Several months ago, my sweet friend Cristi posted about a book she was reading called "A Rabbi Looks at the Last Days" by Jonathon Bernis. It intrigued me. I have Jewish hertiage. My mother grew up Jewish, and my grandparents on her side were Jewish. As I read through the Bible, I was interested in learning more about the Jewish people and their faith....so when Cristi posted this book, I asked her about it...and she sent me a copy (because she is so thoughtful like that!). I've slowly been reading through it, trying to digest it and understand it all.
The book is written by a Christian Jew, talking about the Jewish people and their connection to the Bible, how Christians reach them, and how they play into Jesus' story. Something I read last night hit me hard.
In the book, he writes about Jewish people, saying, "The fact is that most Jewish people have never read the Scriptures upon which they claim to base their religion and faith. According to recent statistics, only about 10 percent of Jews in America, and a maximum of 20 percent of Jews worldwide have any sort of knowledge of their own Scriptures."
This is a BIG reason why they don't see Jesus as their Messiah. The Old Testament, which are Jewish Scriptures, clearly point to Jesus. They talk of virgin birth, God's one unique son, Jesus dying for our sins, and Him coming before the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD. But they miss all of that. Because they haven't read that to see Him.
He goes on, "They reject Yeshua (Jesus) not because they have studied the facts but because they have been told to reject Him by their parents and rabbi. They do not know why. They just do as they are told."
This breaks my heart. I know that people who have claimed to be Christians have done terrible things to the Jewish people in the past. But Jesus wasn't the one responsible for that. Jesus came to fulfill those prophecies and die for our sins - all of our sins! He even set out a plan to reach the Jewish people with the Gospel! And this book says something I've never been told - you can be Jewish AND believe in Jesus! Being Jewish a heritage, like you can be Irish and a Christian. You can celebrate all the cultural things that go along with being Jewish, and believe in Jesus. They aren't exclusive.
But it isn't just the Jewish people that miss Jesus. In fact, I can think of some lost people in my life who are like the Jews- they don't know the Scriptures and they don't really know why they don't believe in Jesus.
We have to help them understand, show them who Jesus really is, and love them.
I pray that people who have never read a Scripture pointing to Jesus would see Jesus in me.