Should A Jew Believe in Jesus or Not?

I am a Jew. As far as my family can tell, our ancestry goes back all the way to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

My entire childhood, my parents drummed it into my head that I could believe whatever I wanted and still stay Jewish. With one exception. If I believed in Jesus, I would no longer be a Jew.

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When I was 17 years old, I heard for the first time in my life about the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus), whom I was told was born of a virgin, was both fully God and fully man, died on a cross for my sins, and rose again after three days. Through fascinating circumstances, I embraced this Truth into my life, and believed in the Messiah that was prophesied about and promised to my people throughout the Old Testament.

Seeing this decision as a great betrayal to our people, my father sent rabbis after my mother, sisters and I, to try to ‘talk some sense’ into us. When he realized that we weren’t going to back away from our faith in Yeshua, he comforted himself by saying, “It’s just a phase – it was either drugs, alcohol or Jesus, so Jesus is the better of the three. They’ll get over it.”

But we never did and we never will :-)

You see, how could we ever go back. Yeshua is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the only hope for mankind, and no one who lives on this earth is exempt from needing the perfect sacrifice that He made. No one is without sin. All have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).The Jews included.

God is the only one who can reveal His Truth to people. And each time His Spirit does, and a person turns from their wicked ways (repents) and places their trust in the person of Yeshua, it is nothing short of a miracle. It is rare for a Jew to believe. It is only by the grace and mercy of Almighty God that the veil is removed from our eyes.

Why do Jews not believe in Jesus?

Born into a Jewish family, active in our local synagogue, and even having been on the path to becoming a Rabbi, there was both a spoken and an unspoken understanding about Jesus. These were engrained, taught, and assumed until they seeped into the very fibre of our being. Much of the ideas and perceptions of who Yeshua was, is sadly based on ignorance. Ignorance simply borne out of fear, disdain, misunderstanding, and apathy.

The conviction of Jews is that ‘Jesus isn’t for us, it’s for ‘them.’’ Them, referring to the Christians.

I, myself, was guilty before I came to know Him personally, of the following thought patterns.

A Mistaken Understanding of Who Jesus Is

Firstly, in the eyes of Jewish people, Jesus was the guy who started the Christian religion. Most Jews have never given Jesus much thought, but the vague view they’d have of Him is that He is Catholic. Jesus is someone who is ‘not Jewish’. In other words, to the common Jew out there, if one is not Jewish, they are a ‘Christian.’

My people do not differentiate between a True Believer, one who follows the Lord Jesus and is His disciple, and someone who is nominal in his Christianity yet still identifies himself as a ‘Christian’. The acceptable view is that whoever is not a Jew in the western world, is a non-Jew, and all non-Jews are considered Christians.

This leads to a mistaken conclusion that if I now believe in Jesus, I am no longer Jewish. It is as if I have converted to another religion; to Christianity. To a Jew, this is the unforgivable sin. Since our race is so small, and has survived against all odds by our rich history, time-tested traditions and united faith in the one true God, ‘converting’ to the other side, namely Christianity, and thereby leaving Judaism, is a heinous sin.

Having grown up with this reality, in my heart I completely understand and can even identify with this sad response. The fact is though, that nothing could be further from the truth. You see, when a Jew’s eyes have been opened to believe in Yeshua, he is in reality fulfilling the very calling of God and of His ancient plan; to believe in the promised Jewish Messiah who was to come. Incidentally, the Jews are still waiting for the promised Messiah, tragically not realising that He came 2,000 years ago.

The following video powerfully exemplifies the strong emotional reaction of Jews when they hear of someone who has ‘left Judaism.’ In this clip from the classic film, Fiddler on the Roof, the father, Tevye, has just heard that his daughter, Chava, will marry a non-Jew. It is a good illustration of a represented Jew (Tevye) and his heart-wrenching response of pain associated with one who is a traitor to Judaism (represented by his daughter here).

Believing in Yeshua does not negate a Jew from being Jewish. You can’t change the way you were born. A Jew who was born Jewish will remain Jewish. If I was born female, I will die a female, regardless of what I believe. If I was born Jewish, I will die Jewish, regardless of my belief.

If anything, for a Jew to believe in Yeshua, makes that Jew even more Jewish. I often hear testimonies of Jews who began to read the New Testament out of curiosity, and almost without fail the comment follows, “I couldn’t believe what a Jewish book the New Testament is!”

The New Testament is indeed a book that proclaims

A Jewish Messiah

Amongst a Jewish nation

Fulfilling the Jewish Scriptures.

It speaks of Jewish feasts,

Jewish dilemmas,

Jewish defenses,

With a Jewish mentality.

Here is a good example of a testimony of a Jew who came to the clear conclusion that Jesus was a Jew simply because of the Jewish-flavoured New Testament:

A Mistaken Understanding of What Jesus Did

Secondly, so many atrocities were committed over the centuries ‘in the name of Jesus’ that when a Jew is confronted with that Name, walls and bolted gates shoot up in his mind against this so-called Messiah.

They’re thinking Crusades.

They’re recalling the Pogroms

And fresh in their minds is

the Holocaust

during which an unfathomable six million Jews

lost their lives in the most cruel deaths imagineable.

As Jews, we’re hurt, we’re defensive, and anger often rises high in our hearts when we hear of a Jew believing in the very person who was supposedly responsible for continual, vehement persecution against our race.

My father, who passed away as a proud Jew against Jesus three years ago, was verbally and physically persecuted for being Jewish in communist Romania in the 1940’s. He was one of countless Jews over the centuries who endured being called “Christ-killer.” This term came about largely because teaching in nominal churches claimed that Jesus was crucified at the hand of the Jews, not realizing that he was in actual fact executed by the Roman government because of being viewed as a political threat to their regime.

The thing is, that Jews use historical persecution in the name of Jesus, and many other reasons as excuses not to believe in His Messiahship. It was only after coming to faith in Yeshua that I understood the personal nature of faith in Him. The issue wasn’t the millions out there who were unjustly killed.

The issue was that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour.

Whether I liked it or not, despite the fact that I had been raised to believe the very opposite, I could not deny that Isaiah 53 and hundreds of other Old Testament prophecies pointed crystal-clearly to Yeshua being the sinless lamb that died in my place. He carried the unbearable load of my own transgressions against a Holy God.

As Ray Comfort puts it, it was a ‘legal transaction’. My fine was paid, and I could now walk out of the courtroom, free.

Should a Jew Believe in Jesus or Not? That’s like asking should a seriously ill patient take medicine or not? Just like a person who knows that she is sick will admit herself to the care of a physician, so one who is not morally perfect and who is aware of her wrongdoings will commit herself  to the care of the one who offers forgiveness and freely grants it.

How Does This Relate To You?

When I lived in Israel, as part of one of our congregation’s meetings, our pastor asked for a show of hands of Jews who had come to know the Lord through a Gentile. My friend, almost every hand in the room went up! God’s plan all along has been for the Gospel to go out to the Gentiles, so that they may be used to provoke the Jews to jealousy, (Romans 11:11-14), that is, to see the truth that belief in Jesus leads to forgiveness of sins, communion with God the Father, and everlasting life.

So, you have a purpose!

To be a light to the Jewish people that God brings into your life. To live a life worthy of the calling before them, and as God leads you to share your faith with them. It is your duty to provoke the Jews to jealousy by the blessed, abundant life you have in Him.

You may enjoy the following testimonies of Jews who came to believe in the one true Messiah, Yeshua! The first one, specifically, will be an encouragement to you that you, as a Gentile, can be used of God to lead a Jew to their Messiah!

I would love to hear from you with any questions or comments you may have. Do you know anyone Jewish? What has been your experience in witnessing to them? Or if you haven’t yet, what has held you back?

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23 Life Skills I Wish My Mother Had Taught Me (And That You Can Pass on To Your Daughter) + Giveaway!!

What greater privilege is there for a parent than to pass on both spiritual truth and practical tools to live with on this earth?

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There are many ways you and I can leave a spiritual legacy for our children.

  • Living a Godly life as an example for your daughters and sons to emulate would be a glorifying choice.
  • Establishing meaningful traditions and a beautiful family culture is another way.
  • While maintaining a stable marriage which instills a sense of security into your children is yet another.

One way that you could also impart a tangible legacy is to pass on practical tips which you have come to learn over your years both by wisdom and experience.

I have been keeping a running list that has culminated into the following 23 pieces of advice to leave as a legacy for our children, and that I believe would greatly benefit our daughters especially should they follow these.

I hope you will find them helpful both for yourself and perhaps as some guidelines for jotting down your own for your children after you…

I have divided these up into the three S’s; Spiritual, Social, and Sensible

Spiritual

  1. Have a regular time during each day to read and study the Bible, and pray. I recently fell so behind in this, and realized that I was attempting to stick with the accepted time of mornings to execute my Bible reading and prayer. By the grace of God I had an ‘Aha!’ moment that I could do this in the evening before I go to sleep. It has been absolutely wonderful to have this quiet time as I close my day, thanking God and dedicating the next 24 hours to Him. I wake up sensing the peace of God in a way I hadn’t before. All that to say, find a time that suits you daily, whenever it may be!
  1. Glean at least one gem to take with you into life from every book you read and sermon you hear.
  1. Each day begins the night before. This is a biblical principle laid out since Genesis! God gives us hints about this idea even into the New Testament where He commands us to “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger” (Ephesians 4:26). He clearly shows us that if we are angry the evening before, that anger will continue into the following day. We need to remember, along these lines, that whatever we carry with us from the evening before, is the way we will begin the following day. Therefore, be sure to end your days on a good, clear note.
  1. Whenever you tell someone that you will pray for them, do it as soon as you can, so that you can honour that commitment. It is surprising how quickly one can forget these promises, and it is not honouring to the Lord to neglect these pledges.
  1. Be ministry minded! When you buy a house, choose one where you can host guests and weary travellers. When you buy a car, pick one with an extra seat or two so that you can give people rides when necessary. When you budget, leave some money aside to bless others or to give to those in need. In every situation you come across in life, make choices that would include serving and considering others, for the Lord’s sake.
  1. When hearing a Scripture reference and wanting to write it down (book, chapter and verse number), write the numbers down first, and then the book name. You are far more likely to forget the numbers by the time you write down the name of the book, so once you have the digits down, jot down the Bible book in front of it, and you’re good to go :-).

Social

  1. Whenever you visit someone, always bring something with you such as baking, a small gift, etc. Never come empty handed.
  1. Create a time buffer when going somewhere. So, if you need to be at a meeting at 10am, and it takes you 15 minutes to reach the location, leave 25 minutes prior in order to reach there in good time. As a wise friend once told me, “If you’re on time, you’re late.” :-)
  1. Do the important before it gets urgent. If you need to purchase and wrap a gift for a birthday party on January 18th, purchase the gift by January 15th, and wrap it by the 16th, so that it’s ready in plenty of time. Or if you have a project to hand in on the 12th, have it completed by the 5th. This habit in itself will save your child large quantities of stress in life, and will turn potentially nail biting situations into seasons of confidence and peace.
  1. When planning an outing or meeting by email or phone, give and take as many details as possible at a time, to avoid any unnecessary correspondence and time being spent. It’s amazing how much time of going back and forth can be saved by anticipating questions that can come up and answering those in advance.
  1. Make a big deal of people’s birthdays and anniversaries. This is such a great opportunity to show folks and friends how important and special they are to you. Sending them a text to show that you are thinking of them on the day, sending an ecard/card for the occasion, or phoning them, goes a long way in making people feel valuable and treasured!
  1. If someone shares with you that they are going to undergo surgery, move to a new home, or go on a trip, make a note in your calendar a day or two before the event to contact them to encourage, email, phone and/or pray for them. This will make those with whom you are in touch feel special and will contribute to building meaningful and lasting relationships. The same applies to after an event.  Make a note to contact the person a couple of days after they’ve moved house, had a tooth out, etc, to ask how it went and show them you care.
  1. Ask questions! When you are with people, especially meeting them for the first time and wanting to get to know them, or during uncomfortable situations, always ask them questions about themselves. Take an interest, and genuinely listen. People love to talk about themselves, and asking questions will avoid many an awkward silence, and will more often than not be reciprocated with questions in your direction, leading to flowing and enjoyable conversations.

Sensible

  1. Keep either an online or paper calendar, and use it often. If a bill needs to be paid on a certain date, for example on the 30th of the month, write down in your calendar on the 28th to pay it, including the sum that needs to be paid, the account number, and your customer number. This will save late fees as well as build good rapport with the person or company you are paying. This works for projects that need to be done, too.
  1. Always be reading a good book. Get recommendations from friends for quality reads, or get a hold of books that you see online that come highly recommended. If a book turns out to be spiritually heretical or discouraging, don’t be afraid to stop reading it!
  1. Go to sleep each night by 11pm. Studies have shown that every minute before midnight is worth four minutes after midnight. So simply by going to sleep an hour prior to 12am, you’ll already have gained four hours of sleep!
  1. Meal plan a few days in advance. Another huge stress-reliever. When meal planning, make a shopping list, and be sure to have all the necessary ingredients in the house to have on hand when you need them.
  1. Keep a “Giveaway Cupboard” somewhere in the house. This serves as a temporary storage space to place items that need to be returned to or given to people. Check the “Giveaway Cupboard” regularly before leaving home, in case you can take an item with you to someone you will be seeing that day.
  1. When you are given something yummy to eat, be sure to ask the cook for the recipe. Store all the recipes in a folder or book to pass on to your daughter when she leaves home. (Have her practice making the delicious food while she is still around, for educational purposes of course 😉 ).
  1. Be a chucker, rather than a hoarder. I used to be an obsessive hoarder until I was 22 years old and went away for six months with nothing but what I could fit into a backpack. When I returned, I realized that I hadn’t missed a single thing that I had sitting at home. I got rid of 90% of my belongings, and have been a blissful chucker since! Umpteen studies show that hoarding “stuff” leads to conditions such as depression and feeling overwhelmed, so being a chucker is definitely the healthier option :-).
  1. Be frugal. Purchase gifts from thrift stores, garage sales, and clearance sales. Keep a “Gift Cupboard” and when you want to give someone a gift, shop your Gift Cupboard for that perfect something. This saves huge amounts of money in the long run. If you want to keep it more personal, start looking around for gifts in this way for specific people whom you know have birthdays coming up, a couple of months in advance…
  1. Whenever possible, make wise choices in what you eat. If there is a table laid out with a pasta dish, a hearty vegetable salad, a meat dish, and a pizza, for example, choose the salad and meat dish over the pasta and pizza, being aware that this would be the healthy choice for your body.
  1. Keep a running shopping list in a handy place. Whenever you notice an item in your pantry, fridge, or bathroom running low, take a moment to jot it down on your shopping list. That way, you’ll never run out of anything, and always be stocked up.

I hope to add many more to this list, especially in the spiritual arena, but I hope these have served as a tool to help you get started on your own list. Basically, if you think of some things that you wish someone would have told you at the beginning of your journey, you’ll be heading in the right direction :-).

What are some pieces of life advice that you would share with your own children based on the wisdom and experience that you have benefited from yourself?

________________________________

Giveaway!

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Make Beautiful Moments Last A Lifetime (Ultimate Digital Photography Bundle)

When I look at my  five beautiful children, I can’t help but notice that they are growing up before my very eyes… I used to wish the years away, looking to a time where I was child-free again, able to do my own thing; blog, have a business, go out with girlfriends for coffee in the mornings. Whatever it is that child-free humans do.

The truth is, when I stop to think about it, I don’t actually want these years to pass at all. In fact, if I could freeze time right now, and have a 13, 10,7, 3 and 6 month old, I would. I love the place each one is at, and the dynamic between them all.

But alas, they are growing up. This realization hit me hard recently when we visited another part of the country where we used to live, and literally everyone we saw commented in wonder at how much the children have grown (which was very surprising to me considering the way vegetables hardly make it into their gastrointestinal tract!).

Truly, my friend, the only things that remain of these years are memories and photographs to help trigger those memories.

For my 40th birthday (not that many years ago :-)) I requested only one gift from my family. A good digital camera! I desperately wanted to capture the moments, emotions, experiences, and faces of my children. Of our family. My husband saw my heart, and did invest in a good camera for this purpose.

The only thing is, that I didn’t realize that just having a decent camera wasn’t enough. I actually needed the skills and know-how to operate that camera to be able to take photos that would be a joy to look at 5, 10, 20 years down the line.

Years from now we all want to be able to look through our photos and instantly be transported back to those special moments – not wracking our brains to remember what a particular episode really looked and felt like.

I’ve come across an incredible bundle that I wanted to let you know about that would be an absolute asset to you in learning to capture those gorgeous children and precious moments…

It contains a huge assortment of ebooks and video training courses provided by professional, world-renowned photographers who are experts in teaching others – even complete beginners. You won’t need to switch up to a more expensive camera to make full use of the bundle (even if you have an iPhone), and you don’t need to neglect your family for weeks upon weeks of training!

I really believe in the potential of this amazing bundle to transform the way we remember the good ol’ days we are living in right now!

Look good? I haven’t even told you the best news about it! Everything in the bundle has a combined total value of $555, but for this week only, the entire bundle is being sold for just $37 – a discount of more than 90%!

What’s more, they’re also throwing in a FREE copy of FX Photo Studio Pro software from MacPhun (which provides stunning filters and photography effects) worth $29.99!

Click here to buy The Ultimate Digital Photography Bundle for just $37

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