Normal life is like regular movement and an affliction becomes a set-back. But an affliction can be that thing that assures that you’ll even get to finish, because many don’t.
(Slide) The Sent-One to the Nations, Sha’ul HaShliach, who the world calls Paul was a very driven man. He’s personality was alpha male, as was BenNavi (Barnabas), that’s why they part ways at one point over “…a sharp contention…” (Acts 15:39).
Sha’ul’s level of influence was increasing so rapidly that even a man of the strongest character might have let it go to his head, but Yahweh gave him a gift. The oddest gift you’ll ever hear of in Scripture. “Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of HaSatan (the Accuser of the Brethren), to torment me. Three times I pleaded with Adonai to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Messiah’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Messiah’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:6-10)”
Thorn in the Flesh
(Slide) Sha’ul refers to his thorn again in Galatians 4:13; “You know that how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the full message to you at first.” Then he goes onto say, “And my temptation which was in my flesh you despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of Elohim, even as Yahshua HaMoshiach. (Galatians 4:14)” Then he concluded that the Netzarim of Galatia would have given him their own eyes to help him had it been possible (Galatians 4:15). Many have speculated that he had an eye problem, citing that he didn’t recognise the High Priest when he was speaking with him (Acts 23:4–5). (Click) How shallow, accusing believers of that time for not accepting his message because he had a poor eye sight. 20/20 was a not a pre-requisite to be a Shliach (Sent-One). So let’s gather the evidence. We have a Satan Hashliach (an Accusing Sent-One), temptation, which was ongoing, which people who received him overlooked, the eye, and flesh. You do the math!
(Slide) “This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: ‘Yahshua HaMoshiach came into the world to save sinners’--and I am the worst of them all. (1 Timothy 1:15)” (Click) Sha’ul was a Benoni, an intermediate one. There are three types of people in this walk.
1. Tzaddik—“the righteous person.”
2. Benoni—“the intermediate.”
3. Rasha—“the wicked person.”
How can a wicked person be in our walk? It’s when we vacillate between the two, a Tzaddik and a Rasha, that we are considered a Benoni.
(Click) So what’s the righteousness that we’re meant to have? An accreditation of righteousness, through faith. “Avraham believed (or had faith) and it was counted to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:6)” “The righteous, live by emunah (faith). (Romans 1:17)”
Now when the Rabbi’s come up with a principle, they always try and see if can be pulled apart. The simple approach to three types of believers is problematic. What are the terms of self-appraisal? True, the heavenly court is able to see individual circumstance, human nature, and individual challenges, but considering the very complicated nature of the human psyche, compounded with each generation’s difficulties and specific geographical location, etc., how is any person to be truthful with themselves and completely delineate where they truly are on this scale? Furthermore, what of the failures of character? How are we to cope with the seemingly never ending cycle of decision to change and subsequent failure? Are we Tzaddikim (pl. Tzaddik) at the time of triumph and Reshaim (pl. Rasha) at the time of debacle?
(Slide) Sha’ul said, “There is no one righteous, not even one. (Romans 3:10, quoting Psalm 14:1-3, 53:1-3 & Ecclesiastes 7:20)” If Messiah Yahshua wouldn’t accept someone call him good, how can Sha’ul accept you calling him righteous? “‘Why do you call me good?’ Yahshua answered. "No one is good--except Elohim alone. (Mark 10:18)”
What was so faulty about Sha’ul and Yahshua, one a Benoni and one a Tzaddik? They were both in bodies, doomed to wear out and die, awakened to the nature of good as well as evil since the fall.
(Click) Flesh is weak: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41)”
(Click) Flesh dies: “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—(Romans 5:12)”
In Judaism a thorn represents the prickly nature of sin. Sin wounds the soul, but this wounding can bring about t’shuvah. The rose is symbolic of the pious, but the thorn represents the penitent. It is not only the upright and righteous who have a place in Elohim’s world; sinners and penitents do too. Sins are prickly, and they wound the soul, but sin also opens the doors to regret, resolve and reconciliation — the harshest, but also the highest form of beauty. The rose inspires; the thorn resolves. The rose offers love; the thorn, strength. Viewed through the proper prism, the rose and the thorn fit hand in glove. Yahshua wore a crown of thorns, representing the origin point of sin, the mind. When a person sins and he is regretful, his brain becomes pierced by a multitude of the thorns around the head.
(Slide) The Hebrew word for thorn is קוֹץ Qots. Here’s how it appears in context elsewhere in Scripture: “But if you will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those that you let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land in which you dwell. that you let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land in which you dwell. (Numbers 33:55)”
The qots was there to buffet him. (Click) The Greek word is κολαφίζω kolaphizo, which means “a blow from the fist” – properly, to strike with the fist (literally "knuckles"); to hit hard “with the knuckles, to make the blow sting and crush . . . in 2 Corinthians 12:7 the idea is striking with something sharp and painful, sticking deeply in the flesh so it remains there"
Sha’ul bore something that did not make him have complete shalom, but it was Yahweh’s will that it remain, buffeting him so as to keep him from becoming conceited. Many people today would not recognise a person in a position of authority within the body whom had a perpetual spiritual defect. People who rightly perceived that he had a problem would try and heal him all the time, but to no avail.
A miracle is the removal of a thorn! No thorn, no miracle.
(Slide) We find Yahshua being selective with where he travels, when he travels, how long he stays in a place, who he chooses to heal and what miracles he performs. Yahshua submitted himself to the authority of the day, going out the real High priest Yochannan HaMatbil (John the Immerser). Even at the age twelve he made himself known to the Torah Masters of his day. He coordinated the building of his ministry with Yochannan, choosing Kepha, and Andraeus (Andrew) after Andraeus had observed his teachings for over six months. The truth that came from Yahshua’s mouth astounded his peers and the laity. In fact, if he had not been the Messiah and had so much attention drawn to him by his miracles, he would have been an outstanding Pharisee, easily accepted with the upper ranks of the Sanhedrin.
When you’re not functioning within the ordered and structured army of Yahweh, when your shooting from the hip without any group of fellow believers to be accountable to, it’s like the following analogy. A group of rogue fighters move into an area occupied by the enemy who have taken a bunch prisoners. They decimate the enemy and free the prisoners and run off. A few days later a massive array of enemy reinforcements arrive and retake the position. Little did the rogue fighters know, the place they attacked and liberated was the gateway to an entire prisoner of war camp that at that time was skeleton staffed by the enemy. Now the place is maned by thousands of men, guarding hundreds more prisoners who are now about to fend of the official army who are now approaching with a force in proportion to the couple of hundred that were there before. Because the rouge force never worked within the body, they are now responsible for the death of thousands of people and cause an inability to have thousand of prisoners liberated.
Healing the Royal Official’s Son
The next major miracle of Yahshua is recorded in John 4:43-54 in the same town as his first miracle that of changing water into wine. This miracle takes place in the same town, that of Cana. To give you an idea of the time of this miracle, it took place almost a year after he changed water into wine. His immersion, isolation, cleansing the Temple, his meeting with Nicodemus, the contention between his own disciples, the woman at the well, had all already happened, plus several visits to Jerusalem and Capernaum. It’s important to note that though the text says that this was his second miracle, it was not, it was the second miracle since he came from Judea.
(Slide) “After the two days he left for Galilee. (Now Yahshua himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honour in his own country.) When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival (See John 2:23), for they also had been there. Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. When this man heard that Yahshua had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death. ‘Unless you people see signs and wonders,’ Yahshua told him, ‘you will never believe.’ The royal official said, ‘Sir, come down before my child dies.’ ‘Go,’ Yahshua replied, ‘your son will live.’ The man took Yahshua at his word and departed. While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, ‘Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.’ Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Yahshua had said to him, ‘Your son will live.’ So he and his whole household believed. This was the second sign Yahshua performed after coming from Judea to Galilee. (John 4:43-54)”
And there was a certain nobleman [literally, "king's man:" a word which Josephus uses to designate a soldier, courtier, or officer of the king. He was doubtless an officer of Herod Antipas, tetrarch ("ruler of a quarter"). of Galilee. That it was Chuzas ( Luke 8:3 ) or Manaen ( Acts 13:1 ) is mere conjecture], whose son was sick at Capernaum. [The nouns in this verse are suggestive. We have a "nobleman," yet neither riches nor office lifted him above affliction; a "son," yet approaching an untimely death before his father.
The Centurion and His Servant
What’s interesting about this encounter is the contrast of Yahshua’s attitude toward the Nobleman’s plea for his son to be healed and the Centurion’s requested for his servant to be healed.
(Slide) “Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. When the centurion heard about Yahshua, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Yahshua, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, ‘He is worthy to have you do this for him for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.” And Yahshua went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Adon, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Yahshua heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well. (Luke 7:2-10)”
(Slide) So in Yahshua’s encounter with the Nobleman, he issues a rebuke saying, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe.’ And yet in the case of a centurion, a foreigner to the nation of Israel, he praises his faith. “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” How is this so?
(Slide) The nobleman was almost certainly a Jew or at least a convert, a man of high political standing and he comes to Yahshua in person. In contrast, the Centurion sends servants. Note that in Matthew’s account it reads, “…a centurion came to him (Matthew 8:5)” suggesting an error, but in Hebrew thought, a messenger is equal to the one who sends the message, so there is no contradiction here.
What’s interesting about the Centurion’s account, is the subsequent refrain from having Yahshua visit his house. “Adon, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you.” The Centurion’s attitude of himself was one of unworthiness, already evident in the action of sending Jewish Elders, rather than going himself.
Yahshua was able, through the Spirit, to discern everything about a person’s character, especially if you managed one-on-one time. Many people knew this and it was a frightening prospect, to be facing off with someone that can see through to your heart, with nothing hidden. It’s interesting to add that Rabbi Yitzchak Luria (the Ari) was said to be able to read on the forehead of every living soul their standing before the Father. A famous scholar Rabbi Moshe Galante of Tsfat (Safed) pleaded with the holy Ari: “I know you have the power to tell me what have done that requires rectification, from the day I was born until now.”
Also note that the Centurion would have been tending his sick servant himself. One who loves a dying person will rarely leave their side at such an hour of need, choosing to send for help rather than go away from them. You’ll also notice that the text says that “the servant was highly valued by him,” which is something the Nobleman’s narrative leave absent. Also, the narrative expresses that the Centurion built a synagogue and that he loved the nation of Israel. The Elders rely that he was indeed worthy. “He is worthy to have you do this for him for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.”
On the other hand, the Nobleman came out to see Yahshua himself and expected him to come to his house and at no-time felt that he needed to confess his unworthiness. His son was close to death and he left his side. Surely he had someone he could have sent, a delegation who could have stated something of worth in him to do such a miracle. In fact there is nothing positive said about the Nobleman in the text at all. Now, he had a measure of faith, taking Yahshua at his word, when he said he was healed, but later he checks the time to make sure. A father who has had a son saved from death would neither care what hour it occurred, just that it happened like Yahshua said it would.
A nobleman, a person of royal standing, a tetrarch ("ruler of a quarter") of Galilee would surely have been able to have built several synagogues, but nothing in his favour is mentioned, just his position and his awareness of Yahshua’s miracles. The Centurion on a modest wage (receiving only twice as much as a Legionary soldier) yet was responsible for 100 fighting men, built an entire synagogue. Note that it wasn’t out of diplomacy, it was out of love! He also risked what’s called in military circles ‘a conflict of interest,’ builds one and publicly declares his love for Israel. He must have known that “(Yahweh’s) house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. (Isaiah 56:7)”
The Centurion, whose outward appearance is of what Israel deemed as unclean, yet he loved Israel, not just with an intellectual, abstract, passing comment love, but an actual love that resulted in practical application. “‘Surely not, Adonai!’ Kepha replied. ‘I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.’ The kol (voice) spoke to him a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that Elohim has made clean.(Acts 10:14-15)’” This Centurion, as with the one Kepha (Peter) was being prepared by Elohim to visit, loved Israel, so that means they were Israel! Remember if you truly love Israel, you are Israel.
Because of the absence of the Nobleman’s ethnicity, we can safely assume that he was a Jew or at least a convert, so in contrast this Jew is coming to Yahshua unconcerned with his own standing before Yahweh and more concerned with Yahshua’s ability to heal his son. Now, sure, he had faith, but there are levels of faith. Faith can increase or decrease! Faith is believing in something so strong that it’s a knowing without the object of that knowing yet seeing full fruition. Yahshua’s response to the Nobleman not only tells us a lot about him but also the general attitude of those in Galilee at the time. He responds with, ‘Unless you people see signs and wonders,’ Yahshua told him, ‘you will never believe.’ Up to this point, this man had seen Yahshua only as a healer who might be able to succeed where physicians had failed.
(Slide) The first miracle at Cana was at a wedding Feast, a time of celebration, the next was at a potential time of mourning, certainly a time of great anguish for the Nobleman. The first miracle involved wine, indicative of the Spirit, the Ruach, also representing his shed blood. And Yahshua’s second miracle with the nobleman’s son represents new life, brought about by faith with him taking Yahshua at his word. Wine is the colour of a rose, but a rose only emerges through a thorny stem, good deeds have the sweet scent of a lily, and one whose mourning is changed to joy celebrates with more vigor than a bride or a groom on their wedding day.
(Slide) Who is Messiah? Messiah is the Lily of the Valley and the Rose of Sharon: “I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. (Song of Solomon 2:1)” This verse describes the sweet scent of the truth he brings and the beauty of his miraculous actions rising up through the thorn riddled stem of a broken world.