What is the name of the Messiah?
How Jewish is your Jesus?
We have looked at the mysteries, strange ethereal certainties that are just beyond our grasp, but glittery and enticing enough for many theologians to snatch at them in futility. We can never know the Mind of God, we are just not clever enough and rightly so. But some are so caught up in their cleverness that they wish to have all of the answers. It’s a flashback to Adam and Eve’s episode with the serpent in the garden. Did God really say … ?
Jehovah’s Witnesses and other fringe groups think they have it all sussed out. All is explicable to them, even if it means denying the divine nature of Jesus or the Trinity. It’s all a symptom of the arrogance of man and the redefining of our faith with human intellect at the centre. And it won’t do. Hebraic Church needs to distance itself from all who believe they have all of the answers, including the mysteries of Christ and his Church, of the Jews, of last things.
One thing that the first generation of believers had as an advantage was the incredible privilege of meeting Jesus in the flesh, both before and after his death! We, instead, have to see him through the eyes of faith. As a result of this, there can be problems.
There’s the constant redefining of Jesus, finding a Jesus to fit in with our current culture, one that we can identify with without having to stretch ourselves too much, or seeming foolish in the eyes of the World. We have Jesus the refugee, Jesus the social worker, Jesus the defender of women, tolerant loving Jesus, Jesus the zealot and man of action. All except the real Jesus, the poor Jewish rabbi who dressed as a Jew, spoke as one and clearly identified with his people.
It is not surprising that this should be, as the Church has spent most of the last 1900 years not just severing itself from anything Jewish, but relentlessly persecuting the Jewish people themselves, in an unprecedented on-going airbrushing of history. It’s a tall order to restore in one generation the damage that has been wrought over countless generations, but Hebraic Church needs to make inroads in both a restoration of the roots of our faith and a rethinking of the attitude towards the Jewish people.
What is needed is good teaching and, more importantly, those who have ears to hear. They need to see Jesus in his historical context, not just the Incarnation in the Gospels, but the back story provided in the Old Testament. They need to see Jesus as an agent of Creation and as a regular visitor as the Angel of the Lord in the Hebrew Scriptures. They need to see him in his Jewish environment, his rabbinical way of teaching, his observance of Torah and the festivals of the Lord. They need to see why he was the Messiah, the Son of God and the Son of Man, to see beyond the familiar slogans. They also need to understand subsequent Jewish history as a result of the corporate rejection of their Messiah. Finally they need to understand that Jesus is going to return one day in a thoroughly Jewish manner, to a Jewish location and instigated by events centred around his own Jewish people.
Thought #4: How Jewish is your Jesus?
This is an extract from the book, Hebraic Church, available for £10 at http://www.sppublishing.com/hebraic-church-101-p.asp