On Saturday, 16 January 2016, Tzedakah Ministries will be hosting its annual “Day of Prayer for the Salvation of the Jewish People.” The hope and prayer of Tzedakah Ministries is that Christians and churches from around the world will gather together to truly pray Psalm 122:6 – “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.” For true peace (Shalom — wholeness, completeness) comes only through a personal relationship with Messiah Jesus.
Don’t be fooled, there are many organizations that seek to provide a temporary peace through food kitchens and homeless shelters in Israel; however, the only peace and hope that matters is whether one has received Jesus as their personal Messiah and LORD. This is the only focus of Tzedakah Ministries and there is still time to sign up to be a part of the Day of Prayer 2016 (here).
Every year, Tzedakah Ministries seeks to prepare the minds and hearts of the Prayer Warriors by publishing a series of devotional thoughts in advance of the event along with the day of and the day after the Day of Prayer for the Salvation of the Jewish People. Please join us all this week as we seek to prepare and pray for a revival of evangelism in the souls of the Jewish people.
EXPLORE MESSIAH … JESUS
Did you know there is a movement out in some sectors of Judaism and religion in general to deny that Jesus ever existed? Seriously! One of the most documented humans in history, from Josephus to Talmudic references to archaeological evidence, has had his existence questioned. One of the most important rebuttal books to this fanciful fallacy has been written by an atheist(!) … Bart Ehrman. In Did Jesus Exist?, Ehrman takes the silly and non-sensical arguments to task and not only illustrates the existence of Jesus but “puts to bed” any serious attempts to make such an argument again.
However, why would such an argument even be made in the first place? Why would people seek to deny the existence of Jesus of Nazareth? Why would many Jewish people seek to argue that Rabbi Saul (aka Paul) simply made the character of Jesus up in order to create a new religion? Simple and it can be answered in one word … FEAR.
To really understand the person of Jesus creates an immense amount of fear in the lives and hearts of people. Jesus is not simply a warm, fuzzy individual. Yes … He came and ate with sinners. Yes … He chastised religious hypocrites. Yes … He called for a new way of living that encouraged people to care about the less fortunate of society. And most people want to stop examining Jesus with these attributes of His personality … BUT we cannot. He was much, much more! And for one, I am eternally grateful!
Let me explain the argument that I am about to make with an anecdote. I met a Jewish man who sought to argue that Jesus had a great PR agent and simply offered “Judaism Lite” to the masses. I asked him a simple question with a difficult answer –
HAVE YOU EVER READ THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT? READ IT!
I told the man in my answer that Jesus took Biblical Judaism and … made it harder! It is not simply “don’t commit adultery” but if you have ever had a lustful thought, you have done it already. It is not simply “don’t commit murder” but if you have ever hated someone, you have killed someone. Jesus asks us to live better than Biblical Judaism. HE EXPECTS MORE OUT OF HIS FOLLOWERS AND THAT IS THE KEY TO MATTHEW 5:17!
I proceeded to tell the Jewish man that it was here that the grace of Jesus comes into the picture, Jesus knows we can’t do it. We can’t live better. We can’t follow the mandates of the Sermon on the Mount on our own. And that is why He died for our sins. That is why He was the perfect sacrifice to fulfill Torah on our behalf. It is only through and because of Him that we can live His expectations because He has already done it for us.
YES … THE JEWISH MAN WAS STUNNED, LEFT SPEECHLESS, AND IN AWE! THIS WAS NOT THE JESUS HE HAD IN MIND!
And this is the Jesus that most people … FEAR. This is the Jesus that most people want to avoid. He wants a lot from us, abandoning self, but He gives us even more, eternity with Him. This is the Jesus that we must share in order for them to receive eternal life.
Therefore, as you pray for the Jewish people in anticipation of Saturday and the Day of Prayer for the Salvation of the Jewish People, consider how you might use this information to not only pray but also share Jesus with a Jewish person. And if you are Jewish and reading this blog, return soon as Tzedakah Ministries will be taking the question of the Jesus even deeper as we launch Explore Messiah…? in the coming weeks. Shalom. God bless.