The bedrock foundation of Bible studies during the time of the disciples included an annual reading of the Torah: Genesis through Deuteronomy. This pattern of study began with Nehemiah, Ezra, and the men of the Great Assembly centuries earlier and still exists today. This week of the year the passages of Scripture that are studied are found in the book of Genesis chapters 28:10- 32:2.
There is a pattern of studying Scripture that has existed since the time of Nehemiah, Ezra, and the men of the Great Assembly. It is this pattern that existed in the time of Messiah and it is within this pattern that He revealed himself through the words of Scripture to the men on the road to Emmaus.
“Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” - Luke 24:27 (NASB).
In the days Messiah walked the earth there were no “New Testament” writings. There was only the Tanakh. The Tanakh includes all of what Christians call the “Old Testament”. The Hebrew word Tanakh comes from an acronym of the Hebrew names for the divisions of Scripture: Torah (the Law which was often also referred to as “Moses”), Nevi’im (the Prophets), Ketuvim (the Writings). TNK = Tanakh.
If we were to be transported back in time to the first century and were to study the Tanakh as Jesus, the disciples, and the two men on the road to Emmaus did, what would we learn? What portraits of the Messiah would we find? Come… join our band of time traveling believers and study Scripture in the footsteps and pattern of our Lord and Savior.
The bedrock foundation of their studies included an annual reading of the Torah: Genesis through Deuteronomy. This week of the year the passages that are studied are found in the book of Genesis chapters 28:10- 32:2. The chapter and verse numbers that we use to identify passages of Scripture today did not exist in the days of the Master. They identified the weekly passages, known as a parashah (”portion”) by the first word or two of that passage. This week’s parashah is known as Vayetze (pronounced vye YETZ eh). This Hebrew word means “to go” as it is written in the beginning of our portion:
“And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba and went toward Haran.” - Genesis 28:10 (LITV)
In this week’s parashah we find the story of Jacob’s ladder (Genesis 28:10-16) and we read that the “angels of G-d were going up and going down on it” (verse 12). Jacob recognized that the place where he had the vision of the ladder was an intersection between the heavenly realm and the earthly realm and so he named that place Bethel (”House of G-d”). In John 1:51 the Master tells Nathanael that he would see “the angels of G-d ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” Jesus uses the words of Genesis 28 and the imagery of that intersection to describe Himself (the Son of Man). In other words, Jesus would become that point of intersection between the Father in heaven and men on earth. We find that this is true, as it is written in 1 Timothy 2:5,
“For there is one G-d, and one mediator also between G-d and men, the man Christ Jesus…” (NASB)
Here in parashah Vayetze is a true portrait of Messiah.