If I Believe in Jesus? What Is in It for Me?
“You can take a Jew out of a shtetl, but you cannot take a shtetl out of a Jew.” – Sholom Aleichem
“The Jewish community is all about love and family, which is the most important thing in my life, too.” – Gregg Sulkin
“What one Christian does is his own responsibility, what one Jew does is thrown back at all Jews.” – Anne Frank
“[Community] is the mutual voice of Jewish responsibility that most closely resembles being members of an extended family with all the joys, anxieties, frustrations, idiosyncrasies, and responsibilities that membership in a family brings.” – Erica Brown and Misha Galperin (The Case for Jewish Peoplehood)
“A person who separates himself from the congregation of Israel and does not fulfill mitzvot together with them, does not take part in their hardships, or join in their [communal] fasts, but rather goes on his own individual path as if he is from another nation and not [Israel], does not have a portion in the world to come.” – Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Teshuvah 3:11
Do those quotes not reflect the greatest fear that most Jewish people have about “coming out” or coming to faith in Messiah Jesus?
There are a lot of jokes regarding “Jewish Guilt” but the reality is … Jewish Guilt is a very real thing.
I have seen and overheard the hushed conversations taking place when a Jewish person “becomes one of them.” I have had a friend tell me to my face that she cannot afford the stigma of becoming a Christian because of what it might cost her “in the community.”
I have another friend who wants to make the step of belief but the fear of disappointing her deceased and abusive father holds her back. The baggage and guilt are real … I have seen, heard and experienced it for myself.
So …what is in it for you? Why should you believe in Jesus? Why should you go against the words of Chabad Rabbi Menachem Schneerson –
“Every Jew – wherever he or she may find themselves, even a solitary Jew in the most remote corner of the earth – must remember that they are part of the whole Jewish people and representatives of the entire Jewish people – the one people ever since the Torah was given at Mt. Sinai until the end of time.”
I can give you all the spiritual reasons – Heaven, eternity with God, answers to all the spiritual questions you have searching for while you have been on this journey of exploring Messiah and discovering Jesus in the process, etc., etc. And those are all absolutely true. Go and look through all the other six questions on this website and you will see how the truth has been defended and validated.
However, I am going to be real with you. This is the toughest issue of them all because it requires you to take this journey without a net and with blinders on. This is the ultimate adventure of one’s life – XGames or whatever they call it now has nothing on this decision.
You will make your greatest ally but also your greatest enemy. You will never be spiritually alone but perhaps you will be personally alone. This is why CAFÉ Kehillah is here to answer your questions and to prepare you for the journey. This is why we are seeking to equip you so that your decision is not made casually because you have to make it yourself. You have come here because this exploration has been something you wanted to make and you should know where you are going when it is over. But we will be here as much as we can and we will work with you to find others to be with you as well.