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Jesus, Abraham and Israel

Reader comment on item: How Church Attendance Affects American Attitudes toward Israel
in response to reader comment: True Christianity Dependent Upon Jewish Roots - The WORD of the LORD

Submitted by Michael S. (United States), Sep 9, 2014 at 04:28

Shalom, Tovey

You seem to be involved with the Hebrew Roots movement, which I sympathize with. My thinking on the matter is that Jesus ("Yeshua", as you present him in his own Hebrew language) was an observant Jew. He didn't go to church, because there were no churches; he went to shul and to the Temple in Jerusalem. His Jewish followers, in fact, worshipped side-by-side in the Temple, along with Jews of other persuasions. Jesus ate kosher, as far as we know; he wore tsitsit; he observed Shabbat and the appointed feasts -- as did his followers, notably the Apostle Paul. All this is recorded in the Christian New Testament. Also, neither Jesus nor any of his disciples had even a copy of the "New Testament" -- they read TaNaKh, which they called the "scriptures".

I have often read comments by Modern Orthodox Jews, questioning the sincerity of Christian support for Israel. To me, the matter is simple: I follow Jesus, a Jew; and I strive to be like him. That means I strive to be Jewish -- though not, of course, like the Modern Orthodox. I also worship the God of Ysrael: The God of Avraham, of Yitz'khak and Ya'akov. This is more important to me, than obeying the rules and traditions of any small-minded sect, be they "Jewish" or "Christian". God chose Israel because of the Patriarchs; and the Patriarchs were NOT Jewish. They did not go to shul; they did not follow the law of Moses. In fact, they never even heard of Moses, nor of Talmud, nor of halachah.

In the "beginning", God breathed His spirit into Adam, causing him to be a "living" soul. He became a son of God then, as opposed to being a son of man. He knew God, and walked and talked with him in the cool of the evening. Adam lost that relationship through sin; but others, such as Enoch, regained it. As it was said,

[26] And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.

From that day forward, there have been sons of God, who knew YHVH, and sons of men, who did not. Abram was one of the former: God spoke to him, and Abram responded with faith and obedience. The same was true of Isaac, Jacob and others. Those people were nomads, living apart from humanity -- a humanity in which people who did not know the living God erected dumb idols, one for each community, and called them gods.

When the sons of Jacob went to Egypt, they went to a country filled with false gods. After they had suffered, though, they "called upon the name of the LORD", as Enoch had done, raising a cry to the God of Heaven. That God answered their cry, and spoke to the whole community out of the mountain. This was an unusual event, something that had never happened before and has never happened since. God chose the sons of Abraham as his own, and settled them in what is today the Land of Israel. There, he was honored as their God; and his name was placed upon Beit haMikdash in Yerushalayim.

By and by, the people of Israel forgot their God and turned to idols; and God scattered them among the nations. Before this happened, He sent Yeshua, who preached about the Kingdom of God -- not an external kingdom, such as the one of his day that would soon be destroyed and handed over to the Gentiles; but a kingdom within; a kingdom such that whoever lived in it would not suffer death, but would continue live (though his body perish) into God's presence and live forever.

In Jesus' day, there were scoffers who did not receive what he taught; and they caused him to be killed; but God vindicated him, by raising him from the dead.

All of these things are plainly written in the Bible, which has been with us for thousands of years -- so much, that the Bible has been the most read book in all human history. When people speak against Jesus, they are speaking against this book; and when people speake against the Jewish people and Israel, they are speaking against this book. THAT is why I and so many more like me support Israel; not because of some of the petty reasons that have been advanced by some Modern Orthodox and others.


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