A major turning point in my Jewish journey came when I met my first ever Messianic Jew named David. David was a Christian, but he still did a lot of Jewish stuff. I saw that being a disciple of Yeshua was intended by God to be a means of strengthening my observance to the Torah, not abolishing it.
As we stay committed to the vision of seeing a mature Messianic Judaism move forward, I believe we will give people more reasons to hold onto the ball and keep running toward the goal—that joyful time when the King and His kingdom fill the earth.
There are four components to the “light of the world”: the Jewish people, the Torah, the land of Israel, and Messiah. Any combination of these things increases the light of the revelation of God in the world, but the full potential is realized only when all four unite as one.
We are now tasked with a new errand. We have the honor of traveling to the graves of the holy men and women whose words we lovingly pore over in translation and publication. It is possible that many of these ancestors of our faith have not received visitors to their graves since their deaths.
It’s time to redeem Miriam the mother of our Master and give her the honor and respect that she deserves and is in fact given in the Gospels themselves. The best way to do that in Messianic Judaism is to look at how holy figures are honored in Jewish tradition.
We never know how HaShem is at work. When Boaz handed me that DHE five or six hours earlier, it seemed insignificant. But I believe that HaShem had me carry that DHE for a special purpose. It is a joy to see how he weaves the details of our lives together.
The date the the death of the Apostle Paul has been preserved in the Syriac Church tradition. The source is called “The Book of the Bee.” It was compiled in the twelfth century by Solomon, the Bishop of Bassora and preserves a lot of very Semitic-sounding material, which may indeed go back to the early Jewish believers.
The King’s University offers both online and on campus accredited degree plans with a concentration on Messianic Jewish Studies. TKU is committed to training Rabbis and teachers in the Messianic Jewish Community and Christian leaders who are called to be bridges between the church and the Jewish people. TKU is an approved school of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations.
I had a conversation with a young man who reminded me that we still have a lot of work to do in Messianic Judaism. God is doing great things in our times. Restoring the Jewish Jesus back to both Judaism and Christianity is an exciting work to be a part of. He is even accomplishing that in lines at Chinese restaurants!
Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy still celebrate the day as one of the great feasts of the Christian year. So what about Messianic Judaism? Should we be celebrating Ascension Day? I think the answer is a resounding “yes!” It represents an event in the life of the Master that is at least as important as his death and resurrection.
Messianic Jews and Gentiles should be bridge builders. With those of us in synagogues at one end and those of us in the church at the other, we have anchors on both sides; if we can each recognize the other’s role and calling, we can support a connection in between.
In the Messianic Jewish movement, great truths are being restored to the body of Messiah. However, the same movement is also generating an inordinate amount of balderdash. Balderdash (בלדרדש) is an English word of unknown origin meaning “nonsensical, foolish talk.” Let's learn to separate fact from fiction. Let's not be fooled.
The introductory prayer to the seder is an invitation to all who are hungry and needy to eat of the bread of Passover. The Messiah identifies with the very same bread, and promises eternal satiation to all who partake. This invitation makes us recall the bold declaration of our Messiah: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger”
In Messianic Judaism, the resurrection of Yeshua is one of our most treasured truths. How can we give this foundational belief the attention it deserves and yet remain within thoroughly Jewish space? An ancient custom based on the life and death of King David could provide the perfect setting and unite us with the earliest Jewish followers of the Messiah.
Whether or not the original writer of Esther had this intention, based on Isaiah 56, I believe this passage prophetically alludes to Gentiles who have been grafted into the olive tree of Israel. Purim is a Jewish holiday but it is also for Gentiles who have found Messiah and cast their lot with the Jewish people.
Our core principles as a ministry involve restoring the Jewish Messiah, restoring the Torah, restoring the gospel, and restoring Israel. It is our conviction that as these fundamental areas are restored to their biblical context, efforts to reach the Jewish people with the good news of Yeshua will be strengthened.
It’s important to recognize that there are two different gods operating behind the technological religion of consumption and the religion of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Behind the latter is the one, true, God—the I Am. But behind the former is Mammon, the god of consumption and wealth who slowly takes more and more, giving less and less in return.
Secondary orality isn’t going to be a perfect, resurrected replica of the “primary” orality that saw the rise of Judaism. It’s going to be a cyborg blend of the written, print, and electronic traditions—a blend that may seek to restore the communal value of oral culture.
The theological moorings of Messianic Judaism have a way of reconciling contradictions. I think Messianic Judaism offers a more careful, nuanced, and liturgical perspective on even the most mundane things as technology. I am on a quiet crusade against the culture that dictates kids my age should have their noses buried in the light of retina screens.
Toby Janicki’s recent trip to Israel with his family featured the debut guest-lecture event of the Bram Center in Jerusalem. The young demographic of Israeli Yeshua-disciples attending the lecture offers hope for the future of Messianic Judaism in Israel and around the world.
A place to rediscover Yeshua, to find resources and assistance, to provide a theological and communal backbone for Messianic Judaism in Israel: this is the vision of the Bram Center that, with God’s help, my friends and family and I are building here.
Messianic Jews in the land of Israel should be exemplary advocates for Torah. Yet to date, due to a multitude of social, religious, and cultural pressures, Israeli disciples of Yeshua have drawn back from exploring the beauty of the Torah and the life it describes.
When the Israeli web portal Walla! recently featured testimonies of Jewish Yeshua-followers produced by Eitan Bar and Israel College of the Bible, it was hailed as a win for Jewish evangelism. It would be even better if a few of the testimonies pointed Jewish believers to Torah.
David provided a spark that lit a still-growing fire in today’s Christian and Messianic Jewish world. However, he has taught us all perhaps a more important lesson through the example of his steadfastness and consistency, through showing us what it looks like to have a dream and to work toward it.
One of the victims has been identified as Nicholas Thalasinos, a Messianic Jew. Thalasinos enjoyed arguing religion with his coworkers and, only two weeks before the shooting, he and Farook had engaged in a debate over Israel and the nature of Islam.
Catholic-Messianic dialogue has the potential to inform Messianic Jewish theology, as both faith traditions now grapple with the significance of the eternal calling of the Jewish people on one hand, and the universal redemptive work of Messiah, the King they have yet to corporately enthrone, on the other.
As we navigate and codify Messianic Jewish theology and practice we must look behind us to those who established our sect. Do we look just as they did? Do we want to? Part of me wants Messianic Judaism to closely resemble those by-gone days as well. Then I realize that it’s impossible.
Here in Israel, we have some confusion between congregation and community because we use the same Hebrew word (kehila) for both. The word kehila is also used to describe the "body", the general Messianic community throughout Israel. This seems to imply that congregations are the community and the community is the congregation.
Messianic communities in Israel preach about the next generation and talk about younger leadership. However, leadership is not always delegated in actuality. The Master showed us how to train disciples and step back. This is the biblical model for leadership and ministry. Leadership is a serious discipline that requires professional training.
During the whole sermon I was looking around the room to see if anyone was noticeably offended or angered. What I saw was a whole congregation nodding their heads in agreement, saying words of affirmation and totally comfortable with what the rabbi was teaching.
Just as the student’s love and trust of a Tzaddik is an expression of his love and devotion to God, likewise our relationship with Yeshua is a reflection of our relationship with God. Levertoff tells us elegantly that our love for God is rooted in our love for the Messiah.
What does Judaism look like outside of our Messianic circles? One Messianic Jew has many anecdotes from her personal tour of New York City’s greatest synagogues, everywhere from ultra-Orthodox to Reform. Never is there a dull moment in Manhattan’s Jewish community.
The emerging church has been hailed as the next big thing. An unprecedented blend of liturgy, spontaneity, social justice, and postmodern theology; it lies at the intersection of several previously separate streams of Christianity. But Messianic Judaism ties these same threads together in an authentic restoration of the first-century church.
In our ever-evolving times there is a concern with raising up young Jews upon whom to place the mantle of Messianic Jewish leadership. Will we be in good hands when the younger generation matures? What will our Messianic Jewish movement even look like and what will define its formation? Today’s Millennials are tomorrow’s leaders.
There are thousands of pastors and Christians who want more of the Jewish Jesus. As those who embrace Messianic Judaism, it’s our privilege to reach out and share the importance of this movement in God’s kingdom plans. I want to encourage you wherever you are to be an advocate for this mission.
Some are for it, and others against, but most Christians haven’t even taken the time to learn what Messianic Judaism is or what it stands for. Who exactly are Messianic Jews, and what do they believe? Is Messianic Judaism heresy? Or orthodoxy? Generations of evangelical students have been trained as heresy-hunters.
When I first began to practice and learn about Messianic Judaism, I found Jewish prayer to be fascinating. The expressions and phrases in the blessings and liturgies seemed to transport me to another world. The Hebrew language seemed to sing to me. Through Jewish prayer I felt a connection.
An ever-growing body of scholarship testifies that the early Jerusalem church likewise maintained a self-identity within Judaism and that the New Testament should be read as a collection of Jewish texts. Unfortunately, the world-shattering theological, ecclesiological, and eschatological ramifications of the rebirth of Messianic Judaism are often overshadowed by controversy and confusion.
Yesterday I had the great privilege of meeting with a wonderful Jewish scholar at his home in New York. I was invited to do so because recently our Vine of David materials caught his eye, and he was extremely impressed at the beautiful quality of work, the authentic Jewishness of the work, and the specificity that the work has to our Messianic Jewish community.