Spreading the Word to Jewish Persons Today
A Plain Language Thought from the Window
This article may be interpreted two different ways ... depending on if you are a Jewish reader or a Gentile reader. Bottom line: the information is relevant to all readers.
Just keep in mind that a look through the window means taking in a larger view based on information and thus not objecting to a part without seeing the whole. Fact or data and not interpretation or developed tradition is a key to the clear viewing here.
So, what if we asked you what your reaction would be to "spreading the Word," in the sense this means spreading biblical truth? If you are a Jew, does the Bible mean something of importance to you today? Does centuries of Jewish effort to maintain a focus on the Torah and Tanach mean something vital to the human experience, especially being Jewish?
What if we said Jews today should be evangelists? Why would we suggest such a thing?
What if we let the Hebrew Scriptures speak a bit for themselves ... after all, there are lots of Gentiles who read these and take them seriously! To the Jew we say: "So why not you too?" And to the Gentile we say: "If you don't take this seriously, what might you be missing?"
We're going to quote something from a Greek text, but right after that, we are going to only focus on a series of themes that were written by Jews in Hebrew. That might seem a bit exclusive, but we are going to quote the most widely published book on the Earth.
The Jewish Good News is thus: "For I am not ashamed of the good news of Messiah, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek." **
If you have information that is good news, you spread it around for very good reasons!
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HERE IS the Good News from the Jewish Scriptures:
1. A common condition we all have wrestled with ...
... we are all prone to sin (just seems to creep up on us like something we can't escape ... whoops, it just happens to the best of us!).
Isaiah describes it like this ... Isaiah 64:6
6 "For we are all become as one that is unclean, and all our righteousnesses are as a polluted garment: and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away." (ASV)
2. Sin leads to separation ...
... from God and frankly from all that is honorable, descent and holy:
20 "Surely there is not a righteous man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not." (ASV)
Isaiah 59: 1, 2
59:1 "Behold, the LORDÕS hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. 2* But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear." (NKJV)
30 "But every one shall die for his own iniquity; every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge." (NKJV)
3. God's program for taking away sin
11 "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul." (NKJV)
Psalm 51: 1-3
51:1 "Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your loving kindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. " (NKJV)
4. God's person for taking away sin
For those who have looked closely, or grown up with the knowledge of sacrifices, there is a need of a mediator ... one who stands in our place ... that we may be save in the Lord. From the Exodus from slavery, to the time of Passover feasts in Temple times ... to THIS day ... there is a lamb of God ... He is mediator.
Isaiah 53: 3-12
Can you identify the Mediator who stands as intercessor on your behalf? Read here ... these are words long skipped in synagogue services but are as old as the day Isaiah put words on a scroll ...
3* He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4* Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5* But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. 6* All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. 8* He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. 9* And they made His grave with the wicked--But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth. 10* Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. 11* He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities. 12* Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.
By the way ... Isaiah 53 is rarely if ever read out loud by a rabbi in the presence of Jewish folks ... you might take a look at our WANTED poster and give this added thought!
5. The right choice: Faith
Genesis 15: 1-6
15:1 "After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward. 2 But Abram said, Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus? 3 Then Abram said, Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir! 4 And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir. 5 Then He brought him outside and said, Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them. And He said to him, So shall your descendants be. 6 And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness." (NKJV)
Habakkuk 2: 4
4 "Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith." (NKJV)
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** quotation from the book of Romans 1:16