When he came down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.
Behold, a leper came to him and bowed down before him, saying, “Lord, if you want to, you can make me clean.”
The Ben Ish Chai, R’ Yosef Chayyim of Baghdad, says,
“The Sages say that the Messiah is called “the leper of the house of Rabbi”. . . The Josephian Messiah suffers illnesses and afflictions to atone for the people of Israel and for the destruction of Jerusalem and of the Temple. He is called “the leper of the house of Rabbi” meaning, the one who suffers for Israel and Jerusalem. The Josephian Messiah sits near the Garden of Eden, suffering for the people of Israel…”
Ben Ish Chai, Ben Yehoyada, Days of Peace, Days of Peace, Yeshivat Ahavat Shalom Publications, pg. 130
Yeshua stretched out his hand, and touched him, saying, I want to. Be made clean. Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
The Talmud says,
ורבנן אמרי: חיוורא דבי רבי שמו שנאמר (ישעיהו נ״ג) אכן חליינו הוא נשא ומכאבינו סבלם ואנחנו חשבנהו נגוע מכה אלהים ומענה
“What is his [the Messiah’s] name? . . . The Rabbis said: His name is Chivra (the Leper), as it is written, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him a leper, smitten of God, and afflicted.” (Isaiah 53:4)”
Talmud, Sanhedrin 98b, Soncino Press Edition
Yeshua said to him, See that you tell nobody, but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.
“HaShem spoke to Moshe, saying, ‘This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing. He shall be brought to the priest, and the priest shall go forth out of the camp. The priest shall examine him, and behold, if the plague of leprosy is healed in the leper, then the priest shall command them to take for him who is to be cleansed two living clean birds, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop. The priest shall command them to kill one of the birds in an earthen vessel over running water. As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water. He shall sprinkle on him who is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird go into the open field.”
When he came into K’far-Nachum, a centurion came to him, asking him,
and saying, Lord, my servant lies in the house paralyzed, grievously tormented.
Yeshua said to him, I will come and heal him.
The centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy for you to come under my roof. Just say the word, and my servant will be healed.
For I am also a man under authority, having under myself soldiers. I tell this one, ‘Go’, and he goes, and I tell another, ‘Come’, and he comes and I tell my servant, ‘Do this’, and he does it.”
When Yeshua heard it, he marveled, and said to those who followed, ‘Most certainly I tell you, I havent found so great a faith, not even in Israel.
I tell you that many will come from the east and the west, and will sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven,
but the children of the Kingdom will be thrown out into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Yeshua said to the centurion, ‘Go your way. Let it be done for you as you have believed. His servant was healed in that hour.’
When Yeshua came into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever.
He touched her hand, and the fever left her. She got up and served him.
When evening came, they brought to him many possessed with demons. He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick,
that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘He took our infirmities, and bore our diseases.’
Matthew applies Isaiah 53 to Yeshua,
“Who has believed our message? To whom has the arm of HaShem been revealed? For he grew up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no good looks or majesty. When we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised, and rejected by men; a man of suffering, and acquainted with disease. He was despised as one from whom men hide their face; and we didn’t respect him. Surely he has borne our sickness, and carried our suffering; yet we considered him plagued, struck by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought our peace was on him; and by his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray. Everyone has turned to his own way; and HaShem has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, yet when he was afflicted he didn’t open his mouth. As a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before its shearers is mute, so he didn’t open his mouth. He was taken away by oppression and judgment; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living and stricken for the disobedience of my people? They made his grave with the wicked, and with a rich man in his death; although he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased HaShem to bruise him. He has caused him to suffer. When you make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed. He shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of HaShem shall prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light and be satisfied. My righteous servant will justify many by the knowledge of himself; and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
Midrash Tehillim tells us of the great suffering the Messiah takes upon himself,
“R. Levi taught in the name of R. Idi: Suffering is divided into three portions: One, the Patriarchs and all the generations of men took; the generation that lived in the time of [Hadrian’s] persecution took; and one, the lord Messiah will take.”
Midrash Tehillim, Psalm 16.5, Yale University Press, pg. 198
The Ben Ish Chai comments on Sanhedrin 93b,
“…through afflictions, the Messiah rises to great spiritual heights. In addition, his afflictions atone for Israel so that they can continue to live and perform mitzvot. Since without the Messiah, these mitzvot would not have been done, he is a partner in Israel’s mitzvot. Thus because He loaded him up with afflictions like millstones, He loaded him up with mitzvot as well.”
Ben Ish Chai, Benayahu, Days of Peace, Days of Peace, Yeshivat Ahavat Shalom Publications, pgs. 117
“…the Messiah is Israel’s guarantor; he has undertaken suffering to atone for Israel’s sins in order to shorten the exile (Yalkut Shimoni 499).”
Ben Ish Chai, Aderet Eliyahu, Haftarat Yitro, Days of Peace, Yeshivat Ahavat Shalom Publications, pgs. 127
Commenting on Isaiah 53, the Zohar makes the remarkable statement:
בְּשַׁעֲתָא דְּאַמְרִין לֵיהּ לִמְשִׁיחָא צַעֲרָא דְּיִשְׂרָאֵל בְּגָלְוּתְהוֹן, וְאִינּוּן חַיָּיבַיָּא דִּי בְּהוֹן, דְּלָא מִסְתַּכְּלֵי לְמִנְדַּע לְמָארֵיהוֹן, אָרִים קָלָא וּבָכֵי, עַל אִינּוּן חַיָּיבִין דִּבְהוּ. הה”ד, וְהוּא מְחוֹלָל מִפְּשָׁעֵינוּ מְדוּכָּא מֵעֲוֹנוֹתֵינוּ תַּיְיבִין אִינּוּן נִשְׁמָתִין וְקַיְימִין בְּאַתְרַיְיהוּ. בְּגִנְתָּא דְּעֵדֶן אִית הֵיכָלָא חֲדָא, דְּאִקְרֵי הֵיכָלָא דִּבְנֵי מַרְעִין. כְּדֵין מָשִׁיחַ עָאל בְּהַהוּא הֵיכָלָא, וְקָרֵי לְכָל מַרְעִין וְכָל כְּאֵבִין, כָּל יִסּוּרֵיהוֹן דְּיִשְׂרָאֵל, דְּיֵיתוּן עָלֵיהּ, וְכֻלְּהוּ אַתְיָין עָלֵיהּ. וְאִלְמָלֵא דְּאִיהוּ אָקִיל מֵעָלַיְיהוּ דְּיִשְׂרָאֵל, וְנָטִיל עָלֵיהּ, לָא הֲוֵי בַּר נָשׁ דְּיָכִיל לְמִסְבַּל יִסּוּרֵיהוֹן דְּיִשְׂרָאֵל, עַל עוֹנְשֵׁי דְּאוֹרַיְיתָא. הה”ד אָכֵן חֳלָיֵינוּ הוּא נָשָׁא וְגוֹ’. כְּגַוְונָא דָּא רִבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בְּאַרְעָא. בְּגִין דְּלֵית חוּשְׁבָּנָא, לְאִינּוּן יִסּוּרִין דְּקַיְימִין עָלֵיהּ דְּב”נ בְּכָל יוֹמָא, עַל עוֹנְשֵׁי דְּאוֹרַיְיתָא, וְכֻלְּהוּ נַחְתוּ לְעָלְמָא, בְּשַׁעֲתָא דְּאִתְיְהִיבַת אוֹרַיְיתָא. וְכַד הֲווֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּאַרְעָא קַדִּישָׁא, בְּאִינּוּן פּוּלְחָנִין וְקָרְבְּנִין דַּהֲווֹ עַבְדֵי, הֲווֹ מְסַלְּקִין כָּל אִינּוּן מַרְעִין וְיִסוּרִין מֵעָלְמָא. הַשְׁתָּא מָשִׁיחַ מְסָלַק לוֹן מִבְּנֵי עָלְמָא, עַד דְּנָפִיק בַּר נָשׁ מֵהַאי עָלְמָא, וּמְקַבֵּל עוֹנְשֵׁיהּ, כְּמָה דְּאִתְּמַר.
זֹהַר, שְׁמוֹת, וַיַּקְהֵל
“When the Messiah hears of the great suffering of Israel in their dispersion, and of the wicked amongst them who seek not to know their Master, he weeps aloud on account of those wicked ones amongst them, as it is written: But he was wounded because of our transgression, he was crushed because of our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5). The souls then return to their place. The Messiah, on his part, enters a certain Hall in the Garden of Eden, called the Hall of the Afflicted. There he calls for all the diseases and pains and sufferings of Israel, bidding them settle on himself, which they do. And were it not that he thus eases the burden from Israel, taking it on himself, no one could endure the sufferings meted out to Israel in expiation on account of their neglect of the Torah. So Scripture says, “Surely our diseases he did bear, etc. (Isaiah 53:4). A similar function was performed by R. Eleazar here on earth. For, indeed, beyond number are the chastisements awaiting every man daily for the neglect of the Torah, all of which descended into the world at the time when the Torah was given. As long as Israel were in the Holy Land, by means of the Temple service and sacrifices they averted all evil diseases and afflictions from the world. Now it is the Messiah who is the means of averting them from mankind until the time when a man quits this world and receives his punishment, as already said.”
Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 212a, Soncino Press Edition
Now when Yeshua saw great multitudes around him, he gave the order to depart to the other side.
A scribe came, and said to him, “Rabbi, I will follow you wherever you go.”
Yeshua said to him, ‘The foxes have holes, and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.’
“Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. He came to a certain place, and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. He took one of the stones of the place, and put it under his head, and lay down in that place to sleep.”
Another of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father.’
But Yeshua said to him, ‘Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.’
When he got into a boat, his disciples followed him.
Behold, a violent storm came up on the sea, so much that the boat was covered with the waves, but he was asleep.
This passage links Yeshua to Yonah HaNavi,
“But HaShem sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty storm on the sea, so that the ship was likely to break up. Then the mariners were afraid, and every man cried to his god. They threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone down into the innermost parts of the ship, and he was laying down, and was fast asleep.
Kol HaTor, written by R’ Hillel Shklover, links Yonah HaNavi to Mashiach ben Yosef,
“The commandment to expand the borders is the mission of Mashiach ben Yosef as God had told the prophet Jonah, who was on the level of Mashiach ben Yosef, to restore the border of Israel (II Kings 14:25).”
Kol HaTor 2.36
The Kol HaTor continues,
“Admonish to repent – not only Israel, but also the other nations, in the line of the prophet Jonah, who was the Mashiach ben Yosef in his generation, as is written: (Isa. 2:4) “He will admonish many peoples.”
Kol HaTor 2.75
They came to him, and woke him up, saying, ‘Save us, Lord! We are dying!’
He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?’ Then he got up, rebuked the wind and the sea, and there was a great calm.
“Then they cry to HaShem in their trouble, and he brings them out of their distress. He makes the storm a calm, so that its waves are still. Then they are glad because it is calm, so he brings them to their desired haven.”
Psalms 107:28-30, cf. Psalm 89:9
The men marveled, saying, “What kind of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
When he came to the other side, into the country of the Gergesenes, two people possessed by demons met him there, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that nobody could pass that way.
Behold, they cried out, saying, “What do we have to do with you, Yeshua, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?”
Many people think that demonic possession is an archaism from an ancient superstitious society. The Encyclopedia of Religion cites a 1969 study of the National Institute of Mental Health,
“In one form or another, spirit possession occurs over most of the world. The anthropologist Erika Bourguignon found that in a sample of 488 societies 74 percent believe in spirit possession.”
“Spirit Possession: An Overview.” Crapanzano, Vincent.Encyclopedia of Religion, edited by Lindsay Jones, 2nd ed., vol. 13, Macmillan Reference USA, 2005, pp. 8687-8694. Gale eBooks.
In fact, the scientific world knows this phenomenon well. In the world of medicine, it is called Dissociative Identity Disorder in the Possession Form. The Merck Manual states,
“In the possession form, the multiple identities are readily apparent to family members and associates. Patients speak and act in an obviously different manner, as though another person or being has taken over. The new identity may be that of another person (often someone who has died, perhaps in a dramatic fashion) or that of a supernatural spirit (often a demon or god), who may demand punishment for past actions. . . In addition to hearing voices, patients with dissociative identity disorder may have visual, tactile, olfactory, and gustatory hallucinations. . .Depression, anxiety, substance abuse, self-injury, self-mutilation, nonepileptic seizures, and suicidal behavior are common…”
David Spiegel, MD, Merck Manual, Professional Version, Dissociative Identity Disorder
According to Pesikta Rabbati, the Messiah will have power of the evil forces,
“What is meant by ‘in Your light do we see light’? What light is it that the congregation of Israel looks for as from a watchtower? It is the light of Messiah, of which it is said, ‘And God saw the light that it was good’ (Gen 1:4). This verse proves that the Holy One, blessed be He, contemplated the Messiah and his works before the world was created, and then under His throne of glory put away His Messiah until the time of the generation in which he will appear. Satan asked the Holy One, blessed be He, for whom is the light which is put away under Thy throne of glory? God replied: For him who will turn thee back and put thee to utter shame. Satan said: Master of the universe, show him to me. God replied: Come and see him. And when he saw him, Satan was shaken, and he fell upon his face and said: Surely this is the Messiah who will cause me and all the counterparts in heaven of the princes of the earth’s nations to be swallowed up in Gehenna…in that hour all the princely counterparts of the nations, in agitation, will say to Him: Master of the universe, who is this through whose power we are to be swallowed up? What is his name? What kind of being is he?”
Pesikta Rabbati 36.1, translated by William Braude, Yale University Press, pg. 677-678