Who is Jesus? (Parts 1-5)

Bible Studies by Paula Yingst

1.  Jesus, Descendant of Adam and Eve

(The following is based on Genesis 3-4; Isaiah 14:12-15; John 12:30-31; 1 John 5:18-20)

The Torah — the Bible’s Old Testament — records that in the beginning, the Lord God (Adonai) created a man and a woman (Adam and Eve) for the purpose of RELATIONSHIP with Him. He wanted them to love Him and be devoted to Him in their hearts, which pumps the blood that sustains the life of a human being.

In order for Adam and Eve to truly love their Creator, they had to be given free choice — either to love the Lord their God (absolute GOOD), or to choose a different, OPPOSITE  “god” to relate to (absolute EVIL). That other entity is known by many names, such as  Satan or Lucifer or the devil. He was once the most beautiful angel in heaven. But, according to the prophet Isaiah, “the evil one” chose to rebel against the Lord of hosts (Adonai) and he fell from heaven to planet Earth at some point in time before man was formed from the dust of the earth.

Long story short:  Adam and Eve chose to disrespect their Creator and believe the lie that the evil one (disguised as a snake) told them. You can read about all of that in Genesis 3. The choice that they made required a response from their Parent, God the Father.

His words are recorded in Genesis 3:4-19. But here’s the most important thing that the perfect, good, and  loving Father had to say:

 Adonai, God, said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all livestock and wild animals. You will crawl on your belly and eat dust as long as you live. I will put animosity between you and the woman, and between your descendant and her descendant; he will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.'”

That was the first prophecy recorded in Scripture that foretold the birth of Yeshua or JESUS.

(c) Paula Yingst 2017

 

2. Jesus, Descendant of Seth

(The following is based on Genesis 3:21-24; Genesis 4; 1 Chronicles 1:1; Luke 3:38)

According to the Torah — the Bible’s Old Testament — the first man (Adam) and the first woman (Eve) disrespected the Lord God and chose to obey “the serpent” — Satan —  rather than their Creator. That one act of disobedience granted the evil one authority over those two individuals, as well as EVERY HUMAN DESCENDANT that would result from their union.

But God still loved them. Still longed for RELATIONSHIP with them. And He demonstrated that love through two basic acts of protection and provision:

First, Adonai, God, made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21, The Complete Jewish Bible).  This was the first time animals were killed for the purpose of protecting physical, human  bodies from the harsh conditions that existed beyond the pristine boundaries which God had assigned for Adam and Eve to call home.

(When “sin” was allowed to contaminate Adam and Eve’s perfect environment, their loving Father had to take yet another drastic measure to ensure their spiritual protection.)

Second, Adonai, God, said, ‘See, the man has become like one of us [the introduction of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit combined], knowing good and evil. Now, to prevent his putting out his hand and taking also from the tree of life, eating, and living forever [trapped in a fallen world] — ‘ therefore Adonai, God, sent him out of the garden of ‘Eden to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So he drove the man out, and he placed at the east of the garden of ‘Eden the k’ruvim [cherubs beyond human comprehension] and a flaming sword which turned in every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:22-24, The Complete Jewish Bible)

On the outside of perfection, Adam had sexual relations with his wife (Havah), and they produced two sons — Cain (Kayin), the older son, farmed the soil. And Abel (Hevel), who kept the sheep. The passage suggests that Cain’s heart was filled with EVIL, whereas Abel’s heart was filled with GOOD. Cain rebelled against God and killed his brother Abel in a fit of jealousy and anger. Then he lied when the Lord God asked him what he had done. You can read the written account  in Genesis 4. This was the first time that murder was recorded in the Old Testament. God responded by banishing Cain from RELATIONSHIP with his parents and commanding that he would be “a fugitive” — a restless wanderer on the earth.

But God still loved Cain and provided a “mark” (New International Version) or “sign” (Complete Jewish Bible) on his body so that “no one who found him would kill him.”

(Herein lies a mystery: Where did the other people come from? How were they made? When did they appear on the earth? … I don’t feel qualified to comment on this, but you can find MANY other writers who have “set in stone” opinions about it!)

Once again, God showed compassion toward Adam and Eve and blessed them with a third son: “Adam again had sexual relations with his wife, and she gave birth to a son whom she named Shet — or Seth — [meaning granted], ‘For God has granted me another seed in place of Hevel, since Kayin killed him.’ To Shet too was born a son, whom he called Enosh. That is when people began to call on the name of Adonai.” (Genesis 4:25-26, CJB)

The birth of Seth signaled an era of hope for mankind in a fallen world. Generations later, another birth would also be welcomed as a hopeful and joyful SIGN … the arrival of Yeshua — Jesus.  A direct descendant of Seth…. God in the flesh.

(c) Paula Yingst 2017

 

3.  Jesus, descendant of Noah

(The following is based on Genesis 5:1-6:8; Luke 3:35)

Something that people need to understand — according to author and speaker Dr. Larry Osborne, one of four senior pastors at North Coast Church, based in Vista, California — is that the Bible was never intended to be a history of the world. It is primarily a family genealogy, emphasizing the continuing lineage that can be traced from Adam and Eve down through generations to one woman and one man — the virgin Mary and her son, Yeshua or, as the English translation calls him, Jesus Christ.

We have seen so far that Jesus was descended from Adam and Eve’s son Seth. Genesis 5:3 tells us that Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born. The balance of Chapter 5 records Seth’s family line — all the males born to his descendants over the course of hundreds of years — down to a man named Noah.

Perhaps the most important issue to point out here, before we continue beyond Noah, is spelled out by two key verses.

At the end of Chapter 4, verse 26 says this: “Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on the name of the Lord” (NIV). Chapter 5 is dedicated to detailing the seven generations that passed between Seth and his “great times six” grandson, Noah. (Don’t quote me on that, please. I wasn’t great at math. Look it up for yourself!) Then in Chapter 6 we come across an interesting change in the culture of humankind. Genesis 6:5 says this: “The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time” (NIV).

The RELATIONSHIP that had begun forming around the time of Seth and Enosh had deteriorated to such a degree that the Lord God was having second thoughts:

The Lord God regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, ‘I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created — and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground — for I regret that I have made them.'” (Genesis 6:5-7, NIV)

But then something amazing and very important happened. We see in verse 8 that the Lord God STILL DESIRED RELATIONSHIP: But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

One man’s GOODNESS rose above the unprecedented EVIL that had taken over the entire earth!
(c) Paula Yingst 2017
4. Jesus, descendant of Shem

(The following is based on Genesis 6:1 – 10:32; Ezekiel 14:12-14; Luke 3:36-37 —Complete Jewish Bible and New International Version)

So far we’ve seen this much of Adam and Eve’s family tree:

Adam and Eve  ==>  Seth  ==>  Noah

And this is where we left off:

“The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time…. ‘I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created — and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground — for I regret that I have made them.’  But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” (Genesis 6:6-8, NIV)

Remember that the Bible was not meant to be a world history. It is a historical record of what happened in one family line. And though Adam and Eve had many other sons and daughters after they were commanded to leave their perfect home in the Garden of Eden, the only “branch” on the family tree that is traced completely in the Bible is the lineage that runs from Seth to Jesus, son of Mary … Son of God.

You can read the Bible’s account of what happened the first time God decided to “delete” evil from the earth in Genesis 6:9 – 8:22. You can also read about that worldwide flood in the writings of other ancient cultures. Bottom line: Everything was destroyed — including all of humankind — except for Noah, the man who “found favor in the eyes of the Lord,” and his seven family members.

Thousands of years later, people would still be remembering Noah as a righteous man with a GOOD  heart. He was a human who faithfully walked with God at a time when everyone else had rejected RELATIONSHIP with their Creator.

The prophet Ezekiel wrote:

“The word of ADONAI came to me: ‘Human being, when a land sins against me by dealing treacherously with me, so that I stretch out my hand over it and break off its food supply, sending it famine and eliminating both its human and its animals; even if these three men were in it — Noach [Noah], Dani’el [Daniel] and Iyov [Job] — they would by their righteousness save only themselves,’ says Adonai ELOHIM [the Sovereign Lord].” (Ezekiel 14:12-14, CJB)

In other words, by the time Ezekiel’s generation had rolled around, EVIL had so saturated humankind once again that even if the three most righteous men in the family genealogy — NOAH, Daniel, and Job — had been alive at that time, only those three could have been saved as a result of their good behavior. THEY COULD NOT HAVE SAVED ANY ONE ELSE! Because a human cannot save the soul of another human. And only in rare cases — precisely THREE at that point in time — could an individual earn God’s grace by being GOOD.

But if you read what happened AFTER the global devastation, you’ll find that Noah was not perfect. He placed a curse on one of his grandsons that would last for generations — possibly even to this very day. But that’s another story.

What you need to know for now (and for the purpose of this study) is this:  Jesus is a direct descendant of Noah’s son, Shem. Find it for yourself in Luke 3:35.

(c) Paula Yingst 2017

 

5. Jesus, Descendant of Abram and Sarai

(The following is based on Genesis 9:18 – 17:27;  Ezekiel 37-38; Luke 3:33-37 — Complete Jewish Bible and New International Version)

REMEMBER that the Bible was not meant to be a world history. It is a historical record of what happened in one family line. And though Adam and Eve had many other sons and daughters after they were commanded to leave their perfect home in the Garden of Eden, the only “branch” on the family tree that is traced completely in the Bible is the lineage that runs from Seth to Jesus, son of Mary … Son of God.

So far we’ve seen this much of Adam and Eve’s family tree:

Adam and Eve  ==>  Seth  ==>  Noah ==> Shem

Here’s what’s important about Shem and his two brothers:

“The sons of Noach [Noah] who went out from the ark were Shem, Ham and Yefet [Japheth]. Ham is the father of  Kena’an [Canaan]. These three were the sons of Noach [Noah], and the whole earth was populated by them.” (Genesis 9:18-19, CJB)

According to the Torah — the Bible’s Old Testament — after the worldwide flood, Noah’s three sons had an unfortunate encounter with their father. Noah got drunk on wine that he made from grapes produced by a vineyard that he planted, and the result was not pretty. I’ll let you read the details (few that they are) in Genesis 9:20-27.

Bottom line: When Noah awoke from his stupor, he got so angry with his youngest son, Ham, that he cursed him … specifically, he cursed Ham’s son, Canaan, and that whole branch of the family tree! Now Ham had three other sons besides Canaan — Cush, Egypt (Mitzrayim) and Put — but Noah (for whatever reason) chose Canaan to curse because of the “evil” done by Canaan’s father,  Ham.  (“Not fair!” we say…. But of course, we remember, things don’t always seem fair in this “fallen world” and we don’t know the cultural details of the situation. So it’s probably best not to judge, except to say that Noah and his sons were imperfect human beings, and perhaps they didn’t realize the literal meaning and power of spoken words to the Lord God.)

The curse on Canaan went like this:

 Then he said, ‘Blessed be Adonai, the God of Shem; Kena‘an will be their servant.  May God enlarge Yefet [Japheth]; he will live in the tents of Shem, but Kena‘an [Canaan] will be their servant.'” (Genesis 9:26-27, CJB)

For us in the 21st century, it’s important to note that Ham’s son, Canaan and his descendants were, from that moment, destined to become slaves to their uncles and cousins — the two other main, supporting branches of the family tree!

(According to Bible scholars, the descendants of Japheth spread north of the mountains of Ararat (located north of Mesopotamia and east of modern-day Turkey — Assyria and Babylonia / European and Russian countries); the descendants of Shem (Semites) spread to the west and south into the Middle East and Arabia; the descendants of Ham went south into Egypt and Africa.)

The prophet Ezekiel wrote that at some point in history — which has not yet occurred — the three key brothers’ direct descendants, namely Magog, Meshek, Tubal, Persia, Cush, Put, Gomer, and Beth Togarmah, “plus many nations with them” will come against ISRAEL (the chosen, direct descendants of Shem). Hopefully we’ll get to that eventually. But if you’d like to dig deeper right now, I suggest you do an internet search for those specific names.

What you need to know for now (and for the purpose of this study) is this:  From Shem we’re going to skip over multiple generations to his direct descendant Abram, who — like Noah — was tapped at just the right moment in history to maintain a “holy” (“set apart”) branch or lineage that would eventually lead to Jesus (Yeshua).

This study continues in the file “Who is Jesus?” (Parts 6-10) …
(c) Paula Yingst 2017