What Does It Mean To Believe In Jesus Christ?
I recently came across a kindly man who had converted to Judaism from Catholicism. He asked me the following question, “What does it mean to believe in Jesus? I’ve never found a Christian who could answer this based on the faith Jesus lived — Judaism.”
I am choosing to answer this question on my CallahanWriter Blog. I hope this is interesting to the rest of you. Maybe you might be able to use these thoughts sometime in your own Christian walk.
Jesus was born in the lineage of David which is also the lineage of Judah. This made Him a Jew. I think everyone knows that.
When Jesus performed miracles, He often told the recipient to go and give their offerings to the local priest at the temple. Sometimes he told the newly healed benefactor not to tell anyone about the miracle. At least one did tell of his miraculous recovery which caused The Lord to be inundated with throngs of people.
Sprinkled in His teachings were bits and pieces of the Mosaic law and many of His teachings showed a respect to the Mosaic laws. But He taught a higher law, higher than the basic Mosaic laws.
Sermon On The Mount
Case in point. At the beginning of His ministry Jesus taught one of His great sermons called the “Sermon on The Mount.” He referred to the Mosaic law, and the “Ten Commandments” when he said “Thou shalt not kill.” He went on to teach a higher law that we should not be angry with our fellows and whoever ever is guilty of being angry with his brethren shall be in danger of the judgment.
Similarly, He referred to the commandment of old, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” He went on to teach a higher law that we should not look on a person and lust after them.
This was His introduction to teaching higher laws than the Mosaic laws, the laws by which Jews followed.
He taught so many higher laws that a few times the Gospel writers mentioned Jesus as saying something to the effect, “I have not come to destroy the law, but have come to fulfil the law.” The fulfilment of the law was offering His sinless soul to pay the infinite price of sin committed by all who have or all who will live on this planet.
He observed the laws of Moses as much as He was able while teaching a higher law. There were times when He and His apostles were accused of some minor infractions of the law such as when they were traveling through a corn field and ate of the corn. He taught about the realities of life with the parable of a man getting his livestock out of a hole on the Sabbath which strict adherence to the Mosaic law would have forbidden.
Jesus did not live the life of a Jew the way the Scribes, Pharisees and Seduces judged the law. He respected the law that He came to fulfil while teaching everyone He could about a New Testament or new and higher law or gospel.
The faith by which Jesus lived was that of Christianity, not Judaism. He respected the law of ordinances and performances of the Mosaic law but believed, lived and taught a higher law, the gospel of Jesus Christ, not the law of Moses by which the laws and doctrines of Judaism are based on.
I love my brethren of the Jewish faith. We have so much in common. Our main point of difference, is, and it’s big one, is our belief in Jesus Christ, The Messiah.
As a Christian I believe in Jesus Christ as my Redeemer and Messiah. I know he was born Jewish and I know He tried all He could to teach a higher way than the laws of Moses. Like all Christians, I believe Jesus Christ to be the Messiah that most of the Jews refused to believe in.
Troy Wagstaff © All Rights Reserved. May be used with permission by the author.