Why was Yeshua Immersed?

Why was Yeshua Immersed?
James Scott Trimm

The Forth Century “Church Father” Jerome wrote concerning the Gospel according to the Hebrews (the original Jewish Gospel used by the ancinet Nazarenes):

In the Gospel according to the Hebrews, which is written in the Chaldee and Syrian language, but in Hebrew characters, and is used by the Nazarenes to this day (I mean the Gospel according to the Apostles, or, as is generally maintained, the Gospel according to Matthew, a copy of which is in the library at Caesarea), we find:

ecce mater domini et fratres eius dicebant ei: Joannes baptista baptizat in remissionem peccatorum, eamus et baptizemur ab eo. dixit autem eis: quid peccaui, ut uadam et baptizer ab eo? nisi forte hoc ipsum quod dixi ignorantia

Behold, the mother of our Lord and His brothers said to Him, John Baptist baptizes for the remission of sins; let us go and be baptized by him. But He said to them, what sin have I committed that I should go and be baptized by him? Unless, erchance, the very words which I have said is [a sin of] ignorance.
(in Jerome, Against Pelagius III.2)

This passage raises the obvious question: If Yochanan immersed unto the remission of sins (see Mt. 3:11; Mk. 1:4-5; Lk. 3:2-3, 7; Acts 19:3-4) and Yeshua was without sin (Heb. 4:15) then why should he be immersed for the remission of sins?

The concept of the “sin of ignorance” is found in the Torah (Lev. 4:2, 22, 27; 5:15-18; 22:14) and in Hebrews (Heb. 9:7). Messiah gave up certain qualities to become a man (Phil. 2:6-8; Heb. 2:7, 9, 14) and this apparently included omniscience, In Luke we are told that Messiah “grew and filled with wisdom” (Lk. 2:40, 52) and as an adult he did not have all of the knowledge of the Father (Mk. 13:32). This raises the possibility that Yeshua could have sinned in ignorance (Heb. 4:15 makes it clear that he did not, but that he could have), which is the point, made in the Goodnews according to the Hebrews here.

Note that the phrase “a sin of” is in brackets, meaning that it was not in the Latin of Jerome’s quote but was added by the translator as implied. The text might also be seen as Yeshua challenging his brothers by saying “I claim not to have sinned… are you saying I am ignorant and I really have sinned? And if so just when and where did I sin?”

Many people fail to realize what Messiah actually achieved. Messiah made daily choices as a human. He often wrestled with his nefesh (soul, self) pushing himself to make the right choice every time. While it is true that Messiah was able not to sin, do not mistake this to mean that Messiah was not able to sin. As we read in Hebrews:

For we do not have in this Cohen, one who is not able to bear our weakness, but one who was tempted on all sides like we, yet without sin.
(Heb. 4:15 HRV)

Many miss this very important point, and even think it is blasphemous to declare this wonderful truth: Messiah could have failed! Many seem to think there was no real risk involved! It is clear that in the garden of Gethsemane Messiah was weighed down with a battle to submit his human will to Elohim. It was a struggle, but he won.

But Messiah could have failed! It was possible! Otherwise he was not tempted in all things just as we have been. There would have been no risk involved. There would have been no real struggling to overcome temptation, if Messiah had not been able to sin in the first place. Messiah was able to sin, but he was also able not to sin.

Now is the time for the last days restoration on Nazarene Judaism, the faith of the original Jewish followers of Yeshua as the Jewish Messiah of Judaism!

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