History Repeats Itself

History Repeats Itself

When Jacob was returning from Paddan Aram, where he had spent about 20 years working for his uncle Laban, and was approaching Canaan, he was told that his brother Esau was on his way with 400 men to meet him.

Jacob got so desperately anxious for his life and the lives of his family, that he spent the whole night fighting in prayer for a solution about what to do. If we remember, when he had left Canaan, his brother had promised to kill him for having stolen his blessing of the firstborn.

As Jacob looked up and saw his brother from afar off, he decided to divide his family in three groups. The only thing in his mind was that Esau would kill them all in revenge for what had happened 20 years ago.

So, in the first group, Jacob set his maidservants with their children, so that in case they got killed, the others behind could have a chance to escape. In the second group, he set Leah with her children, perhaps to safeguard the lives of Rachel, Joseph and himself, just in case.

Fortunately, for everyone’s luck, Esau had changed his mind in the course of those 20 years and nothing drastic happened to anyone. However, everyone with the minimum of commonsense can see that this attitude of Jacob’s was everything but fair.

But let’s see how different Jesus did to prevent History from repeating itself. The text is in Matthew 26:36-39.

Soon after the Last Supper, as he sensed arrest, he took his disciples and fled to a hiding place in the Gethsemani. At the entrance of the Garden, he left eight of the disciples and told them to watch, and took farther inside the other three disciples: Peter, James and John. Perhaps he thought, if there was a fight, at least the second group would have a chance to escape. In another place farther in, he told the three disciples to stay put and watch, while he would go deeper inside to spend some time
in prayer.

Now, I have been wondering how much of these two cases have in common. One thing we can all be certain of: Both men, Jacob and Jesus were going through the same kind of anxieties in fear for their lives. Bear in mind that the parallel between the facts within the cases is astounding. Would it be appropriate to think of the eight disciples at the entrance of the Garden as the facsimile to the maidservants of Jacob with their children? How about the three disciples in the second group meant to represent Leah with her children? And scary of all, Jesus himself for Jacob with Rachel and Joseph? Luke does say that Jesus was indeed so anxious as to sweat even drops of blood. Anyway but… I don’t think either case justifies the measures taken. Both sound too unfair. Any idea out there to set my mind at easy?

Ben

Just a few, quick thoughts - fear makes people do some strange things. Abraham asked Sarah to tell people she was his sister for fear he would be killed because of her. Isaac did the same thing with Rebecca. I don’t see how Jacob’s return to Caanan compares with Jesus in the Garden. Jacob was going home after being told to do so by God; Jesus knew His time was coming long before the Garden (He told His disciples about what would happen while they were still on their way to Jerusalem). Jacob wasn’t sure how Esau would meet him; Jesus knew exactly what was going to happen. Jacob divided his family and goods to ensure that some would survive (in the event Esau would seek vengence); Jesus followed a common practice of His (He left the disciples, taking only Peter, James and John, and going somewhere else, like the Mount of Transfiguration). You also forget that Jacob had sent presents on ahead to Esau in the hope that it would soften his heart. Jesus sent no gift ahead to the High Priest. Jesus did not “hide” in the Garden; this was a common place for them to go (even Judas knew about it). Jesus was not moved by fear, even though he endured a great deal of stress (“And his sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground.” Luke 22:44 Douay Rheims). I don’t believe these events are paralleled (though there may be some things that appear similar). I would say the biggest difference is that Jesus knew (and had always known) that this moment would arrive, and that He would have to suffer in the flesh in order to redeem mankind. Jacob had God’s word, but no indication of how it would be fulfilled.

Hope this helps!

I don’t see the parallel. The Messiah frequently took Peter, James, and John with Him and left the other followers behind. When He raised the girl from the dead, when He was transfigured on the mountain, and when he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, he took with Him Peter, James, and John. Perhaps He felt these were pivotal moments in His earthly life, and He wanted the three disciples who would play the primary role in establishing His Church on earth to witness them.

Plus, the Messiah went forth to meet the soldiers who came to arrest Him, and He identified Himself to them. He also told the soldiers to release His disciples, which they did. He clearly was not trying to hide behind the disciples.

First point, Yeshua was about to die for the sins of the whole world.

Now back up to line 31.

**Matthew 26:31
Then Jesus told them, "This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:
" ‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’

Zechariah 13:7
“Awake, O sword, against my shepherd,
against the man who is close to me!”
declares the LORD Almighty.
"Strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered,
and I will turn my hand against the little ones. **

Yeshua is the prophesied Messiah.

Enter in the God of Israel’s rest. Believe in his only Son, Yeshua and your mind will be set at ease.

1 Corinthians 15:1-8
Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

“…according to the Scriptures.”

I agree. Jesus didn’t flee anywhere. He could and did lay down His life and pick it up again. Going to the Garden to pray and be arrested was part of His Father’s plan. (And also had nice resonance with the Garden of Eden, where God walked.)

If Jesus hadn’t wanted to be arrested, He had only to “walk through the midst of them” as He had done on earlier occasions. Or He could have commanded the wind, as He did on the Sea of Galilee. Or He could have commanded the gazillion legions of angels. He could have done whatever He wanted, but He chose not to.

If anything, going to the Garden of Gethsemane was going somewhere quiet, without people to riot and defend Jesus. He wanted His arrest to be dignified – and even so, Peter started chopping away and one of His disciples ran off nekkid! So you can imagine how things might have been, if Jesus had been arrested in the Temple or in the heart of the Passover crowds in the streets.

In connection with that, I agree that Jesus purposefully didn’t take along the whole gang to Gethsemane. But He did take along His three main apostles/witnesses – not to put them into danger, but to make sure that they saw and knew.

Anyway, to the original poster – good job looking for parallels and typology. I don’t agree with the specifics of your comparison, but I think you are finding some interesting stuff there.

Your theory that Jesus would take those three disciples so that they could witness his praying in the Gethsemane, won’t work because he left the three halfway before the spot he had chosen to pray. Perhaps the opposite is true that he did not want them to witness the words he would use in his prayers.

His name was Jesus. According to Isaiah, the Messiah is Israel.

Enter in the God of Israel’s rest. Believe in his only Son, Yeshua and your mind will be set at ease.

The Torah says that God’s son is Israel. (Exo. 4:22,23) "Israel is My son…"

]1 Corinthians 15:1-8
Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

Salvation comes only through obedience of the Law. (Ezek. 18:21)

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

**Would you please show me where in the Scriptures? **

and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

But of course, it had to be Paul! Where did Jesus appear to Paul? Would you prove it even in the NT?]

Your gospel is too hypothetical. Yes, he could have done a lot of things. Could he? And the only thing he did was to pray not to die on the cross. Poor Jesus! Since he could not get a reply to his prayer, he took the cross against his will. Yes, against his will. What did he say when he finally got sick to pray? He said, “Be Thy will done and NOT mine.” What was Jesus’ will? Obviously not to die on the cross. Therefore, he did not freely lay down his life. He was, so to speak, forced into it. So, it’s high time to stop the cliche that he came for that end. He made it very clear that it was not true.

The betrayal of Jesus recalls the conspiracy against King David in 2 Samual 17. Judas’ role parallels the treachery of Ahithophel, who planned to seek out David and night when he was weary and discouraged, so that David’s companions would flee. Then he could strike down the king only and the the rest of the people would be at peace. When his plans fell apart he hanged himself.

Ben Masada – it seems that you are more interested in attacking Christianity than searching for an answer to a legitimate question. Nevertheless, allow me to go beyond my original “few quick thoughts” and answer the points you’ve raised.

[quote=Ben Masada] In that case, whom was he trying to cheat by praying for three times so that he would NOT die on the cross?
[/quote]

He wasn’t trying to “cheat” anyone. He was aware of what was coming, and He knew it would be very painful. This is a place where we see very clearly the humanity of Jesus. Jesus still accepted the will of the Father (something like a soldier accepting a suicide mission in order to save the lives of hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people).

[quote=Ben Masada] If he was indeed aware of his destiny, why would he consume himself with anxiety and fear for the outcome?
[/quote]

Again, this is a clear example of His humanity. He knew the outcome, but he also knew there was a lot of pain and humiliation coming. What human would willingly accept torture and death and not be anxious about it? Who wouldn’t ask if there was another way to accomplish the same thing?

[quote=Ben Masada] Since you have said above that he knew exactly what was about to happen, why would he endanger the lives of his disciples by asking them to stand
guard at the entrance of the guarden?
[/quote]

His disciples were not in danger (not until Peter took a whack at a servant of the High Priest with a sword, but Jesus took care of that). He knew He was the one they wanted, and the disciples would be allowed to flee.

[quote=Ben Masada] This does not explain the fact that in the Gethsemani there was a hiding place for Jesus and his disciples. Judas was one of them. The fact that he had to guide the soldiers means that the place was not known by all.
[/quote]

Jerusalem is a big place. They didn’t dare try to arrest Him before Judas came forward, because it would either have to have been done in public (which certainly would have lead to a riot), or the soldiers would have had to conduct an extensive search (since they didn’t know where Jesus hung out). Judas knew the Garden and where Jesus prayed. Remember, Judas also kissed Jesus as a sign to those who came to arrest Him. There is no problem with this, whether it was a “hiding place”, or just a regular place that they came to often. Either way, it was unknown to those who wanted Jesus dead.

[quote=Ben Masada] You have just described that he was undergoing deadly fear.
[/quote]

Are stress and fear the same thing?

[quote=Ben Masada] Well, Perhaps the fact that he knew what was about to happen, contributed to make him panic.
[/quote]

He didn’t panic. I would probably rephrase your statement like this – “Perhaps the fact that he knew what was about to happen contributed to the stress.” I would agree with that.

In another place, you assert that “Isaiah says that the Messiah is Israel, and this is no assumption.” Could you please provide the scripture? You also stated “And second point, being Yeshua a learnt Jew, he knew very well that it’s against the Law for a Jew to die for another. (Deut. 24:16)” Deut 24:16 says, “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children for the fathers, but every one shall die for his own sin.” (Douay Rheims). How does this indicate it is against the law for someone to willingly give their life for another? Rather than go on through all the things you’ve said (since they were directed at other people, I’ll let them answer for themselves), I would ask you this – who was David referring to in Psalms 22? Have you compared this Psalm with the account of the crucifixion? Who was Isaiah referring to in Isaiah 53? Who is Daniel talking about in Dan 9:25-26, and what does it mean that “And after sixty two weeks, Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself. …” (Dan 9:26)?

I look forward to your response!

Yes! there is a parallel, good eye.
But, the scenario is reversed. It seems that the guards were not accosted at all by the 8 apostles furthest from Jesus, so they must have come from a different direction. In that case, we see Jesus himself being the front line, followed by Peter, James, and John, and then the remaining 8. Recall that Peter did strike off the ear of one of the slaves, but Jesus rebuked him for it. Jesus never intended his followers to defend him with force; he meant to be the front line. The second line, Peter, James, and John, are three of the major personages in early Christianity. This is how Jesus showed them they are to be major leaders. They are to protect those people in the third line, and ultimately, the people even behind them.


The First Adam disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden and so forfeited Paradise for all humanity. Jesus, the Second Adam went into the Garden of Gethsemane and said " Not my will, but thine be done " By His obedience to God Paradise was regained for mankind.:slight_smile:

**And what is this supposed to mean? I am not trying to accuse Jesus whom I believe was a religious Jew. I am trying to defend him of Hellenistic claims. **

**First, the Messiah that Israel is, according to Isaiah. You know that Isaiah 53 describes the predicaments of the Suffering Servant. Now, if you read Isaiah 41:8,9; 44:1,2,21; 45:4, you will see that Isaiah identifies that Servant with Israel by name, so that no one needs to assume that he was Jesus.

Now, for the commandment that forbids one to die for another. For starters, bear in mind the expression “thou shall not.” Thou shall not, introduces mosts of the negative commandments of the Decalogue. The same language is applied here. Thou shall not be put to death for the sins of another. Everyone shall die for his or her own sins. That’s a commandment of the Law in Judaism. Jesus was Jewish. He would never go against his own declaration in Matthew 5:17-19 that he came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets down to the letter. We can see clearly that this is an item in the Christology of Paul, who was the one who fabicrated the unJewish idea that an individual can die for the sins of another.**

Sorry Spirithound, but the only personage I can see in the stablishment of Christianity is Paul. Until Paul showed up in the horizon, the word “Christian” was unknown. Otherwise, Luke would not record for us to know today that Christians originated in Antioch after a whole year that Paul was there preaching about Jesus as Christ. (Acts 11:26) Jesus and his Apostles never had anything to do with Christianity. The religious sect they organized was called The Sect of the Nazarenes.

Sorry but you are evading the issue. The point is that Jesus took the cross against his will. “Let thy will be done, and NOT MINE.” He couldn’t be more clear that it was not his will to die for the sins of anyone. Why do you folks insist on this romantic approach, even against Logic?

:hey_bud: That’s all you’ve got to say about my analysis?

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