Humble Hero


Many Longed for a Deliverer

The Jews’ faith had grown dim, and hope had nearly ceased to brighten the future. To the masses of people, death was a fearful mystery; beyond it was uncertainty and gloom. In “the region and shadow of death,” mourners sat unconsoled. With longing they looked for the coming of the Deliverer, when the mystery of the future would be revealed. HH 13.5

Outside of the Jewish nation, there were some who were looking for truth, and to them God gave the Spirit of Inspiration. Their words of prophecy had kindled hope in the hearts of thousands in the Gentile world. HH 13.6

For hundreds of years, the Scriptures had been available in the Greek language, then widely spoken throughout the Roman Empire. The Jews were scattered everywhere, and to some extent, the Gentiles shared their expectation of the Messiah’s coming. Among those whom the Jews called heathen were men who had a better understanding of the Scripture prophecies concerning the Messiah than the teachers in Israel had. HH 13.7

Some who hoped for His coming as a Deliverer from sin tried to study into the mystery of the Hebrew system. But the Jews were determined to maintain the separation between themselves and other nations, and they were unwilling to share the knowledge they had about the symbolic service. The true Interpreter, the One whom all these symbols represented, must come and explain their significance. God must teach humanity in the language of humanity. Christ must come to speak words they could clearly understand and to separate truth from the chaff that had made it powerless. HH 14.1

Among the Jews were some firm believers who preserved a knowledge of God. They strengthened their faith by remembering the assurance given through Moses, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you.” Acts 3:22. They read how the Lord would anoint One “to preach good tidings to the poor,” “to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives,” and to declare “the acceptable year of the Lord.” Isaiah 61:1, 2. He would establish “justice in the earth,” and the isles would “wait for His law.” Isaiah 42:4. Gentiles would come to His light, and kings to the brightness of His rising. See Isaiah 60:3. HH 14.2

The dying words of Jacob filled them with hope: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes.” Genesis 49:10. The fading power of Israel testified that the Messiah’s coming was near. Many people expected a mighty prince who would establish his kingdom in Israel and come as a deliverer to the nations. HH 14.3