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Jesus is a Jew

"If Jesus was a Jew, why do Jews now believe that Jesus is yet to come?"

Your question is incredibly important for Christians to understand. Yes, Jesus is a Jew. He was born into the line of King David, which is why Joseph and Mary had to travel to the small village of Bethlehem in Judea, to be counted in the census for tax purposes just before Jesus was born (see Luke 2:1-7). The word “Christ” has its roots in the idea of salvation. It is significant to the Hebrew understanding that there would be an “Anointed One;” anointed by God alone. The Jewish people clearly understood that this would be their Messiah, who as a person would come to save them. However, they were expecting to be saved from their oppressors who were at the time the Roman Rule. They did not realize that they needed to be saved from their own sinfulness. They were used to making sacrifices to atone (pay for) their acknowledged sins.

God had promised from the beginning that the salvation of the world would come from the Jews (see Gen. 12:1-3). God never breaks his promises, ever. In fact, the apostle Paul reminds those to whom he speaks, that as gentiles (those who are not of Jewish blood), we should never forget that the salvation that we have, came from the Jewish heritage (see Gal. 3:29). We need to recognize that thousands of Jews did believe that Jesus was the long awaited Messiah, and found salvation in the Christ. In fact, all of the writers of the New Testament (with the possible exception of Luke, who is noted as the author of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts) were of Jewish decent. If you read Romans 11 you will see that God has in no way rejected the Jews, but he did put an obstacle in the way for the ones who rejected Jesus.

Why? Because Jesus taught them the meaning of God’s written Word and offered them freedom (see Matt. 5:17-20) and they did not want to hear it. But, realize that many people who are not Jews also refuse God’s Word. It is true many Jews did not recognize that their Messiah had come and many refuse to see it today. Most of that is because they don’t understand the depth of the sinful nature of humanity and many are afraid to be disrespectful to God by worshiping someone else. This is why it is so important for Christians like you and me to understand who Jesus really is and know why we and our friends need him as our Savior.

We call ourselves Christians today because that was how people would describe those who followed the ways of Jesus Christ; Christ-ianos. "–ianos" is a Greek suffix which was applied to slaves. Eventually it came to mean one who was a slave of and obeyed another. A Christian is to be an adherent of, or slave and follower of Christ. This means that in order to be a true Christian our lives must align with the word of God, just as Jesus’ life did.

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