Rabbi Schneider - Faith in Jesus From a Jewish Perspective
I just wanna revisit my final section of Messianic prophecy once again today before we launch forward to make some final comments. At the end of last week's broadcast I talked about types and shadows in the Hebrew Bible and talked about how Yeshua said that He came to fulfill the law and the prophets in Matthew 5:17 and sometimes when we look at Messianic prophecy we see how Yeshua fulfilled them so specifically and so exactly. Some prophecies contained in the Hebrew Bible give us an indication that there's gonna be a future event that we should be looking for and when this future event that we're looking for happens we'll know that the Messiah is born.
So, for example, in Isaiah chapter 7, verse 14 we read about the supernatural virgin birth of the Messiah that behold a virgin will conceive and bear a Son and he shall call his name Immanuel and so Isaiah 7:14 told us that we should be looking for this future event that something was gonna happen in the future and when this event took place in the future, when this virgin supernaturally conceived and bore a Son we would know that this was God with us, this was the Messiah, but what's interesting is sometimes when we study the New Testament, particularly in the book of Matthew we read about certain events in the life of Jesus and how it says that because he did this thing it accomplished the fulfillment of Scripture and so one example of this is in relationship, beloved, to Yeshua being born and how at this point Joseph is instructed to take Jesus to Egypt because an angel comes to him in a dream and says that Herod is gonna kill the male children because he knows that the Messiah, the King of Jews is born, and so he's gonna try to eliminate that threat by killing male Hebrew babies and so I want you to take Yeshua to Egypt to escape that threat and so Joseph takes Jesus to Egypt and then later after Herod had died it says that the angel again appeared to Joseph and said now I want you to take Jesus back to Israel that the Scripture might be fulfilled Matthew says there in Matthew 2:13 through 15 out of Egypt did I call my Son.
And so we look at that, that the Scripture might be fulfilled out of Egypt did I call my Son and when we think about that the Scripture might be fulfilled and, and look for the reference of that in the Old Testament we think that we go to someplace in the Tanakh, in the Old Testament that it would say something like the Messiah will be born and he will go to Egypt and then I will call him out of Egypt, but when we go to the actual references in the Old Testament associated with God's Word, out of Egypt did I call my Son, we see nothing that would give us a sense that something future was gonna happen connected to the Messiah. And so for example in Hosea chapter 11, verse 1 we see the Lord says there through Isaiah out of Egypt did I call my Son but when the Lord says that through the prophet Isaiah he's referring specifically to calling Israel out of Egypt and delivering them there.
There's no indication that he's speaking to some type of future prophetic happening or event that's to take place and so how do we understand that, that the Scripture might fulfilled when it does not appear that there was any type of fulfillment that we should be looking for and here's the key and once again we find this phenomenon particularly taking place in the book of Matthew. Several examples in Matthew that Yeshua does something and then Matthew records that the Scripture might be fulfilled and yet when we check the Old Testament reference it doesn't appear to be Messianic prophecy in the sense that we're looking for future fulfillment of it. Here's what's happening beloved, Yeshua, Jesus is Israel's divine representative. Yeshua is Israel's divine head. That's why he was crucified with the sign above his head that said Yeshua of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. And what Jesus does beloved is he fills Israel's history up with meaning by repeating in his own life some of the same things that Israel went through as a nation previously.
So for example in Matthew chapter 5, verse 17 Yeshua said to not think I've come to abolish the law and the prophets for I've not come to abolish but to, listen now, fulfill. That word fulfill, one of the meanings of it, listen now, is to, listen, fill full. You just reverse it, fulfill, one of the meanings of the fulfill is to fill full. So what Yeshua does is he fills full Israel's history and so even as Israel was in Egypt and God called Israel out of Egypt so too Jesus goes to Egypt in Matthew chapter 2 and the Lord calls him out of Egypt and we see several types and shadows like this in the Old Testament that are reflections, beloved, shadows, Hallelujah, of Yeshua. So for example we think about Joseph and the story of Joseph and how the Lord appeared to Joseph and said that he was gonna be, you know, the one that would, you know be at the center of attention and how God would use him in a great way and of course, we know what happens as Joseph shares this with, with his brothers, his brothers reject him, even as Yeshua's brothers rejected him and Joseph that ends up being the savior of his family and of the nation of Israel is first rejected by his family and by the nation of Israel so we know the story.
Joseph's brothers throw him in a pit, right? And he's sold as a slave, he's taken to Egypt, raised as an Egyptian and then later in life when there was a severe famine in the land Joseph's brothers went down to Egypt and Joseph saves them, he provides them a place in Goshen and the one that was rejected becomes, listen now, their redeemer and their savior. It was a type of Yeshua, it was a type, Hallelujah, of Jesus. We also see Moses, the Lord says to Moses I'm gonna raise up from amongst your people, from amongst Israel, the Lord said to Moses somebody like yourself and well Yeshua was like Moses. He was a prophet, he was a deliverer, he was functioning as the leader of, of the people of the Lord. And so what does Yeshua do, he fulfills many of the characteristics in Moses' life in his own life and so even as Moses was in the wilderness 40 years so Yeshua before he begins his ministry is in the wilderness for 40 days and the same thing we can say is true with Abraham, right, the father of our faith.
God says to Abraham I want you to take your son, your only son and I want you to sacrifice him to me and of course, this was a multidimensional but one of the dimensions of this, beloved, was the fact that it was a reflection of the Father himself giving his only Son. Hallelujah, Yeshua the Messiah. And so there are many types and shadows in the Hebrew Bible and I just wanted to go in to a bit more detail with that this week before we make some final comments and review. I want to say, beloved, that this isn't, the Christian faith is a Jewish thing and this is, of course, the nature of this whole broadcast. I'm helping you to understand that you've been grafted in according to Ephesians 2 to the commonwealth of Israel. You're not a Jew but you become part of the spiritual family of God, the Israel of God.
If you're a Gentile, you're still a Gentile, if you're born a Jew, you're still a Jew, but all of us together have become the Israel of God and it's important for us, beloved, to understand our faith in Jesus from a Jewish perspective because Jesus said in John 4:22 salvation is from the Jews. Now if this is so which we know it is so how do we get to the place where the Christian faith and, and, and, and the Jewish faith became so disconnected? How is it that when Jesus came to fulfill Judaism when he came to fulfill the prophecies and the law and the prophets, remember he said Matthew 5:17 don't think I've come to abolish the law and the prophets, to fulfill, when he came fulfill Judaism? How is it that today we view faith in Jesus and the Jewish religion as two completely entities. How did this separation take place when God's intention is that the two would become one, that's Jew and Gentile, one in Messiah that Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise that God made to Abraham when he said through your seed Abraham all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.
Where did this great split come from? I wanna talk about that as we close today in this final episode. I want you to think about this as we go back Yadid, beloved, one 2000 years. Yeshua comes, he ministers only to the house of Israel when he comes but after Yeshua's crucified remember that Gentiles began to come into the faith. The Lord appeared to Peter and he said listen someone's gonna come to your door, it's gonna be a Gentile, remember the sheet that was lowered when Peter went into a trance in the book of Acts and there was these unkosher animals and the Lord said take and eat and, and Peter said I've never eaten anything unclean and the Lord said what God says is holy let no man call unholy. God wasn't telling Peter to eat unkosher food, he was telling Peter not to regard the Gentile as unclean. Peter wakes up from the trance and as soon as he wakes up from the trance Cornelius, his servant, comes to the door and Cornelius is a Gentile and he says my, my master wants to see you and Peter recognized then that the meaning of the vision was that he was not to consider Cornelius who was a Gentile as unclean.
So Peter goes to his house, he shares the message of the kingdom, the Gospel, with Cornelius, the Spirit of God falls on him and, and Peter sees that God is accepting Gentiles and the mystery was that God was receiving Gentiles into relationship without them converting to Judaism. Before this, the Rabbinic mind-set was the only way a Gentile could have a place in the world to come was by converting to Judaism, by getting circumcised and becoming obedient to the law, but now we know that Cornelius had not become circumcised and yet God had received him which was evidenced by the giving of his Spirit and it was obvious to Peter that the Spirit had fallen upon Cornelius and this phenomenon of Gentiles coming in to relationship with the God of Israel, with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob without becoming Jews, without getting circumcised and without becoming Torah observant.
This was a brand-new phenomenon and soon what is happening is the, the spreading of the Gospel is going much, much slower amongst Israel, amongst the Jewish people as opposed to amongst the Gentile community and besides that we know there are many more Gentiles in the world than there are Jewish people in the world so it wasn't long, beloved, after Yeshua rose from the grave, listen now, Yadid, it wasn't long after Yeshua rose from the grave and ascended to heaven that there were more Gentiles that believed in Him than Jewish people that believed in him and the more Gentiles that believed in Him, because 99 percent of the earth is Gentile, the more Gentiles that believed in Him beloved the more the demographics, the more the culture of the church started changing. It began to take on more of the Gentile culture.
Paul would go preach, Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles and Paul would go to different cities, Gentile cities, he'd preach the Gospel, people would believe, Gentiles would believe. They were accepting the Gospel readily and then Paul would establish elders in those churches, in these Gentile communities and then Paul would move onto the next city, but these leaders that were being established by Paul, beloved, in the cities, in these Gentile congregations, they weren't trained in, in Jewish thought. They weren't trained in the Torah, they didn't know the writings of the Hebrew prophets and so right away what we find is churches beginning to be formed that had no Jewish identity and no Jewish connection.
They were no knowledgeable about the Jewish Scriptures, they were not knowledgeable about the ways of the Lord in the Hebrew Bible so right away we see this disconnect beginning to form between Gentile Christian congregations and the Hebrew Scriptures and Hebrew culture and so things are beginning to change. You compound that with the fact that around 300, 306 to 337 Constantine who's the leader of the Roman empire, he has a vision and in his vision he claims that he sees Jesus and he makes Christianity as a result of this vision the state religion, but Constantine viewed the Jews as a pesky people because of the fact that they wouldn't conform to Greek culture and so we carried with his understanding of Christian faith, an anti-Semitic mindset.
So he allowed the Jews that wouldn't convert to faith in Messiah, and when I say convert to faith in Messiah, I don't mean that he changed religions I just mean that the Jewish people put their faith in Messiah. He allowed them to survive beloved but he made anti-Semitic edicts against them. So for example one of the things that Constantine did was he prohibited a Christian from working for a Jew that did not that their faith in Jesus. So now there's anti-Semitic mindset that's growing in the church and Constantine, remember, is leading this whole thing and he has tremendous influence. This is growing, it's growing and by the year 380 a famous church leader, a famous church father arrives on the scene, he arises. His name is John Christendom and he's appointed to a tremendous place of influence as the Bishop, beloved, of Antioch.
So he has tremendous influence in the Christian world and Constantine, or rather John Christendom is a tremendous anti-Semite and he writes these sermons called the Ten Sermons Against the Jews and in these famous sermons John Christendom condemns Jews. He calls them servants of the devil. He makes attending any Jewish rite or service prohibited and now there's this total rift, beloved, between those that are following Jesus and the Jewish community. Constantine and, and, and, and then followed up by John Christendom brought Gentile Christians to the place that to believe in Jesus meant to utterly reject anything Jewish. So you can see how it is that we've gotten to this place in the church that Christians have become disconnected from their identity with the God of Israel and the revelation that he gave us, hallelujah, in the Hebrew Bible.
But the Lord has sent me here to tell you, beloved, according to Ephesians 2 you are now part, beloved, of the commonwealth of Israel and this is a Jewish thing and God is calling his church back out of paganism to get back into her Jewish roots as revealed, beloved, in Romans chapter 11, that it's these roots, the covenants of Israel, the Scriptures of Israel, the promises of Israel and the Messiah of Israel that support, beloved, hallelujah, our faith. This anti-Semitic mindset continues, beloved, to filter through the church and now the church is referring to the Hebrew Bible, listen now as the what, as the Old Testament. Where do we get the term Old Testament, it's a reflection, beloved, of anti-Semitism.
Do you want an old, do you want an old house or a new house. Well most people want a new house. Do you want an old car or a new car? Now I recognize there's values, antiques, and things of this nature but the word old, the reason that the people started referring to the, to the Hebrew Bible as the Old Testament was to diminish its importance as a result, beloved, of anti-Semitism. The reality is there's only one Bible, beloved and its progressive revelation. There's not an Old Testament and a New Testament, there's one Bible, beloved, and the Bible continues to make God's revelation and his purposes clearer and clearer as time goes on culminating in the fullness of time with the sending of his Son, hallelujah, Yeshua, Ha'Mashiach.
Now I know for our purposes of communication today we refer to it as the Old and New Testaments for the reasons that I've described but the Lord never meant to have these two things separate. Jesus is the fulfillment of this. Like I said in last week's broadcast, he never came to start a new religion called Christianity. The word Christianity is nowhere used in the Bible. Jesus came to fulfill, beloved, the Scriptures that are written in the Hebrew Bible. He's the fulfillment of Judaism. Let me qualify by saying the word Christian is in the Bible three times and it means a follower of the Christ which means the Anointed One. Coming from the Hebrew Ha'Mashiach.
So I'm a Christian, I'm a follower of the Anointed One; I'm a follower of Jesus the Messiah. Being a Christian doesn't speak of the fact of whether you're a Jew or a Gentile. Someone says how can you be a Jew and be a Christian, like the two don't go together, but beloved that's apples and oranges. Being a Christian simply means once again you're following the Anointed One, the Messiah, whether you're a Jew or a Gentile. Are you seeing what I'm saying? Both Jews and Gentiles follow Jesus, hallelujah.
Well, finally beloved things continue on with Martin Luther who started out friendly towards the Jews and then when he couldn't bring them to conversion he also began to lambast them saying that their synagogues should be burned down and then of course, Hitler, there was pictures of Hitler in the churches when he was killing millions of Jews during the Nazi Holocaust and so there's this tremendous rift now between the church and the Jewish people but I praise God that he's healing this, he's healing this today, he's healing it in the part of Christians and he's healing it beloved, hallelujah, also in the part of the traditional Jewish community. There's reconciliation, hallelujah, that's taking place.