I have some challenging questions....
What if Jesus/Yeshua were alive physically and with us today? What do you think He would be doing?
Do you think He would be attending, or teaching in a Christian church on Sunday, suggesting the Jewish people have been replaced by Christianity and the church?
Do you think He would not be honoring the Shabbat?
Do you think He would be teaching Torah has been done away with and His death on the cross meant it's been abolished?
Do you think He would be eating a shrimp cocktail followed by a baked ham dinner?
Do you think He would be telling you not to listen to the rabbis and suggest whatever they say is irrelevant and without authority?
Do you think He would tell you that the New Covenant is a declaration of independence from any connection to the Jewish people? Moreover, would He suggest it's only with the Gentiles, leaving the Jews to wander in spiritual ambiguity or damnation?
Do you think He would suggest that Jerusalem and Israel are not holy to the Lord and don't play a key role in our collective redemption?
Do you think He would suggest it's Ok for the church to embrace the "Palestinians" who want to destroy the one nation the Lord calls His, along with His people?
Do you think His physical appearance would be pale-skinned, light brown or blonde hair, with a cross around His neck, a halo over His head with his hand showing the benediction sign?
If you think Jesus/Yeshua would be thinking or saying any of these things, may I suggest something to you: Think again!
Jesus/Yeshua is a Jew. When He taught, He spoke only in synagogues on Shabbat. Why? He came as proof of what the Torah had been pointing to for hundreds of years. His ministry was to fulfill, not to abolish. His life was centered on showing His people (the Jews) how to live a truly holy, Spirit-filled life, centered around Torah. In essence, He came as a fulfillment of what some call "biblical Judaism."
Contrary to what many think, He did not come to purge Judaism and start a brand-new religion. Think for a moment who the first believers were. They were Jews. Why did they believe in Him? Simple, they trusted Him because His word and deeds were a fulfillment of what they (as Jews) had been taught. If He was teaching Torah had been done away with, or anything else that contracted what they had been taught, why would they accept Him as Messiah? They wouldn't.
Disregard the Rabbis?
He told His followers to listen and abide by the teachings of the rabbis, because "they sit in the seat of Moses," and have the authority to instruct. In fact, He was so intent on having His followers abide by the rabbis he said "do what they say, not what they do." In other words, follow the teachings, rather than the person. He said this because some of the rabbis were making up their own traditions, as well as becoming prideful and other things that took the focus off of true observance and faith.
Made All Food(s) Clean?
He would not be eating shellfish or pork. Let me explain. Many have suggested that he did away with the need to eat kosher food by virtue of what He says in Mark 7 ("and by this He made all foods clean").
There are at least two problems with this:
1. The matter under discussion had nothing to do with what food(s) are kosher. The issue "on the table" was about ritual purity, not about the topic of what food(s) are kosher. This can be easily researched.
2. In virtually all translations, this verse appears in parenthesis. This strongly suggests that it is not part of the original Scripture; rather, it's added commentary.
Many people believe Jeremiah 31, which is typically referred to as the "New Covenant," suggests this is where the Lord used the prophet Jeremiah to tell the Jewish people He has broken His covenant with them and the New Covenant excludes them. Really? Let's take a closer look.
Who is He making this "New Covenant" with? He's making it with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. (v. 31) Who is this? This is the Jewish people. Further He says "I will put my Torah within them. Yes, I will write it on their heart. I will be their God and they will be My people" (Jer. 31:32b-33, TLV). Here He says Torah will remain with them; it will be in their heart and central to their lives. Finally, He says, "For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more" (Jer. 31:33). Here He says He will forgive them for the sins they have committed.
All these verses confirm two things:
1. God has not abandoned being in covenant with the Jewish people.
2. He confirms the New Covenant will include them
Does it make sense that the Lord would use a Jewish prophet to inform the Jewish people (His people) that He is breaking His covenant with them? The Lord is a covenant-keeper, not a covenant-breaker. So why would He intentionally break His covenant with His own people? Moreover, as Saul (Paul) indicates in Romans 11:20b-21 while lecturing Gentiles, "Do not be arrogant, but fear—for if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you."
Here Saul/Paul is telling the Gentiles who think the Lord broke His covenant with the Jews in favor of establishing a new separate covenant with Gentiles, they are mistaken. He suggests that if the Lord broke His covenant with the Jews, He can most assuredly break any covenant He establishes with the Gentiles.
One more point: Given that He was a Middle-Eastern Jew, can we agree that rather than the typical renditions we see of Him, He was most likely olive- skinned, probably with dark hair? Most assuredly, He was lacking a cross around His neck, a halo over His head and His hand showing the benediction sign.
Finally, assuming that anyone reading this considers themselves to be well-grounded in their faith, would you allow me to suggest that gaining a better understanding of our Messiah will only strengthen that faith?
Daniel Calic and his wife, D'vorah, live in Israel and are Founders of blessisraelnetwork.com. They are also co-hosts of a ground-breaking program: Revelation to the Nations, which provides the first dedicated platform for the Israel Messianic community, connecting them with believers in the nations.
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