“Woe to me, my mother, that you have borne me as a man of strife and a man of contention to all the land! I have not lent, nor have men lent money to me, yet everyone curses me” (Jer 15:10).

It is not easy to speak openly to people in Israel about the most misunderstood Jewish man in Israel's history. His image has become doubly distorted in modern Jewish society; first by the antisemitic teachings and actions of a church that had completely abandoned its biblical roots; and second, by our own religious leaders whose polemical depictions of Yeshua have nothing to do with the Jewish man who really lived in a particular time in Jewish history.

As a people, if we are ever going to understand the real Yeshua behind this distorted image, we must understand the biblical profile of a true prophet. Consider Jeremiah.

Although he is honored today in Israel as a true prophet, this was not always the case. Jeremiah, more than any other writing prophet, gives us autobiographical details about the difficult life of a true prophet.

Jeremiah was despised, hated, and rejected. His name became a curse word to his people, and Jeremiah even felt abandoned by God.

Two passages in the Hebrew Bible, though not about Jeremiah, look as if they were written to describe him: Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22:

Jeremiah says, “Know that for Your sake I endure reproach” (Jer 15:15).

The Messiah says, “But I am a worm and not a man, a reproach of men and despised by the people” (Ps 22:6[7]).

Jeremiah says, “But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; and I did not know that they had devised plots against me, saying, ‘Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more'” (Jer 11:19).

Of the Messiah it says, “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?” (Isa 53:7-8).

Although the biblical prophets were once hated and despised by the people of Israel, now they are honored and cherished and accepted as having truly been sent by God. And this, dear friends, gives us incredible hope that one day our people will repent for the way they have despised and rejected our greatest prophet. And one day, the Jewish people will love and cherish Yeshua as their very own!

“BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen” (Rev 1:7).

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