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So What's The Difference?
B'eit Adonai Yisrael - House of the Lord of Israel

A Christian's Perspective of Messianic Judaism

I recently got a book from Focus on the Family called; "So What's The Difference?"  This book looks at 20 different religions and cults around the world and compares them to Christianity.  Since Focus on the Family distributes this book, I can only assume that Dr. James Dobson (founder of Focus on the Family) knows of this book and has approved of its content.  Let's look at what the author, Fritz Ridenour has to say about Messianic Judaism.  The below is a direct quote from his book. 

 

 

"Messianic Judaism is a movement that gained increasing momentum during the last decade of the twentieth century.  Messianic Jews, from every walk of life, believe that Yeshua (the Hebrew name for Jesus) is the promised Jewish Messiah and Savior for Israel and the world.

 

For more than 1,200 years it has been assumed on the part of Jewish and Christian communities that a Jewish person simply couldnt believe in Jesus and stay Jewish.  If a Jewish person did come to believe in Jesus, the Christian community expected that person to leave the Jewish community and join a Gentile church.  The Jewish community determined that anyone who believed in Jesus had betrayed the community by joining the Gentile religion of Christianity.  It was not possible to imagine Jewish synagogues full of Jewish people who embraced Jesus as the Messiah.

 

In spite of these cultural barriers, throughout the Church history there have always been some Jewish people who came to believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  But something really unanticipated and new began in 1967.  At the end of the Six Day War, Jerusalem suddenly came back into Jewish hands after nearly 2,000 years under Gentile domination.  Tens of thousands of Jewish people suddenly accepted Yeshua as their Messiah.  Citing biblical prophecy (see Deut. 30:1-3; Hos. 3:4,5; Joel 2:28,29; Luke 21:24), some Messianic leaders suggest that the movement of Jewish people embracing Jesus as Messiah and forming Messianic synagogues may be an important fulfillment and indicator of end-time restoration of Israel as a nation.

 

Today it is estimated that there are over 350 Messianic Jewish congregations worldwide, with dozens in Israel.  More Jewish people have put their trust in Jesus as their Messiah in the last 20 years than in the past 20 centuries.

These Messianic congregations worship Yeshua and graciously welcome Gentiles, yet retain Jewish forms of worship, feasts, festivals, songs, customs and even humor.  They are fond of reminding both Gentiles and Jews of the first-century Jewish origins of Christianity and that, after all, according to the New Testament, believing in Jesus is a very Jewish thing to do.

 

Gentile Christian's should rejoice in the Messianic Jewish movement as a possible indicator of the return of Jesus to the earth and (no less important) as an opportunity to put into practice what the apostles had in mind in Acts 15 and what the apostle Paul had in mind in Ephesians 2.  Both of these passages speak of a Church in which the barriers of religious and cultural hostility between Gentile and Jew are broken down through the blood of the Messiah, a witness to all the earth that Yeshua is Lord.  As the Messiah of prophecy, He stands ready to receive all who believe in Him.  For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile the same Lord is Lord of all and richly bless all who call on him (Rom. 10:12)."