Messianic Judaism: What is it?
MESSIANIC JUDAISM is the belief that Yeshua is the Redeemer spoken of in the Tanakh (O.T.), and that He is the Messiah for whom the Jewish people all over the world and throughout history have been waiting.
In Messianic Judaism, the Holy Days and traditions that are consistent with the Scriptures are observed. We do not leave the Jewish identity, heritage, and culture to 'convert' to a new or foreign religion. We have experienced the fulfillment of the age-old longing of our people for redemption as foretold by Moshe and the prophets. Our commitment to the Jewish people encompasses our love for the Land of Israel and our concern for the welfare of Jewish people worldwide.
Most Messianic Jews are much more "zealous for the Law (Torah)" than their Gentile Christian counterparts. In this, they are following the example of the First Century Messianic Jews who were also "zealous for Torah." (1)
Most Messianic Jews refrain from calling themselves Christians, which is Greek terminology. They prefer more Hebraic terms, such as 'Messianic Jews.' The first use of the term 'Christian' was in Antioch, among the Gentile believers. (2) Rav Shaul (Paul), as a Jew, simply preferred to say, "I am a Jew." (3)
It is wrong and unscriptural to force Gentile church culture upon the Jewish people as a requirement for believing in their own Messiah. While it is right and proper for other cultures to be allowed to practice their own culture after coming to faith in Yeshua, much of Jewish culture comes to us directly from the Scriptures, and has a firm Biblical foundation lacking in other cultures.
The situation was very different in the First Century of the Common Era. Then the question was, "How can a Gentile believe in the Jewish Messiah? Shouldn't he be required to convert to Judaism first?" Some Messianic Jews were saying to the Gentiles, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." (4) Others said, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and direct them to observe the Law of Moses." (5) The Council of Jerusalem decided that the Gentiles did not have to convert to Judaism to believe in the Jewish Messiah. (6) It was felt that the level of Torah observance would grow among the Gentiles as they learned more, but certainly not for salvation.
Properly observed, Messianic Judaism has no middle wall of partition (7) separating Jewish believers from Gentile believers. Most Messianic assemblies have a high percentage of Gentiles. Most of these Gentiles love Israel and the Jewish people and have adopted a Jewish expression of their faith in Messiah Yeshua.
It is in Messianic Judaism that we find a most wonderful fulfillment of Scripture, in that all-Jew and Gentile, male and female, bond and free-are seen worshipping the Holy One of Israel in Spirit and in truth.
1. Acts 15:19-21, 21:17-27. 2. (Acts 11:20,21,36) 3. Acts 22:3. 4. Acts 15:1. 5. Acts 15:5. 6. Acts 15:19-21. 7. Ephesians 2:14.
"Don't think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah - not until everything that must happen has happened. So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. Mattityahu-Matthew 5:17-19
"Behold, days are coming - the word of HASHEM - when I will seal a new covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah: not like the covenant that I sealed with their forefathers on the day that I took hold of their hand to take them out of the land of Egypt, for they abrogated My covenant, although I became their Master - the word of HASHEM. For this is the covenant that I shall seal with the House of Israel after those days - the word of HASHEM - I will place My Torah within them and I will write it onto their heart; I will be a G-d for them and they will be a people for Me. They will no longer teach - each man his fellow, each man his brother - saying, 'Know HASHEM!' For all of them will know Me, from their smallest to their greatest - the word of HASHEM - when I will forgive their iniquity and will no longer recall their sin." Jeremiah 31:30-33
"I will take you from [among] the nations and gather you from all the lands, and I will bring you to your own soil. Then I will sprinkle pure water upon you, that you may become cleansed; I will cleanse you from all your contamination and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My spirit within you, and I will make it so that you will follow My decrees and guard My ordinances and fulfill them." Ezekiel 36:24-27