Most believers think of Jesus and His disciples as Christians before their time. Not so! Jesus was not a Christian. He was born to Jewish parents, He was dedicated in the Jewish tradition, He was reared studying the words of Moses and the prophets of Israel, He became a Jewish Rabbi, and He died with a sign over His head written in three languages: “This is the King of the Jews”.
Jesus died without ever hearing the word “Christian”. The Bible firsts records its use in Antioch, forty years after the crucifixion (Acts 11:26), to describe Jesus followers. The word was used by the heathen to describe the loving conduct of those who followed the teachings of Jesus. I can only imagine what word would be coined by nonbelievers today to describe Christian conduct one toward the other.
If Jesus Christ came to your church this Sunday morning, would the ushers let Him enter the front door? Perhaps not. He would appear small and slender with penetrating dark eyes, an olive complexion, and prominent Semitic features. He would have the long falling earlocks of the Hebrews, His hair uncut at the corners, and a full manly beard, and His shoulders would be draped with a Tallit (prayer shawl), whose message yet remains a mystery to most of Christianity.
If Jesus indentified Himself to your congregation as a Jewish Rabbi Who befriended prostitutes, Who socialized with tax collectors and other outcasts, Who was hated by the government, and Who surrounded Himself with twelve full-bearded, unemployed men with shoulder-length hair, could they get a seat? Probably not.
If He commanded your wealthiest church members to sell all they had to give to the poor, or if He entered your beautiful church gym and turned over the bingo tables, shouting, “My house is a house of prayer”, would your ushers call the police? I have no doubt they would.
The simple truth is, after 2000 years of anti-Semitic teaching and preaching, we have lost sight of the Jewish nature of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
(I can not take credit for all the above. I actually copied it from the book In Defense of Israel by Pastor John Hagee of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio Texas. In light of the High Holy days we a celebrating right now, I felt it was worth sharing.)
What dies God have for you…just around the corner?