by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions
Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Continuing this study of Mashiach Ben Yosef (Messiah "Son of Joseph"), I want to focus on another aspect of the rabbis' understanding; that Mashiach ben Yosef will come first, and prepare the world for the Kingdom of the Lord. According to their teaching he will do this by fighting God’s wars against "Edom", which is collectively understood as the enemies of Israel in the time preceding the restoration of the Messianic Kingdom by Mashiach "Ben David" . This preparation is known as Ikvot Mashiach – the Footsteps of Messiah. Their expectation was that the entire world would be thus readied for the arrival of Mashiach Ben David, the glorious King.
Messianic and Christian believers understand that Yeshua of Nazareth (Jesus) fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of Mashiach Ben Yosef in His first coming, and we anxiously await His return to fulfill the role of Mashiach Ben David. During this long interval, we who know Mashiach "Ben Yosef", the Suffering Servant, Yeshua, (Jesus) also "walk in His footsteps", preparing the world for His return.
This "walk" also engages us in a war. "Edom" represents the earthly man, the man of flesh, an enemy against whom we struggle daily, facing many battles and obstacles as we prepare ourselves and our brethren in holy living for our expected Bridegroom's arrival. Walking in His Footsteps means living a life of expectant preparation, and calling others to this walk as we preach the gospel of the coming Kingdom to all the nations.
Let us follow faithfully in His footsteps, fighting in the spirit, the battle with "Edom", our sinful nature, and winning souls through holy living and sharing the gospel of salvation at every opportunity.