Messiah—The Sent One
by Avram Yehoshua
Thirty-nine times in the Gospel of John, Yeshua refers to Himself, and is spoken of, as the Sent One. 1 This messianic title has its roots in Moses whom God sent to Israel to deliver Israel from Egyptian slavery. 2 God told Moses that He would raise up a prophet like him (Moses; Dt. 18:15-18; see also Is. 48:16; 61:1), and hence, the messianic title, The Sent One. Under this concept falls the prophets who were also sent by God to Israel. 3
Here are seven places from John where it speaks of Yeshua being sent from the Father:
1. John 4:34: “Yeshua said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. ’”
2. John 5:30: ‘I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge and My judgment is just because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. ’
3. John 6:29: “Yeshua answered and said to them, ‘This is the Work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent. ’”
4. John 6:38: ‘For I have come down from Heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. ’
5. John 7:29: ‘I know Him because I am from Him, and He sent Me. ’
6. John 8:29: ‘And He who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him. ’
7. John 12:45: ‘He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me. ’
The Greek word for ‘sent’ is apostello ἀποστέλλω and means ‘a person with a commission. ’4 This is where the English word ‘apostle’ comes from and why the writer of Hebrews speaks of Yeshua as the Apostle or the Sent One:
“Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Messiah Yeshua” (Hebrews 3:1).
The concept of the Messiah being sent by God culminates with the man born blind being sent to the Pool of Siloam (John 9:7, 11). The Hebrew name for the pool is Shi’lo’ach and means ‘sent. ’ This is seen in the text of the NKJV, KJV, NIV and NASB, etc. , in John 9:7 where it says,
“and He said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which is translated, Sent). So, he went and washed, and came back seeing. ” (NKJV)
In Hebrew it was known as the Pool of the Sent One (i. e. the Messiah), and when the Jewish man born blind washed off the mud salve that Yeshua had made with His saliva, the man born blind saw for the first time in his life. This was a creative miracle (as opposed to a restorative miracle) that Yeshua did. It pointed back to the creation of Adam—from the dirt of the Earth. Adam was created from that dirt and the man born blind was given newly created eyes to see—from the same dirt and the same God.
The day that Yeshua gave sight to the man born blind was a Shabat (Sabbath; Jn. 9:14, 16). This set up an intentional confrontation by the Lord with the Sanhedrin. Who was Yeshua? How could a man open the eyes of one born blind, and yet, break the Sabbath rules of the Sanhedrin? It didn’t make any sense to most of the members, but staring them in the face was not only the former man born blind, but the irrefutable fact that Yeshua was the Messiah, and that, not only from where the blind man had been sent to wash and receive his sight, but also the legend that said, ‘The saliva of a righteous man could open the eyes of a blind man, but only the saliva of the Messiah could open the eyes of one who was born blind. ’ The former man born blind spoke of it like this:
“Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of oneThis backed the Sanhedrin into the proverbial corner. That’s why they continually interrogated the former blind man (Jn. 9:10, 15, 17, 24). Was he really born blind?! The Sanhedrin went so far as to call the man’s parents to authenticate it (Jn. 9:18-20).
who was born blind. ” (John 9:32)
Now the Sanhedrin knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Yeshua was the Messiah (only God can create new eyes), but most of them were evil, and therefore, had a perverse understanding about what constituted ‘work’ on Shabat and weren’t about to change. Yeshua had broken their definition of ‘work, ’ but not God’s. He was challenging the Pharisaic teaching of His day (that still prevails in Judaism today).
One of the themes of the Sabbath is redemption (Dt. 5:12-15). In other words, God commands Israel to keep the Sabbath day holy because He redeemed Israel from Egyptian slavery, where they worked seven days a week from sun-up to sundown. The Sabbath, then, is a ‘reminder in time, ’ once every seven days, that God gave Israel rest and freedom: He is the Redeemer of Israel and the Sabbath embodies that concept, along with other concepts, like creation. 5
Yeshua wasn’t ‘doing away with the Sabbath, ’ as many erroneously teach, but rather, He was declaring what ‘work’ could be done on Shabat without violating the commandment ‘not to work’ (Ex. 20:8-11)?6 Jewish teaching allowed a doctor to care (work) on anyone who was in a life and death situation, but all chronic conditions (like the man born blind or the women bent over for 18 years) were forbidden to be ‘worked on’ (healed) on the Sabbath. That’s why we see the synagogue official getting irate with Yeshua in Luke:
“And the synagogue official, indignant because Yeshua had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the multitude in response, ‘There are six days in which work should be done, therefore, come during them and get healed, but not on the Sabbath day. ’” (Luke 13:14; see also John 5:16)All the Sabbath healings recorded in the Gospels were chronic in nature. 7 Yeshua was making a statement by them—He, as Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:27-28), knew what work was prohibited and what work was allowed. He is the authority when it comes to interpreting Scripture, not the Pharisees or theRabbis. 8 We are to walk in Torah through His eyes, not those of the Rabbis.
Yeshua’s setting free of the man born blind from darkness was redemptive in nature and proclaimed Him the Redeemer-Savior-Messiah. Conceptually, this is what Yahveh had done in setting Israel free from Egyptian slavery. It was a sign that Yeshua was the long awaited Messiah whom Moses had written about, 1, 450 years earlier, but most in the Sanhedrin were blind to God—how, then, could they see His Son? They, like Pharaoh before them, wanted to be ‘god’ in their lives; to rule and reign. 9
With His healing of the man born blind Yeshua challenged the Sabbath teaching of the Sanhedrin. He didn’t nullify the 7th day Sabbath. The Sabbath, imbued with the quality of redemption, was the perfect day to extend redemption, in the form of a creative miracle, to the man born blind. Yeshua healed him using a mud salve on the Sabbath to declare that He was the Messiah, God the Son, Immanuel (God with us), the Redeemer of Israel, and that doing works of redemption are part of what it means to keep the Sabbath day holy. It was common to make a soothing mud salve for the blind, but here we see that Yeshua did it for all of us who were blind, so that we could see Who the blind man saw:
“Yeshua heard that they had cast him out, and when He had found him, He said to him, ‘Do you believe in the Son of God?’ He answered and said, ‘Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?’ And Yeshua said to him, ‘You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you. ’ Then he said, ‘Lord, I believe!’ and he worshiped Him. ”Yeshua is the Sent One from the Father—the Messiah of Israel. The healing of the Jewish man born blind proclaims that. It also reveals that Yeshua was always, and will always be, God the Son, 10 and that we, too, like the former blind man, are to worship Yeshua:
“Yeshua said, ‘For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind. ’ Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words and said to Him, ‘Are we also blind?’ Yeshua said to them, ‘If you were blind, you would have no sin, but now you say, ‘We see. ’Therefore your sin remains. ’” (John 9:35–41)
“that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. ” (John 5:23; also Mt. 26:63-66).
“I will bring the blind by a way they did not know. I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and I will not forsake them. ” (Isaiah 42:16)
1. John 3:34; 4:34; 5:23-24, 30, 36, 37, 38; 6:29, 38-39, 44, 57; 7:16, 28-29, 33; 8:16, 18, 26, 29, 42; 9:4; 10:36; 11:42; 12:44-45, 49; 13:20; 14:24; 15:21; 16:5; 17:3, 8, 18, 21, 23, 25; 20:21 (see also Mt. 10:40; 15:24; Mark 9:37; Lk. 4:43; 9:48; 10:16).
2. Ex. 3:12, 13, 14, 15; 4:28; 5:22; 7:16; Num. 16:28; Dt. 34:10-11; 1st Sam. 12:8).
3. Gen. 45:5, 7-8; Judges 6:8, 14; 2nd Sam. 12:1; 24:13; 1st Kgs. 14:6; Ps. 105:17, 26; Jer. 7:25; 19:14; 25:4, 17; 26:5, 12, 15; 28:9; 29:19; 35:15; 44:4; Ezk. 3:5-6; Micah 6:4; Haggai 1:12; Zech. 7:12; Mt. 23:37; Lk. 4:26; 13:34; Jn. 1:6; 3:28.
4. “ἀποστέλλω, ” Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Accordance electronic software), n. p. “So, very frequently, Jesus teaches that God sent him, as Matt. 10:40; Mark 9:37; Luke 10:16; John 5:36, etc. he, too, is said to have sent his apostles, i. e. to have appointed them: Mark 6:7; Matt. 10:16; Luke 22:35; John 20:21, etc. ”
5. The Sabbath represents the ‘fullness’ of God, His holiness. It’s the only day called holy (Gen. 2:1-3). For more themes of Shabat see Sabbath and Yeshua at http://seedofabraham.net/sabbath_and_yeshua. htm.
6. Work that is allowed is redemptive in nature, that which reflects back on the great salvation that Israel experienced under Yahveh, such as the priests offering up twice as many daily sacrifices on the Sabbath as normal (Ex. 29:38-41; Num. 28:1-10; Mt. 12:5), and that which reflects back on Yeshua as the Messiah (Mark 3:4; Luke 14:3; Jn. 8:12; 9:5—ministering to the poor and needy on the Sabbath the things that they need, i. e. the Word of God, healing and food, etc. ).
7. Samuele Bacchiocchi, From Sabbath To Sunday (Rome, Italy: The Pontifical Gregorian University Press, 1977), pp. 19-20, note 7.
8. See Do as the Pharisees Say?! Mt. 23:2-3 at http://seedofabraham.net/doas. htm for why we are not to blindly follow rabbinic teaching.
9. See Psalm 2:1-2f. , where ‘the people’ and ‘the rulers’ speak of the Jewish leadership of Messiah’s day. Yet, not all the members of the Sanhedrin were against Yeshua. There was Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus and
others (Jn. 9:16).
10. See Yeshua: God the Son at http://seedofabraham.net/yeshua. html for how Yeshua was always God the Son.