Today is the “Day of Prayer for the Salvation of the Jewish People”!
Can you feel the prayers of Christians and churches? I hope so! Tzedakah Ministries hopes that many hundreds (perhaps thousands) will come from every corner of the world to pray and 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. The previous days devotional thoughts are available on this blog along with today’s and tomorrow’s. Join us in praying the truth of Romans 1:16!
EXPLORE MESSIAH … Being JEWISH
Perhaps the most difficult question that many Jewish people will face in their life is the “elephant in the room” question – Can one be Jewish and believe in Jesus? All of their lives they have been told by rabbis, Bar/Bat Mitzvah teachers, parents and friends that the answer is NO. I would argue that the most Jewish action that a Jewish soul could take is to believe in Jesus. But … that answer is more complex and internally difficult than many Christians and churches might imagine.
There is the sociological pressure. The perceived pressure that they are abandoning the Jewish community if they believe in Jesus. This has been ingrained into them from the time of the Talmudic scholars but especially since the time of Maimonides in the 12th century. He wrote the following:
“When a man accepts all of these principles, fully believing in them, he enters into the community of Israel and we are bound to love him, to show mercy to him, and to fulfill with respect all of the duties God imposed regarding love and brother-hood… But if he rejects one of these principles, he leaves the community and denies [the Torah], and he is called a heretic and an apostate, and we are obligated to hate him and destroy him.” – Introduction to Pereq Heleq
Can you imagine this pressure? The pressure to conform. The pressure to accept Rabbinic Judaism even when for the most part it has no spiritual meaning to a person. The pressure to cave because “You don’t want to break your grandmother’s heart. Do you?”
There is also historical pressure. The pressure against believing in Jesus is manifested by the horrible actions taken by supposed Christians in the “name of Jesus” against the Jewish people throughout history is unimaginable. From the Crusades to the Inquisition to the Holocaust, there is a litany and a trail of Jewish blood and much of it was caused by those who allegedly proclaimed the name of Jesus. Therefore, how can a Jewish person abandon their Jewish roots to believe in a Jesus who is it believed caused their family to die at Auschwitz?
Ultimately, there is the religious pressure. Do they want to abandon 2,000 years of Rabbinic Judaism? What would that mean? Would that mean there family, especially those who died in the Holocaust, are in hell? The pressure is enormous and many Christians and churches do not understand the pressure that many Jewish people … even those who have no religious affiliation … are under as it regards to the question of Jesus.
Consequently, we who know the truth must find ways of alleviating the pressure from them. We must respond on this Day of Prayer for the Salvation of the Jewish People with the truth that Messiah Jesus is in effect the ultimate “pressure valve.” I also recently presented a concept at a conference that I would like to share with you on some steps that we take in helping the Jewish people find some relief and find Jesus as well. Let me know what you think!
- Connect new Jewish believers with older Jewish believers for community … even if they go to a traditional Christian church
- Provide venues (i.e., the Messianic Community Centers) for what it means to be a Jewish believer that are open to a variety of opinions on core issues in Messianic Judaism
- Engage Jewish college students/Millennials in the process of community that is non-organizational (i.e., Real Jesus Literacy)
- Recognize that “Social Justice” issues are important to Millennials and that might include those outside the “Wall”
- Involve churches as they are the strongest ally in the work of Jewish evangelism and need to see community is a two-way street
Therefore, as you pray for the Jewish people today on this 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 “Being JEWISH” even deeper as we launch Explore Messiah…? in the coming weeks. Shalom. God bless.