Rabbi Schneider - Jealousy
God bless you and Shalom, beloved ones. My name's Rabbi Schneider; welcome today to this edition of Discovering the Jewish Jesus. This really, this series that I'm in right now, I know that it's gonna really change some of your lives. I am sharing with you how it is that Judaism and Christianity separated from each other. This is now the second part in the series. Last week what I did is I painted a picture for you of how utterly Jewish Jesus and His message is. Jesus came as a Jew. He lived as a Jew. When He was born, right, the Wise Men said, Where is He that was born King of the Jews. When He was crucified, there was a sign above His head that read, Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. His last meal on earth with His disciples was a Passover meal.
Beloved, He sits in heaven today as the Lion from the Tribe of Judah. And He's coming back, listen now, as the Offspring of David. And the heaven that you're going to has a capital city called New Jerusalem, whose gates are inscribed with the twelve tribes of Israel. Now I don't have time to review all this today because I covered that thoroughly on last week's message. But let me simply say this. If you did not get last week's message, listen, I don't often say this, you need to get last week's message. You can go online, go to our website, and find it there. You can order it on DVD or CD. I'm telling you, get the message. I promise you it will be worth your time and worth your effort to get it.
I'm gonna continue on today. I'm gonna move from the foundation that I laid last week when I showed you how Jesus never came to start a new religion called Christianity, but rather He came, beloved, to fulfill that which was already given to the Hebrew people from God in what we call the Old Testament, what Jewish people call the Tanakh. We're speaking of it as the Hebrew Bible. So Jesus then never came to start a religion that would be separated from Judaism. But He came to fulfill that which had already been spoken about through Moses and the prophets. That's why Jesus said in John, 5, to the Jewish people, If you believed in Moses you'd believe Me, He said, for Moses wrote of Me.
And in Luke, 24, He brought His disciples on a journey through the law of Moses and the prophets, showing them in the law of Moses, in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, He showed them all the things that were written in the Torah and in the prophets, Daniel, etc. the things concerning Himself. You see, Jesus, beloved, is what brings the Tanakh or the Old Testament to its climax. It hits the mark in Jesus. So once again, we're moving forward right now. How then are we at a place today where people look at me, a Jewish person, and say, How could you be a Christian? You're a Jew. And how is it today that both Christians and Jews don't see the connection between Christianity and Judaism.
You see, one way to understand this phenomenon, beloved, is that Judaism is the mother of Christianity. Judaism gave birth to what the world calls Christianity. But Jesus is also the fulfillment of it all. How did it happen? Let's talk about now how did this get separated. How did we lose sight of this phenomenon? First of all I want to talk about this. We're going to the Gospel of John. And in the Gospel of John, we find a remarkable clue as to one of the first causes that led Jewish people away from Jesus, and eventually caused Christians to not understand that their faith is rooted in the Scriptures of the Hebrew Bible. In John, chapter 11, listen now, we read about the phenomenal climactic miracle of Yeshua HaMashiach when He raised, beloved church, Lazarus from the dead.
Now let me ask you a question. If you saw somebody raise somebody from the dead, wouldn't that get your attention? Well let me show you what happened in Jesus' day and in His life right after He raised Lazarus from the dead. I'm going now to the Gospel of John, chapter 11. I'm gonna read verses number 47, 48, and then 53. Hear the Word of God: Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, What are we doing? For if this man continues performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.
Let me read it again because I want these words to really sink in. Jesus just got done raising Lazarus from the dead, incredible miracle. You'd think everybody would be excited. But listen, the Pharisees and the chief priests were not excited, but rather they were fearful, and intimidated, and jealous. So how did they react? Listen again: What are we doing? This man is performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation. Continuing now to verse number 53, the same episode: So from that day on they planned together to kill Him.
So the beginning of this fragmentation between faith in Jesus and the religion of the traditional Jews of Jesus' time, which became the foundation of modern-day Judaism, the beginning of the separation, beloved, listen to me, was rooted in the Pharisees' jealousy and fear of Jesus. What were they afraid of? They said, What are we doing? they said to one another. We've got to stop this man, because if we let Him continue on performing miracles, everybody's gonna believe in Him. And if everyone believes in Him, the Pharisees said, we're gonna lose our place, and we're gonna lose our nation.
In other words, the Pharisees' primary reaction to Jesus was rooted in fear and insecurity. They were so concerned about losing their followers to Jesus, so concerned about losing their place of, seated in a place of religious authority that they said, We've got to kill Jesus so that we don't lose what we have. They said, listen once again, they said, verse 53: So from that day on, it says concerning them, they planned together to kill Him. You know, in the old-time mafia wars back in the 1980's they had all these different mafia families controlling different sections of New York City. And if one mafia family started doing business in the territory of another mafia family, then war would break out because the mafia family whose territory was invaded would react to stop their territory from being invaded. And so they would try to kill the invading mafia family.
That's what was going on, beloved, conceptually in Jewish days, in Jesus' day. Understand this, that in the time of the New Testament, the religious leaders, they weren't just religious leaders, they were the most influential, and often times the wealthiest people in the land. It wasn't a secular society. It was a religious society. And so to be a Pharisee was to be one of the, you know, walking in the highest station of life, so to speak. And so when these Pharisees recognized that they were losing their place because people again were turning away from them to follow Jesus instead, they violently reacted. They said, We've got to do away with Jesus so we don't lose our place and our nation.
Why did they say, "our nation"? Because the Romans, who actually were the governmental heads of Israel during the time of Yeshua, they granted a certain amount of freedom to the Jewish people living in the land. But the Jewish people of Jesus' day, they weren't sovereign in Israel. They were living under Rome, they were living, the Romans occupied Israel. They were living under Roman occupation and under a Roman government. And so what the Romans did is they gave the Jewish people a certain amount of freedom, and they recognized the Pharisees as the ones that were the heads of the Jewish people. And so they allowed the Pharisees a voice and a place of power in terms of their influence.
But what the Pharisees were concerned about is that when so many Jews started following Jesus, the Romans would no longer look to the Pharisees to get their cues from, but instead they would begin to look to Jesus, and Jesus would be the one that would become, not only the religious leader, but the Pharisees were concerned that He'd also become a political leader, and have a place in the government. And so the Pharisees said, What are we doing? We're gonna lose our place if we let Jesus continue, and our nation. And again, it says from that day forward they plotted together as to how to kill Him.
Now here's what I want you to understand. This is very critical, beloved church, and very important. I know that I've been a bit redundant, but I really want to stress some of these things. Listen to this key that I'm gonna share with you now. In 70 A.D. the Romans destroyed the temple. The Jewish people were just, there was just too much rebellion going on in the land. And finally the Romans reacted to their rebellion. And so the Romans came in and destroyed the temple. When the temple was destroyed, now I'm talking about this is the temple that was patterned after the pattern that God showed Moses in the wilderness.
Keep this in mind, when the temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., a catachysmic blow, cataclysmic blow was dealt to the Jewish people. Why? Because their whole religious system, beloved, was centered in the temple. It was centered, listen now, on the sacrifices, the priesthood, and the temple. In other words, you think about how were the Jewish people instructed to worship God? It was through a sacrificial system. For example, the highest holy day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, what was the center of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement? What? It was the blood of a bull, and the blood of a goat that was offered for their sins in the Holy of Holies. And all year long, sacrifices were going on; burnt offerings, peace offerings, free-will offerings. It was a sacrificial way of approaching God through the sacrifices of the animals.
And those that administered these sacrifices were the priests, the priesthood, the Levitical priesthood. So when the temple was destroyed, sacrifices could no longer be offered, because sacrifices could be only offered in the temple. So when the temple was destroyed, the sacrifices stopped. And without a temple and without sacrifices, listen, there was no need for the priesthood. So the priesthood scattered and fell apart. So the three primary pillars of the religion of the Jewish people of this time were the temple, the sacrifices, and the priesthood. And when the temple was destroyed, all those pillars fell.
So what happened was, because Judaism could no longer be practiced the way it had been practiced for hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of years according to the Torah, because it could no longer be practiced that way without the sacrifice, the temple and the priesthood, the leading Jews got together in 90 A.D., okay, 20 years after the temple was destroyed, in a place called Yavneh. And there was, we call it the Council of Yavneh, 90 A.D. And they got together, listen, these were the Pharisees convening in this council at Yavneh. And they discussed how can we insure the continuation and the survival of our people and our religion. And what they had to do, get it now, church, was they had to re-invent Judaism.
And so they said, for example, you know what? Even though we can't offer sacrifices anymore, they said, sacrifices aren't really important because God is not looking for sacrifices. He's looking for a broken heart, they said, and a contrite spirit. And they replaced the sacrifices, listen now, beloved, with liturgy and traditions. And so again, sacrifices could no longer be offered, so the Jewish leaders had to replace that which would hold Judaism together, and they did it, beloved, through liturgy and through other traditions.
Now here's what's really interesting. This new form of Judaism that we are talking about being conceived, or a better word would be really being brought forth more fully in 90 A.D., this form of Judaism is known today as Rabbinic Judaism, because it's no longer the religion so much so that's based on the Old Testament, or the Tanakh, but it's now Rabbinic Judaism. It's the new form of Judaism that was invented by the rabbis to hold the Jewish people together. Now hear me. Stay with me now. Here is the point. Who were these Pharisees that got together in Yavneh, at Yavneh in 90 A.D. that re-invented Judaism. Who were these Pharisees? Listen to me. They were, in some cases, the same Pharisees that wanted to put Jesus to death in John, chapter 11, and their sons.
So this re-invention of Judaism in 90 A.D. actually came from the heart of those that wanted to kill Jesus. So within Judaism from every generation onward, this anti-Jesus mindset has been passed on to every generation by osmosis. In other words, listen, being Jewish we are raised in an environment that we're just taught that we shouldn't believe in Jesus. We don't know why we shouldn't believe in Jesus. We don't question why we shouldn't believe in Jesus. We never read the Scriptures to see whether we should believe in Jesus or not. We just pick up in our home that we shouldn't believe in Jesus.
And so mindlessly going forward, that's what we do as Jewish people. We just don't believe in Jesus. Why? Because I'm a Jew. Without realizing that one of the reasons that we're rejecting Jesus goes all the way back to these Pharisees that wanted to kill Him, not because they examined the Scriptures and thought that He was false, but rather because He made them insecure because they were losing their place of influence to Him. Are you hearing what I'm saying, church? That today Jewish people reject Jesus without understanding that part of the reason that they're rejecting Him goes all the way back almost 2,000 years to these Pharisees that rejected Him, not because they truly thought He was a false prophet, but rather because they were afraid of losing their place to Jesus because they became jealous of Him, and as a result sought to eliminate Him.
And so I want to challenge you today, if you're a Jewish person, to think about this for a second. Now if this was the only thing I had to share, it wouldn't be enough. But in the weeks ahead, I'm gonna share with you many other reasons that Jewish people look at Christianity as something that is un-Jewish. And I don't even like to use the word Christianity because Jesus never used the word Christianity. In fact, the New Testament never uses the word Christianity. Now don't misunderstand. I believe in Christianity but Christianity is just a term that the church fathers created to define the belief system that those that believe in Jesus follow.
And that's fine. But I'm just getting back to the Bible basics. I'm bringing you back before that. And what I'm simply saying is that Jesus never came to start a new religion with a different name. But He came, according to John, 4:22, to fulfill Judaism. He said to the woman of Samaria, He said, Woman, He said, she wasn't practicing Judaism. He said to the woman, Woman, you don't know what you're worshipping, He said. He said, We know what we worship for salvation is from the Jews. Let me tell you, beloved, if you're not convinced that believing in Jesus is a Jewish thing, whether you're a Jew or Gentile, I promise you this, you're gonna become convinced because Jesus is gonna return, in Revelation, 22, as the Offspring of David and the Lion of Judah. And you're gonna go to that city called New Jerusalem, whose gates are inscribed with the twelve tribes of Israel.
Beloved, listen, Jesus, is a Jew. He came as a Jew. He lived as a Jew. He died as a Jew. He sits in heaven right now clothed in Jewish clothes. And what the Father wants to do is help Jewish people understand that believing in Jesus is not an un-Jewish thing. And He wants the church to appreciate the Jewish roots of her heritage. Beloved, as we close today, I just want to bless you and pray for you in the name of the Lord.
Father, I just pray today that the words that have gone forth from my mouth, Father God, that You would anoint them and cause them to have affect, Father God, to have an increase, to have, Father God, an impact in the lives and hearts and minds of those that have listened today. And I, Father, pray, Father God, that those that are hearing this Word would not use it as, as a sword to combat people with because they have this knowledge. But rather, Father, that it would simply increase their love for You, for Jewish people, and Father God, for the church to help the church understand the Jewish roots of our faith. For Father, You have told us that the goal of our instruction, You said to us, Father, through Paul and Timothy, is love. God bless you, beloved ones.