Messianic Judaism is a biblically based movement of Jewish people who have come to believe in Yeshua as the promised Jewish Messiah of Israel. Yeshua is the Hebrew name for Jesus which means Salvation. To many this seems a glaring contradiction. Christians are Christians, Jews are decidedly not Christian. So goes the understanding that has prevailed through nearly two thousand years of history. Messianic Jews call this a mistaken – and even anti-Scriptural – understanding. Historical and Biblical evidence demonstrates that following Yeshua was initially an entirely Jewish concept. Decades upon decades of persecution, division, and confused theology all contributed to the dichotomy between Jews and believers in Yeshua that many take for granted today.
Today, there are tens of thousands of Messianic Jews in the United States alone. Messianic synagogues are springing up in almost every major city across the country. Other nations such as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Holland, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, and South Africa are experiencing a growing movement of Messianic Jews as well.
Is it Jewish to believe in Yeshua?
To some, the concept of a Jew believing in Yeshua seems to be a contradiction. The reason is, many people have a dichotomy set up in their minds. On the one hand, you have Jews and Judaism and on the other hand, Christians and Christianity. You are either one or the other…so the thinking goes. But this simple dichotomy is in reality not so simple. If we go back 2000 years we find that Yeshua was a Jew living in a Jewish land among Jewish people. All the apostles were Jewish as well as the writers of the New Covenant and for many years this faith in Yeshua was strictly a Jewish one. From the Book of Acts and other historical evidence, many believe that in the first century there were literally hundreds of thousands of Messianic Jews (Acts 2:41, 2:47, 4:4, 6:7, 9:31, 21:20). In addition, there were Messianic Synagogues scattered throughout the Roman Empire and beyond (James 1:1, 2:2). These first century Messianic Jews remained highly loyal to their people. Whether it was Jewish to believe in Yeshua was never an issue. Of course it was Jewish! What else could it be? The big question back then was whether Yeshua had been sent for the Gentiles also. When G-d miraculously showed the Messianic Jews that he was the Messiah for both Jew and Gentile alike, then Gentiles from every nation began to pour into this Jewish faith.
Through the years, as the numbers of Gentile believers increased, they began to predominate in this Messianic faith. With the passing on of the Jewish apostles and the early Messianic Jews, the Jewish roots of the faith were eventually lost. This “De-Judaizing” process continued until in one of the greatest paradoxes in history prevailed; it became strange for a Jewish person to believe in Yeshua as his Messiah!
Today we are seeking to put the Messiah back within His biblical and Jewish context. Messianic Judaism is a spiritual renaissance, a revival, a return to the faith as the Messianic Jews had in the first century, unencumbered by the traditions of men. It is a return to a pure and simple faith based upon having a living, vibrant and personal relationship with the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through the Messiah Yeshua.
Who was the Promised Messiah?
The Jewish prophet Isaiah answered this question when he said, “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way, And the Lord has laid upon Him (the Messiah) the sin of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6) Without G-d there is no hope for mankind. It is obvious that man is separated from G-d when we view the ever-worsening situation in the world today. That is why He sent Yeshua, the Messiah, who came to deliver us from our sins and to bring us into a new life in Him.
For tens of thousands of us today, we know that we have found the Messiah who said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the law or the prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17)