Amid endless speculation and discussion concerning end times events, and especially the timing of Messiah Yeshua’s return, one important factor is often overlooked. Both the Old and New Testaments agree that one thing must happen before Yeshua will return (Matt 23:39). The Jews as a group must invite Yeshua to return.
At Yeshua’s first coming, He announced that He was the long-awaited Messiah and performed signs and wonders that only Messiah would be able to perform. However, many of the Jewish leaders were threatened by Messiah’s coming. Yeshua criticized their practices and leadership. They did not humble themselves and submit to Messiah’s kingship, but rejected Yeshua and many Jews followed the guidance of their leaders and rejected Him as well.
Yeshua warned them that He would not return to them until they proclaimed, “Blessed is He that comes in the name of YHVH.” In 70 AD the Temple was destroyed as and the Jews were killed or driven from Israel. Although, there has always been a small remnant of Jews who remained in the land, the Jewish people would not again reside in the land as a nation until 1948.
It is now over 70 years since Israel was declared a nation once again. So, why hasn’t the nation of Israel made the statement necessary to usher in Messiah Yeshua’s return? What are the obstacles to Israel welcoming Yeshua as Messiah? The list below provides some insight:
- Persecution of Jews at the hand of Christians in the name of Jesus for 2000 years
- Reading the New Testament is forbidden or discouraged for many Jews since it is viewed not only as heresy, but is perceived as a hate document due to the aforementioned persecution
- Key passages of Old Testament Scripture pointing to Yeshua are forbidden reading or are not included in the Parasha series in most Jewish congregations.
- False teaching and tradition regarding Yeshua from both Jewish and Christian leaders
- Fear of the loss of identity as Jews due to false Christian teaching (having to relinquish worship, feasts, Sabbaths, etc. and adopting practices that are not only foreign, but are even expressly forbidden by YHVH
- Speaking the name of YHVH. Current common practice is that the name of YHVH is too sacred to be written or pronounced aloud, rendering it impossible to welcome the One Who comes in the name of YHVH.
- Misunderstanding of the tri-une God and thus rejection of Yeshua as the Son of YHVH or as equal to YHVH because YHVH is one (echad). Actually, echad not only designates the number one in Hebrew, but can also designate unity, such as a husband and wife who are one (echad).
Both Jewish and non-Jewish believers in Messiah Yeshua who yearn for Yeshua’s return can play a vital and active role in addressing and removing these obstacles. How can we make a difference?
First, pray for the salvation of Israel and for the Jewish people still scattered throughout the world (Gen 12:2-3).
Second, educate yourself and seek the truth concerning the history and development of Christianity, the various forms of persecution of the Jews by Christians over the past two thousand years, the reasons for avoiding the name of YHVH, and so on. Seek to understand the misconceptions of the Jewish people as well as your own misconceptions. Some suggested resources are listed at the end of this article (Hosea 4:6).
Third, reach out to the Jewish people with love and understanding. Seek forgiveness and reconciliation where needed (Ps. 133:1).
YHVH has always known that the enemy would go all out to bring about the rejection of Messiah Yeshua and to try to prevent Yeshua’s return in glory. YHVH is well aware that the enemy would succeed in deceiving humans into cooperating with him. However, YHVH has graciously provided opportunities to each of us to shake off the lies, embrace the truth and reverse the present course
YHVH carries out His plan through us even when our own efforts are misguided. This is clearly demonstrated in the gospel accounts of Yeshua’s entry into Jerusalem on a donkey just days before His crucifixion. The people were lined up with palm branches silently awaiting the arrival of the high priest’s spotless Passover lamb. His followers recognized the true spotless Lamb (Yeshua) and began to hail Him. The others, thinking that the high priest’s lamb had been spotted, joined in the chorus, not realizing that they were “accidentally” hailing the ultimate High Priest and Lamb.
YHVH will see to it that the Jewish people recognize their Messiah. Yeshua will return to Jerusalem to begin His reign on earth. We can have the privilege of helping in YHVH’s plan by doing our part to bring about this glorious event.
Our Hands Are Stained with Blood by Michael L. Brown
Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus by Michael L. Brown (3 volumes)
Introducing Your Jewish Friend to Yeshua by Daniel Nessim and Mark Surey
The Messianic Church Arising!:Restoring the Church to Our Covenant Roots by Robert D. Heidler and Chuck D. Pierce
Restoring The Jewishness of the Gospel: A Message for Christians Condensed from Messianic Judaism by David H. Stern
Messiah in the Feasts of Israel by Sam Nadler