Thursday, August 21, 2008

Jews For Jesus

What a dilemma! Some Jews believe that Jesus aka Yeshua is the promised Messiah. But most Jews not only dismiss this claim and are contemptuous of this sect of Messianic Jews.

Years ago I worked at Jewish Hospital. I was an orderly when Marty Chernoff was admitted to the cardiac ward. At the time he was the "pastor" of the local Messianic Jewish congregation. I had the privilege of praying for him. This was my first contact with a Jewish fellow that believed Jesus to be Messiah.

Marty's son, Joel, went on to form a music group called Lamb. Joel is still traveling and singing the praises of Yeshua ha' Messiach. Marty's other son, David, has long been Rabbi of the Messianic congregation that Marty founded in Cincinnati, Temple Beth Yeshua relocated to the Philadelphia area.

Not so long ago I became acquainted with a Rabbi of a local Reformed Synagogue. For those of you that are not aware, Cincinnati is the birthplace of Reformed Judaism.

Several things struck me from attending the congregation as a guest. One was that it was not unlike most services at Christian Churches. Two, the people were very hospitable. This is important because hospitality to strangers is a rule of Judaism as well as other faiths derived from the Middle East. Finally their love of the One True God and their fierce desire to preserve the way of life that has been handed down for centuries.

When I first logged on to the Internet back in the late 1990's I emailed a question to Zola Levitt Ministies. I asked Rabbi Levitt if it was proper to proselytize Jews.

I wanted to know if we had the right to confront them with our system of beliefs as perhaps the main tenant of Judaism that has allowed them to survive so many attrocities and the Diaspora was the intent need for preservation of their beliefs. One of Zola's students wrote me back and told me I shouldn't question the need for presenting Jesus to Jews.

Years later I still have a problem with that advice. After all, do we not worship, pray and answer to the same God as the Jews? We believe Jesus was Messiah and they are still awaiting Messiah. We trust in Jesus and they trust in God's Law. If I read the words of Jesus correctly I believe He was directing us to worship God the Father. His purpose, as Messiah, was to return us to God, who loves us.

The first followers of Jesus were considered a sect of Judaism. They were not much different from the Messianic believers of today. I for one would rather show my love of Jesus, the Messiah, through the way that I live and present myself. I figure God can do anything.

As they say, "Der mensch trakht un Gott lahkht."

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