thinking jewish

It’s tempting to think of Christianity as a “Western” religion, invented by Jesus when he walked the earth… possessing its own set of totally unique ideas, practices, beliefs…

…when in reality, Jesus didn’t set out to “invent” as much as we think he did. Sometimes we forget that Jesus was not only Jewish, not only the Messiah… he was also a Jewish rabbi.

Almost everything he said—every teaching, every parable—was interacting with the Jewish tradition…

interpreting the Hebrew scriptures…

participating in the great conversation of his day about who the people of God are and how they’re supposed to live.

After all, it was Jesus who said (speaking about the Hebrew scriptures):

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. Truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. (Matthew 5:17-18, TNIV)

A couple years ago, I went to Israel and Turkey with Ray Vander Laan, retracing the footsteps of Jesus and his disciples… exploring the Jewish origins of my Christian faith.

To know who you are, you have to know where you’ve been. To better understand the New Testament (and the especially teachings of Jesus), you have to understand the Old Testament. If you’re a follower of Jesus, then the Jewish story is your story, because your faith is fundamentally Jewish in its origins.

Anyway… the plan is to explore Christianity’s Jewish origins more in future posts…

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