Author's Note: Technically the better word would be Hebrew, but the word Jewish, while referring to those of the tribe of Judah, has become synonymous with any son or daughter of Abraham, and that is how I use it. Even in the New Covenant, the word Jew is actually Judean, meaning, an Israelite living in Judea.
I received an email the other day in regards to our recent post "Ten Jewish Facts About the New Testament." This person said: "It is also a fact that Jesus is no longer Jewish. He has no nationality or ethnicity."
While I thought fact was a strong word (Who am I to talk? I use proof in my title), I love to be challenged and he brought up an intriguing question: What does the Bible say about Yeshua's ethnic identity post resurrection? My response to him was to ask for a Scripture reference for this fact. He kindly responded and I address his response at the end.
And to be clear, while I believe the Bible teaches that He is still a Jew; I don't believe that being Jewish makes one better than another. God loves every child of His from every nation. There is no middle wall of partition (Eph. 2); any person from any place can come into the presence of God thanks to the sacrifice of Yeshua. Being Jewish is a calling (Rom. 11:29), not a sign of favoritism (Acts 10:34).
7 Proofs That Yeshua Is Still Jewish
1. This may be shocking, but from the Book of Revelation, not only does Yeshua keep His ethnicity in heaven, but we do too! When John was able to peek into eternity, he said:
Then I looked. And there was a great multitude which no one could count, from all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands (Rev. 7:9).
This is not on earth, but in heaven. John is told that: "they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in His temple" (Rev. 7:15). And yet, John was able to make out their ethnic identity. Isn't this exciting! God loves the nations. He has an eternal purpose for every country—even in the age to come!
2. Post-resurrection, Yeshua is referred to as the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the Root of David:
Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. Look! The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals."
Both of these titles reference His earthly ancestry and ethnic identity. He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah—not was.
3. When Yeshua returns, He comes to fight on behalf of Israel. "Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as He fights on a day of battle" (Zech. 14:3).
4. His landing spot when He returns is the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem (not Vatican City!)
On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is to the east of Jerusalem. And from east to west the Mount of Olives will be split in two halves by a very great valley so that one half moves to the north and the other to the south (Zech. 14:4).
5. He sets up His Messianic kingdom and His throne in Jerusalem (not Rome!)
6. He oversees the Feast of Tabernacles—a feast given to Israel in the Torah.
Then it will be that all the nations who have come against Jerusalem and survived will go up each year to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Zech. 14:16).
7. Who can think of a seventh proof? (I hate to leave it at six.) Oh, I just thought of another. He told His disciples:
"I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will never eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God."
And He took the cup and gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes" (Luke 22:14b-18).
Yeshua will again celebrate the Passover when "the kingdom of God comes." While the kingdom did come in one manifestation while He lived on earth, Yeshua is pointing to a time after His resurrection—most likely to the Messianic Age/millennial kingdom after He returns.
The emailer sent me this in message to my request for Scriptural proof. My responses are below each point.
1. You don't need a verse. Reason reveals it.
My Response: Considering the information I just provided, I think you do need scriptural proof to make the claim that He is no longer a Jew.
2. But if you need one: Paul says we will be given a glorified body, a new body.
My response: Indeed, and I can't wait to get mine, but it doesn't teach that we lose our ethnicity. Again, John sees a great multitude in heaven (people who have died) still identified by their earthly ethnicity. Of course that could be because they will receive their new bodies at His coming. But even in the age to come, there are countries and cities. (Zech. 14:16) The nations come to the city Jerusalem. Egypt is mentioned by name. And Yeshua, post resurrection, still had His same body. They were able to see His scars.
- "Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. The writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH< THE KING OF THE JEWS. Many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city. And it was written in Hebrew, in Greek, and in Latin" (John 19:19-20).
3. Jesus was unrecognizable by Mary in the garden after the resurrection. Also the folks on the road to Emmaus did not recognize him.
My Response: This is not because he lost his Jewish features (his nose did not get smaller). This is because he blinded them to His identity on the road to Emmaus. He was seeking to converse with them, but didn't want them to know it was Him, as He unpacked the prophecies about the Messiah.
- "But their eyes were kept from recognizing Him" (Luke 24:16).
In the case of Miriam (not Mary), she thought he was the gardener! Does that sound like a glorified body? It was not that He was unrecognizable, but that she was distraught. As soon as He called her by name, "Miriam," she cried out, "Rabbi!"
The disciples recognized Him immediately, and He spent roughly 40 days with them and others.
There you have it—seven proofs from the Bible that Yeshua is still Jewish. If you wish to add something, use the comments section below! Abundant blessings to you all!
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