Day 6 of the Waiting Room & Day 46 of the Omer
The Messiah picked His “Disciples by the Dozen”, and the Twelve became Apostles [minus Judas], after the Holy Spirit came upon them, as Yeshua prophesied! This happened on Shavuot [the Feast of Weeks], also known from the Greek as “Pentecost” [meaning 50 Days].
Imagine what the Disciples felt after their Messiah was seemingly dead, and what they probably thought was going to be their fatal ending too, as His followers. Let’s look at the “Surrounding Circle”, since Day 1 of the “WAITING ROOM” we examined the “Inner Circle” of Simon Peter [Shim’on Kefa], James [Ya’akov] and John [Yochanan], and Days 2-4, the “Supporting Circle”, with Andrew [Simon Peter’s brother], Philip [Friend of Bartholomew]; and Nathanael Bartholomew [Natan’El, Bar-Talemei]. We will continue to look at the third concentric circle around Yeshua, since we started yesterday on Day 5, by examining Matthew [Matityahu – “Yah has Given”].
The Surrounding Circle:
7. Matthew [Matityahu] or Levi [HaLevi – “The Levite”] – Tax Collector; Publican
8. Judas [Yehudah] the Zealot – Labbaeus or Thaddeus
9. Simon [Shim’on] the Cananite [Kanani “zealous one”] – Simeon the Zealot
Today let’s focus on Judas [Judah/Yehudah the Zealot], not to be confused with Judas Iscariot, the Betrayer:
Labbaeus or Thaddeus are probably surnames for Judas. This man has three names in the Bible. He is called Judas, the brother of James in Luke 6:16 and Acts 1:13. No one knows for sure just which James [Ya`akov] is being referred to here. The assumption is that he is James, the less [Ya`akov HaKatan]. This would mean that another brother from this same dedicated family was an apostle of Yeshua! In John 14:21, Judas is called “Judas, not Iscariot“. In Bible times, Judas (Jude/Judah/Yehudah) was one of the most common Jewish names. (There are at least six men mentioned in the New Testament with this name). Today, no Believer would name his child Judas because of the infamy of Judas Iscariot. Elsewhere in the New Testament, this same man is referred to as Thaddaeus or Lebbaeus. These were probably nicknames. Thaddaeus means “breast-child” and usually was a nickname given to the baby of the family, one especially cherished by his mother. Likewise Lebbaeus means “heart-child” and has the same connotation.
Although, like James, the less, Judas is wrapped in obscurity, there is one incident in scripture where Judas asked a very important question, see John 14:21-24. On the night before the crucifixion, Yeshua, while teaching his disciples promised them that he would manifest himself to those who love him and keep his commandments, v. 21. It is an important statement – God manifests himself to a loving, obeying heart. The word “manifest” triggered Judas to respond to Yeshua’s comment with the question, “How will you manifest yourself to us and not unto the world?” (v. 22). Yeshua clarified His teaching by repeating the same principle again (vs. 23-24). Yeshua is saying that the kingdom of God is not immediately going to be an outward manifestation of Messiah’s rule but an inward one. Messiah will manifest himself to those who love and obey Him. Manifestation is limited to reception. It is like a radio station – Someone can send the signal out, but until you turn your radio on and tune in to the frequency, you cannot receive the program. Yeshua is saying, “The kingdom of God is not, at this time, going to happen outwardly. In the days to come, I can only manifest myself to those who receive Me, those who show that they love Me by their obedience.” It is a good thing indeed that Judas asked this question. His question helps us to understand that the unsaved man does “not receive the things of the Spirit of God which are spiritually discerned” (see I Corinthians 2:14). Judas’ question also reminds us of the importance of love and obedience.
In the “upper room”, this Judas [Judah/Yehudah] was probably waiting for Yeshua’s words to come to pass, and receive the “Manifestation” of the Father and Messiah making their “abode” [home] in them, by the Promised Comforter, the Holy Spirit “abiding within them forever” [John 14:16, 26; 1 John 3:24 ]. He would have been very eager to get up and get dressed and travel to Temple, for an expectation of the manifestation of the Father’s Promise. At this point the disciples were unsure when it would happen. The Father used the Day of Shavuot, when He gave Israel the “Oral Law” first, and later the “Letter of the Law” of the Torah on the first two tablets [Matan Torah] , to also give us the “Spirit of the Law” [Matan HaRuach].
Judas, “Yehudah HaKatan”, remind us of the importance of obscure people’s service to the Lord and of the blessing of seeing a family faithfully following Yeshua. He also reminds us to eagerly wait for the fulfillment of all the Messiah’s Mission and Mandate in our lives, as we allow the Father, and His Son to make their abode in us, by the Spirit HaShem has given us [1 John 3:24; 4:13]. May we continue in this example.