On This Rock
I Will Rebuild My Church
Day after day, Kefa watched and listened as Y'shua again and again told parables, quoted passage after passage from the prophets of old, and referred to Himself, not only as the Messiah of Israel, but the fulfillment of God's Word concerning His people. When Y'shua told the parable of the treasure hidden in the field, Kefa must surely have pondered the writings of Solomon.
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. 45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:"
"My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of YHVH, and find the knowledge of God."
Previously, Kefa had already seen Messiah feed 5000 people with just loaves of bread and two fish. Surely Kefa would have recalled Elisha's experience in the book of the Kings.
M'lakhim Bet 4:42-44
"And there came a man from Baalshalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley, and full ears of corn in the husk thereof. And he said, Give unto the people, that they may eat. 43 And his servitor said, What, should I set this before an hundred men? He said again, Give the people, that they may eat: for thus saith YHVH, They shall eat, and shall leave thereof. 44 So he set it before them, and they did eat, and left thereof, according to the word of YHVH."
At this time, Kefa must have been asking himself if this could be the repairer of the breach and the restorer of the divided houses of his people. As Kefa boldly stepped out into the water of a troubled sea and began to sink, he was reminded of the words of the writer of Tehillim, when he saw Y'shua's right hand stretch out to catch him.
"Then they cry unto YHVH in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. 29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still."
"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me."
Kefa watches as Y'shua heals the gentiles, feeds the nations and shepherds the multitudes of sheep. Very early on in Kefa's relationship with Y'shua, he hears this Deliverer tell him and others that they are to be fishers of men. "Gee whiz" Kefa thinks to himself, "that is the same thing the prophet Yirmeyahu foretold of the house of Israel and the house of Judah!"
"Therefore, behold, the days come, saith YHVH, that it shall no more be said, YHVH liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; 15 But, YHVH liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers. 16 Behold, I will send for many FISHERS, saith YHVH, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks."
Kefa and the rest of the 'twelve' are sent out to warn the wicked of their ways and that men everywhere are to repent (Mark 6:7-12). "That's funny", Kefa once again exclaims, "That is what the prophet Yechezk'el foretold of the house of Israel!"
"Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith YHVH ’Elohiym. REPENT, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith YHVH ’Elohiym: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye."
Over and over again, Kefa listened as Y'shua used precisely the same terms of frustration and endearment to the Jews and the gentiles, that the God of his fathers used of the divided and scattered house of Israel and her treacherous sister Judah in the prophecies of old. Y'shua preceeded all of this with a parable in Mattityahu 13. A parable that, according to Mark, if understood would reveal the meaning behind all parables. The good seed is the Word, and there is only ONE GOOD SEED. Behind all of Y'shua's parables is a response to the Word of God. Kefa had heard Y'shua speaking to the multitudes directly placing those who heard His words with those of His divided nation Israel. He heard Messiah speak to the same sheep foretold by the prophets to be scattered throughout the nations. Kefa has heard and seen this man directly associate Himself and His death and resurrection with the gathering of sheep into one fold, hearing only one voice (Yochanan10:16). This Messiah was speaking that which was true and not that which was new.
In our studied text we first read of one of two final clues that seal it for Kefa that this is the Messiah and restorer of Israel that he has been following. Mattityahu 16:1-5 concerns a desire by the Jewish leadership that Y'shua show them a sign. The Pharisess and Sadducees ask Y'shua to show them a sign from heaven. This Hebrew idiom is what they are supposed to be looking for. They are asking Him to show them from the Torah and the writings His claims. This is in no way a blasphemus request. Those who were given the Torah, covenants and promises were responsible to test the credentials of Messiahship (D'varim 13 & 18, Yesha'yahu 8:20). Y'shua's rebuke is that they are continuing to seek a sign even after all the things He has done according to the scriptures. This 'wicked and adulterous' generation was prophesied in the scriptures.
"The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. 2 He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness. 3 But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore. 4 Against whom do ye sport yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood, 5 Enflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clifts of the rocks?"
"And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. 9 And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks."
"Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men."
"Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand."
There was a wicked generation to come that would not see, hear, or understand the 'signs' given in scripture, so they would be given only one sign, the sign given by the prophet Yonah concerning the Messiah. So Kefa observes the Messiah dealing with a generation given the covenants and promises, but yet unable to see, hear, or understand them. After all, one would have to be blind in order to miss a big beautiful red sky!
Next time we will take a look at the context of what Kefa sees before he is confronted by the Messiah's question.