With a very few
“ultra-Orthodox” exceptions (as well as the UMJC, it now seems*), the ultimate goal of the Messianic Restoration
movement seems to be the reunification of the twelve tribes of Israel into
a single nation which recognizes Yeshua of Nazareth as Mashiach (Messiah)
and King, with those who wish to do so living securely within the borders
of her original land grant from
Modern Messianic Judaism is the fulfillment of that which was spoken of by the ancient Prophets: a Restoration Movement of Jewish people who believe that Yeshua of Natzeret (Jesus of Nazareth) is the promised Messiah of Israel, and the Savior of the world. He is the One Whom the prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures told us was to come. Messianic Jews have not stopped being Jewish to become “Gentile Christians.” On the contrary, our personal relationship with Messiah Yeshua makes us even more truly Jewish in our identity and life-style.
Messianic Judaism is
actually 2,000 years old, dating back to the time of Messiah Yeshua.
Yeshua was born into a Jewish home. He was raised in a Jewish family. His
parents were Jewish, His brothers and sisters were Jewish. All His uncles,
aunts, and cousins were Jewish. He grew up to become a Jewish rabbi who
taught Jewish people in a Jewish land—Israel—about the
“Messianic Judaism really began to flourish in the year 1967. That was the
same year that Jerusalem came back under the control of the Jewish people
for the first time in almost 2,000 years. A coincidence? Absolutely not!
The modern Messianic Jewish movement is many things, but one of its key elements is the work to restore the lost Hebraic nature of the true Biblical faith. Sometimes this is called returning to our Jewish roots; and so, in part, it is. But it is much more. The Most High gave an eternal style to our ancient faith that would be unmistakable in the world as belonging to Him. His people were to be His own and to be His unique witness to the world. We are to be a chosen people, a kingdom of priests, a holy [set apart] nation.
One of the worst things that could happen to the people of Adonai is to assimilate into the world’s fashion: to think like the world thinks and to follow the world’s lead. Our purpose is to lead the world to worship and obey the Almighty. With such a task before us we must be assimilation proof. We must reflect the ancient ways He gave us, else how can we show that we have something different and better to offer the world.
Today there are more than 250 Messianic Jewish congregations in at least 25 countries (with at least 60 congregations in Eretz Israel!) most of which are composed of both Jewish and non-Jewish people who believe in Yeshua as Israel’s Messiah and as their personal Savior, who understand the Jewish roots of true Biblical faith, and who wish to express that faith through living a Torah-observant Jewish life-style. By some estimates there have been more Jewish people world-wide come to faith in Messiah since the appearance of the modern Messianic Jewish Movement in 1967 than in the 1,897 years from the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE through 1967 combined! Surely this is the final ingathering of the Faithful Remnant that the prophets predicted would occur just before Messiah’s triumphant return to establish His Kingdom in Jerusalem. Baruch HaShem!
For more information on Messianic Judaism please see David Chernoff’s excellent article HERE.
*There have been a number of recent policy changes reflected in several position papers recently released by the leadership of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC)—changes which I personally believe divide the true Body of Messiah and relegate the Gentile members of Messianic Jewish congregations to the status of second-class citizens. It appears to me from their statements (I sincerely hope that I am mistaken) that the leaders of the UMJC feel that Messianic Judaism should be a Jews-only movement and that Gentiles who have received the Jewish Messiah, instead of being welcomed into the synagogue and into the Jewish community in general as they have been since the days of the Exodus from Egypt, should “keep their place” and remain in their Gentile Churches with all their Roman pagan-influenced beliefs and practices. I completely understand and appreciate the apparent fear that Messianic Judaism might be “taken over” by Gentiles in exactly the same manner that the original Messianic Judaism was taken over by Constantine and the Roman Empire in 325 CE. (Please see the rough draft of my current project — “The ‘Model’ for the Messianic Community” — for more information on that subject.) However, I am sincerely concerned that their position serves less to protect the “Jewishness” of this critical restoration movement, and more to divide the Body and Bride of Messiah into two distinct entities. Messiah can have only one Bride, and that Bride must be echad, [dxa one; Deut. 6:4; John 17:11-22], even as the Father and the Son are echad. [RETURN]