When our oldest daughter was in junior high school, she asked, “Why do I have to tell everybody I’m a Messianic Jew? Why can’t I just say I’m Jewish?”
We can all appreciate a young Jewish girl growing up in Israel and not feeling quite ready to tag and exclude herself from friendships and activities. Still, I think she has a point.
A big part of our Messianic Jewish culture was a passion to evangelize, and our daughter wondered why she too needed to tell everyone about Yeshua (Jesus).
When my generation 50 years ago discovered that Yeshua is the Messiah, we were beside ourselves and had to tell our rabbi, parents and coworkers. Like the first disciples of Yeshua, we were overcome with urgency and told our people, everyone, everywhere.
Somehow we knew that we are still Jews, and while we needed to figure out how to live as followers of the Messiah, we knew it would be different than Christians. So we called ourselves “Yehudim Mishechim,” that is to say we are Jewish and not Christian...
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