“Why do Christians hate Jewish people?”
I remember the question as if it were yesterday instead of a few years ago. I was standing in the middle of the Dallas Jewish Community Center (JCC) and was approached by two very nice middle-aged Jewish women. All of us had just heard one of those ultra-Orthodox rabbis give a presentation on why Jesus could not be the Jewish Messiah in which he spent the whole hour rambling about the Talmud and providing little concrete evidence from Scripture. He also spent a few moments attacking the intelligence of all Christians.
So … these women began the conversation with a genuine apology for the offensive rabbi but then wanted to ask a genuine question that they knew I would answer and not be offended.
“Why do Christians hate Jewish people?”
I wasn’t offended because I knew the germination behind the question – 2,000 years of pogroms, Crusades, Inquisition, Holocaust, restricted country clubs even in Dallas and not-so-subtle anti-Semitic remarks they had heard most of their lives from “nice Bible Belt Christians.” Talk about an “elephant in the room” moment!
And so I began my answer … with an apology. I apologized for the anti-Jewish history and the sociological baggage they lived with every day. I apologized for everything that had been and was being done to the Jewish people in the name of Jesus by so-called Christians. And then I began to tell them about MY JESUS!
Jesus who was born I believe during the Feast of Sukkot and was circumcised on the eighth day as any nice Jewish boy would be (Luke 2:21).
Jesus whose own mother followed the Jewish rituals of purification for a woman giving birth (Luke 2:22-24) and how he went to the Temple during Passover when he was 12 because I believe he was preparing for his Bar Mitzvah (Luke 2:41ff).
Jesus who followed all the commandments of Biblical Judaism and proclaimed that he did not come to abolish the Torah but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17-20).
Jesus who observed all the Jewish feasts including Hanukkah (John 10:22-31) and observed Passover the night before his crucifixion and how he arose from the dead on the Feast of First Fruits (1 Corinthians 15).
Jesus who was and is the most Jewish person who has ever lived is what I told them.
Jesus whose own disciples were all Jewish and they traveled first to the Jewish people to share the message of the Gospel but it was only when Peter and Paul the Jewish Pharisee decided to share it with us — the non-Jewish people – that we were given a chance to know the hope for eternity (Acts 10 and 15).
I then thanked these inquisitive ladies at the JCC for their question and for being a part of Jesus’ lineage because it was through them that I was given a chance for heaven and eternity with Jesus the Jewish Messiah. Suffice it to say these nice ladies were shocked and told me so. In fact, there exact words were:
“No Christian has ever explained their faith to us in this way.”
And for this fact, I felt the need to apologize again! Because Christianity is not about hating the Jewish people but that sadly is the perception that many Jewish people feel today and so we at Tzedakah Ministries and Explore Messiah…? need to answer the following questions:
- Who is the real founder of Christianity?
- Isn’t the New Testament just “chock full” of anti-Semitism?
- Church history is filled with Jewish blood … Why would I want to associate with such hatred?
Tough questions but worthy of real answers … just like the JCC ladies deserved a real answer to their question. I only wish that I had known about the statement that Jewish believer in Jesus and former British Prime Minister in the 1800s Benjamin Disraeli had made. Why? It is really good …
Judaism is not complete without Christianity and without Judaism, Christianity would not exist.
Therefore, explore all three of the topics if you want or jump around to the one that intrigues you the most. And remember at any time, we are ready to discuss these thoughts with you at the CAFÉ Kehillah Discussion Board.