Friday, 29 June 2012
The Origins of Messianic Judaism
When Did Messianic Judaism Begin?
Messianic Judaism is actually 2,000 years old, dating to the time of Yeshua Himself. Yeshua was (and is) Jewish. He was raised in a Jewish home and ministered to Jewish people in the Land of Israel. His disciples were all Jewish. The apostles were all Jewish. The writers of the Brit Chadashah (New Covenant) were all Jewish (with the possible exception of Luke, and a very good case can be made that he was also Jewish), and for a time, the faith was strictly Jewish. By the middle of the first century AD, tens of thousands of Jewish people believed that Yeshua was the Messiah (see Acts 2:37-42, Acts 4:4, Acts 21:20). This is how Messianic Judaism began.
If, At First, Messianic Judaism Was Made Up Entirely Of Jewish People, How Did Gentiles Come Into The Faith?
It was always God's will for the Gentile nations to share in His salvation (Isaiah 42:6, Isaiah 49:6). God told Abraham that through him all the nations of the Earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3). The Lord set apart the Jewish people to bring the knowledge of God, the Word of God, and the Savior to the rest of the world. As a result of the witness of the first Messianic Jews, many Gentile people came into the faith.
How Did The Jewish Belief in Messiah Yeshua Come To Be Regarded As Not Jewish?
When the early Messianic Jews presented the faith in God through Messiah Yeshua to the Gentiles, many became Believers. By the end of the first century, not surprisingly, Gentile Believers outnumbered the Jewish Believers since there are far more Gentile people than Jewish people. However, as more and more Gentiles came into the Messianic faith, a "de-Judaizing" process (a separation from the Jewish roots of the faith and from the Jewish people) set in when the Roman Empire established Christianity as the dominant religion. Then, in what can only be regarded as one of the great tragedies of history, Christianity under the Roman Empire made it impossible for a Jewish person to practice their faith as Jews!