Rabbi Schneider - The Jewish Nature of Jesus
As I've aged the fire of the Lord has increased and increased and increased with me. I have a burning passion now to continue to push the envelope forward in the world, to reveal to the world, to the church and to Israel, listen, the Jewish Jesus. What do I mean by that? Both the church and Israel often times when they think of Jesus, do not think of Jesus as a Jew. They look at Him as a Gentile. In fact, there's been concerted efforts in the early days of the church that actually try to strip Jesus and the New Testament documents of their Jewishness. Let me give you a specific example of that. In the book of Acts chapter 12 verse 4, in the original Greek language the word pascha is used, which literally means Passover. But what did the King James version translators do? They literally changed the literal meaning of the document, the original historical manuscript, to say instead, Easter.
In other words, rather than calling it Passover, which is literally what the word pascha means, which is in the original document. Instead they changed Passover to Easter. Easter as many of you know, it's totally pagan. It's connected to the Greek pagan goddess Ishtar, which is a fertility goddess. The early church tried to strip Jesus and the New Testament of its Jewishness and I'm here today to reclaim the Jewishness of Jesus. You see, you've been grafted in to the commonwealth of Israel and it's important for you to know the Jewish roots of your Christian faith. Yeshua said to the woman at the well in John 4, "Woman salvation is from the Jews".
You see I remember going to Israel years ago, my first time there. And I went there on what's called the pastor's familiarization tour, where a tour company just put out a blanket invitation for the heads of any congregations, rabbis, pastors, etc. to come to Israel at a very reduced cost. The tour company's hope was that the leader of the congregation would fall in love with Israel, then go back to their congregation and bring the whole congregation there; which would have resulted in a lot of revenue for the tour company. So because the tour company wanted the congregational heads to develop a passion for Israel, they brought them there at a very reduced financial cost.
Again, in hopes that I'd go back to the congregation and lead a tour there, which we ended up doing. But I remember going there, my first time there beloved one, on this pastor familiarization tour and I was surrounded by leaders of congregations from all different denominations. And I was having my first dinner there at a hotel in Israel with a pastor from a main line denomination sitting across the table from me. And what he said to me so repulsed me that it has stuck with me even to today. This took place many years ago. And here's what he said to me, he said to me, "Paul met Jesus and came away with pork on his breath". I mean what a repulsive, inaccurate, obnoxious thing for him to say to me. But it was an arrogant comment that was trying to push Judaism and Jewishness out of everything.
And you know what? There are many people in the church that are still carrying that sentiment in their hearts today. And not only that, but when Jewish people both in America, in Israel, in other parts of the earth, when they think of Jesus, they don't think of Jesus as a Jewish thing. They look at Jesus as the God of the Gentiles. So I am taking the stand, beloved, to reintroduce Jesus to the world as a Jew. Now obviously I'm not the only one, or the first one that is doing this. But I have a passion in me to push the envelope forward today. Let me give you an example of how significant this problem is, how the church and Israel thinks of Jesus. You know the most famous painting of Jesus that has ever been painted is Leonardo da Vinci's picture of the Last Supper.
Now let me ask you a question, do you think that Leonardo da Vinci's portrait of Jesus, which is the most well known iconic picture of Jesus in the world, is an accurate representation of who Jesus is? Do you think Jesus had blonde or red hair? His face in this picture, you know looks not only with blonde or red hair, but His face looks kind of effeminate. Notice there's no beard on Him. It looks like He's wearing almost a dress. Do you think that's an accurate picture of what Yeshua Hamashiach, Yeshua of Nazareth looked like? Beloved, He was a Jew. Do you think He looked more like Leonardo da Vinci's portrait of Jesus or more like me? Beloved, He looked a lot more like me.
For example, you'll notice today that I'm wearing what are called the peyos or side curls. This comes from the book of Leviticus or Vayikra in Hebrew, chapter 19 verse 27; where the Lord told the children of Israel not to cut the side growth or the side locks of their hair. Why? Because He wanted them to look different than the world around them, because they were called to be a nation of priests. They were called to be His in the world, to stand out in the world as His representatives. It marked them as different. And because this desire has been burning in me, I have stepped out in faith to do the same thing, to make a statement "Father God I belong to You. I'm Your representative in the world. I'm not of the world". I should look different, because we're not of the world. I hope that you'll receive this beloved ones.
Some have asked, did Jesus have peyos? The answer is absolutely He had peyos. Why? Because He was a Torah obedient Jew. He was able to take our sin in His own body on the tree, because He lived a perfect life in obedience to the law. He was sinless. And because He lived a sinless life in obedience to the law for you and I, He was able to die in our place and release us from the guilt of having not kept the law. But Jesus absolutely had peyos. Now they might not have looked like mine with the curls, we don't know exactly what they looked like. There's all types of different traditions within Judaism of how the peyos look. Some grow them straight, some in curls, etc. But no question, He had the side locks. Another issue that I like to bring to your attention regarding what Jesus looked like, is that He didn't look like this picture over here in the portrait of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci with fair skin. He didn't look like a Scandinavian.
Beloved, He's from Israel. He had a Mediterranean complexion, an olive colored skin. Again, a lot more like mine. And how tall was He? Well according to experts on ancient skeletons in Israel, Jesus was possibly, probably, no taller than I was; because the average Jewish male during the time of Jesus was 5'5. So I'm only 5'5 and a half. When people call me short, I like to say, "Well I was created more in the likeness of Jesus". He looked, beloved, like a Jew, because He is a Jew; brown hair, brown eyes, olive skin, peyos. And He wore what you often times see me wearing, I actually wear every day, my tallit katan, which is a four cornered garment that I wear under my shirt for the purpose of attaching the fringes or the tzitzit. And the reason that we do this, is to remind us to walk in Hashem's ways, to walk in God's ways; because it's a visual reminder that we're living for Him, that we're under His authority.
Let me read you the section of scripture in the Torah where the Lord told the children of Israel to wear the tzitzit, or the fringes. I'm going to the book of Numbers right now, chapter 15 verse 38. "Speak to the sons of Israel and tell them they shall make for themselves tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue. It shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes and after what you played the harlot, so that you may remember to do all My commandments and be holy to your God".
Now I'm not under the law and neither are you under the law, but for me this is just a visual reminder to order my ways after the Lord. You could say it's similar in concept to the bracelet that many people used to wear. What would Jesus do, the WWJD bracelet, they wore it to remind them to act in a way that reflected the image of Jesus. And so this is the same reason why Jewish men when they pray on Shabot or when they're saying their prayers, they wear the traditional prayer shawl.
Why do they wear the prayer shawl? Because it's a four cornered garment that allows us to attach the tzitzit to, because the tzitzit or the fringes need to be attached to four cornered garments. And that's why again, I have underneath my shirt a tallit katan, which is like a poncho. It's a four cornered garment to attach the fringes, or the tzitzit to. The point is, is that Jesus came as a Jew, lived as a Jew, died as a Jew and I beloved, by the unction of the Holy Spirit want to push that revelation forward into the earth, both to the church and to Jewish people in Israel, to reclaim the Jewish Jesus. I have a burning passion to help Jewish people all around the world recognize that Yeshua Hamashiach is the Jewish Messiah.
Jesus is just being basically ignored by much of the Jewish community today. I want to push Him forward in a way that He can no longer be ignored. In fact, when I studied Hasidic Judaism, which is a beautiful expression of orthodoxy and the Hasidic tradition, very observant and also very much wanting to interpret the Torah mystically; when I study Hasidism I see the way that the Hasids relate to their, what is called a Rebbe. A Rebbe or Rebbe is kind of a rabbi that is much more elevated than just a rabbi. The Hasidim look at their Rebbe as basically an intermediary between Hashem, between God and them. They believe that their Rebbe is basically living in union with Hashem, in union with God, but that he allows himself to come down to earth so to speak in his soul to be able to help and serve his Hasidim, his disciples, his followers. And this is illustrated in so much of the culture.
For example, often times when the Rebbe has a meal with his disciples, with his followers, he won't finish all the food on his plate. What will he do with the portion of food on his plate that he hasn't finished? He'll pass it around the table for all his Hasids or Hasidim to eat from, because the Hasidim believe that if they eat from the Rebbe's crumbs they'll ingest his holiness. In other words, the Hasids look at their Rebbe the same way that we look at Yeshua. We take what is called the Lord's Supper. We take the matzah, we take the bread. We break it. Jesus said, "This is My body broken for you". We take the wine. We drink it. Jesus said, "This is My blood shed for you". In other words, there's not any difference in my view between the way we relate to Yeshua and the way the Hasidim relate to their Rebbe.
We're just pushing forward the position that Yeshua Hamashiach is the true intermediary between God and man. He is the true, if you will, Rebbe. We want to push Him forward and cast Yeshua forward in a Jewish light. In fact, did you know beloved ones, that one of the first historical documents that we have where someone is actually called rabbi is the New Testament? Think about this. One of the first historical sources we have where someone actually has the title rabbi is the New Testament. Yeshua was called rabbi 15 times in the Brit Chadashah, in the New Covenant or the New Testament scriptures. The word rabbi means teacher.
Years ago the Lord spoke to me, deep inside me. I know I heard His voice. And He said to me, I was pastoring a congregation, He said, "I want you to put this place in order and tell them to call you rabbi". Most people received it, but I got some significant push back on it as well. You see Jesus said, "Call no man father and do not be called rabbi". So there have been people for many years that have come against me. Why do you use the title rabbi when Yeshua said, "Don't be called rabbi". But beloved, scripture needs to interpret scripture. Jesus said, "Call no man father". Does that mean you're not supposed to call your father father? The same New Testament that says, "Call no man father" also says "honor your father and mother".
You see the word rabbi once again, it just means teacher. It's a title of respect. If it's wrong to call somebody rabbi, then I guess we shouldn't call somebody governor, or president, or doctor, because they're all just titles that give honor for a specific position to recognize the position. You see, beloved ones, when the Lord said to me, "I want you to take on the title rabbi. I want you to tell the congregation to call you rabbi and put the place in order," I in my own heart really struggled with it. I said, "Lord, I know I'm hearing you, but it just seems is this right"? I was struggling in my spirit with it, but I didn't tell anybody about it. So not long after this I came off what we call in Hebrew the beama, which is the pulpit, one day from delivering a word.
And as I was coming down from the beama, a little girl, she was probably like four or five years old, a little toddler; she came up to me. Her name was Kimberly. She said to me, "Rabbi". She said, "Don't change your name". I said, "What do you mean honey"? She said, "You're the rabbi". And that blew me away. But if that wasn't enough, what happened was, just a little bit of time after that, after delivering the word on a Friday night I went over to go to sleep in the rabbi's quarters; it's the house next door to the Messianic congregational building where I was shepherding the congregation there. And I went to sleep and I was still praying about this. I still wanted to be absolutely sure I was hearing His voice correctly.
So I go to sleep that night and the Lord spoke to me in my sleep and listen to what He said to me, beloved one, I could have never come up with a sentence this sharp and this concise in a million years, as I was sleeping the Lord spoke to me in my sleep by His Spirit and this is what He said to me. He said, "The office that you stand in is sanctified and respect for it needs to be cultivated". In other words, the anointing people respect is the anointing they'll receive from. And so the Lord was saying, "I want you to stand in this office, because in order for people to receive My anointing from you they need to respect the office that you're standing in".
And so this is all just bringing up, I mean no one has a problem calling their pastor pastor, right? So why would we have a problem calling a Messianic rabbi, rabbi? Listen, I'm not a rabbi in the traditional sense of the word. I wasn't ordained by an orthodox Yeshiva. But beloved ones, a rabbi's a teacher and to the millions of people that are being inspired and helped by my teachings all over the world, to them I'm a rabbi. And the real question is not if I'm an authentic rabbi, the real question is, is Jesus really the Messiah? Because I'm pointing people to Jesus and the most authentic rabbis in the world are those that are pointing people to Yeshua.
Finally, beloved ones, as we close today, you may have noticed under my name title in the show I'm using the title now shaliach. Shaliach is the Hebrew word for messenger and once again what I'm wanting to do in these days is really present Jesus to the world as a Jew. And Discovering the Jewish Jesus is a ministry that's designed to do that. So rather than using the title international evangelist, I'm using the title now shaliach, which is a messenger or a sent one. As I close today I want to simply say this, in the book of Acts Peter in Acts chapter 3 quoted the Torah. He quoted Moses saying this, in the book of Deuteronomy chapter 18. I'm beginning here now in verse number 15.
"The Lord your God," the Lord's speaking to Moses, "will raise up for you a prophet like Me from among you. From your countrymen you shall listen to him". And then the Lord continued to say, "I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you and I will put My words in his mouth and he shall speak to them all that I command". And then the Lord said in that same section of scripture, that the one that doesn't listen will be cut off. Peter quoted that portion from the Torah in Acts 3 and he said, "Yeshua of Nazareth is the one that Moshe that Moses was speaking of there". Beloved, I am here to introduce Yeshua not just as the Savior of the world, but as the Messiah of Israel and the Jewish King who's coming back quickly. I love you. Thank you for supporting us in what we're doing, beloved. I appreciate your prayers and your love. This is Rabbi Schneider saying, God bless you and shalom.