Question: Who is Yeshua?
Answer: This response is taken from the New Spirit Filled Life Study Bible:
“Since ‘Christ’ literally means ‘Messiah’ and since the Messiah is still a Person longed and hoped for by multitudes of Jews, those who seek to communicate with love and sensitivity to Jewish people today refer to their ministry as ‘messianic’ ( or, ‘concerning or in behalf of ‘the Messiah’). It is also why they use His original Hebrew name Yeshua. (‘Jesus’ is the English form, transliterated from the Greek Iesous).
Few Christians understand how sorely the name of our Savior, ‘Jesus,’ has been polluted by history or how distortions of His name in Hebrew have twisted it. But the renewed usage of Yeshua in the Jewish culture (as Messiah’s proper name) is seen as regaining part of the ancient, God-given inheritance of the Jewish believers.
Equally surprising is criticism leveled by some Christians who object to Messianic Jews (that is, present-day Jewish believers in Jesus/Yeshua as the Messiah, the Son of God and the only Savior of mankind) for continuing to celebrate holidays within the Jewish culture. The failure to discern between the propriety of a Messianic Jewish believer’s celebration of timeless events within the framework of their biblical culture, and the proposition that ‘this practice is a regressive dependence upon the Law rather than grace’ is unworthy and unscriptural. It is the equivalent of criticizing, for example, an American Christian for celebrating the Fourth of July or Thanksgiving Day—both being events that are an inherent part of their national identity and perfectly appropriate for a believer in that culture to observe.
In these and other regards, it is desirable that the whole church become sensitized to such basic issues, especially at these prophetically pivotal times. Otherwise, we of Gentile background…may find ourselves mirroring the very thing done by many Jews in New Testament times. They, having received Jesus as the Messiah/Savior, believed a ‘Gentile convert’ was not truly saved unless he/she conformed to Jewish traditions! (see Gal. 1; 2; Rom. 1-4).
The triumph of the truth and the release of a vastly broadened era of evangelism was given place to by the Holy Spirit, and He led the Jerusalem church leaders (all of them Jewish!) to take action. The quickening revelation of the Spirit opened God’s eternal Word to their hearts—and spiritual illumination altered human misunderstanding and carried the day (see Acts 11:1-18; 15:1-32).
It is a worthy goal today—a call to not let history repeat itself through an ironic reversal of roles. Let not ‘Gentile Christians’ of this century require Jewish believers in Yeshua to meet nonbinding, nonbiblical religious requirements before finding acceptance as true believers. Let it be affirmed that saving faith is real and certain, to all who place theirs in Jesus/Yeshua, the Messiah/ha Mashiach—the only begotten Son of God, who is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the Creator and the only true and living God. That is enough—now and forever! And that is also enough to prepare the church in our time to permit the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment to ready us for participation in the climax of the grand drama of God’s dealings with the Jews over the centuries.” (New Spirit Filled Life Bible)
Thanks for the question,
Gary T. Panell
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