Thoughts For a New Year

September 19, 2009

Greater Kudu horn shofar
Image via Wikipedia

Today is Rosh Hashanah 5770, The Jewish New Year. And after reading an awesome post by “Atlas Shrugs” about The Holy Day

I thought I would write down some inspirational thoughts of my own.

With all the stupid Antisemitism in the world it’s time to set the record straight.

There are many Christians like myself who are rediscovering the Jewish roots of our faith.  So much of the Jewishness of the New Testament flies right over our heads.

Take for example the way the Sermon on the Mount begins . . .

1 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down.     Mat 5:1  TNIV

That was just like Moses going up to The Mountain to receive the Ten Commandments.  Also he taught his disciples sitting down just the way rabbis teach.  We usually miss all of that.

But based on what I’ve learned over the years pure Judaism and pure Christianity are the exact same thing.

The disciples didn’t set out to begin a new religion.  They just took their Jewish faith in their resurrected Messiah and took it global.

It wasn’t until the persecuted believers fled to places like Antioch that things really changed.

“19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.

22 News of this reached the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24 He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.

25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.”

(Acts 11 19-26 TNIV)

Christ-ians,  or mini-Messiahs, which when you consider what the Jews believed about The Messiah, to be called a mini-Messiah or a Christ-ian was a pretty awesome thing.  It didn’t matter that it was really a racist slur aimed at all the new Gentile converts, Paul and the others loved it!  So the name stuck and the rest as they say is HIS-story.

So if it weren’t for those early Jewish Christ-ians that took that big leap of faith to speak to us Gentiles, I shudder to think where we and the rest of civilization would be without them.

So Shana Tova, everybody.

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