Messianic Jews the Most Hated People on earth.
Credit: Ron Cantor
Though the first community of Believers were virtually all Jewish, as the Messianic Faith spread amongst the Gentiles, the Church went to great lengths to keep Jewish believers from living as Jews and to remove all vestiges of Jewish practice from Christianity. Was this a demonic conspiracy or just political expediency for the kings and popes of the Middle Ages?
Without a doubt both, but that doesn’t change the fact that they altered the nature and identity of the New Covenant, and even of the Messiah. Yeshua, the Judean, was transfigured by the Church into a blond-haired, blue-eyed ‘anything-but-Jewish’ man. Yes, the Son of God, the Creator of the Universe, Himself, became the victim of identity theft!
Israel’s long awaited Messiah, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the King of the Jews was robbed of His Jewishness. His identity was not merely disguised, the Church changed it altogether. If it were possible for the Son of God to have slept from 30 CE until the end of the Middle Ages, He would have not have recognized Himself when He awoke. Not only were His Middle-Eastern features changed into a blonde haired, blue eyed Caucasian, but His body, the Church, hardly resembled the beautiful picture of a community compelled by His love to reach the world with His message that we see in the Book of Acts.
The Jewish Roots of the New Covenant were deleted. Once comprised almost exclusively of Jews, the now Gentile-dominated Church persecuted Yeshua’s natural brothers without mercy.
One of the first things asked of me was, “When did you convert to Christianity?” to which I reply, “You mean, when did I become a Messianic Jew?” It is conceivable that even Christians are thinking, “What is the big deal? Just say you left Judaism for Christianity!” For me, that is impossible. My stand on this angers and confuses many people, Christian and Jewish alike. In fact, it seems to me that Messianic Jews may actually be the most hated, misunderstood people on earth! Think about it:
We belong to the most hated ethnic group in history.
We are believers in Yeshua—and increasingly today anyone who believes in the Bible and the principles therein are being classified as fanatics and bigots. The non-Messianic Jewish community is being poisoned against us—teaching their children that we desire to destroy Judaism, which is ludicrous.
Much of the Christian community sees us as Judaizers (Gal. 3), trying to bring believers back under the Law (which, of course, is also ludicrous).
Many Christian leaders who believe we are legitimate, often distance themselves from the Messianic community for fear of offending other Jewish people, particularly Israeli government officials.
The larger Jewish community rejects us for our belief in Yeshua. The larger Christian world rejects us because they misunderstand us. They wrongly assume that because we remain Jewish that we look to the Torah for salvation.
On the contrary, it is the Torah which revealed to us our deep need for a Savior—for Yeshua. Others feel that because we worship on Shabbat and seek to live a Jewish life, that we think we are superior to our Gentile brothers in the faith. I can only speak for myself, but as far as I am concerned, we are one in Messiah, Jew and Gentile. Ephesians calls it the One New Man.
In maintaining my Jewish identity, I don’t take pride. I understand that it could cost me my life at any time. We are witnessing a current resurgence of anti-Semitism all over the world and no one knows exactly where it will lead. The mere fact of those of us living in a country surrounded by oil-rich Arab nations who want to destroy us gives one cause for concern. Being a Jew is not easy and it’s even harder to be a Messianic Jew.