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Mr. Jonah; The Hidden Family Part I

Updated on August 11, 2013


“Good morning class, my name is Jonah Silverman, you may call me Jonah. I will be your substitute teacher this week while Mrs. Collins is at a Teacher’s Conference. I am glad to have the opportunity to be here working with your class this week. I will be respectful of you, and I fully expect for you to be respectful of me.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I was born in Israel, but when I was a baby my father got a job here in the states, so I grew up here in America. I was raised in a traditional Jewish home, and to this day I practice Judaism, but I do study from the B’rit Hadashah, the Christian Scriptures, along with the Tanach, the Hebrew Scriptures. I began to be curious about the Gospels and the Book of Revelation, because they have so many similarities to the Torah.

I realize that this is a Christian College, but today’s lesson will include teaching from the Torah. My intention is merely to give you an example of how the Torah and Gospels are in harmony with each other. If anyone feels that they do not want to participate in today’s lesson then I will give you an assignment and you may go to the Library and work.

Let’s begin. Can anyone tell me this week’s Torah Parshah? (A few hands rose) It is ‘Pinchas’ which means Phineas. The account of Phineas actually began in last week’s Parshah, ‘Balak.’ In short, Phineas is Aaron’s grandson. He thrust a javelin through the body of an Israelite man and a Midianite woman and killed them in front of all the House of Israel. God rewarded Phineas for his zealousness, by giving him an everlasting Priesthood of Peace. Phineas, at any cost to himself, was not going to allow those two people to dishonor God.

The Children of Israel had taken on their surroundings. They were worshipping Baal, among other things that God had warned them not to do, and as a result, God sent a deadly plague, which took the lives of twenty-four thousand Israelite people. The plague ended only because of what Phineas had done.

There is a teaching in Judaism that identifies Phineas as being, who would become, the future Elijah. Now does that cause any bells to go off for anybody here in class?” (Almost every hand rose in the classroom) Jonah picked Nathan, one of the three who didn’t have his hand raised. Jonah, looking at his role call list, said; “You’re Nathan, correct? Phineas being linked to Elijah, can you think of anything remotely similar to that in the Gospels?” Nathan replied, “Why did you ask me Mr. Jonah, I didn’t have my hand raised?” Jonah said, “Because I think that you do know, but you didn’t want to raise your hand in fear of being called on, am I right?” Nathan said three words, “John the Baptist.” Jonah nodding his head in agreement said, “Very good Nathan” What Nathan didn’t know was that Mrs. Collins had left a note for Jonah about that fact that Nathan is very shy, and that she tries to call on him so that he will get used to talking in front of the class.

“So, what do we have? We have Phineas in the Torah who is said to become Elijah, and we have John the Baptist in the Gospels who is said to be Elijah. Elijah is a bridge between Phineas and John the Baptist. In the bigger picture, what do you think this means?” Nathan raised his hand and Jonah called on him for his thoughts on the matter. Nathan said, “I think that Phineas represents the Torah and John the Baptist represents the Gospels, and Elijah is the bridge linking the two together.” Jonah replied; “I can’t say that you’re right Nathan, because this is all opened to interpretation, but I can say that I agree with you 100%.

Does anyone else have anything to add?” Lillie raised her hand and Jonah called on her for her thoughts on the matter. “Mr. Jonah, John the Baptist was the cousin of Jesus; Jesus was compared to the bronze snake in the wilderness; and the account of the bronze snake is in the Torah Parshah the week before Phineas is introduced into scripture. Is that of any relevance to what we’re talking about?” Jonah replied, “You re right Lillie, John the Baptist and Yeshua were cousins, Yeshua was compared to the bronze snake in the Gospel of John, and the account of the bronze snake was in the Parshah ‘Hukkat’ the week before Phineas was introduced in to scripture. Very good Lillie!

Now let’s look at the name Phineas. When you do a word search in your concordance you will see that Phineas has the same roots as snake, and as copper & brass. Bronze is an alloy of copper, so you could say that there is a link between Phineas’ name and the bronze snake. This is likened to the fact that John the Baptist was a cousin of Yeshua. So in answer to your question Lillie, yes, I believe that the bronze snake is very relevant to what we are talking about, and your contribution was a great addition to this discussion, thank you Lillie!

I want to stop here and make an observance about the three men. Again, this is all opened to interpretation, so don’t hesitate to share your thoughts on the matter. Phineas had the zeal of God, in other words he; Phineas was going to do what God would want at any cost. Elijah was taken up in a whirlwind and fire, and John the Baptist was beheaded. Let’s start with the obvious, Elijah; I think that he represents those who are included in the end times rapture, I think that John the Baptist represents the first resurrection; the beheaded martyrs who will spend the millennium with Yeshua, and I think that Phineas is the group of people resurrected during the Throne Judgment, whose names are in the Book of Life. Does anyone have any thoughts on my observation?” Shelby raised her hand and Jonah called on her for her thoughts on the matter. She said, “I made an observation of your observation Mr. Jonah; Elijah is associated with both fire and air, John the Baptist is associated with water, so Phineas must be associated with earth; which would be the resurrection of the earth in the Throne Judgment”

Jonah didn’t see that one coming. He said, “Wow that was a great observation Shelby! You have hit on a distinctive pattern that is all through the Bible; the four elements. I’ll give you another brief example like what Shelby just gave; I don’t want to stray too much from topic, as our time is running short, so this will be brief. In the Book of Revelation the Dragon is of heaven (Air), beast one is of the sea (Water), beast two is of the earth (Earth) and they will all go to the Lake of Fire (Fire). Sometime do your own study of the four elements in the Bible and see what you find. I think it would be very thought provoking.

So in closing, with what we have discussed today, do you see the connection between the Torah and the Gospels? Do you feel like you might have a better understanding of one if you familiarized yourself with the other? When I first began studying the Gospels, and each time I would find something in both the Torah and the Gospels that were connected to each other, it was likened to how earthquakes balance each other. There will be an earthquake in one place, and pretty soon there will be an earthquake somewhere else to balance out the earth. The Torah and Gospels are in harmony with each other, and for me, the bridge linking Phineas, Elijah and John is proof that one leads you to the other, and that it is not just a one-way bridge. Class I will look forward to working with you the rest of this week, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Everyone said goodbye to Jonah and exited the classroom except for Nathan. Nathan stopped at Jonah’s desk and said, “I enjoyed the discussion today Jonah. This is the first time I’ve had a lesson from the Torah since I’ve been in Christian schools. You see, I have a Jewish mother, and like you, I have been raised in a traditional Jewish home. When my father passed away eight years ago, my whole life changed. My mother now has a Christian husband, so I've been required to go to Christian schools. Up until today I have felt very out-of-place in class, but you have given me a whole new perspective. I think that you’re the reason I was supposed to be here, and I will look forward from this point on, to studying the connection between the Torah and the Gospels. Thank you Jonah, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Before Nathan could get out the door Jonah asked, “Nathan, how old are you?” Nathan replied that he was twenty years old. Jonah told him that he’s old enough to make his own choices, and Nathan replied, “I’ll see you tomorrow Jonah.”

Jonah now knew that Nathan’s problem wasn’t shyness, it was that he was feeling displaced. Nathan needed to be able to see the Gospels from a Jewish perspective; he didn’t know how to look at things from a Christian point of view. Jonah also knew that it wasn’t by chance that he picked that particular subject to discuss in class today. There was something about Nathan, Jonah couldn’t pin point it exactly, but he reminded him of himself when he was close to that age and everything changed dramatically in his life. Jonah was glad that he was going to have the week to be with Nathan and Jonah was in hope that he could make a difference in this young man’s life.

God brought Jonah to Nathan’s classroom to help him see that which is unfamiliar; with a lamp of a more familiar light, but what Jonah didn't know was that he was the one who was about to see things a lot more clearly.


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