Suffering was the aspect of the Messiah's ministry that the Jews missed (cf. Gen. 3:15; Psalm 22; Isa. 52:13-53:12; Zechariah 9-14). In Jewish thought the Messiah (see Special Topic: Messiah) was seen as a descendant of David, a militaristic champion of Israel. But He would also be a priest, as in Psalm 110 and Zechariah 3-4 (also note Hebrew's focus on Jesus' superior priesthood). This dual nature is reflected in the Dead Sea Scroll community's expectation of two Messiahs, one royal (from Judah) and one priestly (from Levi). This dynamic leadership role expectation seemed totally separate from a suffering, dying Messiah.

Jesus tried several times to inform the disciples about His prophesied suffering (cf. Matt. 8:31; 9:12,30-31; 10:33-34), but they could not understand (cf. Matt. 8:32-33; 9:32-34; 10:35-37).  See Special Topic: YHWH's Eternal Redemptive Plan.

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