The Church was birthed on the Jewish festival of Shavuot (Pentecost). This festival was celebrated fifty days after Jesus was placed in a grave that could not hold Him. Ten days before, Yeshua had ascended into heaven vowing to return. Until the day of His re-appearing, Jesus’ disciples are tasked with teaching His interpretation and application of Scripture around the world, beginning in Jerusalem, followed by Judea and Samaria.
Within a couple of decades, Paul arrived in Corinth. What did he find? Believers in Jesus who should have been united, who identified by Messiah’s teaching by wearing His yoke. Instead they were jockeying for personal position, not identifying with Jesus alone, but with other prestigious teachers. In Corinth, disciples submitting to the yoke of Messiah Jesus were few and far between.
“Each one of you is saying, ‘I am of Paul,’ and ‘I of Apollos,’ and ‘I of Cephas,’ and ‘I of Christ.’ Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he, or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one would say you were baptized in my name” – 1 Corinthians 1:12-15.
Jesus taught His first disciples His interpretation of Scripture. His disciples took His yoke upon themselves and learned to pass it on to others. They did not have His permission to spin their own interpretations of Scripture anymore than the disciples of Hillel, Shemai, or Gamaliel did.
This leads us to important questions. Was there a national expectation of the coming Messiah among the Jews of Jesus’ time? Did Yeshua’s resume meet the expectation of those who were searching for Him, waiting for Him?
When Yeshua stepped into the Jordan River, asking John the Baptist to baptize Him, John knew who Jesus was. He had been looking for Him, as had others among the Remnant of Israel. The Remnant of Israel interpreted the Scriptures the way God intended, on a consistently literal basis. Because of their approach to the Bible, the followers of John the Baptist promised him to follow the one John would identify as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” They knew He would come, because of their own rock-solid belief in the Messianic Hope spoken of in the Old Testament.