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Month 8:30, RC Preparation Day, Year:Day 5940:236 AM
2Exodus 3/40, Yovel - Year 50/50
Gregorian Calendar: Tuesday 29 November 2016
Jews First?
No Teachers' Pets in the Kingdom

    A Messianic Jew's View

    Every now and then a Messianic Jew insists that the goal of a ministry like ours, which calls itself 'messianic', ought to be "spreading the Gospel to the Jew first and then to the gentiles. We need to focus on teaching as many people as possible about the truth of Yeshua. We need to be teaching about the feasts, the Sabbath and keeping a kosher house as Yeshua did. That is where our focus and teaching should be." So posted a Messianic Jewish lady yesterday who had just joined our Facebook ministry group. Presumably she thought we weren't doing that.

    Artificial Entities Disallowed

    We are not, of course, a Messianic Jewish ministry since we do not recognise such a separate category even exists. And if it did then there would be Messianic British, Messianic American, Messianic German and Messianic Arabic categories too, which there aren't. The artificial polarisation of the Messianic Community (Church) into 'Jew' and 'Gentile' is contrary to the Besorah (Gospel) itself as Yah'shua (Jesus) removed all such racial and national distinctives. Indeed the prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled two millennia ago wherein Yahweh stated that His Bayit (House) would become a "house of prayer for all nations" (Isa.56:7, NIV). Indeed, that house is no longer made of stones but is the collective Body of all believers and "there is neither Jew nor Greek (Gentile)" in Yah'shua (Jesus) our Messiah (Gal.3:28, NIV). We are all one family, to later be subdivided into the 12 tribes again (by either descent or adoption), a single Israelite nation without reference to the other nations that birthed us.

    Priorities

    As found in our Mission Statement and in the explanation of what a Messianic Evangelical is, the first and most important calling and main focus of any authentic ministry is to preach Messiah crucified and resurrected, and thereafter to teach them to be Torah-obedient talmidim (disciples). This includes instruction about, and observation of, the luni-solar Sabbath and Creation Calendar, the Festivals and the Kashrut Dietary Laws.

    No Racial Distinctions

    Modern Jewish converts do not have a favoured status in this mission nor do we prioretise evangelising them. We treat all men and women from every nation, race and occupation as equals and without distinction, as Messiah insisted and in fulfilment of Isaiah 49:6. We will treat a Jewish investigator the same as an Arab, Nigerian, Italian or Chinese one, and not put him ahead of the line because of some supposed privileged status. Indeed we have zero tolerance for racism and supremacism of any kind. There is no special rank for any race or religious group. All that matters in the Besorah (Gospel) mandate is seeking the righteousness of Yahweh and His Kingdom to whom alone salvation is given.

    The True Context of Paul's Word

    The suggestion that 'Jews' should be preferentially witnessed to before 'Gentiles' is both a perversion of the Besorah (Gospel) and a twisting of Paul's words in Romans which is solely an observation and prediction of a chain of historical events which note the Good News originated in Israel but will encompass the whole world:

      "For I am not ashamed of the Besorah (Gospel); it is the power of Elohim (God) for salvation to everyone who has emunah (faith), to the Judahite ('Jew') first and also to the Greek (Gentile)" (Rom.1:16, NRSV).

    The Historic Mandate

    Jews are not being singled out here for favoured or preferential access to the Besorah (Gospel). "To the Judahite ('Jew') first and also to the Greek (Gentile)" reflects the historic mandate of salvation from Israel to the nations rather than the order of importance of Jews over Gentiles. The Besorah (Gospel) was first preached in Judea, Samaria and Galilee and from there was taken to all the nations. It isn't going from there any longer. For one thing, that nation ceased to exist, and the Besorah (Gospel) has certainly not been sent out afresh from the modern Israeli Republic. Indeed, 'Gentiles' are still going into that country to convert Jews. Today's Jews are not, in any case, the same as the Judahites of Paul's day - see the five-part sermon series on Jacob's Trouble for a full treatment of this subject and the many articles on Israel and modern-day Zionism.

    Are the Modern Jews a Race?

    Part of the problem that we have with Messianic Judaism is the claim made by the Jews - and by extension, therefore, the 'Messianic Jews' - that they are a race like the British or Germans. Centuries of interbreeding, principally with Asians and Europeans of many nations, have changed all of that. Indeed the whole world is a pot pourri of intermixed races and we all have each others ancestral genes. I have seen studies that demonstrate that most of us from all races not only have Jewish but also Mongol genes. In our view, based now on the overwhelming scientific and genetic evidence, there is no more such an entity as a 'Messianic Jew' as there is a 'Messianic/Christian Moslem' or a 'Messianic/Christian Hindu' [1] because Jewishness is cultural and/or religious. Only a small percentage have any significant amounf of DNA that can be traced back to the original Judah.

    NCAY Goals and Priorities

    The good news is that it doesn't matter. Salvation is not predicated upon family lines, skin colour or anything else in the physical. As Messianic Evangelicals, therefore, we have set our own goals which are at variance with many messianic groups. Our priorities are based on the Ruach (Spirit) pointing out which people, of any and all nations, that we are to witness to at any one point in time. We see people as human beings only - we do not see the national flags they wave, the genes they carry, or the religious labels they were born with. And neither does Yahweh. He sees their hearts and challenges them to choose salvation or perish. Without a doubt some believers have a specific calling to Jews just as some have specialised ministries to Moslems. And that is absolutely wonderful. May they all be blessed in their labours of love. But we set no people, no race, no nation on a pedestal. We respect none of these things because they are immaterial.

    Conclusion

    Go and witness to all kinds people, disciple all kinds people, and love all kinds people in the order in which Yahweh brings them to you.

    Endnotes

    [1] See, for example, Shlomo Sand, The Invention of the Jewish People (Verso, London: 2009) and The Invention of the Land of Israel: From Holy Land to Homeland (Verso, London: 2012)

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