One exciting fact many don’t think about often is the Jewishness of Yeshua. He was a Jew from the tribe of Judah. He spoke Words from a Jewish book called the Tanakh– Christians call it the Old Testament. He was The Word made flesh. He kept His Father’s Feast days and the Sabbath. Of course, He did get on some of the Pharisees about the Sabbath because they made it legalistic with all their added rules. Many Pharisees and Sadducees were very righteous men. Not all were hypocrites bent on rules and money.
Have you ever worked a job and it was going smoothly and then corporate America stepped in and decided to add rules? I have. Let me give you an example of what these corrupt Pharisees did.
Once while working at a well-known restaurant, corporate decided that every server needed to carry a large wine bottle to their table and give a wine taster intro to increase sales. If a server was seen greeting a new table without the house wine in their hand, pouring samples, they were written up or fired. So if you can imagine walking out to a table and delivering an item of food, and then you see a new party seated, but you cannot even say hello until you walk up to the bar area and grab one of the wine bottles. You get there and begin to make your wine speech when they inform you they are recovering alcoholics or Southern Baptist. Yes, not only do they not drink but now they’re upset with you. While wasting time walking to the bar area for wine, another table now has empty tea glasses.
The Pharisees and Sadducees added many rules. So many in fact that Jesus said, “They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden” (Matthew 23:4 NLT).
At some point, you decided to become a Christian. More than likely, not because it is the God of the Jews, but because you were raised in the faith. However, it is the God of the Jews.
“How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the God of the Jews is God, follow Him! But if Baal is god, then follow him!” (I Kings 18:21).
Why are Christians trying to convert Jews to a religion that is theirs, to begin with? Their people wrote the Book. Not only that, but Yeshua said, “You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22).
Salvation is of the Jews…Yeshua said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
“For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17-20 NASB).
The Jews never try and proselytize or turn other people into Jews. They will explain to you that nowhere in the Old Testament are they told to convert others into a Jew. Christians, on the other hand, believe that they are to GO into all the world and preach the gospel. Yes, even to the ones who wrote it.
“GO therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you;” (Matthew 28:19-20 ESV).
The Jews keep the Torah. Many Christians feel they have that part wrong. However, the Older Testament warns them not to listen to Christians, or others, who try and convince them of another religion.
(Deuteronomy 13:6-11) “Suppose someone secretly entices you—even your brother, your son or daughter, your beloved wife, or your closest friend—and says, ‘Let us go worship other gods’—gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known. They might suggest that you worship the gods of peoples who live nearby or who come from the ends of the earth. But do not give in or listen. Have no pity, and do not spare or protect them. You must put them to death! Strike the first blow yourself, and then all the people must join in. Stone the guilty ones to death because they have tried to draw you away from the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of slavery. Then all Israel will hear about it and be afraid, and no one will act so wickedly again.”
So to the Jews, Christians are some of the worst people in the world. They will explain to you that Hitler tried to kill only their bodies. Physical death is temporary, but there is an afterlife, and they will stand up when the resurrection of the dead takes place. They want to be counted, and they take their Torah/ Instructions (Wedding vows) very seriously, and they know it and study it.
Jesus/ Yeshua was the Torah made flesh. This Torah is equal to gold, but we Christians somehow have missed that. We skipped over Psalm 119.
Now that we have looked at their views in detail, it should make sense to us as to why they want Christians and others to leave them alone. I would vow to say that they are living some of the most sanctified lives in this day and hour. I believe many of their eyes are being opened to Jesus/ Yeshua. Also, I think that many Christian’s eyes are being opened to their Torah! Yes, I know that it is not by works lest any man should boast, but their faith is incredible. Joseph’s brother will eventually recognize him! Ephraim and Judah will be one stick in His hand. Let’s go deeper. Let’s look at the verse we use to continue trying to save them.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; Matthew 28:19-20 NASB.
Now let’s look at what it means when interpreted in the Hebrew. According to Dr. Skip Moen, a Greek/ Hebrew scholar from Oxford,
The Hebrew verb halak, means “to walk, to go in a certain direction.” “This Hebrew idea is an idiom used to describe a way of life, a way that is in conformity with God’s directions. While the Greek idea suggests a path that leads to God, the Hebrew idea suggests following a path that God has already given. In other words, “to walk in God’s way” is to live according to the covenant – the Torah.
Now let’s translate. “[You] having been caused to live according to God’s way, therefore . . . This is a far cry from the usual evangelism translation. What this suggests is that Those who are walking in God’s way make disciples. Those who are not walking in God’s way do not make disciples. They might make recruits or even converts, but since they don’t walk in God’s way, they cannot make disciples…” Dr. Skip Moen.
On that note, perhaps we need to learn more about our Jewish faith and our Jewish brothers and sisters. A disciple is one who looks, sounds, and acts just like his teacher. Perhaps we could make more disciples if we walked the walk and not just talked the talk. I think the answer is a resounding YES!
Skip Moen, Hebrew word study: Going, Going, Gone. July 27, 2011.
Photography by Ândrēw Yīsrâ’Ęl