Growing the Messianic Jewish Community
by Troy Wallace

Jewish Voice Ministries International exists to transform lives and see all Israel saved. We do that in three distinct and interconnected ways: 

  1. Proclaiming the Gospel to the Jew first
  2. Growing the Messianic Jewish Community
  3. Engaging the Church Concerning Israel and the Jewish people

Most often we get questions about the second part of our purpose – why is it important to help the Messianic Jewish Community grow? 

Defining the Messianic Jewish Community

As we proclaim the Gospel through our outreach efforts in Israel and around the world, we believe that Jewish people who make Yeshua (Jesus) their Lord and Savior retain all the rights, privileges and obligations as the people of Israel. The Messianic Jewish community is a community of Jewish followers of Jesus that gather to worship Jesus in a way that stands in continuity with Jewish identity markers such as circumcision, Shabbat, communal readings from the Torah and celebrations of the festivals of the Lord that He commanded Israel to observe forever.

To maintain these unique identity expressions, Messianic Jewish communities meet on Saturday (the seventh day Shabbat) in contrast to our fellow Jesus followers from the nations who meet on Sunday. We also continue to practice the covenant of circumcision that the Lord gave to our forefather Abraham as part of our faith in Yeshua. So, also we center our communal celebrations of faith on Passover and Chanukah in contrast to the Christian communal observances of Easter and Christmas. While all of us commemorate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus and celebrate that He saw fit to become a man, we tend to do those things in a way that stands complimentary to our Jewish identity. 

Why is the Messianic Jewish Community Important?

We understand that the Messianic Jewish Community is important for three different reasons: 

  1. Jewish covenantal fidelity
  2. A witness to Yeshua among the people of Israel as the people of Israel
  3. A witness to the Nations of the faithfulness of the Lord to keep His promises

Jewish Covenantal Fidelity

Throughout the Five Books of Moses, commonly called the Torah or the Pentateuch, the Lord says to the children of Israel that His commandments are “an everlasting statute.” When Jewish people come to understand Jesus is the Messiah of Israel, their covenantal responsibilities as Jewish people are strengthened in personal relationship with Him and not done away with. This is a thought that is consistent with the teachings of the Apostles in the New Testament Scriptures. Jesus encourages those He heals to show themselves to the priest as the Torah commands. Paul has Timothy circumcised. Despite Christian and Jewish history and teaching to the contrary, Jewish followers of Jesus retain their full Jewish identity and responsibility to follow Scripture’s instruction to them as part of the people of Israel.

A Witness to Yeshua among the People of Israel as the People of Israel

The Acts 15 Council, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, saw to it that Gentiles were not obligated to Jewish covenantal fidelity as they came to recognize Jesus as their Lord and Savior. As time has progressed, faith in Yeshua has become perceived as a Gentile faith by the Jewish community. As we of the people of Israel who find Yeshua and keep our Jewish practice and identity intact, we are giving testimony to Jesus as the Jewish Messiah to our own people within Jewish context. It demonstrates who Yeshua is as the “King of Israel” where He is often perceived as the “God of the Gentiles.” We are committed to bearing witness to Jesus as a Jewish issue while we dwell among and within the people of Israel.

A Witness to the Nations of the Faithfulness of the Lord to Keep His Promises

Repeatedly in Scripture, the Lord says that the people of Israel will be a light and blessing to the nations of the earth. Jesus epitomizes this promise in His embodiment in Jewish flesh forever as the Son of the Most High. Likewise, we believe that the remnant of Israel elected by grace that come to faith in Yeshua as Lord continues to embody the promises of Israel serving as a blessing to the nations. We embody the Lord’s covenantal faithfulness as we proclaim that though our people have broken faith with Him many times, He remains faithful to us. In His faithfulness to us who believe from Israel, we bear witness to His faithfulness to keep His promises to every nation that has a remnant among them who call upon Jesus as Lord.

How JVMI Helps to Grow the Messianic Jewish Community

Jewish Voice Ministries International is helping to grow the Messianic Jewish community in every ministry activity we undertake in service to the Messiah Jesus. When we proclaim the Gospel among the “Lost Tribes of Israel” who have been scattered around the world, we want to see each new Jewish Believer maintain their identity as part of the people of Israel. After our Outreaches, we direct new Jewish disciples of Jesus to join one of the many Messianic Jewish congregations we have helped plant by working alongside indigenous Messianic Jewish leaders. We give time, financial support and leadership training to Messianic Jewish ministries and leaders from around the world. When we engage our friends in the Gentile Christian Church, we are helping them to understand the Lord’s heart for the people of Israel, especially their Messianic Jewish brothers and sisters in Jesus. 

 You are An Essential Part of Our Growth

And in every step along the way, you are part of seeing this small remnant of Israel within the Body of Messiah built up and strengthened. Whether among those Jewish communities impoverished or persecuted in rural Africa, or among single mothers or Holocaust survivors in Israel, or among the spiritually needy Jewish communities in Europe or North America – you are an essential part of seeing the Messianic Jewish Community continue to grow until the re-appearance of our long-awaited King. Thank you for every prayer you pray, for every gift you give, and for every Scripture you read proclaiming His faithfulness to the people of Israel and His desire to make Himself known among all the families of the earth. We literally cannot do it without you.
 

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