Should Jews observe the laws of Moses if they believe in Yeshua ?
‘When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers and sisters received us warmly. 18 The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present. 19 Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.
20 When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. 21 They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs. 22 What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, 23 so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. 24 Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law....’ (Acts 21:17-24)
“Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law.”
But even though Paul observed the laws of Moses and encouraged Jewish believers to live in obedience to the Torah, he knew that no one could be justified before God through simply trying to keep those laws.* (See here and here. And even though gentiles are not bound by the Torah, we can learn much from those laws; which is not such a bad idea, considering that western society has gone so astray. See here. See also The Quest for Cosmic Justice by Thomas Sowell and By This Standard by Greg L. Bahnsen.**)
If you are a Jew, what do you think would have happened if after Jesus was crucified, the Jewish leaders realised that they had asked the Romans to put an innocent man to death, repented of that sin, embraced Jesus' teaching, and encouraged the Jewish people to treat the Roman occupiers kindly? Do you think Rome would have destroyed Jerusalem in 70A.D.? Unfortunately, the Jewish religious leaders—thinking they were righteous—did not want to be saved from their sins. They wanted to be saved from the Romans.
But don't the rabbis say that the Messiah will be a political leader? Many do. And yes he will be. When he returns, he will rule the world from Jerusalem. Who did Jesus say he was?
*We Christians can learn much from the Jews. See here. See also The Rational Bible: Deuteronomy by Dennis Prager
** Jews and gentiles should both be free to follow their dietary customs. God wants a Church where Jews and Christians respect, love, and honour each other. See “The Hope and the Jews” in The One Purpose of God by Jan Bonda.
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