Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why study Jewish roots?

Yeshua (Jesus) was Jewish, born to Jewish parents in a Jewish homeland, to fulfill the Jewish scriptures.  He fulfilled the covenant of the Jewish law (Torah) and made a new covenant with the Jews.  The apostles were Jewish, and the entire early church was comprised of Jewish people.  Thousands of them. 

Hmmm, I see a pattern here.  (Technically, "Jewish" refers to descendents of Judah and not the other 11 tribes, but it has come to refer to anyone who is descended from any of the tribes of Jacob, aka Israel).

Yeshua did not come to create a new faith - he came to complete the faith that was begun centuries ago with the Jewish people.  It's not even partially Jewish - it's altogether Jewish!   It is interesting to note that the covenant was only made with the Jews.  The gentiles were, and still are, without a covenant of their own (Eph 2).  But praise be to God who has opened the way of salvation to the whole world through the blood of His son, Yeshua  the Messiah.  We gentiles are called "wild branches" in Romans 11.  In verses 18 and 21 we are told to not be arrogant toward the branches... do not be conceited, but fear!

Unfortunately, history records a different story.  As the gospel spread to the gentiles, the Jewish people were pushed out, claiming that the gentile church was the new Israel, and that God was finished with the Jews.  None of the early church creeds even mention Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob.  Many pillars of the church throughout history had terrible things to say about the Jews - perhaps someday I will list some of them.  The observance of the sabbath and biblical feasts were made illegal by Constantine, and Jews underwent persecution (which continued on through the centuries).  The creeds and theologies of most denominations today reflect this early Roman influence.

But hallelujah!  God is prompting more and more believers to look into these things.  When I first started, I simply followed a prompting of the spirit.  I didn't even know there was a "Jewish Roots" movement.  I had been studying eschatology (end times theology) for a number of years, and the desire to look into our Jewish roots was the natural result.  I keep meeting others who desire to learn more as well, and we've started a study in our home to share what we are discovering.  It's very exciting!

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