On New Year’s Eve a group of us gathered. We had a great time eating and talking, laughing and praising, dancing and playing games. About 2 a.m. the conversation that had been brewing for a while finally exploded into the focus of the New Year.
Being the hostess, I couldn’t totally focus on this discussion but it seemed there were two sides. One that stood against Judaism, saying that it developed during the 2nd temple period and was elitist and wrong. The other seemed to speak against the Jewish people because they rejected the Messiah.
As I said, I had to hop in and out of the conversation, so I could have misunderstood both participants. However, it got me to thinking about conversations I read in the Christian and Messianic communities throughout social media.
What I’ve discovered in the last few years is that when Yeshua (Jesus) walked the earth, there were 24 sects of Judaism. (A sect is comparable to a denomination in Christianity.) Only two of these survived the destruction of the temple –Pharisaic Judaism and Messianic Judaism. One became Rabbinic Judaism, the other Christianity.
I believe that we, as Messianic believers, have a responsibility to protect Judaism in an effort to counter all the wrongs perpetrated against God’s chosen people, most done in the name of Jesus.
When I hear the word ‘Judaism’ sounding as if it is coming through clenched teethed, or with disdain as Christ-Killers, it is nothing but anti-Semitism. The Jewish people, through the grace and mercy of God, have survived all these millennia with their identity intact. How? By their adherence to the Torah. Why else would the enemy fight so vehemently against them keeping the Sabbath, the new moons, and the festivals? All these keep their focus on God and unite them as a people. These distinctive marks set them apart from all the other peoples.
God tells us very plainly that he will not break his covenant with them:
Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I so abhor them as to destroy them, breaking My covenant with them; for I am the Lord their God. – Lev 26:44
God never changes. He will not break His covenant with them.
When we read the book of Hosea, there remains the promise that Ephraim and Judah will return and be healed – Judah first, then Ephraim. And throughout the book I get the sense that Judah was more faithful than Ephraim.
Jeremiah tells us that God will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will be the same covenant, but written on their heart, so they don’t break it anymore. The New Covenant is with Israel and Judah. We are grafted into that covenant family.
We must be careful to protect our Jewish brethren and not fall into the trap of anti-Semitism. Their commission is to be a light to the nations, to make disciples of all nations. We are invited into that commission by our faith in their Messiah Yeshua. We are called to assist them in repairing the world. As our apostle – the apostle to the Gentiles – Rabbi Saul (Paul) reminds us, we are to go to the Jew first.
We are at war, people! The Adversary has spent thousands of years trying to wipe out humanity. God chose Israel to carry the seed – not only the physical seed, but also the spiritual one. Let’s not side with the enemy against God’s chosen, but rather do whatever it takes to shore them up.