Rabbi Schneider - The Separation
God bless you and Shalom, beloved ones. My name's Rabbi Schneider. Welcome today to this very important episode of Discovering the Jewish Jesus. We're gonna be talking about a fascinating subject. How did Christianity and Judaism become separated from each other? Consider this, when Jesus came, He, Himself, said that He did not come to abolish the law and the prophets; that He didn't come to abolish but to fulfill or to fill full, in Matthew, 5, verse 17-18. You see, Jesus didn't see Himself as one that came to start a new religion called Christianity. But rather Yeshua saw Himself as the one that came to complete that which God had already revealed in the Hebrew Scriptures; that which Christians call today the Old Testament.
Now I want you to understand me. I'm a Christian. A Christian is somebody that's following the Christ. The word Christ is just the Greek word for Anointed. So a Christian is somebody that's following the Anointed One. The word Christ is actually the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew, Mashiach, or Anointed. So when someone says they're a Christian, it simply means that they're following the Anointed One. They're following the Mashia, the Mashiach, the Messiah, or the Christ. I am a Jewish Christian. I'm a Jew that's following the Jewish Messiah, King Jesus. But the word Christianity, the way that it's understood today as a separate and distinct religion from Judaism, was not part of Jesus' vocabulary.
Now I understand that when we use the term Christianity we're talking about the faith that is part of the doctrinal belief system of those that believe in Jesus. And in that sense of the word, I'm a Christian and believe in Christianity. But what I'm trying to point out is that Jesus never came to start a unique religion called Christianity from Judaism. But rather He came to fulfill that which God had already revealed to the Israelites through the prophets and through Moses. You see, Jesus illustrated this many, many times throughout His teaching. For example, in John, chapter 4, Jesus said to the woman of Samaria, He said, Woman, we know what we worship, for salvation is from the Jews.
What's the point, beloved? The point was is here was this Samaritan woman, the woman at the well. She wasn't practicing Judaism. She began to dialogue with Yeshua about prophetic things, about things concerning God and the kingdom of heaven. And Jesus said to her, Woman, He said, you don't know what you're talking about. He said, You don't worship that which you understand. He said, We know what we worship, John, 4:22, for salvation is from the Jews. You see, Jesus was born as a Jew. He lived as a Jew. He practiced the religion that God gave to the Hebrew people. And He claimed that He was the fulfillment of it all.
A very interesting story in Scripture happens in Luke, chapter 24. Here is the setting. Yeshua had been crucified. As far as the disciples were concerned, they were totally, totally devastated. You see, they thought Jesus was gonna lead them to victory. They thought Jesus was gonna be raised up of God, overthrow the Romans that were occupying the land of Israel, restore the Jewish people to their place of prominence. This One that the disciples had left everything to follow, believing Him to be their deliverer, believing that He would redeem Israel, what happens? Instead it appears that it all fell apart because Jesus, this One that they followed and left everything for, just got crucified.
So they were totally confused, totally devastated. It was like the world had just been pulled out from underneath their feet. They were totally confused and lost. And they're walking down this road to a city called Emmaus in this lost, confused state. And as they're walking, Yeshua suddenly starts walking beside them, and enters into their conversation. But Yeshua had taken on a different physical appearance. After all, He's God in the flesh, right? He can do anything He wants to do. He walked through walls. He stilled the sea. He raised Lazarus from the dead. I mean, He is the God of miracles. By definition, God is supernatural because He's Spirit. And Spirit is supernatural because it's above the natural. God is supernatural, meaning He's above the natural.
So to believe that Jesus appeared in a different form, and this is just basic stuff. So Jesus appears to them now, but in a physical form that they couldn't recognize. He looked like a different human being. And Jesus just begins to enter into their conversation, and He says, What's, what's going on? And He kind of played dumb with them. He played dumb. And they said, What, what do you mean, what's going on? Are you the only one in Jerusalem that doesn't know what's going on? That this Jesus that we thought was a prophet and thought was the Messiah, that the Romans, you know, had Him crucified? Are, don't you...
And then what happened was Jesus, still in this physical form that they didn't recognize, He began to take them, the Bible says, through a journey from the law of Moses, the prophets and the Psalms. And what Jesus did, again disguised to them, but He took them through the Hebrew Bible that we call the Tanakh, or the Old Testament, and He pointed out all the prophecies in the Old Testament that pointed to how the Messiah would have to suffer and be raised again. Actually I want to read that Scripture for you; the Book of Luke, chapter number 24. And I'm gonna read there verse number 27 and 31. Hear the Word of God. The grass withers, beloved ones, and the flowers fade, but the Word of the Lord abides forever. And then it says: Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
So remember, Jesus is still speaking to them. They don't recognize that it's Jesus. But Jesus, appearing as a stranger, begins to take them on a journey through the entire Tanakh, through the entire Old Testament, through Moses, the prophets, and we read in other places, even the Psalms. And then in verse 31, we read this: Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. In other words, Jesus was showing His apostles, He was showing His disciples that He was the One that the Hebrew Scriptures spoke of. You see, Jesus, beloved ones, is the fulfillment of Judaism. He didn't come to start a separate religion from Judaism, but Biblically and historically He came to fulfill Judaism. And without Jesus, Judaism is incomplete.
I like to think of it this way. If you were flying, let's say, from Ohio to Florida and you couldn't get a direct flight, which is most often the case, you might fly from Ohio to Atlanta. And then you, in Atlanta, would pick up the connecting flight to let's say, Miami Beach, Florida. Well Judaism without Jesus is like wanting to get to Miami Beach, Florida. You get from Ohio to Atlanta, but then you miss your connecting flight from Atlanta to Miami Beach. You see, Judaism without Jesus misses the point. Jesus is the aim to which the Hebrew Scriptures spoke of. You see, Jesus said this in John, chapter 5. He said to the Jewish people, He said, If you believed Moses, you'd believe Me for Moses wrote of Me. Again, Jesus said, Do not think I've come to abolish the law and the prophets. For I've not come to abolish but to what? Fulfill.
And so all this is kind of an introduction to this series of messages that is about how it is that Judaism and Christianity separated from each other and became two distinct religions, where Jesus never came to start a distinct religion but rather came, beloved, to fulfill Judaism. You see, myself being born as a Jew, raised as a Jew by two Jewish parents, Bar Mitzvahed in a conservative synagogue, often times I hear from both Gentile Christians and Jewish people alike the same thing. They say to me, How can you be a Jew and a Christian? You're either a Jew, they say, or a Christian. But you can't be both. Let me say it again. So often times I'm confronted by people, and often times in hostility, from both Gentiles and Jews. And they say to me, How can you say that you're Jewish and that you believe in Jesus? There's no such thing. You're either a Jew or you're a Christian. But there's no such thing as a Jew, they say, that' says they're a Christian.
But you know what, beloved? Being Jewish and being Christian are two completely different things in this sense; that as a Jew, you become a Jew not because of what you believe, but you become a Jew because of how you're born. It's because of your ancestral lineage. In other words, a Jew is a physical offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That's why a Jewish boy or an Israelite that's born into the world through the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is circumcised on the eighth day. Think about this. All the Israelites and all Jewish people today that are part of, you know, practicing Jewish families, the eighth day, the Jewish son will be circumcised.
Now let me ask a question. At eight days old, what does that little Jewish boy believe? Does He believe in the Tanakh or the Old Testament? Or does He believe in the New Testament? He doesn't believe in either. Right? He's eight days old. He doesn't have any type of doctrinal belief system. He doesn't know anything. But He's circumcised as an Israelite or as a Jew, get it now, beloved, not because of what He believes, or because of the religion that He's practicing. But rather He's circumcised because He's a physical descendent of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. So being an Israelite or being Jewish is about your physical lineage. Being a Christian is not something that you're born into either. Being a Christian is that which describes one who is actively following the Christ, in Hebrew, Mashiach or Messiah.
So Christians are made up of both Gentile followers of Jesus and Jewish followers of Jesus. Anybody that is actively following Jesus is a Christian, okay. So again, being a Christian is about your beliefs and about your walk with God as it relates to Jesus. It's something that you choose. But being a Jew is not about the religion that you're practicing, but rather it's about your ancestral lineage. In fact, today within the Jewish community, we have Orthodox Jews. We have Conservative Jews. We have Reformed Jews. We have Jews that are part of the Reconstructionist Movement. We have Jews that are part of the Renewal Movement. And they have vastly different belief systems often times. But they still consider themselves fully Jews, even though they don't agree on so many things. Why? Because they share the same physical lineage.
Even agnostic or atheistic Jews today are still considered Jews, if they don't even believe in God, they say. Why? Because they're physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. So I just want to clear up right away that the, you know, it's not comparing apples to apples when we talk about being a Jew and being a Christian; one's a matter of birth, one is a matter of identity that comes from our belief and our practice. But getting back to my point, I'm gonna be showing you in this series how it could be that Jesus who came and said to the woman of Samaria in John, 4:22, Salvation's from the Jews; how Jesus that when He came, did you know He said to Gentiles that came to Him, He said to the Gentiles, listen, He said, I've come only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.
Think about this. Jesus comes as a Jew. You see, when He was born, the Wise Men said, Where is He that was born King of the Jews? So He's born into the world as a Jew. Then He's raised, get it now, by practicing Jewish parents. I mean, we know that Jesus' parents not only were born physically Jewish, but that they were practicing the religion that God gave the Hebrew people because the Bible tells us, listen now, that Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover every year. Many Jewish people only got to Jerusalem once in a lifetime. But Jesus' parents brought Him to celebrate Passover every year in Yerushalayim, which means they were practicing Jews.
So think about it. Jesus, born as a Jew; the Wise Men said, Where is He that was born King of the Jews? Then He's raised, get it, by practicing Jewish parents. Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day, we read about in Scripture. Then when He began to minister, who did He choose to be His disciples? Twelve Jewish apostles. Who did He choose to be His apostles, I should say? Twelve Jews. And then when Gentiles came when He was walking upon the earth, He said, right now, He said, I've come only to minister to the Jewish people. We know that after Jesus was crucified, the Gospel went out to the entire world. We're gonna talk about that. But I'm just trying to point out the extreme Jewish context of Messiah and of our faith in Jesus.
So Jesus then gets twelve Jewish apostles around Him, and He ministers only, He said, to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. Then when Yeshua gets crucified, they put a sign above His head that says what? Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. What happens next? The Spirit of God is poured out on the disciples, on the Jewish holy day called Shavuot, that we call in English or Greek, Pentecost. And what about right now and what about in the future? Well right now when we read the Book of Revelation, we read that Jesus is sitting in heaven right now, today, as the self-described Lion from the Tribe of Judah. And finally, we read in the last chapter of the New Testament, Revelation, 22, that Jesus is coming back, get it now, church, as the Offspring of David.
So He came as a Jew. He lived as a Jew. He ministered to Jewish people. He died with the sign above His head that said, Yeshua of Nazareth, King of the Jews. He sits in heaven right now as the Lion from the Tribe of Judah. And He's coming back as the Offspring of David. You see, this is a Jewish thing, and the separation between faith in Jesus and Judaism in term of our understanding should have never taken place the way that it has today. Don't misunderstand, church, I'm not trying to make Gentiles Jews. I'm just trying to tell you, if you're a Gentile believer, that you should not separate your faith in Jesus from Judaism. You should understand who Jesus is from a Judaic context because this is the context from which He came and these are the clothes that He's still wearing.
Now let me say finally today that we know at the end of the day God is above being Jewish, okay, because God is Spirit. And Spirit is above the flesh. But we also don't want to disregard the fact, beloved, that when we go to heaven, we're going to a city called what? The New Jerusalem, right, which is the capital of Israel today. It's just prophetic fulfillment of it. And the gates of this New Jerusalem in heaven, this capital city of heaven, will be inscribed, the Bible tells us, listen now, with the names of the twelve Tribes of Israel. Now if you question anything that I'm saying today, I want to encourage you to do what they do in politics. Do a fact check. And what you'll find is that every single thing, beloved, that I've told you today and shared with you comes right out of the Word of God.
The message that I've brought, beloved, it's a Biblical message. So what we're gonna continue on next week is showing you how this could be. How could it be that when Jesus ate His last meal with His disciples, disciples, which we call the Passover meal, right, Yeshua said to His disciples, He said, Go and prepare for Me the Passover, okay. How could it be that this Jesus that came as a Jew, lived as a Jew, died as a Jew, celebrated His last meal with His disciples as a Passover meal, still sits in heaven as the Lion from the Tribe of Judah, coming back as the Offspring of David, how has it been possible that the message of Christianity got so separate, separate from Judaism?
And why is it today that Jewish people look at Jesus and Christianity as something that's un-Jewish? And how is it and why is it today that many Gentile Christians when they look at their faith in Jesus, they see it as totally distinct and separate from Judaism? Hopefully I'm gonna help you put this all back together. It's gonna give you a lot of peace. It's gonna bring you a lot of clarity. I believe you're gonna celebrate it. You're gonna get excited about it. And you're gonna tell your friends about it in the weeks to come.
I want to encourage you, invite a friend over for next week's broadcast; same time, same channel, because I'm broadcasting different messages throughout the week on various different channels. But if you tune in next week, this same time, same network, you're gonna find me continuing this message. I'm excited to bring it to you, beloved. God bless you today. I love you, in Jesus' name, and we look forward to being with you via television next week. In the name of Yeshua HaMashiach, Shalom.