Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up!
I have tried over these past many years to bring our Messiah Yeshua not only to my own Jewish people but also to the non-Jews. There is a great misunderstanding in both communities about who Yeshua really was. If we closely examine his Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, we can clearly see that Yeshua was given a special role to fulfill – to bring his people back to the Torah; not to create a new Torah, neither to destroy it nor to undo it. What Moshe began by bringing the Ten Commandments to Israel, Yeshua would continue but make it universal. Christian theologians have referred to Yeshua as “Moses Redivivus” – Moses Resurrected. They called him Jesus Christ and in so doing created a completely different persona.
Moshe and his brother Aaron were simple human beings with failures and limitations. If Yeshua is called Moses Redivivus then he too must be regarded as a human being with problems and limitations but the idea of Yeshua’s divinity has been indelibly imprinted upon the minds of people. There are those who tend to idealize the Israelites at that period in history, but they didn’t leave Egypt by their own free will. Our Creator needed to take them out; in fact, the Egyptians threw them out. We also read in Exodus and Numbers that both generations cried to return to Egypt. The Torah doesn’t whitewash our heroes.
Today, in the 21st century many of the great Orthodox rabbis and Jewish scholars are re-examining Yeshua’s identity, calling him “Yeshua our brother” and the greatest Jew who ever existed throughout history. Once we remove the prejudice about him that has developed over the past 1800 years and examine the facts, we find the true Yeshua. That’s who I want to bring to you. I’m not looking to bring you to a religion which clones its followers by removing the greatest gift that the Creator ever gave to us…Free Will.
Parashah Re’eh begins with the blessings and the curses. There are times that we fail at something and although we are a follower of the Bore Olam, we wonder if we have been cursed. It could be that this is not the direction that He wants us to take, but that this opens the door for us to look elsewhere.
In Devarim 13, Moshe warns the Israelites “do not go out after other gods which they have not known” for the LORD is testing you. And if a prophet or dreamer of dreams arises among them performing miracles, signs and wonders telling them about other gods, do not listen. How often have I been asked — “Why don’t you, the Jewish people believe in Jesus Christ?” My answer is simple…we were instructed to not believe in other gods. Sh’ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad: “Hear, O Israel: the LORD is our God, the LORD is One. There is something in our neshama that protects us from that.
We know that Yeshua performed miracles, signs and wonders. Didn’t the prophets Elijah and Elisha do the same, yet they were not considered to be God? Did Yeshua himself ever teach us to worship another god? That is the crucial point about Yeshua! Did he ever say that he was the Creator? If he was a Torah observant Jew, he would never say that. However, Yeshua did say that he was “one” with his Father. This phrase doesn’t mean that he was God; it means that he was one in purpose with Him. He was formed to do the will of his Father. The Torah says that God is not a man (Numbers 23:19); His Word has not changed. Almost two thousand years of changes, misquotes, misinterpretations have sealed these untruths well into the minds of the people. One of these is that Yeshua a.k.a. Jesus Christ is the founder of a new religion while others say that Rav Shaul a.k.a. Apostle Paul was. I tell you that neither one would do such a thing. That’s an invention of the theologians. In Matthew 5:17ff, Yeshua said that he didn’t come to abolish or change the Torah but that it be fulfilled among us.
Allow me now to address the Gentiles: Yeshua never spoke to Christians at that time (Christianity did not exist!). Nor was he speaking to Gentiles. He spoke to his own people, specifically to the religious leaders who were leading the people away from the Torah. He spoke to the Perushim (Pharisees), the Tsadokkim (Sadducees), the Cohanim (Priesthood) telling them that they had no right to change the Torah handed to Moshe for all the people of Israel for them to be “Ohr L’goyim, light to the world. They created another Torah, the Sheve’al Peh – the Oral Torah. We Jewish people are so quick to accuse Christians of creating another god and by writing another book. Why don’t we look at what we have done first? This second Torah can be made to say whatever they want it to say, giving it more authority and even contradicting the true Torah. This is what Yeshua came to undo. It is written in Deut. 4:2 and repeated in this parashah, “Do not add nor take away from His Word”. Yeshua wasn’t the only one to say this; later the Karaites, a Sect of Judaism taught the same. We are free to follow men or the Creator, to choose curses or blessings.
In Chapter 11, Moshe began by speaking of the first three Commandments, the Mitzvot and then continued with the chukkim, the middle two and the last five, the mishpatim. He was exhorting the people to not exchange His Words but to destroy the foreign gods, not to follow them no matter how enticing a false prophet would make it appear. Yeshua was accused of doing that, but it was the greatest lie ever spoken about him. When Yeshua taught his talmidim to pray, he said “Our Father in Heaven, Holy is your name…” He never said, “pray to me”. This is an example of how gossip (lashon harah) has destroyed Yeshua’s image as our messiah making him out to be someone that he wasn’t. It is important for us not to put words in Yeshua’s mouth that he never said.
Deuteronomy 13 was used by Rabbinic Judaism to ostracize and denigrate the name of Yeshua, yet he would never lead anyone to any god other than the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Rabbis disrespectfully called him Yeshu – ישו which is an acrostic of: Yimach Shemo V’zikhro ימח שמו וזכרו ‘may his name and all his memory be obliterated’ – instead of Yeshua – ישוע a common name at that time or nickname of Yehoshua (Joshua).
The Yeshua, who was a Jewish Rabbi, is NOT the same as Jesus Christ. Moshe was totally human, he committed mistakes; he blamed his brother, and he blamed the people of Israel. Our rabbi, prophet, messiah Yeshua was also human, a man who made mistakes. Didn’t he lose his temper turning over the tables of the money changers? When he said take up your sword, didn’t he really mean that? Stop defending Yeshua; he doesn’t need to be defended.
I agree with most of the new Jewish scholars who have rediscovered Yeshua as the greatest Jew who ever lived, the only Jew who changed history forever. Through him, the Goyim Tsadikkim, the Righteous Gentiles have been included in God’s promises to Israel. Once we accept his humanity, we truly find a leader whose example we can follow.