Messianic Judaism is a biblically based movement. It is comprised of Jewish people and Gentiles who have embraced Yeshua (Jesus) as the Jewish Messiah promised in the Hebrew Scriptures.
The Hebrew Scriptures clearly speak of a Messiah to come to the Jewish people. It is our responsibility as Jews to know who that Messiah is and to each accept Him. Our search and study of the Tenach have led us to believe that there is only one person who fulfills all that the prophets wrote through the years about the Messiah. That person is Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth.
We feel that accepting Yeshua as the promised Jewish Messiah is the most Jewish thing we can do. Our congregations are filled with both Jewish and Gentile people who share this common belief and faith.
Our identity and lifestyle is still Jewish. We have not become Christians. We worship on Shabbat. We celebrate all the feasts of Israel. We train our children to become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. We embrace the truth of the Hebrew Scriptures and try to live our lives accordingly. There is only one major difference between us and the other branches of Judaism today – we believe the Messiah has come.
This does not make us non-Jews because of our belief. The Lubavitchers believe Rabbi Schneerson is the Messiah, some Jews practice Hinduism, others proclaim to be atheists, some study Buddism. Yet all are still called Jews. No one would ever say that any of these people are no longer Jewish because of their beliefs. So it is for us. Even if one does not agree with our belief in Yeshua as the Messiah, the fact is we are still Jews. We have not changed religions. In fact we are more committed now than ever to living our lives as Jews.
Messianic Judaism is not a new religion. Its adherents have been around for thousands of years. In fact it dates back to the time of the prophets and even to the patriarchs. All of our ancestors in the Tenach believed in the Messiah. They believed that He was to come to Israel and to the world. They longed for and waited for that day.
Finally, around 2,000 years ago, the Messiah showed up in Israel. He is Yeshua. Yeshua was a Jewish rabbi. His followers were called talmidim (students). They were accepted in the first century as a part of Judaism. No one disputed that they were Jews. They continued to worship in the Temple and to attend the newly formed synagogues. In the first century there were the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Essenes and those of the Way, i.e. followers of Yeshua. Throughout the centuries, there have always been Jewish people who embraced Yeshua as Messiah.
In the mid nineteenth century in Kishineff during a time of intense persecution by Russia, Joseph Rabinovitch, a Jewish lawyer and teacher discovered Yeshua as Messiah. He went to the Holy Land, convinced that salvation for the Jews would only come through a return. On his arrival he began reading a New Testament, which he had been assured would give a reliable description of historic locations. As he read, he became convinced that Jesus was/is the Messiah. He went home convinced of the need to share his newly fulfilled faith in its thoroughly Jewish context. All of this was accomplished between Rabinovitch and the Holy Spirit, and not by preaching from a “Christian”. The truth was available to a man who was open to receive it. This movement was the first to use the term “Messianic Jew”. Over the past several hundreds of years, many Jewish people have discovered and embraced this truth themselves.
Are you open to the truth?
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