Many people who desire to know the Lord Jesus and His teachings spend the majority of their time in the New Testament, where His life is recorded, but Jesus often pointed to the Law of Moses as the key to knowing Him. If we miss the first several chapters of a good novel, the rest of the story becomes clouded and confusing. Although we may piece together events and follow the general theme, the real reasons for specific actions and events are unknown — the same holds true with the Bible.
In John 5:46-47, Jesus gives us a key to knowing Him when He says, “If you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” If we want to know the Lord and the basis for His teachings, we need to start with what Moses wrote. If Jesus can be seen throughout these books, then the front of our Bibles should be worn, tattered, and dotted with early morning coffee stains as we search for His likeness.
As believers we want to follow the Messiah. If He’s in the Law, we want to find Him. Simply pursuing spiritual knowledge without a firm focus on the Lord will lead us to be proud, self assured and religious, just like the Pharisees Jesus confronted. Without the Lord, we tend to stockpile spiritual ammunition to unload on those that disagree with our viewpoints, causing greater division among us. Neither will lead us to the life that God intended.
As a Rabbi, Jesus simply taught what Moses had already instructed Israel. The Sermon on the Mount was firmly rooted in the book of Exodus. Some of His teachings were given during the feasts commanded in Leviticus 23. When Peter asked about the signs of His return, Jesus began making parallels to events in Exodus and Numbers. The Great Commission was simply the beginning fulfillment of the promise to Abraham that through his descendants all the nations of the earth would be blessed. Jesus continued to point to the writings of Moses to prove who He was. If we do not understand the Torah, there are much greater depths to which we can know Jesus.
In Luke 24, it had been a discouraging week for two travelers on the road to Emmaus. The mighty prophet from Nazareth who had demonstrated public signs and wonders and in whom they had hoped would redeem Israel was betrayed, humiliated and crucified with criminals. To add to their confusion, some women from their company were now claiming that His body was gone and angels were declaring He was alive. And how was it that their new traveling companion that was now walking with them had no idea of these events? And so began one of the most comprehensive teachings that Jesus gave about Himself. Look at where the Lord began. “Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:27)
Later when Jesus walked through the wall and into the room where the disciples were meeting, He reminded them again.
Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:44-45)
Today as we read the Torah, may He open our minds to understand the Scriptures as well.
Doug Hershey is the author of Israel Rising, conference speaker and founder of Ezra Adventures, an Israel focused travel and education company. From years of hands-on experience, cultivating unique relationships in Israel and a love for history, Doug provides a rare perspective on the connection between the Jewish Scriptures and present day Israel. When he is not in Israel, he is speaking in churches and synagogues about the prophesied restoration of Israel.
The Prophets foretold the revival of the physical land of Israel. After 2600 years its unfolding exactly as was written. To see over 100 then/now jaw dropping photo comparisons (including 15 of Jerusalem) that provide visual evidence that the land of Israel is reviving as foretold, with 2000 years of historical eyewitness accounts of the land, order Doug’s new book “Israel Rising: Ancient Prophecy/ Modern Lens” here!