Yeshua... Who Is He?
Dr. Michael L. Brown, who received his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the director of the Coalition of Conscience, president of Fire School of Ministry, host of The Line of Fire radio show and is an author and international speaker.
Two thousand years have come and gone, but the question remains the same: Is Jesus of Nazareth the Jewish Messiah, the Savior of the world? If He is, then let’s follow Him, for we have no other way. If He’s not, let’s expose Him, for only the truth will set us free.
Although the world is full of religions, the controversy surrounding the Messiahship of Jesus is unique, because both those who accept Jesus and those who reject Him base their beliefs on one and the same Book. Jews who follow Jesus say: “He must be the Messiah. He fulfilled all the prophecies of the Bible.” Jews who don’t follow Jesus say: “He can’t be the Messiah. He fulfilled none of the prophecies of the Bible.”
From one Book, the Hebrew Scriptures, have come two faiths. One faith says: We’d rather die than confess the name of Jesus. The other faith says: We’d rather die than deny the name of Jesus. One faith says: There are two Messiahs who will only come once*. The other faith says: There is one Messiah but He will come twice.
“So How Can I Know the Truth?”
Simple. Only one of these two faiths has really followed the Bible. The other has gone its own way. Only one has really continued in the power of God. The other has followed the traditions of men. If we listen carefully to the voice of God, then His Word will be “a light to our path and a lamp to our feet.” His Word is sure. He cannot lie.
Recently I was speaking to an ultra-orthodox rabbi about the Messiahship of Jesus. He didn’t want to hear my opinions (and I can’t blame him for that!). He didn’t care about what anybody else had to say. He just wanted to go back to the original sources. “Let’s go back to the Talmud,” he said. “That’s where we can find the truth.”
I think my answer surprised him. “Why should I go back to the Talmud,” I said, “when I can go all the way back to the New Testament?” To my surprise, he didn’t argue. You see, many Jewish people today are told that Judaism alone is the real religion of the Bible, and that “Christianity” is a much later, predominantly Gentile religion. And yet statements such as these, intimidating as they may sound, are simply not true.
Here are the facts: traditional Judaism as we know it today is absolutely not the religion of Moses and the prophets. It is the religion of the rabbis who lived and taught over 1500 years ago. Instead of being the religion of sacrifice and blood atonement as prescribed by the Torah, it is the religion of no sacrifice and no blood atonement, in spite of the Torah. It may shock you to know this, but some of Judaism’s most sacred books did not even exist before the late Middle Ages. Christopher Columbus had already discovered America before the Code of Jewish Law used by Orthodox Jews today had ever been compiled!