The Prophetic Mission of Yeshua` of Nazareth
The Sefer Yeshua seeks to place Jesus of Nazareth wholly and completely within the tradition of Jewish prophets. In it he is presented as a prophet who:
- prophesied the destruction of the Temple, the demise of Jerusalem, and the subsequent suffering and mourning of the Jewish people;
- warned that the murderous actions of the Zealots would result in a Roman-imposed exile;
- predicted the extinction of the Sadducees as a religious party;
- proclaimed the immediacy of the Kingdom of God, and helped people to feel the living Presence of God;
- encouraged people towards an intense, personal relationship with their Heavenly Father;
- reminded the rich of the God-given right of the poor to social justice;
- called people to live the true heart of Torah, which was justice, mercy, compassion and forgiveness;
- spoke to restore the original intent of the Written Torah, and spoke against the burden of the Oral Law;
- promoted a simple, direct approach to Torah;
- and gave Jews a way of internalising Torah, of writing it on their hearts.
The picture of Jesus portrayed in the Séfer Yeshua is quite different from that of the Christian gospels. In the New Testament, Jesus alone is the message, and his atoning death the object of his message; in the Séfer Yeshua`, it is God and the ways of Gods Kingdom which become central, and Jesus merely becomes the messenger.