Historical Issues for Jewish Unbelief in Yeshua (part 3.5)
Problem: Countering a Convincing History
To the Jewish person who is only aware of the issues of history (touched on in my last article), but not of what Yeshua taught, there remains no other conclusion: Christianity is anti-Semitic. Therefore, when Jewish people are shown the prophecies in Scripture regarding Messiah (Isaiah 7:14; 53; Micah 5:2; etc.), they cannot imagine that these would refer to Yeshua. After all, they reason, how could Jewish Scripture point to a Jewish Messiah who is the leader of an anti-Jewish religion?
Exception or Rule?
Throughout history there have been many individual Christians who have loved the Jewish people, such as Corrie ten Boom, who sacrificially rescued Jewish people in her home during the Holocaust. Today, many Christians would point to her as a representation of their concern for Jewish people. Unfortunately, however, to the Jewish people, believers like Corrie appear as the exception, rather than the rule.
The Kiss of Death
Some well-meaning Christian leaders have responded to Christendom’s persecution of the Jewish people by affirming: “Let’s not offend our Jewish friends any further by preaching the Gospel to them.” This unbiblical stance perpetuates the false belief that ‘Jewish people don’t need Jesus,’ effectively cutting them off from their only hope for eternal life (see John 14:6).
A Hardened Heart
Still other Gentile believers disregard history, the Scriptural instruction to “Speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15), and common sense. Rather, they attempt to justify a continued insensitivity to Jewish people. How do they do this? Instead of preaching that salvation is received when one turns from sin to God, a ‘cultural gospel’ is proclaimed for one to turn from his Jewishness, and be converted to “Christianity.” History has handed down to Jews and Christians an “us vs. them” mentality. Thus, Jewish people are often made to feel that being Jewish is a sin, and that once they believe in Yeshua, they should turn their back on their Jewish heritage (forget Passover, Hanukkah, etc). This is confusing, and presents a false view of the issues of sin and forgiveness. Scripture is clear that being Jewish is no sin, lest Yeshua be the chief sinner, for He is the King of the Jews.
God’s Solution: Living the Truth in Love
If, because of history, Jewish people cannot ‘see’ Yeshua in the Scriptures, and if it is unscriptural to be insensitive to Jewish people in our witness, what then are we as believers to do? Our Jewish friends need to see us as Yeshua’s representatives. Our committed love and concern for Jewish people, and all people, is needed in order to overcome the historical horrors that have been said and done “in Jesus’ Name”. Let us not allow the sad history of the past 19 centuries to be the only witness that our Jewish friends have. Rather, let us become ‘living epistles’ (2 Cor. 3:2,3), demonstrating God’s love for Israel. We can help Jewish people look at the Scriptures with ‘new eyes’ and favorably consider Yeshua as Lord and Messiah.
Satan has done all he can to ruin our Lord’s testimony to Israel. Although he has deceived even Church leaders regarding God’s program for Israel, still the Bible says “Greater is He [Yeshua] that is in you, than he [Satan]that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). True believers in Yeshua can, with their testimony, gain victory in the Lord! I know personally that this victory is real, for years ago, non-Jewish believers simply and sincerely shared Jesus with me. I mocked them at first, because of course I ‘knew’ from history what Christianity is all about. Still, a spiritual seed was planted in my heart, and soon after, I came to believe the truth about Yeshua and was wonderfully saved.
Here are three lessons for our lives from these issues we’ve looked at through these articles:
Part 1) The Word of God: Scripture is the sole authority for faith and practice.
Part 2) The work of God: The sacrifice of Messiah is the sole necessity for our redemption by faith.
Part 3) The witness of God: Love is the sole testimony for all people, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile.
You, too, can make a difference! God has strategically placed you in the lives of your Jewish friends to demonstrate the love of God, so that my people chosen by the Lord will never again say, “Anyone but Him.” Instead, may they say with confidence and joy, “No one but Him!”