Welcome back, friends! We’re finishing up a 4-part series looking at the history of Messianic Jews and the sordid relationship with Christians. If you missed the first three parts, check out:
- What Does it Mean to be Jewish?
- If the First Christians were Jews, What Happened?
- After the Jewish Split Came the Christian Split
Our goal is to paint the picture that leads us to pray for a move of the Holy Spirit in Israel, to save many before the rapture takes us (believers) out of here, and the tribulation throws unbelieving Jews and the rest of the world into utter hell on earth. One for Israel leads the way in evangelizing both Jews and Arabs in Israel, and we’re looking to their prayer guide each afternoon as we post specific prayer points! Stick with us through the month of May for that.
But here we go into the finale of our mini-series. Yes, Jews who followed Jesus were quickly cut off by the Jews who didn’t follow Him, and they remain cut off to this day. Likewise, Jews who followed Jesus were also persecuted by Christians in many ways. (The Holocaust is an example. See yesterday’s post for others.) So, is it any wonder that there have been differences between Messianic Jews and Christians? But that is changing in a big way!
It is estimated hundreds of millions of Christians worldwide today love and support Israel and the Messianic movement. Many Christians are beginning to understand the Jewish roots of their faith. (Jesus was Jewish, after all!) Add to that, the fact that Israel was reborn as a nation in 1948, fulfilling Bible prophecy, and you have the recipe for tremendous reconciliation between Messianics and Christians. It is happening!
For Messianic Jews, their identity is not split, but doubled! They are the Jewish remnant Paul wrote about in Romans 11:1-6 who have not bowed the knee to Baal. They are chosen by grace to press forward with the call of God to be a light to Israel and the nations.
On the other hand, they are brothers and sisters with all Gentile believers in the Jewish Messiah! Jews didn’t “join Christianity,” we (Gentile believers) joined THEM in faith!
In the first article of this series, we asked what it means to be Jewish. Some believe they are born Jews (biological identity), some believe they are culturally Jews (participating in cultures and traditions), some believe they are religious Jews (holding fast to Jewish law). But Messianic Jews are free to participate biologically, culturally, and even religiously, without being beholden to those things! Some Messianic Jews celebrate the Jewish feasts, for example, but they see them not as law, but Jesus as the fulfillment! Some Messianic Jews engage in the many cultural aspects of Jewishness…eating donuts on Rosh HaShanah, BBQ’s on Independence Day and mourning Holocaust survivors on Yom HaShoah. Yet, their hope is in Jesus!
We cannot let our true identity be based on our ethnicity, our culture, or our political views. Our identity is spiritual and is found in the Messiah, in heaven.~One for Israel, Messianic Jewish Identity, accessed 5/8/2022
At One for Israel, their mission is to stand in the gap for their fellow Jewish and Arab countrymen! They are Jewish…they understand the history…they understand God’s original call upon Israel…they understand what it means to know the Jewish Messiah and make Him know among their countrymen!
Let’s close with this quote from Dr Eitan Bar, author and apologist at One for Israel/Israel College of the Bible:
I know that it’s not easy. Being a Messianic Jew means that you’re a minority in a minority and sometimes you’re regarded as an enemy by the people you love. It’s an identity that brings persecution from outside as well from home, and you often have to pay a heavy price. But all this grows dim in the light of the privilege we have to represent the Messiah to the people He deeply loves.
Please check in each afternoon in May for a prayer point. One for Israel is doing what no other ministry is doing in Israel: using native Israelis to spread the Gospel of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) with fellow Jews and Arabs in Israel! Please pray for the salvation of many!