MembersHow To Tell a Jew About Jesus

In our zeal to evangelize we ended up separating ourselves from our people in ways we did not expect.

By David Lazarus | | Topics: MESSIANIC JEWS
Have Messianic Jews made themselves look too much like Christians, and thus failed to provide an effective gospel witness?
Have Messianic Jews made themselves look too much like Christians, and thus failed to provide an effective gospel witness? Photo: Nati Shohat/Flash90

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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12 responses to “How To Tell a Jew About Jesus”

  1. Susan says:

    Praise the Lord! I understand what your daughter is saying. Somehow Yeshua’s Jewishness continually is overlooked. Perhaps, had Gentiles been identified as Messianic Gentiles, instead of the separating term “Christian,” Jews would know that Gentiles believe in a Jewish Messiah.

    • David Lazarus says:

      Thanks Susan for taking an interest and for your understanding. Yes, had Gentiles been more respectful of the Jewish people it would certainly help them come to know the Messiah Yeshua. You guys are doing a great job in making that happen!

  2. Rabbi Gabriel Lumbroso says:

    Great article David. As a Jewish beleiver, I came to the same conclusions. I’m just a Jew. I feel that our living in the tenets of the Torah as taught by Yeshua is the best “testimony” we can and should offer. What He came to teach is a Torah lifestyle, not a creed. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Robert's World says:

    Thank you for the analysis of the situation for Jewish Messianic believers in Israel! Very refreshing read!

  4. Krista Ball says:

    Reading this is very encouraging. There is much the world learns about love through heartfelt activities and lifestyles of the Jewish people. May every expression of Leviticus 19:18 love toward your Jewish brothers and sisters be richly blessed!

  5. Barry Tattersall says:

    Thanks David. I appreciate your regular articles.
    I know I am in a different situation than you are addressing (I am a Gentile living in Australia), but I am sure the same principle applies. Until I am accepted as a genuinely, caring Aussie citizen and neighbour, the fact that I’m a believer would never be well received and so is never part of my initial conversations with new acquaintances.

    • David Lazarus says:

      Shalom Barry, as I was writing this I imagined that it would have implications for others in different cultural and religious settings. So good that you picked that up.
      Blessings and share the love!

  6. Jake Wilson says:

    All Jews will be saved; no need for preachers. “Don’t go to the Gentiles” didn’t become “Go to the Gentiles.” Mt 28:19 is spurious. Till 40 CE, the Nazarenes were convinced that Jews were not to mix with the nations. The first non-Jews got the besorah through persecution and divine intervention; not due to proactive evangelism but because they were sent to the Jews (Acts 10:1–8). Yosef wasn’t sent to save Gentiles from starvation but landed in Egypt due to rejection and G-d’s providence. Fruchtenbaum is the Aharon who lures Jews into worshiping the “triune God.” Israel will be cleansed from idols, yet Messianics largely confirm MS Christians in their idolatry, but the latter will go into perdition for it. Messianics should study the “Trinity,” and discern corruptions in the canonicals, the latter being compiled around 170 CE. The true ones are the Gospel According to the Hebrews, penned in Hebrew in 40 CE by Mattai, and Yohanan’s narrative.

  7. Annette Leon says:

    I have hesitated in making comment but here it is.
    I was taught as a child ( religious instruction in schools in those days ) that Jesus as he was called was a Jew but over the years being on here and my modest research I have come to the conclusion that Jesus as in the NT is laced with Greek Roman influence, Mythology.
    I have seen where the Justification of the wording supposed to have been uttered by who I now call YESHUA, I cannot believe that he as a Jew would utter such a Pagan analogy ( hope that is the right word ) to his fellow Jews. I find the enchrist eating of the flesh and drinking of the blood totally obhorrent and little to do with the Israelites being saved from the angel of death of Passover. ????????

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