Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Rabbi Loren Jacobs - You Do Not Stand Alone

Since I'm sure that the majority of my readers/followers won't know who Rabbi Loren Jacobs is (or why I'm writing about him), allow me to briefly explain.

Without going into excessive detail, recently, Rabbi Jacobs (who happens to be a Messianic Jew), was called upon to give a prayer in reference to the killings at the Tree of Life Jewish Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pennsylvania.  Please listen to his prayers HERE.

He gave a very thoughtful, kind and well worded prayer.  He prayed for peace, unity and love and in return he was slandered.  He said nothing wrong, indeed did nothing wrong, yet because he mentioned Jesus, he was summarily attacked, dragged through the mud and even though this man had done them no wrong, the "powers that be" sought to discredit this man using everything at their disposal.  Most of which was twisted facts, laid out in just such a way as to convince those who don't know any better, that Rabbi Jacobs was some kind of a crazy person.  Woah, sure sounds  a lot like what happened to Jesus!

It's my understanding that most of you reading this already know what a Messianic Jew is, but for those who don't, allow me to give you a brief explanation.

If someone tells you that they're a Christian, you can generally assume that they actually care about the teachings of Jesus.  Some of the many names Jesus is known by include, Mashiach, Immanuel, Prince of Peace & Messiah.

If someone tells you that they're a Jew, you can generally assume that they follow the teachings of Torah, the Tanakh and that of the Talmud.

But if someone tells you that they're a Messianic Jew, that would automatically assume that they're a Jew that believes that Jesus is the Messiah.

Chances are you've never met a Messianic Jew before (there are very few in the world), but believe me when I tell you, they're just as much of a Christian as you or anyone else that you know.  The only difference, is a Messianic Jew is more than likely someone who was BORN a Jew and through whatever experience they had, came to understand that Jesus is in fact THE savior that Israel was promised a few thousand years ago.  As a matter of fact, the coolest part about a Messianic Jew, is they have a LOT in common with the Jews in Israel who followed Jesus during His ministry.  Just think, Matthew was among the very first of Messianic Jews!  Needless to say, Rabbi Jacobs & his congregation are in excellent company.

Now I don't want to go too deep, because I explain rather deeply in my yet to be released book But Is It Biblical?, but this situation reminded me of the "blindness" that has been put upon "Israel".

Romans 11:25-27 - For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: " The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins."

The real reason for me writing all of this today, is because I've decided to sit down for perhaps the 9th time, to completely re-read the entirety of the New Testament.  9 times may not seem that much, but combine it with the millions of pages of study and 1,000's of hours of reading individual passages (or whole chapters), it's a lot.  :)  As I was saying, I began reading the NT again last night and in Matthew I came upon a passage I've read 100's of times before.  A passage that I'm sure the majority of you have either read for yourself or have heard someone mention.

Matthew 1:23 - "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us."

Why did this passage get my attention this time?  Well, one of the things that the Jews (not Messianic), do to try to discredit Jesus, is to say that they don't believe it's possible for there to be a virgin birth.  And to be honest, if you leave God out of the equation, then sure, even I would agree with them.  But see, God tells us that with Him, all things are possible.  Even things you can't imagine.  For your reference, please see Matthew 19:26, Mark 9:23, Mark 10:27, Mark 14:36, Luke 1:37, Luke 18:27, Jeremiah 32:27, Job 42:2, Jeremiah 32:17 & Zechariah 8:6.  Believe me, when God has something EXCRUCIATINGLY important to say, He repeats Himself - A LOT.

In any event, I came across Matthew 1:23 and for those of you who may not realize, the very first sentence of that verse appears in Quotes!  It appears in quotes because the previous verse (22) FRAMES what we are about to read in 23.

Matthew 1:22 - So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:

Matthew is telling us that one of the Old Testament Prophets (in this case Isiah), prophesied about this more than 1,000 years before Jesus was born!  Isiah was a major Prophet, someone that any learned Jew would recognize as someone EXCEEDINGLY important in Judaism and not to be doubted.  So that lead me to look at the actual words that Isiah used:

Isiah 7:14 - Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Well isn't that curious?  Aren't those the exact words that Matthew used?  Why on earth would the Jews reject the concept of a virgin birth?  Right, the blindness!  Just like a mother who refuses to see that their beloved child has a problem, just like the failing restaurant owner refuses to see that his failed practices are putting him out of business, so too are the Jews refusing to see what is so plain and clear for them to understand.  And the worst part, is there's nothing you or I can do to "make" Israel see.  And by "Israel", I mean the majority of Jews in the world, not just those in Israel.

And it's not like that small verse was all Isiah had to write about Jesus.  Isiah wrote more about this child of the virgin birth as well.

Isiah 9:6-7 - For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isiah really hit this one out of the park.  Just think, Isiah said that this child would become known as "MIGHTY GOD" and "EVERLASTING FATHER".  A Christian didn't write that folks.  One of the most revered and respected Prophets this world has ever known wrote it.  Again, how can Israel say there is no such thing as a virgin birth?  How can Israel say that Jesus is not God?  The blindness.

AND IT'S OKAY.  God needs for it to be this way for right now.  Nowhere in Scripture are Christians called to go out and "convert" Jews.  At no time did God indicate to us that it was the job of the Christian to try to guilt or call out Jews in order to bring them over to our side.  God says He's got it all under control.  In other words, we can't HELP GOD to remove that blindness, only He can.

Romans Chapter 11 explains PERFECTLY what is going on with Israel and the blindness.  I looked to see if there was something I could copy/paste here to break it down into bite-sized morsels, but believe me, what's written in that chapter is far more than a snack, it's a meal!  And it's a meal that I believe every single Christian reading this eat until they are full!

Rabbi Loren Jacobs, if you happen to find and read this, I wish you and your followers God's Blessings, and please believe me when I tell you that you are in my prayers and I sincerely hope that this attack doesn't discourage you, but instead allow it to fan the flames of the Holy Spirit within!

Malachi 2:10 - Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another By profaning the covenant of the fathers?

As always, if you have any comments or questions, please keep them family friendly.
And if you enjoy reading what I write, please share it with someone.  :)

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