What is a True Hebrew?
The letter to the Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians scattered throughout the Roman empire. We are not sure who wrote the letter but we do know that God authored it! It is kind of strange that the letter was written to Hebrews instead of Israelites. But as we discover what a true “Hebrew” is, it makes perfect sense. The word hebrew literally means one who crosses or passes over something.
Abraham is the first person referred to as a “hebrew” in the bible.
“Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and of Aner. These were allies of Abram.” Gen. 14:13
We can see from Abraham’s life that he was one who crossed over. What did he cross over? He crossed over the Euphrates river to enter the Canaan land (Gen 15:18). He left his homeland, Ur of the Chaldeans (ancient Babylonia) to enter into the land God would give his descendants. Why did God have Abraham enter this Canaan land full of evil tribes and peoples? It’s because this is the place where He would build His temple, the dwelling place of God on the earth.
Abraham did what God wanted but he was only one man at that time. God wanted a nation. He wanted a corporate Man.
The Children of Israel
The nation of Israel crossed two rivers. First they crossed the Red Sea leaving Egypt. Then, a generation latter, they crossed the Jordan river to enter the Canaan land. Here again, God’s goal was to have his people in the Canaan land. Why? Because He wanted to build His house, His temple in that land. He wanted a City (Jerusalem) in the land of Canaan in which He would build His very own house that He would dwell in.
Now, even though these things really did happen, they were only shadows and types of the reality that would be fulfilled in the New Testament. The Reality that is Jesus Christ Himself!
Jesus Christ is the ultimate river crosser! He is the true Hebrew. He crossed over four rivers.
The River of Human Flesh
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
Jesus crossed over by becoming a man. He emptied Himself of His godhood and took on the form of a lowly man, a servant (Phil. 2:5-11). The Greatest became the least. The Highest became the lowest. He left all of his “stuff” on the other side so that he could accomplish God’s eternal purpose.
The River of Baptism
Then your Lord crossed over the river Jordan and left behind his divinity so that he could totally be the Son of Man and live a life as a man who had the Father living inside of him. He learned by the things he suffered and learned how to live by the life of his Father who was indwelling him (Jn. 6:57).
He immediately went into the wilderness after his baptism. Like Israel of old, he passed over the Red Sea into the wilderness to trust God alone for his provision, direction, and life.
The River of Death
Then, he crossed over another river, the river of death on a cross. This, as all other rivers, was for the purpose of obtaining God’s purpose. God wanted a house. He wanted a dwelling place. And that dwelling place would be in a particular land which would be in a particular city. He would tear down all of the shadows so that he could obtain the reality. He tore down the external, temporary, and visible temple so that the REAL temple would be built out of his own BODY!
God wanted his corporate expression so the Son became a Seed that went into the ground and died so the God would get his corporate expression – the multiplication or increase of his Son into a many-membered Body. He crossed the river and went behind the veil so God would have his full corporate expression.
The River of Our Flesh
Then, after he was resurrected, ascended, and glorified he crossed another river and entered into the veil of our flesh. This glorious One came and entered inside of You! (Col. 1:27).
“To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Col. 1:27
Now the glory of his expression lives inside of each believer. But how will he get his corporate expression?
By each one of us being willing to cross over rivers, leaving the religious baggage behind, and entering into the Canaan land (who is Christ), learning to enjoy the riches of that land (which are Christ), so he can build his house there (which is Christ!).
May we all become such river crossers!
Well think what God can and will, go back 30-40 years ago when this was ONE NATION UNDER GOD, things were good. Well things are changing, man can not do it by his self and if he dosn’t want to be with GOD or want his help- look at where the country is going. His weapons are of low cost, NATURE we lose!
God’s been talking to me about the same thing. Nice to read your post and receive God’s confirmation. Love you, Brother!
John S Wilson III said:
Hi Milt as I read your blog the comment “Then your Lord crossed over the river Jordan and left behind his divinity so that he could totally be the Son of Man and live a life as a man who had the Father living inside of him” seemed right as He shows us how to live by His life, but wasn’t sure what you meant by “left behind his divinity” since this could be taken a number of different ways.
Steve Simms said:
Amen, brother. There is always one more river that God wants us to cross. The Way is forward, not backward! “I press towards the mark . . .”
It means that He emptied Himself (Phil. 2:5-7) and though He was still God (deity) positionally and by every right, He lived as a man to show us the Way. The ‘Way’ is the New Covenant – God tabernacling inside of man. The Son of God came here to live as the Son of Man – God living in man. Instead of living by His own life, He lived by the life of His Father in Him. In other words, He lived by the life of an indwelling Father.
This was for the eternal purpose of all of us learning to live by the life of an indwelling Lord (Christ). Christ in you(plural), the hope of glory!
John Wilson said:
thanks Milt, appreciate the comments, that is how I thought to take your words in the article. Blessings brother.
This is right on. We have been dwelling on the subject of entering the land (Christ) for a while now and we have seen how any area in our life that requires an embracing of the cross (jordan) is a place of wilderness. The Lord is ever increasing in our hearts and displacing the wilderness by leading us through the Jordan into His fullness together.
You make an excellent point here.
It’s a WE thing. It’s a together thing. Crossing over the river (embracing the cross) is both individual AND corporate. But if we are not with brothers and sisters who are committed to God’s purpose and are placing Christ in His proper place, then the river crossing is not coming to fruition.
River crossing can only fulfill it’s purpose by a nation, a body, a household, a corporate bride and community!
Michael Young said:
I like that line you said, Milt, “Jesus is the true Hebrew”. Amen!
Mark Burnett said:
Excellent article! You are building on the foundation already laid helping myself, and others, gain a greater picture of Who Christ is and who we are in Christ. Thanks for making yourself available for God to use to speak to me. <
I couldn’t help thinking of John 7:38 while reading this… “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow RIVERS of living water.” As we empty ourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to fill us we will cross many more rivers too!
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