Understanding the roots of our faith is absolutely vital. I am not speaking of movements such as the Hebrew Roots or Sacred Name movements. Rather, I am speaking of understanding Scripture based on the original author’s intent, grasping matters of language, culture, and, of course, the message God provides through that lens. Unfortunately, there are many who seem to set aside the first 39 books of Scripture as something of the past that has no significance for the people of God today. In doing so, the result can be a setting aside of the Jewish people with the emergence of the Church as the new apple of God’s eye. Thus, I enjoy books that seek to reorient the discussion to a proper foundation, one’s that recognize the flow of salvation history and focus on better understanding the many patterns and principles found in Scripture that have their roots in the Old Testament and flow into the New Testament, patterns and principles of an eternal nature. Dr. Jeffrey Johnson, in a helpful collection of essays called He Made the Stars Also: Messianic Reflections, attempts to provide that all important reorientation.
This is a very quick read consisting of 20 short yet insightful essays from Dr. Johnson’s ministry at Israel Today Ministry’s. While I had some minor points of disagreement with some of Dr. Johnson’s statements in a couple of essays, overall, I found the discussion to be relevant, biblically sound, and very helpful, especially in assisting people in the church to look at some important patterns, principles, and symbols found in the Old Testament that point directly to the Messiah.
The essay I found most intriguing was Dr. Johnson’s analysis of Genesis 24:67. There is much to be gleaned from that verse, in particular, the aspects in the home that Sarah was responsible for that speak very clearly to the Messiah. Symbolism such as light, bread, and relationship are pregnant with biblical meaning and these elements all speak to how the lighting of the Sabbath candles for example points to the Messiah as the light of the world, how the making of the challah bread speaks of God’s people being molded and shaped by God as well as the Messiah being our sustenance. Furthermore, and perhaps most important, is the aspect of relationship with God meeting His people in the home on the Sabbath with the husband and wife teaching their children the ways of God as well as the larger construct of God’s relationship with His people in the bride/bridegroom marriage model found between Jesus and His bride. Such beautiful and important concepts must not be overlooked in our reading of Scripture and a simple verse such as Genesis 24:67 speaks volumes if we take the time to grasp what is being said by God to us. Dr. Johnson did a marvelous job of exegeting that Scripture from a Hebraic framework.
While a very short book, this collection of essays is worth reading. Dr. Johnson provides some great insight. I appreciated his focus on digging into a Hebraic understanding of Scripture, something that might prove to be a bit of a needed paradigm shift for some but a necessary one. Ultimately, Dr. Johnson spends time focusing the conversation on how Scripture constantly points to Jesus and how God used, is using, and will continue to use His people to accomplish His divine purposes. This series of essays would serve as a great tool for devotional study with each essay serving as a jumping off point for further study.
This book is available for purchase from WIPF and Stock Publishers by clicking here.
I received this book for free from WIPF and Stock Publishers for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”