I’m working on my next book. I hope the publisher will agree to simply call it Messiah. The idea for the book came late last week as I sat with a new friend who is considering Yeshua. This new friend is quite bright and eager to learn some background. So, when my friend asked me the question, “What does Messiah mean and how is Yeshua the Messiah?” I couldn’t give a quick answer. I took out a steno pad and timelined the Messiah concept through history. That’s essentially what the book will be about. The list of viewpoints below is a small part of chapter one, “Signs of Confusion.”
Herod the Great – a king who threatened Herod’s power (prompting the slaughter of innocents in Matthew 2).
Herod Antipas – John returned from the dead (Mark 6:16).
The people of Galilee – John the Baptist returned, Elijah, Jeremiah, or a prophet risen from the dead (Matt. 16:14).
John the Baptizer – The one greater than he but who did not seem to do what John expected (Luke 3:16; 7:20).
Pilate – A Jewish teacher who was no political threat but who had run afoul of the Jerusalem leadership (Luke 23:13-16).
Caiaphas, the High Priest – A threat to the religious leadership, to the prevailing views of Israel’s relation to God, and to the complex status quo between the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matt. 26:59-61).
The Twelve (before the resurrection) – The Messiah, they hoped, who would defeat Rome and restore Israel (Acts 1:6), but who apparently failed at the cross (Luke 24:10-11, 36-39).
A centurion who witnessed Yeshua’s death – “Truly this man was the Son of God” (understood perhaps in a Greek way, a demi-god like Hercules, unless this centurion might have been a synagogue-attender, Mark 15:39).