What is the difference between a Christian and a Messianic Jew?

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Messianic Judaism began 2,000 years ago. Yeshua, the disciples and the early church were observant Jews (Acts 2).

According to the New Testament, there are now two Israels: One group is composed of literal Israelites “according to the flesh” (Romans 9:3, 4). The other is “spiritual Israel” composed of Jews and Gentiles who believe in Jesus Christ  “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29).

The Gentiles may not have any Jewish DNA that comes from Abraham, but they are grafted into the stock of Israel, according to Paul, because they are children of faith (Romans 9:7, 8).

Traditional Jews today do not believe that Yeshua is the Jewish Messiah. They are still waiting in accordance with the Rambam’s (Rabbi Moses Maimonides, 1134-1204) “Thirteen Principles of Jewish Faith,” which states in Principle 12, “I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah. However long it takes, I will await His coming every day.”

A Messianic Jew is the person who believes and has accepted Yeshua (the Hebrew name for Jesus) of Nazareth as the promised Messiah of the Hebrew Scriptures. These Jews continue to remain strong in their Jewish identity and culture, while following Yeshua as He is revealed in the Brit Chadashah, the New Covenant.

Messianic Jews, unlike general Christians, celebrate the Jewish festivals and holy-days as given in the Hebrew Scriptures (i.e., Passover, Day of Atonement, etc.) but they do it with the understanding that Yeshua has already fulfilled these Holy Days. Many Messianic Jews refer to themselves as “completed Jews,” since they believe that their faith in the God of Israel has been “completed” or fulfilled in Yeshua.

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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