Hi, this is Moses here. Yes, that Moses. I hope you don’t mind my talking while I eat this corned beef and cabbage. Man, this sure tastes good. I mean, the manna was good too, it was food from heaven for our desert journey, but it’s nice to have something else for a change.
Anyway — it’s Saint Patrick’s Day already. I found out about Saint Patrick. He was supposed to have kicked the snakes out of Ireland. I don’t know, maybe he did. I know something about snakes. When I was in Pharaoh’s court, God turned my staff into a snake, but Pharaoh’s guys did the same thing with their magic. And then there was the time when God sent poisonous snakes among the Israelites because they complained about being free from Egyptian slavery. They thought they had it better with the taskmasters. Really? Really? So I put a bronze snake up on a pole and whoever looked at the bronze snake was healed from the venom. Why not? It wasn’t like I was going to find a doctor to make house calls out in the wilderness.
That’s pretty much what I know about snakes. So if Patrick kicked them out of Ireland, probably all for the better.
But he did something more important. He told the Irish about the Messiah, Jesus. Yes, that Jesus. He was the one God told me about, “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.” That’s in the book they call Deuteronomy, in chapter 18, verse 18, but I didn’t call it that myself.
One time I wrote to Rabbi Levi Ben Gershon. He lived in the fourteenth century, but I wrote to him anyway. As you can see, I’m still around, so it wasn’t a problem. And I liked the commentary he wrote on another verse in Deuteronomy, even though I never called it by that name. Did I say that already? Anyway, I think I still have his commentary with me. … Just a moment … here it is. He wrote this about Deuteronomy 34:10, “Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses” —
It follows necessarily from this verse that no prophet whose office was restricted to Israel alone could ever arise again like Moses; but it is still quite possible that a prophet like Moses might arise among the Gentile nations. In fact, the Messiah is such a Prophet, as it is stated in the Midrash of the verse, Behold my Servant shall prosper [Isaiah 52:13]. Moses, by the miracles which he wrought, brought a single nation to the worship of God, but the Messiah will draw all peoples to the worship of God.
I happen to think Levi — I call him Levi — was right. The Messiah is a prophet, and like Deuteronomy 18:18 says, the Messiah is like me. But in another way he’s not. Levi said that the Messiah will draw all peoples to God, and of course he meant the God of Israel. And that’s why I like Saint Patrick. Forget the snakes. He brought the Irish people to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In fact, Jesus turns out to be the Messiah both of Israel and of the nations.
As Moses, I want to go on record that I throw my support completely behind what Patrick did. That’s why I’m celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day today. The corned beef is delicious, the cabbage is good even if it’s not deli style, but it’s even better to know that Patrick brought the Bread of Life, the Messiah himself, to the Irish. And yes, his name is Jesus, though since Hebrew is my first language, I usually call him Yeshua. Patrick wasn’t Jewish, but he knew that the Jewish Messiah wasn’t meant just to stay at home, so to speak. He was meant for all the nations of the world.
Actually, he’s more than just a prophet, but that’s a story for another day.
So if you want to talk to me about the Messiah, email me at [email protected]. I’ll be here, I still have to have dessert yet.