Of all the subjects I could have chosen about which to write, I have chosen the one least likely to succeed. Typical me. It is, however, the one most dearly on my heart, one on which my life has come to be built.
Please allow me to present a Jesus who has nothing to do with Christianity nor Messianic Judaism nor, for that matter, any stream of Judaism. The man Jesus, Yeshua rather, is all about faith and not about any form of religion. Historically, Jews vehemently denied the false claim the Christians made about him being born of a virgin and being God in the flesh. Did you get that? The Christians tell untruths about Jesus and the Jews react as though they have been told the truth, and deny it. Did Judaism ever take the time to find out the truth about him without the Christian filter? My answer to that, most unfortunately is, NO!
The Yeshua I wish to introduce was not born of a virgin. He was not God born in the flesh. He was born in the same manner as all of us, a product of the marital relationship between his mother and father. He was the first born child of Yosef ben Ya’akov and Miriam, good Jewish parents. According to the Book of Matthew, Yosef’s lineage is traceable back to King David. Although Matthew is a book in the collection of writings known as the New Testament, a misnomer for sure, it is not right to discount all things written therein, especially since there is practically no other source of information about Yeshua. I have learned, however, how to sift for the truth and am happy to present to you the following brief account of his personage and mission in life.
Yeshua ben Yosef, as has often been the case throughout Jewish History with many young learners, was a gifted boy, able to read and comprehend at an elevated level. He grew up near today’s Tiberius in a small village called Nazareth, which does not share the same location as the city with that name today. Yeshua loved the Tanakh and zealously absorbed every word in the scriptures. By the time he had his bar mitzvah (yes, this is recorded in Matthew) he was so well versed in the scriptures that he was actually able to argue with the temple rabbis over points of law, arguments which he eagerly enjoined. He was so absorbed in defending the written law against the preferred oral law of traditional Judaism, that he didn’t join the group with his parents when they left Jerusalem for the trip home. His parents, assuming him to be with other families, didn’t realize he was left behind until three days had passed. When they looked for him but didn’t find him, they left the group and returned to Jerusalem to look for him. Finally, they found him in the temple and when confronted about him having stayed behind, he was surprised that his parents had been looking everywhere for him. Didn’t they know he’s be about his God’s business? His passion from a young age was to live his life according to God’s written laws. Written on his heart was the admonition: Whatever I command you, observe to do it: you shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. (Deuteronomy 12:32). I have no doubt that he was discussing this very topic with the learned religious leaders of the day.
When he turned thirty he entered his life’s work to preach the gospel of the Tanakh, namely calling for people to seek God with their whole hearts until they find him, which will cause the circumcision of the heart [according to Moses]: Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked. (Deuteronomy 10:16) Yeshua, in his own words, framed this life-changing event as being born again. It’s the same event. Yeshua did not come to bring anything new. He did not introduce a new religion; rather his purpose was to live according to the One Faith of the Tanakh. The other part of the gospel he preached was to call people to follow God’s written laws.
Yeshua chose twelve fellow Jewish men as his disciples to follow him and spent three years wandering with them from town to town in the Galilee, traveling across Samaria to Jericho and also to Jerusalem, teaching his disciples and the people along the way what it means to love God and why it is so important to live according to the written words of scripture. He did so through parables, short stories that left one, speaking for myself, thirsting to understand the deeper meaning of what he said. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear”, was how he commonly ended his stories. I’ve discerned that most of his stories are about the written Torah, it’s value and how important it should be for us to embrace it.
He did miracles because he possessed the love necessary to do them. This requires a little explaining. What is taught in Christianity, that Jesus did miracles because he was God in the flesh, actually diminishes Yeshua’s essence. After all, it’s not such a big deal for God to heal a person, feed thousands with a few loaves of bread and a couple fish, restore sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, remove leprosy from the lepers, walk on water, etc. You’d expect God to be able to do such things. But how could the normal man, Yeshua ben Yosef do them? This is where the power of Yeshua’s life comes into focus, if you know what to look for; and are willing to accept it.
How, indeed, did a mere man reach such a level of righteousness at which he could do miracles as a part of daily life? It happened because he never lost sight of the verse that guided all of his learning. How, one might then wonder, does living according to the written Torah produce such righteousness? This is the essential core of all his teachings.
Do you remember how it was at creation (after all, you were there) when God spoke, ‘Let there be light’? Light appeared, permanently, eternally. To paraphrase the rest, He then spoke that night and day be separated, that land and water be separated, that earth bring forth flora, that creatures populate the sea, land and air. Every time He spoke, life in some form was manifested, permanently, eternally. Every iota of creation is full of eternal life. This same phenomenon manifested when God spoke the laws into existence, permanently, eternally. Each law is full of life, full of God. The written laws of the Torah are perfectly complete, which is why they cannot be added to nor diminished from. You cannot increase or decrease perfection. It is already perfect. Each law is perfect, so do not add to them or take away from them. The secret of application is this: when you take on a law of God as your own, that law will release its righteousness into your essence. Each law has its own measure of love, of righteousness, of God. The laws are stepping stones of righteousness. As you accept a law as your own, you ingest that much additional righteousness into your life. God made the laws simple yet profoundly effective. Indeed, the only acceptable motive for keeping God’s laws is loving obedience. “You said to do this, I will do it; no questions asked. You said not to do this, I will not do it; no questions asked.” If you question the appropriateness of a law, you question the appropriateness of God.
You are, of course, free to choose not to obey a law; but then, you will be choosing not receive the righteousness contained therein, which would be a shame because righteousness is very important in your life!
Yeshua lived God’s written laws perfectly, meaning that his level of righteousness was very high. In fact, his level of righteousness exceeded all others before or since. There are two men mentioned in the Tanakh who did not die. One was Enoch, the other Elijah. In this, I understand that their righteousness had reached the level at which death no longer held power over them. That’s why they didn’t die. Yeshua reached the only level higher than that, at which, not only did death have no power over him, but he had gained power over death.
I can hear some say, ‘But he died. He was murdered, crucified even!!” Yes, but he willingly allowed it to happen to fulfill scripture. Please dare to read Isaiah 52 and 53 on your own. He was wrongly convicted of being a false prophet and was given over to the Romans who were eager to administer the Sanhedrin’s death sentence on Yeshua. However, three days after his crucified body had been sealed in the tomb, he rose from the dead, becoming the first man to claim victory over death. He actually remained among his followers for forty days before he was taken up.
Not surprisingly, Yeshua experienced the most and strongest opposition from the religious leaders of his day. Whether in synagogues or in the temple, he was always accused of not keeping certain laws. But Yeshua was not breaking laws of God as they constantly claimed, rather he broke established traditions. This point he made over and over. Traditions, because they are established by man, do not produce righteousness, nor can they ever. God, who is pure righteousness, has invested all of Himself into the simple laws of the written Torah to make himself available and useful to us in this world.
What I hope to do in writing this is to introduce you to a Yeshua who you most certainly have never heard of. To me, it is frightfully tragic that the most righteous Jew who ever lived has but a few followers. Christians don’t follow him or even know him. They made something out of him that is a lie. You can safely ignore what the Christianity claims about him because it is not true. Learn for yourself.
Hopefully, this letter is received as intended, an encouragement to make sure your heart has been circumcised and that you know that the written laws of God are eternal, and perfect. Living according to the written Torah is what Yeshua, Master of Righteousness, taught.
Additionally, I wish to point out that when the Kingdom of God is established in this world, there will be no religion found within. It will be reigned over by Yeshua, Master of Righteousness and populated solely by those who have experienced the circumcision of the heart. The scripture calls such people ‘Israelites’ or ‘Hebrews’. Of such, those who love and live God’s written laws, and teach others to do so, will be placed higher in the Kingdom than those who do not follow God’s written laws, and teach others not to do so as well. Yeshua actually taught this in Matthew 5:17-19!
In closing, I would like to assign you two exercises. Exercise one is for you to consider in your soul whether you actually know God personally. Everyone was separated from God at birth. We must experience what Moses called the circumcision of the heart. To seek God, start by praying to Him, telling Him sincerely that you wish to find Him. He will be happy to hear from you! Indeed, He is expecting you! And you shall seek me, and find me, when you search for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13). That is a promise!
Once you have been reunited with God and start living His written laws, you will be pleasing in His sight. The laws will even generate wisdom and knowledge and understanding. (another promise found in Psalm 119:97-100 Oh how love I your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers; for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, because I have kept your precepts. It would be good for you to read Psalm 119. As you read it, try to imagine it is the voice of Yeshua speaking, the Master of Righteousness, the most righteous Jew who ever lived. He most certainly dearly loved this Psalm as it reflected what was most important to him, as well as it was to King David who wrote it.
Exercise two is for you read the Torah by yourself. Take it off your shelf, open it and read it on your own with a notepad nearby. Read it like a book. As you read it, write down any law that you feel could apply to you. You don’t have to worry about the temple, sacrificial, priestly and Levitical laws as we do not have a temple. Note only the laws that could apply to you personally. Make them personal. For example, ‘If I commit adultery, I deserve to be put to death’, ‘I will not eat pork’, ‘ I will stand up in the presence of a aged person‘, ‘I will rest and not work on Shabbat’, ‘I, a man, will not have sexual relations with another man’, ‘what does God expect of me but that I love him and live according to his written word?’, etc. Go through all five books, thoughtfully and honestly. When you are finished, written on the paper in front of you will be your personal path of righteousness! God did not give you more than that! It is perfect, so do not add to it and do not take away from it.
I truly hope you will reconsider who Yeshua was/is and give him a chance. He loved God; and loved and lived the written laws of the Torah. He did not come to bring a new religion, nor did he do so. He is not containable within any religion. He lived the One Faith given by God perfectly and called us to follow him. Now would be a good time to start doing so! A warning given by Yeshua may be wise to consider: Think not that I came to bring peace on the earth: I came not to bring peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10:34). The sword to which he is referring is indeed, the written Torah. If you choose this path, it will definitely be difficult due to the opposition you will encounter from religious leaders and even from friends and family members; but you will be blessed for doing so!
I must also mention that Yeshua, because of his intense love of, and obedience to, God’s written laws, was anointed to be the Messiah. In a way similar to US elections, the president-elect is chosen in November but doesn’t step into office until the Day of Inauguration the following January. Yeshua is the Messiah-elect and he will step into his office on The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord. You’ll know he’s arrived when you see the Mount of Olives split in two.
It would be my honor to help you understand these things more completely. Please let me know if I can be of service.
From my heart to yours,
PS. I am not a Messianic Jew. I am not a Christian. I do not belong to any Jewish group or to any synagogue. I do not have a rabbi other than Yeshua. I am a simple Jew who has experienced the circumcision of his heart because I sought to know if God existed, and found Him! I learned from my own research and life experiences that Yeshua loved and lived God’s written laws and that is why I am following the path of my Master of Righteousness by living according to the written Torah, period. As Moshe Rabbenu taught, And he said unto them, Set your heart unto all the words which I testify unto you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, even all the words of this law. For it is no vain thing for you; because it is your life, and through this thing ye shall prolong your days in the land, whither ye go over the Jordan to possess it. (Deuteronomy 32:46-47)