For Jewish people only

As a Christian I seek to share the Good News of Jesus with anyone, including Jewish people.  I realize that many things have been done to Jews that go against the teachings of Jesus, so it can be a sensitive subject.  And I know that Satan has done a great job of making Jews think the New Testament is an antisemitic manifesto (it is anything but).

However, from an apologetic standpoint I would love to have them read the New Testament and ask themselves if the types of Jews they see represented there are similar to the Jews shown in the Hebrew Bible (aka the Old Testament).

Here’s what I mean: Yes, there were some good Jews in the OT (and the NT).  But if you actually read the entire OT you can’t miss the non-stop cycles of rebellion from beginning to end — even though God had chosen them, set them apart and given them special revelation.  Scan the book of Judges.  Scan the history of the kings.  Scan the prophets.  It couldn’t be more clear.

So historically speaking, if the Jewish leaders had such a spectacularly awful track record, would it be surprising that the Jewish leaders of Jesus’ time would reject their Messiah and persecute his followers?

Please note that I’m not committing the error of thinking that I would have done any better.  It is human nature to look at the bad guys of history and think we would have done the right thing.  Sure.  Sans the Holy Spirit, I’m sure I would have been yelling, “Crucify him!” and “Release to us Barrabas!”  I would have denied Jesus more than 3 times.  And so on.

But I do challenge Jewish folks — and anyone else, for that matter — to read the entire Bible carefully. It isn’t anti-Jewish.  It is pro-Good News for lost sinners of any kind.  Please don’t reject your Messiah.  Eternity is a mighty long time.

29 thoughts on “For Jewish people only

  1. Good post Neil. I worked with a group of Messianic Jews several years ago and they were very dedicated to their faith. A lot of their style certainly tested by Baptist upbringing (they dance while singing). And their approach to the Gospel was definitely different (they start with the Old Testament), but it was the same Gospel.

    That said, one of the members, who was a person friend, spoke to me about the message I gave when talking about Jews (in the New Testament). He was very polite and very gentle, but explained how hurt he felt every time I pointed out that the Jews crucified Jesus. Your attitude that, apart from the Holy Spirit, you’d have been in the group requesting Barrabus’ release is certainly the right attitude. I am now more careful of my choice of words discussing the subject.

    • He was very polite and very gentle, but explained how hurt he felt every time I pointed out that the Jews crucified Jesus.

      Er, stupid question here; how could there have been salvation without crucifixion? As in, if the Jews didn’t crucify Jesus, and then everyone else said, “Right, let’s not make him suffer on the cross,” what would have been the point?

      Theologically, is there salvation in a world wherein Jesus dies peacefully of old age?

      • Just getting back to this (since there’s new activity). Bridget, the issue is that a lot of Christians (especially in the South) look down on Jews. It’s as if we want to punish them for the actions of the Jews of 2000 years ago. In truth, we all crucify him each time we sin.

  2. I have also known Messianic Jews. Been to one of their services…it was an incredible experience for me to watch a rabbi, dressed in traditional clothing, unroll a scroll and begin to read from the book of Matthew in Hebrew. All I could think was, oh, my….! It felt so “complete” to hear the words in Hebrew, being spoken to Jewish people.
    And when in Israel, on vacation, we got to take a boat ride on the Disciple’s Boat…a very large replica of the type of boat that the people in Jesus’ day would have used. Bigger, but in the same design. And during that boat trip they played Christian Worship Music…songs like “How Great is our God”…but sung in Hebrew. Again…there was this feeling of how “right” it was…how “full circle”…how complete.
    I too hope that the Jewish people will come to recognize their (and all of our) Savior.

      • The Christian concept of “Messiah” is not part of Judaism. There is no Trinity, original sin, virgin birth, or demi-god in Judaism. Jesus did not fulfill the prophecies within his lifetime and thus cannot be the Jewish Messiah. That a small group of Jews believed in Jesus means nothing. There were several sects of Jews following false messiahs and heretical beliefs, and none of them lasted; even the Jewish believers in Jesus disappeared once Christianity became a gentile religion.

        I have nothing against Christians and their religion; they are free to believe Jesus is their god and personal savior or whatever, but they shouldn’t try to mislead Jews by twisting the Torah and hijacking their culture to convert them. “Messianic Judaism” is 100% EVANGELICAL; no more Jewish than Mormonism is Christian.

      • Lots of missteps there. Christianity has no demi-god. The Hebrew Bible has original sin and verses supporting the Trinity. Jesus really rose from the dead.

        You are right that other false messiah religions died. Christianity didn’t. It is the one true religion. Repent and trust in Jesus or spend eternity in Hell for your sins. God sent your Messiah. Reject him at your own peril. I encourage you to read Romans very carefully. It explains how the Jews fit into the salvation message.

      • If you had read the links you removed from my post, you would know why the vast majority of Jews have rejected Jesus for almost 2000 years.

      • By the way, “Hell” is not something we believe in either, so we don’t worry about that.

      • Wouldn’t the Hebrew Bible be enough to convert me to Judaism? I read it at least on e per year (twice this year). If the NT is false then the Hebrew Bible is the most speculator hopeless and depressing story ever. God didn’t choose you because you were special, you were special because He chose you. And you utterly blew it over and over with no hope of redemption.

        Really, read Romans and Hebrews so you can refute them for me. What do you have to lose?

      • Yet we are still here, centuries later.

        And how long ago was this Jesus fellow supposed to be back?

        I’ve read the NT and I think of it the same way you probably see the Book of Mormon, or the Koran, or the Gnostic gospels.Why don’t you tell me instead what exactly Romans and Hebrews have to do with the Jewish belief in the Messiah?

      • Yes, some of you are still here, as the NT predicts. But you’ll never have a “real” Messiah because you’d have no way to test his lineage (unlike Jesus) and much more. And you can’t don’t/can’t keep the Levitical laws, etc.

        Well, you’ve claimed to have read all of the NT so you obviously haven’t been made spiritually alive by God to understand it and how you fit into redemptive history. If God didn’t use his word to save you then I won’t be able to with my words. I prayed that He isn’t finished with you. I encourage you to re-read it and don’t ignore the admonition noted 3 times in Hebrews: “As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.””

        All the best to you. Thanks for visiting.

  3. The prophecies indicate that the Messiah would be a descendant of David from his father’s bloodline. Since Christians claim he is the biological son of God and was born from a virgin, there’s no way he could be the Messiah if that’s true.

    • Ah, if only we had thought of that sometime over the last 2,000 years, including the earliest Jewish believers who risked their lives for the faith ;-) . For those interested in finding intellectually satisfying responses to questions like that, the Internet has many sources.

      You might also study up on your arbitrary criteria, such as that every claim about him had to be fulfilled in his lifetime, and see how biblical those are.

      The facts of history point to his life, death and resurrection — http://tinyurl.com/ykzpu42 .

      • Our “arbitrary criteria” is part of our faith. You’re free to believe what you want and we as well. The only thing I’m opposed to is misleading Jews into making them believe they can become Christian and remain Jewish. We don’t attempt to convert anybody to Judaism or twist their beliefs to fit ours; I wish Christian missionaries understood that.

      • Your arbitrary criteria isn’t grounded in God’s word, as our claims are.

        No one is misleading Jews. In fact, your primary concern should be the countless ethnic Jews who mock the Hebrew Bible with their lives and beliefs. I grew up with countless Jewish folks in NW Akron, Ohio and stay in touch with many. And I’ve met many other Jews. I know a total of 1 (one) who is remotely serious about his faith. As Paul notes in Romans 2, “28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.”

        Speaking of Paul, with your made-up criteria he apparently wasn’t a Jew, ethnically or religiously: Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh– 4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. 7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.

        We just go by the Bible. We don’t need to twist anything.

      • “Your arbitrary criteria isn’t grounded in God’s word, as our claims are.”

        Then apparently we don’t follow the same God.

        “Speaking of Paul, with your made-up criteria he apparently wasn’t a Jew, ethnically or religiously”

        For us, Paul was nothing more than an apostate who turned his back on the Jewish people after they rejected his heretical views. He is the reason Christianity went from a small sect within Judaism into a completely alien, gentile religion.

      • To say that Paul split off is rather non-controversial. The question is whether his message was true.

        The notion that the Jews just “might” disobey a true message from God is equally non-newsworthy. The Hebrew Bible is a non-stop recollection of their horrors — idol worship, rebellion, child sacrifice and more (though I’m not pretending I’d have done any better — it is only by the grace of God that we all don’t act like the Israelites). Here’s a sample I was reading last night:

        EZEKIEL 2 [†]And he said to me, c “Son of man, [1] d stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.” 2[†]And as he spoke to me, e the Spirit entered into me and f set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. 3[^]And he said to me, “Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to g nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. h They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. 4The descendants also are i impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’ 5[†]And j whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are g a rebellious house) k they will know that a prophet has been among them. 6And you, son of man, l be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, m though briers and thorns are with you and you sit on n scorpions. [2] Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. 7And you shall speak my words to them, j whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house. 8[^] [†]“But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. o Be not rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and p eat what I give you.”

        Bibles, Crossway (2009-04-09). ESV Study Bible (Kindle Locations 198094-198121). Good News Publishers. Kindle Edition.

        So the size of the sect is irrelevant, because the Jews had a very robust track record of not listening to God at all. And it wasn’t just Paul, of course. He came a long a few years later. And Peter acknowledge that what Paul wrote was scripture, He was accepted by the early church leaders (all or nearly all Jewish).

        We are talking about the same God. I follow him because I trust in his Son. You think you are following him but you have rejected the Messiah and thus rejected him.

      • I don’t see the point in continuing this. We believe what our prophets say, not what the NT writers or “Jews for Jesus” say. The prophecies clearly state what the Messiah will be and what he will do; we don’t think God would change his mind for the “A.D.” era. Pauline Christianity and Judaism are two completely different things. Period.

      • There is no Pauline Christianity. There is Christianity, the worship of the one true God and Messiah. You, like so many others, have misunderstood the prophecies. It is a long, sad, continuing legacy. I hope you reconsider and study the responses to your objections carefully. I would think that Jews would approach it with a little more humility given their history. But just like those claiming to be Christians, most Jews don’t read their Bible.

        >

      • Ha. You don’t even know the history of your religion. You just parrot whatever your pastor or evangelical theologians tell you. Why should we show humility towards Christianity when that belief system was responsible for most of our suffering throughout history? There are over 2 billion Christians worldwide and Jews are not even a hundredth of that in numbers, yet that’s not enough for you and still want to convert us. And not only that, you want to drag us into a war where millions may die just because you believe Jesus will rapture you. I had enough of this nonsense. I’m out of here.

      • Way to stereotype. Show me one Bible verse that says to persecute Jews. Those who harmed you did the opposite of what Jesus taught. We are the ones trying to help Jews now.

        >

  4. Real Jew, at the risk of continuing the argument (not what I really want), can I ask you a couple of questions? What do you consider a real Jew?

    Two examples come to mind: 1) a co-worker from many years ago, born a Jew and raised in the faith. However as an adult, she didn’t practice the faith. I recall her commenting one time that as a child they didn’t celebrate Christmas and didn’t have a tree, but that now here parents had a tree (for the grandkids) and had visits from Hannukah Harry.

    2) A friend (mentioned above in my initial response to this post) who was raised a Jew and had Jewish brothers, sisters and parents. He converted to Christianity in his 20′s or 30′s.

    Would either or both of these be considered a Real Jew? What does it take?

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