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Can we Jews believe in Jesus?

Yes, of course we can.  All of the first followers of Yeshua (that’s Jesus’ Hebrew name) were His fellow Jews.  They never stopped identifying themselves as Jews because they understood what modern-day Jewish followers of Jesus understand:  if Yeshua is the promised Messiah, then believing in Him is the most Jewish thing that a person can do.  After all, what’s more Jewish than believing in the Messiah?

The real question isn’t “Can we Jews believe in Jesus?”  Rather, the real question is, “Should we Jews believe in Jesus?” or even, “Must we Jews believe in Jesus?” The answer is “Yes, and so must everyone else.”  “But why?” you might ask.

Both the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) and the New Testament give the answer to that question.  According to the Bible, all of us – both Jewish and non-Jewish — are born with disobedient, rebellious hearts, and we practice that rebellion against God all of our lives.  As a result of our waywardness, we spend the journey of our lives in pointless wandering.  Nothing satisfies us; every endeavor becomes an exercise of chasing after the wind.  And even if we long to change our lives, we can’t.  We’re enslaved to our nature no matter how many seminars we attend and well-intentioned resolutions we make.  Finally, we die, and we enter a conscious eternity cut off from God’s presence and love.

We need to be rescued.  We need to be freed from the power that our disobedient hearts exercise over our daily lives, and we need to be delivered from the ultimate and eternal divorce from God that our rebellion deserves.  Because of His limitless love for us, this is precisely what God set out to do.

When Yeshua died on the cross, He took upon Himself the punishment of God that each one of us deserves.  The Hebrew Bible explains,

“He was pierced though for our transgressions.  He was crushed for our iniquities…the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him” (The book of Isaiah, chapter 53, verses5 and 6).

Why would God do that for us?  Again, the Bible explains.

“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (The Gospel of John, chapter 3, verse 16)

The Messiah Jesus came in order to die for our sins.  Then He rose from the dead so that He can pardon us as soon as we come to our senses and repent.  When we ask Him to forgive us, He rescues us from the eternal banishment of God that we deserve, and He places His own Holy Spirit within us so that we can live the kind of lives that please and glorify Him.  Now we can say with King David,

“Goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” 

Can Jewish people believe in Jesus?  Yes, of course.  And so can everyone else.  Must Jewish people believe in Jesus?  Yes, of course.  And so must everyone else.

Questions?  Thoughts?  We’d love to hear what you have to say.

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