Rabbi Schneider - The False Perception of Jesus
For almost 2,000 years Jesus has been portrayed into the world in a way often times that's very different than who He really was. He came as a Jew. He lived as a Jew. He died as a Jew. He ministered to Jewish people. When He hung on the cross, there was a 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, beloved one, as the offspring of David. Believing in Yeshua is a Jewish thing. In fact, when you and I get to heaven and get to the heavenly city called the New Jerusalem, we're gonna enter that city through 12 gates that are inscribed with the names not only of the 12 Jewish Apostles, but also with the names of 12 tribes of Israel. I'm calling the church back to her Jewish roots.
And today also, I want to announce to you a new initiative that we have here at Discovering the Jewish Jesus, breaking into the world of secular Judaism in a new dramatic way. But before I get to that, I want to just give you some really easy illustrations of the concept that I'm sharing about reclaiming the Jewish Jesus. If we go back and look at the most famous iconic picture of Jesus that the world has ever seen, it takes us to Leonardo da Vinci's picture of Him at the Last Supper. Now look at this picture here.
You see Leonardo da Vinci has a Jesus, He looks like He's in almost a orangish dress. It almost looks effeminate. When in reality, Jesus was a rugged man that walked through the desert miles and miles and miles. He was a tough man. Look at His facial complexion, it's light. Again, He almost looks effeminate there, reddish hair, light skin. In fact, Jesus was a Mediterranean and His skin was olive and his hair was brown most likely, His eyes were brown. In fact He looked much more like me. In fact did you know that the average male according to experts of ancient skeletons from Israel during the time of Jesus, that the average male was only five foot five? So when people say to me that I'm short, you know what I tell myself? Well, I'm created more in the likeness of Jesus. I don't know how big you think I am.
A lot of times people when they meet me in person after watching on television, they're disappointed because they get this feeling from watching me on television that I'm really big and tall. But in reality I'm only five, five and a half. So at times if I'm in a mall or whatever and I run into somebody that I've never met and they recognize me, you can tell they're disappointed when they see; "I thought you were taller"? But I am who I am. I'm just making the point, beloved, that Jesus doesn't look physically like He has been portrayed and He ministered like a Jew. First of all I want to point out that He had peyos like I do. These were the long side locks that the Lord prescribed the children of Israel to wear in the Torah.
The reason that I'm wearing them now and I'm growing them out, is because I feel an urge and an unction from the Holy Spirit to more and more press the envelope forward that Jesus is a Jew. And when I say this, I'm speaking not just to the church, but I'm wanting to make impact in the Jewish world; because the truth is that most of the Jewish world today, most Jewish people, they just look at Yeshua as irrelevant. They think, "Oh He's just the Savior of the Gentiles". And they look at Jesus as someone that's beneath them. And I believe God has anointed me to break out of that, in terms of breaking into the traditional mind of my people and showing them, no! Jesus is a Jew and He's the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world.
And so one of the things that I'm doing, is I'm growing my side locks to look like a Jew, so that people will wonder, "Well what is this"? But even more than that, beloved one, I'm growing the peyos or the side locks, because deep in my heart because of my own personal relationship with God, I just feel inspired to do it. I just want to identify with Father God as a Jew in this earth. And so I wanted to just explain to you some of the changes that we're doing here, because we feel an even greater fire for breakthrough into the world of my people, the Jewish people. Another thing that we've done to, to move this forward, is that I used to go by the title, 'International Evangelist'. And I am an evangelist, but because I feel this new sense of urgency to break into Israel for the sake of Father God's love for His people, I'm now going by the title, 'Shaliach'. And shaliach is just the Hebrew name for a messenger. And that's what I am, I'm a messenger of Yeshua. I'm a messenger of Messiah Jesus.
Now before we go on to some new material, I want to just comment, that you may not see the side locks, the peyos, in all the shows that you'll be viewing going forward; because we've recorded so many different shows over the years and we're showing different shows at different times and there's some material out there that just rich and deep content. So sometimes you'll see me with the peyos, sometimes you won't, because again different shows were recorded at different times.
So I want to take a step back. We've made the point that Yeshua came as a Jew, lived as a Jew, died as a Jew. He looked like a Jew. He ministered like a Jew. When He ministered in parables, that was a Jewish way of teaching. And beloved I'm not sure you've ever noticed before, but I wear the tzitzit. These are the fringes from the four corners of the garment that the Lord prescribed the children of Israel to wear in the Torah, from the book of Numbers chapter 15. And one of the prescriptions for the tzitzit are that one of the fringes is to be a fringe of blue. And so you'll see the blue fringe here and the blue reminds us of the sea, the blue sea. And the sea reminds us of the sky, the blue sky. And the sky reminds us of God's glorious throne.
Rabbi Jesus, Rabbi Yeshua wore the tzitzit. He wore the fringes. He wore the peyos or the side locks. And beyond that you'll find this true, this fact really awakening, do you know that according to research the first historical document, written document, that we have of anybody being called rabbi is in the New Testament. John the Baptist, Yohanan, the Immerser and Yeshua the Messiah. Jesus was called rabbi over and over and over and over again in the Brit Chadashah, the New Testament. And again, according to research, this is the first historical document that we have of someone being called rabbi. How much more Jewish can Jesus get then that? He's the Messiah of Israel and the King of the Jews.
As we take a step back, how did it get this way that Christians have lost their understanding of how Jewish Jesus is? How Jewish the Gospel is? How Jewish the Brit Chadashah, the New Testament is? How did Christians get to that place? And likewise how did Jesus become such a foreign personality to the traditional Jewish world? And I want to briefly summarize those points today. Point number one, Jealousy. The religious leaders of Yeshua's day were point blank jealous of Him and threatened by Him. We read in the Gospel of John chapter 11, that after Yeshua raised Lazarus from the dead, the religious leaders of the day, they got together and they said, "What are we gonna do with this man, for if we let Him continue everybody's gonna believe in Him". And they said, "And we will lose our place and our nation". And the text says, "And from that point forward they plotted as to how to kill Him".
It was point blank just evil human nature that exists in the whole world. Jesus came into their territory. He came as a spiritual, charismatic, God-equipped leader and the people began to follow Him. And as they followed Him it meant they were leaving the traditional Jewish establishment leaders. And when the traditional establishment was losing their followers, their answer to the problem was get rid of Jesus. We see it happen all the time. It's happened since the beginning of the world. So how did the Jewish people get separated from Jesus? One of the reasons and one of the foundations was the simple jealousy and fear that the religious Jewish leadership of Yeshua's day had of Him. They sought to eliminate Him. And that mindset that these religious leaders had was passed on to those that they were leading. The Pharisees of Jesus' day are basically the origin of Orthodox Judaism today.
And so this anti-Jesus mindset that the Pharisees had that we read about in the New Testament, their anti-Jesus mindset has been passed down, beloved one, to every succeeding generation of Jewish people since that time. So as a Jewish person we grow up in our home and we're just taught Jesus isn't for Jews. We're just taught that He's some kind of inferior Messiah for the Gentiles, that He isn't really the Messiah, but for the Gentiles that's okay. We don't, mostly we don't think about it. We don't examine the facts. We just take it from what we're receiving in our environment. And so the first reason that Yeshua became someone foreign to Jewish people, it goes all the way back to the jealousy and fear that the Pharisees had in their relationship to Him.
And then there were theological issues as well. There were things that were hard for the religious leaders of Yeshua's day to understand. For example, in John, Johanan, chapter 10, Yeshua said, "I and the Father are one". And when the leaders of the Jewish people heard that, they thought it was blasphemy, because our most famous declaration as Jewish people is the Sh'ma from the book of Deuteronomy. "Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one". And so when Yeshua said He was equal with God, they saw that as blasphemous, that there's only one God. And God cannot be seen. God is invisible. And so when Yeshua said He was one with God, again, they saw that as treacherous blasphemy. Of course they were wrong in their assumption, because Abraham for example, saw the Lord when the three men came to visit him. Two were angels and the one, the scripture said, was Yod Hey Vav Hey; in the book of Genesis chapter 18, which is God Himself. And so God can clothe Himself in humanity, which is evidenced in the Torah when Abraham met God at the oaks of Mamre.
But the Jewish mind of Jesus' day, they didn't have the mindset to receive that God could be seen in the flesh; not that God's a man, but He can clothe Himself in humanity, because nothing's impossible for God. Because they couldn't understand that, they thought Jesus was a blasphemer. Of course the book of Daniel tells us, in the book of Daniel chapter 7, in Daniel's vision when he saw the vision of the end of the days; Daniel said, "I saw one like the Son of man and He came up to the ancient of days and to the Son of man was presented a kingdom and dominion and authority forever". In other words, we have the Son of God and Yeshua Himself as the Son of God said He was the Son of man. We have Yeshua as the Son of man in the book of Daniel coming up to the Father, the ancient of days and receiving all authority, just as Yeshua taught about, baruch Hashem, in the Brit Chadashah.
But again, the theological stretch the religious leaders of Yeshua's day, they couldn't handle it, they couldn't get to it. Their mind and heart wasn't open to receive it. Another theological issue that alienated Jewish people from Jesus and again, the alienation of the Pharisees of Yeshua's day has been passed on to every succeeding generation of Jewish people since that time down to the present day. So I'm answering the question, why didn't Jewish people receive Jesus and I'm sharing with you the reason that Jewish people grow up with rejecting Jesus. They don't consciously think about these things. They just pick up on their own that Jesus isn't for Jews. But I'm explaining to you, beloved ones, how this mindset that Jesus isn't for Jews got into the Jewish world.
And so another one of the theological issues that separated the religious leaders, the Pharisees of Yeshua's day from Jesus and the movement that He started, which was entirely Jewish, but it was just a new thing, is the fact that Jesus proclaimed that many of the traditions of the Pharisees were man made. The Pharisees believed that their traditions, for example in Mark chapter 7, like washing their hands and washing cups and pots; they thought those traditions were given to Moses at Mount Sinai. Those traditions are called today, the Oral Law and it's in the book called the Talmud, which rabbis spend most of their time studying as they're going through their educational system in what's called a Yeshiva. But Jesus said, "These laws that you're teaching, that you're saying Moses received, this tradition of the elders, is not something that Moses received at Mount Sinai".
Yeshua said a lot of it was man made. And this was again, a huge division, a huge divide. One group going this way, Yeshua going another way, leading to separation. The separation of the Jesus movement and the traditional Jewish leaders of His day. And then another issue that furthered the division is when the Gospel, when the good news of the kingdom of heaven was brought to Gentiles and they were invited in to have a relationship with Hashem, with Father God, without first becoming Jews and becoming Torah observant. And this story goes back to the book of Acts with Peter, when Peter has a vision and he sees the sheet being lowered and there was all kinds of unkosher animals on the sheet. And he hears a voice, "Peter take. Kill and eat". And Peter woke up. He didn't know what it was. Peter said, "I've never eaten anything unkosher or unclean".
And all of a sudden as soon as Peter wakes up from the vision, there's a knock on his door. Who is it? It's a Gentile inviting Peter to go share the message of the kingdom of heaven with his master, who is also a Gentile. And then Peter understood that he wasn't to consider the Gentile unclean, but that God was extending the Gospel to them. And so as Peter went to share the Gospel with Cornelius and Cornelius believed and all the Gentiles then under Paul's ministry began to believe; this was totally outside of the Jewish culture, the way Israel had been raised up under the Torah, because in the Torah they separated themselves. But now we're seeing Gentiles invited in to relationship with Hashem, without first having to become Jews; because in the time of the New Testament, before Peter had this revelation, the teaching was the only way a Gentile could have a place in the world to come, was if they first became a Jew.
And so you could see there was all these different dynamics going on, but God was doing a new thing. The Lord said in Jeremiah, "Behold I make a new covenant". And it's not like the old covenant. It's a new thing. And of course this makes sense, because God is not just the God of the Jews. He's the God of the whole world. And so He was just fulfilling the promise that He made to Abraham when Peter was sent to bring the good news to the Gentiles, because God said to Abraham, "Through your seed Avraham all the nations of the earth shall be blessed". And the seed is Yeshua. In other words, the promise has come. The Jewish Messiah crucified for Jews and Gentiles, that the whole world may come under the lordship of the God of Israel.
Beloved ones as I said, during this season and during these years going forward in ministry, I'm gonna be going forward with an even fiercer focus on reaching my people. The Bible tells us in the book of Romans, that when Jewish people come to faith in Messiah Jesus, God is gonna send His Son back. I believe that when there's a mass of Jewish people like myself, that have come to faith in Messiah Yeshua and are calling out for Him to return; Baruch haba b'Shem Adonai, that will usher in Yeshua's return. It will prepare the earth's atmosphere for the second coming of the Mashiach of the Christ.
So beloved I want to thank you for your love for the God of Israel, for your love for the Jewish people. I want to encourage you to continue to pray for the salvation of the Jewish people and do your part in reaching them in whatever way God gives you opportunity. We are entering in, beloved, to the last of the last days. How long of a period this will be? I don't know. But I know this beloved, you and I are on the path of life and God is moving us into His historical destiny.