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Care RootsChristians who have not realized and valued the Jewish roots of the Church can have wrong assumptions about Jesus. For instance, a famous work of art, “The Last Supper” by Leonardo daVinci, is in error in almost every historical detail, but the Church has never questioned this depiction of the Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples. Dwight Pryor of The Center for Judaic Christian Studies points out that The Last Supper was actually a Passover Seder, and the correct setting is in the evening, commemorating the night the death angel “passed over” the homes of the Israelites as they were preparing to flee Egypt. In the painting fish and bread are served, but the food Jesus and His disciples had was matza (unleavened bread) and a lamb from the Temple sacrifices. In the painting Jesus is seated upright at the center of a long table. However, Jesus and his disciples would have been reclining on the floor on cushions, leaning around a u-shaped table called a triclinium. Jesus, the guest of honor, would have been placed in the second position from the right end. Instead, daVinci painted “thirteen Europeans in Renaissance clothing having a midday meal in an Italian palace!” says Pryor. Jesus was robbed of His Jewish identity!
We lost the awareness of the Jewishness of Jesus and of Christianity when the Church began changing from a fully Jewish membership (about ten years after Pentecost) to a Gentile religion, especially after the dispersion of the Jews following the Second Jewish Revolt of A.D. 135. A famous Jewish evangelist, Jonathan Bernis of Jewish Voice Ministries, said that before his eyes were opened to see the true identity of Jesus of Nazareth, he thought Jesus was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Christ! His false assumption was similar to that of the brothers of Joseph when they were sent from Canaan by their father Jacob to Egypt to buy grain during the famine. Joseph, the Prime Minister of Egypt, appeared to them to be a Gentile. How shocked they were later when he revealed himself as their own brother! (Gen. 42-45) Just as Joseph was “received” as “Savior” from the famine by the Gentile Egyptians, in the same way Jesus was received as Savior from sin by the Gentiles. But the time is coming and is already here when the Jewish people will recognize their Jewish Messiah, just as Joseph’s brothers finally recognized him, “and all Israel will be saved” (Rom. 11:25-26).
Christians can have wrong assumptions about Israel also. Many wrongly assume that the Arabs and Jews should share the land equally, but they don’t take into account that the covenants God made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (name changed to Israel) regarding the land are everlasting covenants. Those who don’t respect the authority of the Bible but lean on their human understanding have made wrong assumptions. God made generous provisions of land for the Arabs, descendants of Ishmael and Esau, but His covenant was with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel (Gen. 17: 18-21). Moreover, He identified Himself to Moses as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying “This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations” (Ex. 3:15). Their descendants, the Jews, were promised the Holy Land, which was first defined to Abraham as the land from the Nile River to the Euphrates River (Gen. 15:18). That includes the so-called “West Bank” (Judea and Samaria) where many Jews have bravely settled and claimed their biblical inheritance in the midst of hostile Muslims.
Even though the Palestinians continue to threaten that they will push Israel into the Sea, God has guaranteed that Israel will exist as long as the sun, moon and stars exist! (Jer. 31:35-36) The Muslims do not want a state alongside the state of Israel; they want a land devoid of Jews. It is not a territorial dispute, because the 22 Arab nations have over eight million square miles of land (rich with oil), and Israel has only eight thousand, six hundred thirty square miles. God has deeded the land to Israel, a fact which the world rejects, because they reject the authority of God’s Word.
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is actually a religious, and indeed, a spiritual conflict.  All peace plans have and will fail because of misunderstanding this.  When Israel was recreated in the center of the Islamic heartland in 1948, demonstrating that the Bible, and not the Qur’an, was God’s true Word, this was a direct challenge to Islam.  The Qur’an demands that jihad be waged until Israel is wiped out.  Today the Covenant of the Hamas states, “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).  The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”  This Covenant is based on Mohammed’s “hadith” (sayings and laws transmitted orally) in which He claimed the Final Hour will not come until Muslims slaughter Jews, and even the rocks and trees will betray the Jews hiding behind them.  This portrayal of the Final Hour means a Muslim, who by faith has to believe in the Hour, has to also believe in this mass slaughter of Jews” (http://www.mideastweb.org/hamas.htm).
Again, this is a spiritual conflict.
The world falsely assumes that the conflict has a human solution, but the Bible says otherwise. The flash point for the conflict centers on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, where Satan has been planning to set up his throne ever since he was kicked out of heaven (Rev. 12: 7-9; Isa. 14:12-14; Matt. 24:15-16; II Thess. 2: 3-4). The Lord Jesus will return to that holy place, vanquish Satan and all His enemies, and begin His reign over all the earth in New Jerusalem (Zech. 14; Rev. 19-22).
New Jerusalem will be a Jewish place with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel written on the twelve gates of the city! The wall of the city will have twelve foundations with the names of the twelve Jewish apostles of the Lamb on them. It would be wise for Christians to get rid of their false assumptions about Jesus and Israel, God’s Holy Land, and begin rehearsing for our heavenly destiny by caring about our Jewish roots!
What are some ways you can begin to show that you care about the Jewish roots of the Church?

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  1. I strive to point out that salvation is of the Jews at bible studies whenever the opportunity presents itself.
    If we abide in the Word (John 15) more than the world (James 4:4 ) this is apparent. The problem is, most of the ‘church’ doesn’t read the bible and is totally immersed in the world.
    Good article. Even art is working against the Jewishness of Jesus … wow.

  2. Nancy, thank you for a very informative, passionate, and truth-filled post, all of it backed up by the Word of God.

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