“But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.' And they took him, and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him” (Matt 21:38-39).

The Messiah son of Joseph (i.e., a Messiah who will suffer like Joseph) is a very important figure in pre-Christian Jewish and rabbinic writings. In all likelihood, Yeshua embraced this tradition since his parable in Matthew 21 is filled with allusions to the story of Joseph's rejection in Genesis 37. In the parable, Yeshua describes himself as the landowner's son who is sent to check on the welfare of his father's vineyard. But the son is rejected and thrown out of the vineyard. Each of these themes are prominent in the story of Joseph's rejection (Gen 37:3, 13-14; see also Gen 49:22-26).

The phrase, “Come let us kill him” in Matthew is a word-for-word allusion to Genesis 37:20 in the Septuagint: “Now then, COME LET US KILL HIM and throw him into one of the pits; and we will say, ‘A wild beast devoured him.' Then let us see what will become of his dreams!” Likewise the phrase, “And they took him” is also taken word-for-word from Genesis 37:24: “AND THEY TOOK HIM and threw him into the pit. Now the pit was empty, without any water in it.” And in both stories, the one who is taken is “thrown,” Joseph into the pit and Yeshua out of the vineyard.

What does it say about Jesus?

By borrowing words directly from the story of Joseph in Genesis 37, Yeshua is proclaiming himself to be the “Messiah son of Joseph”!

He is the beloved Son who was rejected by his brothers in order to procure their salvation as well as salvation for the nations of the world.

Yeshua continues to be the best kept secret in the Jewish world. When they look at him, they cannot see the Jewish Savior hidden beneath the “Egyptian” clothing. But there's coming a day, quite soon I hope, when the cat will finally be let out of the bag. At that time Yeshua will say to his brothers,

“‘As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones'” (Gen 50:20-21).

And then his brothers will finally receive him with many tears, hugs, and kisses.

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