In those days, two of the disciples of John the Immerser arrived to tell Yeshua about their master’s death. When Rabbi Yeshua heard the news, He offered John’s disciples no trite condolences about their teacher being in a better place or the mysterious ways of God’s will.
Who were the lost sheep of Israel? They were the sinners, tax-collectors, harlots, and backslidden among the Jewish people—the “secular Jews” of the day who had abandoned Torah and the religion of their fathers. For Yeshua “did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
In Yeshua's teaching, the one who "wishes to save his life"; is the disciple who chooses to deny association and allegiance with Yeshua in order to avoid persecution, loss, or threat to life. He denies the Master to save his life. But there is a broader scope of application behind this saying.
The sudden attempt to acclaim Yeshua as king made the situation politically dangerous. Tiberias, the city where Herod Antipas lived, was just a short distance down the shore of the lake. News of a crowd of five thousand gathering around this mysterious associate of John the Immerser would have certainly alarmed Herod Antipas.
The declaration still requires the same leap of faith. To this day, those who confess Yeshua as the Messiah are called “believers” because we believe He will accomplish the messianic work and take up the throne of His father David on the evidence of His resurrection from the dead.
Yeshua taught his disciples that those who hunger and thirst now are especially blessed because they will enjoy being satisfied in the Messianic Era. Does this refer to the poor and needy who literally hunger from lack of food and thirst from lack of clean water? Or does it refer to a spiritual hunger and thirst?
Yeshua warned His disciples that not every place would receive their message. He told them not to waste time arguing or trying to persuade people. Instead, He told them to leave that place, and He said, "As you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them" (Mark 6:11).
What did He mean when He said that He will deny us before the angels of God? “Before the angels of God” is a theological circumlocution that simply means “before God.” In this context, the “angels of God” constitute the heavenly court over which the LORD presides. The throne of judgment is in view.
Thousands died on crosses along with anyone else that Rome did not like. All over the Empire, political dissidents, terrorists, and people that resisted Rome’s authority found themselves nailed to execution stakes. Roadside Roman crosses were a common sight outside population centers, a gruesome reminder of Rome’s authority and terror.
When Yeshua asked His disciples, “Who do you say that I am?”, Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” It was the correct answer, but Yeshua warned the disciples not to tell anyone that He was the Messiah. Why? Was that not that the whole point of His proclamation, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”?