Saturday, May 14, 2016

Jesus (Yeshua) is a worm...and a snake too among other things: an interesting and thought provoking book

Jesus (Yeshua) is a worm…and a snake too among other things by Kendall T. Shoulders is an interesting in-depth study of the imagery throughout the Bible as it points to Jesus as the Messiah. The book is actually two books in one. Book 1 focuses on the imagery of the worm and a snake to indicate the coming of the Messiah in Jesus. Book 2 continues that theme as similarities between figures of the Old Testament to Jesus and the prophecy of Revelation.

Book 1 is the Jesus as the tola worm as it is used throughout the Old Testament. The tola worm is an important worm to the ancient world. It was a source of dye for cloth. It was environmental cleaning. Parallels between the tola worm’s appearance in the Old Testament and the events of Jesus’ life is amazing. The imagery that is drawn between the parallels are mind-blowing. The author also draws conclusions about the use of the materials and decorations in the Tabernacle to Christ. The use of gold, silver, bronze and the colors used in the priestly garments all have a purpose pointing to the coming of Christ. The tola worm’s presence in the story of Jonah teaches that “a self-righteous attitude compels us to compare ourselves to other people” and how easy it is to accept God’s grace on our behalf but how difficult it is to accept God’s grace and even extend grace to others.

The author also draws a parallel with a snake and Jesus in Book 1. While many believers would see the snake as a symbol of Satan, an interesting point was made in the story of Exodus. When Moses makes his request to Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, Aaron’s staff becomes a snake. The Pharaoh’s wise men and sorcerers perform the same feat (Exodus 7:8-13). However, Aaron’s snake swallowed the other snakes. This is an image of Jesus “swallowing our sins, including every possible vile, evil thing that Satan could imagine.” The author also takes the story of the Israelites in the desert and they were told to look at a bronze snake in order to be healed from a sickness brought on by the people’s constant complaining (Numbers 21:4-9). Those who looked at the bronze snake high on a pole were healed, those did not died. This story seems to be a foreshadowing of Jesus on the cross. Those who look to him are healed and saved from their sins and those who don’t…

Book 2 is a bonus section which continues the theme of how Jesus is the fulfillment of all things concerning the Law (Genesis through Deuteronomy), the Psalms and the prophets. From Adam to Isaiah, images and prophecies foreshadow an event of Jesus’s life. It’s a great way to see how every book of the Old Testament points to the Messiah in Jesus. The author compares interesting similarities Genesis figures to Christ, Satan and the end times. While some are interesting and thought provoking, I found some to be a bit of a stretch. For instance, the author claims that Abel’s birth points to the virgin birth of Christ because the Bible states that “Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain” (Genesis 4:1); however, in verse 2 simply states “Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.” He claim is that Adam did not “lay with” Eve in order for her to conceive Abel, this is a foreshadowing of Christ’s miracle birth. Is he wrong? I don’t know but there isn’t any evidence to say it’s true.

Jesus (Yeshua) is a worm…and a snake too among other things is an interesting and thought provoking look into the Bible and how Jesus is seen in every story. When I first saw this book as it was available to review, the title caught me off guard. I requested to review it as I was anticipating being angered at the possibilities of what the title seems to suggest. However, once I started reading, I realized the title doesn’t fully give the picture of what an amazing book it is. While I disagreed with some of the author’s claims, he presents them with verses and cultural references for support. I highly recommend this book as a new and unique look into the amazing works of God as it is told in His Word. 

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