Lesson 3: Role of Yeshua in Faith
Title: “Yeshua: The Cornerstone of Our Belief”
In the Hebrew Roots movement, Yeshua (Jesus Christ) is central, with a specific emphasis on his Jewish identity and teachings. This perspective seeks to understand Yeshua within the context of first-century Judaism, offering a distinct viewpoint compared to mainstream Christian interpretations.
Yeshua’s Jewish Identity
- Historical Context: Yeshua was born and lived as a Jew in first-century Palestine. Understanding his Jewish background is crucial to comprehending his teachings and actions. This includes recognizing the cultural, religious, and political environment of the time.
- Observance of Jewish Law: Yeshua observed Jewish law (Halakhah) and customs. He participated in Jewish festivals, worshipped in the synagogue, and followed the Torah. The Hebrew Roots movement highlights these aspects to present a more authentic picture of Yeshua’s life.
- Teachings Rooted in Judaism: Yeshua’s teachings are deeply rooted in Jewish thought and scripture. Parables, ethical teachings, and discussions about the law are all steeped in the Jewish tradition. His interpretations and debates with religious leaders reflect a profound engagement with Jewish law and theology.
- Messiah within Judaism: In the Hebrew Roots movement, Yeshua is acknowledged as the Messiah (Mashiach) prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures. His role as the Messiah is interpreted through the lens of Jewish expectation and prophecy, rather than solely through later Christian theology.
- Fulfillment of Prophecy: Yeshua is seen as fulfilling the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. His life, death, and resurrection are understood as the realization of the promises made by God to the people of Israel.
- Bridge between Covenants: Yeshua is perceived as a bridge between the Old and New Covenants. He fulfills the Law and the Prophets while inaugurating a new covenant through his teachings and sacrifice. This perspective emphasizes continuity rather than replacement of the Old Testament by the New.
- Ethical and Moral Teachings: His teachings on love, forgiveness, and justice are viewed in the context of Jewish ethics. The Sermon on the Mount, for instance, is often interpreted as an expansion of Torah principles.
- Kingdom of God: Yeshua’s proclamation of the Kingdom of God is seen in relation to Jewish eschatological hopes. The Hebrew Roots movement explores this concept with an understanding of Jewish expectations of the kingdom.
- Discipleship and Following Yeshua: Emulating Yeshua’s life and teachings is a key aspect. This involves observing the commandments as he did, understanding the scriptures from a Hebraic perspective, and living out the principles he embodied.
In the Hebrew Roots movement, Yeshua is not only the savior but also a rabbi and teacher whose life and teachings are deeply Jewish. This perspective seeks to reclaim the Jewishness of Yeshua, offering a nuanced understanding of his role as both the Jewish Messiah and a pivotal figure in Christian faith.
Discussion Points and Possible Answers:
- Yeshua’s Jewish identity and its importance.
- Possible Answers: Emphasizes Yeshua’s life and teachings within the context of first-century Judaism; underscores the importance of understanding his Jewish cultural and religious background.
- Yeshua’s teachings and their relevance today.
- Possible Answers: Yeshua’s teachings offer timeless wisdom and guidance; focus on love, justice, and adherence to God’s commandments; relevance in modern ethical and spiritual dilemmas.
- The fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies through Yeshua.
- Possible Answers: Yeshua as the fulfillment of Messianic prophecies; his life and mission as a bridge between Old and New Testaments; significance of his death and resurrection.
Summary of Discussion:
- Recap of Yeshua’s role as a Jewish Messiah and his relevance in both historical and modern contexts.
- The story of Yeshua in the temple as a child, engaging with teachers (Luke 2:41-52), highlighting his early understanding of scripture and his role.
Related References for Study:
- “The Jewish Jesus: Reconnecting with the Truth about Jesus, Israel, and the Church” by David Hoffbrand.
- Scriptures for deeper study: Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, Luke 24:44-48.
- Highlighting the central role of Yeshua in the Hebrew Roots movement and the importance of understanding his life and teachings within their original Jewish context.