Sharpened Focus

imageThis is Herodian, the tomb of Herod the Great (Israel’s king in Jesus’ day) and the beginning of the end of our Jewish brothers’ association with Judaism. There were 23 different parts/sects within Judaism in the first century. One of those was the Nazerenes who consisted of Jewish believers in Jesus as their Messiah. These believers lived according to a Jewish lifestyle (see Acts 5, 15, 21, 24).
With that backdrop, Jesus told His disciples that the Temple of His day would be completely destroyed. This prophecy was fulfilled 37 years later in the first Jewish revolt against Rome that ended in 70AD when the Roman 10th Legion left nothing of the Temple or Temple Mount in place.
Jesus also told His disciples that false messiahs would rise up after He returned home. This came true almost a100 years later with the second and final Jewish uprising against Rome in the Bar Chova revolt of 135 AD. It was this teaching from the Word of God Himself that became a moment of the truth for our Jewish brothers in Christ.
They loved their country, they believed in her future and destiny; thus, they were willing to lay down their lives as part of the Israeli army of the day. The challenge came when Rabbi Akiva pronounced that the Jewish General Bar Chova was the promised Messiah, who they should follow.
Would the believers place their love of country above their love for Jesus, the biblically promised Messiah – the one who died and rose again as Isaiah 53 predicted?
No, they couldn’t; and no, they didn’t. They knew who the Messiah was and He was living inside them. This Bar Chova was a false messiah, who they ignored. Instead, they listened to Jesus, who said false messiahs would come, and followed Jesus by walking away from the fight.
Please understand, it wasn’t about what they were fighting for. There were and are Jewish believers who have fought for and died in Israel’s various wars. No, it was about who they were fighting for. They couldn’t fight for a false messiah. Their choice to walk away from the fight back then is still being felt by believing Jews today. Rabbi Akiva called them traitors and changed the name of Yeshua to Yeshu, an acronym for “may the memory of his memory be blotted out.” Up to this point Jewish believers were a part of Judaism. With their choice to follow Jesus, they were kicked out of Judaism and Jewish believers are still facing Jewish ostracism to this day.
They preferred to be called followers of Jesus more than anything else. Only by following Jesus could they or we experience lasting life change. Who or what is important to you: your country, your nationality, your political party, your brand of Christianity, your doctrinal camp, your career, your reputation or Jesus, the Word of God? Only Jesus makes us secure children of God. Make sure to focus only on Him.
S“et a Free Nowww

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *