Jewish Nuances Of The Good News Message (or the Gospel Message in a Jewish Light)

Posted April 11th, 2013 in para-DOX parABLEs and tagged , , , , , , , , by Just para-DOX

Jews praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur. (...

There are some keys concepts and terms that are necessary to communication the Good News of the Kingdom to Jewish people that we need to restore to the Lexicon of words that we use. I want to cover some of the key terms and ideas needed when presenting the Gospel to the Jewish people and even to restore the Jewish Nuances to the Gospel to Gentiles as well.

We need to restore a Jewish understanding of the Gospel Message that the Gospel is a continuation of the Tanakh. That Covenants build upon each other and do not replace each other. The Greek Scriptures are the Hebrew Scriptures revealed, or the Brit Chadasha reveals the completion of the Tanakh. We need to continue the restoration of the Jewishness of the Scriptures that have been concealed from the eyes of many. Another key feature of our time is the re-establishment of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and the Nation of Israel has brought an end to the Age of the Gentiles and the age of preparation for the Coming of Messiah. We need to focus on the Jewishness of Jesus, the Jewishness of Paul and the Jewish nuances of Brit Chadasha. The fact that Y’shua is faithful to Torah and calls others to keep the details of Torah, as well as the deeper heart of Torah, the Letter and the Spirit. We are to worship in spirit and truth, to be hearers and doers of the Word. The debate may be over Oral Torah and its application, the written Torah has a place in believers life. There are distinctions between Jews and Gentiles obligation to Torah. Y’shua was a faithful Jew who observed and fulfilled all of Torah as it regarded to Him. If Y’shua had broke Torah or taught others to do so, He would have been a false Messiah. We must help others see this, that Y’shua was a faithful and observant Jew who taught others to do likewise.

The Jewish concept of Geulah (redemption) and Salvation-Deliverance (Y’shooah) should be developed more fully in a Jewish nuanced gospel message. Y’shua has come to give us life and that more abundantly, to make Shalom with Avinu Shabashamaim. Y’shua becoming our Paschal Lamb and our Scapegoat has caused us to Pass Over from death to life. Y’shua fulfills the Red Heifer, Scape Goat and Paschal Lamb motifs of scripture.  The concept that a Tzaddik, or right-just person can abtain Chen (Grace) for others is seen in Moshe’s grace negotatations with Adonai on Mount Sinai for Israel after the sin of the golden calf. Y’shua is a prophet like Moshe who obtained Grace for us, provided Redemption, Salvation and Deliverance through sacrificial atonement. The Concept of Blood or Sacrificial Atonement is throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. Y’shua’s blood atones for our sins. The concept of the Covenant is one we need to develop more as well. The concept of an animal in the place of a human sacrifice is seen in the Akeidah being the foundation for the daily sacrifice. And in Y’shua we find the completion of Sacrifice.

The Covenant between the parts that Avraham made after tithing to Melki-tzedek is a key point to understanding the Jewishness of the Gospel and Y’shua’s atonement. Y’shua came to restore the broken Covenant, and also as a prophet who came to correct where Covenant was broken like the other Prophets of the Tanakh warned of the Destruction of the Temple for the fact that the Covenant was in disrepair. They had broken the Covenant in the fact that they were not loving others rightly or had baseless hatred, for murder and adultery. These are the reasons the Second Temple was destroyed. As is seen by Y’shua’s teaching they lacked love, kept the law but harbored evil in their hears and murdered Messiah out of baseless hatred. Y’shua came to restore covenant to make propitiation to the preisthood system that was in disrepair and they rejected His attempt to repair covenant. Messiah is still trying to repair the broken covenant. Y’shua fulfilled the terms of the Covenant.

The Covenant can be seen in the Ancient Near Easter Suzerain Covenant of a King between his subjects. Also in the Ancient Near Easter Marriage Covenant Contract or Ketubah. As well as the picture of Contracts between traders and caravaneers, of which Avraham was one, is another beautiful picture of the Covenant. The concept of the Covenant Meal, found in the Shabbat Tradition and Thanksgiving Meal or L-rds Supper Traditions, are key points to the acceptance of the Terms of the Covenant. Y’shua said I want to come in and sup with you. Once you have accepted Mashiach the Covenant Meal and the rite of Mikveh (Baptism) by Tevilah (Immersion) are the two sacraments that follow as a sign to others that you have chosen the path to follow Mashiach. Y’shua ties the knot to the Broken Covenant.

We are seeking the restoration of paradise lost by the establishment of paradise to come in the world to come. The world to come is the millenial kingdom or the establishment of National Israel with the Davidic King Messiah as ruler of the age of true Shalom. Shabbat is a weekly reminder or Shabbat lost, as we seek the restoration of the Millenial Shabbat. Partaking of the Covenant Meal on Shabbat is a weekly request for Mashiach’s return, a reminder of paradise lost, as well as a taste of paradise present. We want all things to be b’Seder (in Order). Messiah sets things in order.

We should be contagious believers with faith this is communicable. Our faith should be something that is exciting and shared through lifestyle discipleshp, through relationship and focus on a community. We must gather daily and weekly for fellowship, prayer and study of scripture. Meeting at the Appointed Times for Shabbat and the Moedim, are key elements to having a communal life. The concept of salvation in Judaism is personal and communal or national. Seeing that the community is crucial. One of the points that tends to cause Jewish believers to have apprehensions about salvation in a “Christian” sense is the lack of community and the need for a well defined social, religious and spiritual life. Community and discipleship through the Community is essential. The personal and coorporate concepts of Redemption in Messiah are important to focus on. Most of “Christianity” focuses on the personal aspects and neglects the community aspects. We need to keep the personal and develop and maintain healthy community aspects including Moedim and discipleship. The communal aspects do not play into salvation they are more in the discipleship and walking out your salvation. Its hard to walk out your salvation alone and without personal relationships as well as ongoing spiritual and relationship support. This is the concept of Keruv or gathering together in fellowship in hard times and good times. We must develop a strong sense of Keruv. The concepts of Mishpacha (family in community) and Kehillah (congregation) are essential. Without these we lack some essential keys to the lifestyle of discipleship and communal growth that come once one has commited to Messiah and the Messianic community. Many need this in place when weighing the cost of Evangelism.

The Decalogue or the Ten Words, the Ten Commandments, plays a key role. If anyone has watched the Way of the Master, it is relatively easy to point out that almost everyone universally accepts the Decalogue as a standard of morality. If one considers themselve to be moral, have they lied, cheated, murdered, hated, lusted, or taken Adonai’s name in vain. It is relatively easy to get a person to see that in the light of the basic foundation of the Law that we are are sinners. The Decalogue is our Tutor to show we have sinned and to lead us to our need for salvation, propitiation and redemption.

Another concept is that of sin, evil, and sickness, all of which entered through Adam. If we obey Adonai He promises to bless us with health, wealth and posterity. However if we walk out of His will we experience the effects of Satan’s acid rain and destruction. The concept of blessings and curses seem apparent to all, the affects of Original Sin, Generational Sin and Personal Sin is apparent to all. The concepts of the good suffering for no apparent act of volition of their own is proof of the Sin Nature. True Shalom provides, health, wealth and posterity. The doesn’t mean the believing life is without pitfalls or trials however in faith pressing toward the high mark we can experience joy and contentment.

Finding true Shalom is important. We must go and make Talmid (disicples), and pray the establishment of National Israel, and the returning of the Lost Tribes, as well as the rebuilding of the Temple, while seeking to participate in Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) and ushering in the coming of Mashiach. Y’shua tells those who get saved from sin and go and sin no more. He said to go and show yourselves to the priest so they can declare you ritually clean. Once we realize we are a sinner in violation of the Covenant or outside of the Covenant and we want to come into the Covenant we must seek to find propitiation so we can come into the covenant. Key concepts, Sin is Anomia “Lawlessness,” Chata Hebrew for sin means to “Miss the Mark” whereas Yarah the roots word for Torah means to “Hit the mark.” The goal of Torah is to Yarah (hit the mark). This should be our goal to live a life of true Shalom.

The sages teach that the binding of Yitz’chak is the foundation of the Sacrificial Atonement system. In like manner Y’shua is the completion of Sacrificial Atonement. As a Lamb was sacrifices in the behalf of Yitz’chak who was to die, Y’shua is the wage earner who has purchased our redemption. He is the fulfillment of the Passover Lamb sacrifice as well as the Red Heifer and Scapegoat sacrifices.

Another key feature of the Jewish nuance of the gospel is understanding the Order of Melki-tzedek as taught by the book of Hebrews. That Y’shua as a High Priest after Melki’tzedek is capable of abtaining reconcilation or a Kapparah (covering) for our sins being that He is after Shem (Melki-tzedek) and not in the line of Aharon, but He is a Priest and King. Being of the Line of David and a Priest-King is found in Shem or Meli-tzedek not the priesthood of Aharon. Messiah was prophesied to be both King and Preist. Y’shua’s preisthood and atonement go back to Avraham and thus we are heirs of Avraham blessings. The Promises of Avraham are the promised son Yitz’chak while the Mount Sinai revelation is Hagar.

Understanding the Suffering Servant motif, and the differences between Messiah ben-Yoseph, the suffering servant, and Messiah ben-David, the reigning King Messiah, are essential. Y’shua has not fulfilled the motifs of Restoring the Nation of Israel, as of yet. He has not restored the Kingdom of David in a physical way, as of yet. We know the Temple is to be rebuilt before Mashiach returns, that the Lost Tribes are to be gathered in and that the Messianic Kingdom will follow. Pointing out the unique differences in prophecy and the fulfillment of the ones specific to the Suffering Servant is key. And the unfulfilled ones point to the as of yet to be fulfilled prophecies of His universally expected return. For those who missed him their first time and yet look forward to the re-establishment of the Kingdom of David, at the dawn of the Millinial age.

Adonai does have a Son and His Son is Y’shua. As you walk through the Tanakh and find the Emmaus Road Revelation or the L-rd G-d Revelation that the Theophanies of Adonai and Adonai’s servant, are indeed Y’shua. The Targum’s refer to Y’shua as the Mamre or whats known in the Greek as the Logo’s. The references to the L-rd G-D or Adonai HASHEM is a reference to the Father, wheras in the Hebrew the L-RD G-d or HASHEM Elohim references Y’shua or the Mamre. Understand that simply in Hebrew the Divine name of HASHEM connected to Adonai is referring to the Father and when connected to Elohim it refers to the Son. If you pay attention to this then passage like Genesis 18 & 19 which refer to two beings names HASHEM makes since. Also, whenever the Tanakh say and the D’var Adonai or the Word of the L-rd “Came unto me” in the Targums it includes the word “Mamre” references Adonai’s Mamre, what in the Greek is known as the Logo’s or the vocal mechanism of Adonai’s creation. Whenever the D’var Adonai comes unto someone it is the preincarnate Y’shua. The Angel of Adonai who is Adonai is also Y’shua. Understanding the G-dhead in Hebrew through the terms Echad (pluarl Unity) and Elohim (plural for deity) are crucial in relating the reality of the divine G-dhead.

The high call is to hit the mark, the law call sin to miss the mark. We must achieve the high call and to go and sin no more. To live a life of true holiness, to be sanctified, set-apart and holy. To show ourselves to the priests and be found ritually clean. Praying regularly at the times of prayer, fellowshipping with other believers at the appointed times and studying scripture is essential and beneficial for growth. We all must live moral lives seeking to walk in fideilty to the Covenant walking in faith through grace (Charis-G-ds ability and Chen-favor). Finding a way to connect on a personal level to G-d and continue fellowship in a community of believers is essential to growth, as is prayer, and bible study. Sociological connections are major concerns to Jewish believers. So keep it social, engaged and growing. Learn the key is to be a drop in the bucket to engage in thought and contemplation to triger thoughts that change. It takes time see a person to come to faith, be patient, work on the relationship and make talmidim (students).

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