76 Sermons On The Old Testament Given By Jesus

Sermon 76 - Jesus, when on earth, was impressed by Zechariah’s writings.

January 4th, 1966

Received by Dr Samuels

Washington D.C.


I am here, Jesus.

With the ninth chapter of Zechariah it is necessary to pause and make some comments. The contents of the last six chapters have nothing in common, as far as subject matter is concerned, with the preceding ones, and subsequently many commentators of Old Testament prophets feel that a second Zechariah wrote them. This, however, is a case wherein the same person penned all the chapters, regardless of the completely new material introduced; rather, we find the same visionary and the same optimist, on a larger and more grandiose scale.

Some 25 years elapse before Zechariah writes his remaining chapters. The Temple was restored in 516 B.C., and all seemed peaceful; yet in 490 B.C. there takes place the battle of Marathon and 10 years later the Greeks defeat the Persians in the naval battle of Salamis. Hence Zechariah, now a middle aged man, sees in these historical events a sign to again take up the pen of prophecy and hearken to the voice of the Lord. Now he is no longer interested in the Temple, an accomplished fact, but in the fate of the Jews and Jerusalem if Persia were to be conquered by the Greeks, as proved to be the case when Alexander, the Great, appeared on the scene about 150 years later. Zechariah’s conclusion is that now that Israel, the Holy Land, is again in the possession of the Jews, any assault by the Greeks or a combination of nations against Jerusalem must this time fail, even if God Himself had to come down from heaven and fight, standing on His Holy Mountain, to save his people from destruction. His voice brought the Hebrews back from exile in Babylonia; His zeal would, if necessary, bring victory to His people this time, if attacked. Hence Jews must look forward to the future with confidence, regardless of the upheavals wrought among the heathen nations; the threat of Greece would fade, Jerusalem would become the Temple City of the entire world to which peoples from everywhere would come to worship, and in that future day “the Lord shall be King over all the earth; in that day shall the Lord be One, and His Name One.” (Zechariah 14: 9)

When on earth in Palestine, I was very much interested in Zechariah’s writing, not only because of the faith in the Lord’s Love and protection of His people, but because of the figure of the Messiah which he introduced as visions. This recourse to Messiahship occurs as early as Chapter 9: 9 and 10, which are very much celebrated in religious circles:

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion,

Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem;

Behold, thy King cometh unto thee:

He is just and mercifully loving;

Lowly, and riding upon an ass,

Even upon a colt, the foal of an ass.

And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim,

And the horse from Jerusalem,

And the battle bow shall be cut off.

And he shall speak peace unto the nations;

And his dominion shall be from sea to sea,

And from the river to the ends of the earth.”

Now there can be no doubt about the new dimension in Israel’s conception of the Messiah. Here he is no longer the conventional ruler anointed of God through the priesthood; the Messiah, whom Zechariah had taken to be Zerubbabel, had failed to survive the opposition of the Persians, and one may say the priesthood as well, in that this organization feared curtailment of its powers by a native secular power. Zechariah now saw that the Messiah to come must be, to be sure, a human being, but possessed of transcendent spiritual qualities of humility and love. In addition, Zechariah saw that the Messiah of God would have not only Israel at heart, but all humanity.

Here, then, was a concept of the Messiah that went beyond a conventional regal figure, one that was endowed with a human spirit and a breadth that gave the meaning of the term a grandeur heretofore unknown. The Messiah was to bring peace to the worn-torn world through his care, his mercy, his love. I was very much impressed by these verses in Zechariah, and the Love in my heart told me that this concept of the Messiah was more nearly in accord with what God had willed for His Christ. And when I set out for Jerusalem, I chose to enter the city exactly in the manner described in the lines I have just quoted; I rode at the head of my followers mounted on an ass. You see that the prophets of Israel were very important to me in my intellectual formation as the Messiah promised the Hebrew people.

But if Zechariah saw the vision of the Messiah as God’s Will for love and peace, yet he saw struggle and invasion all about him. He senses that the Greeks will take the place of the Persians and attack Asia Minor and the Middle East. This they had done in centuries gone by, when the Greeks had destroyed Troy, and the Philistines had invaded Israel. Now new wars were in the offing. The Persians were now in battle with the Greeks, but Zechariah foresaw mighty land attacks. As a matter of fact, these took place much later in the days of Alexander, the Great. Zechariah was therefore afraid of warfare against Jerusalem, even to the extent where Judah, the land surrounding the city, would feel the brunt of the invasion and attack the enemy in turn. Here Zechariah wished to imbue his hearers with a sense of security. God would fight for them now, as He had not done in the defense against Babylonia. Before, He had punished; now, He would redeem:

“In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem;

And he that stumbleth among them at that day shall be as David

{so valiant and mighty a warrior shall he be}.

And the house of David shall be as a godlike being,

As the angel of the Lord before them.

And it shall come to pass that I will set myself to destroy

All the nations {if their guilt so warrants their destruction}

That come against Jerusalem:

And I will pour upon the House of David,

And upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem

The spirit of grace and supplication, {yea,

The spirit of salvation and prayer}

And they shall look upon him whom they have pierced,

And they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son. …”

(Zechariah 12: 8 - 10).

Now this is a prophecy attributed to the Father Himself, relative to a defense of Jerusalem; He would inspire courage and bravery in the Hebrew soldiers, but he would also pour out His Spirit upon the people. I have asked Zechariah when this took place, or was to take place, and who was the person mourned for whom they had thrust through, and Zechariah told me he had been inspired by a vision such as he had received in earlier prophecies, and could only say that this was a matter of interpretation. He did say, however, that he knew of no one in the spirit world who had come forth to proclaim himself to be that person, not even King Josiah, who was killed by Pharoah Necho at Meggido, and thought this referred to the Messiah, son of Joseph, who was to die violently in the performance of his mission, according to an old Hebrew tradition. I have thought that this could refer to the assassination of Gedaliah, the governor of Jerusalem at the time it was captured by Nebuchadnezzar, by members of the Hebrew royal house. A day of national mourning was set up to remember this horrible deed, and his death was deeply felt and grieved. I cannot adhere to the general Jewish interpretation that the martyr referred to were the Jewish soldiers fallen before the heathen onslaughts, but the Talmud declares (Sukkah, 52A), like Zechariah, that this refers to the Messiah and his untimely death. Of course the New Testament considers the prophecy as having been fulfilled by my death outside Jerusalem. If this is true, then the prophecy is astounding, but I am reluctant to believe that the evidence is strong enough to be considered convincing. At the same time, when I realized I was the Messiah of God, I knew that my road in preaching salvation through God’s Love must inevitably incur the hostility of those whose concept of Judaism brooked no further development, as well as the enmity of high placed officials whose positions could be abolished by acceptance of the “good news,” and persecution from the Roman authorities in the name of revolt against the existing order, whose duty it was to maintain.

Furthermore, the beginning of Chapter 13 refers to a fountain of waters in Jerusalem:

“In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the House of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for purification and for sprinkling, for sin and for uncleanliness.”

(Zechariah 13: 1)

Since the only stream in Jerusalem is the Kidron Brook, the reference here was to Ezekiel’s vision of waters flowing from the Temple (Ezekiel 47: 1) and was prophetic in meaning. In the time of my coming, this fountain for the House of David and the people of Jerusalem could have no meaning in a physical sense for ablutions, but only in the sense of the out-flowing of God’s Divine Love to me as His Messiah and to the people who should listen to my preaching of God’s new salvation through His Love, and pray and obtain It as I exhorted them to do, and to those in the spirit world who should follow my preaching, whatever their abode and condition of soul. Thus I was very much alive to the writings of Zechariah, and I understood considerably about my mission as the Christ through this prophet of Israel receiving the word of God centuries before my coming.

Jesus of the Bible


Master of the Celestial Heavens