Thursday, August 22, 2013

Messianic Judaism: Living in the Shadows

A friend wrote me recently about a surge in Messianic Judaism in his country; it is a blend of evangelical Christian theology with Jewish traditions, like observing the Sabbath and Jewish holidays. I told him this movement is nothing new.

Paul warned Peter against those who were compelling Gentiles to live like Jews, denying them their freedom in Christ, and putting them under a yoke of slavery for not celebrating holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths, things that were only shadows of the reality yet to come, Christ himself (Gal. 2:14, 5:1; Col 2:16-17).

It is easy to see these practices as shadows. But to some degree, and in our own ways, do we not find ourselves still living in the shadows rather than the full light of our freedom in Christ? “Satan, the god of this age, has blinded the minds of unbelievers [and ‘unbelieving’ believers] so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory [the reality] of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:4).


  1. It's funny because I think circumcision is not practiced (for the most part). The Lord is after the circumcision of the heart, which He himself made possible by crucifying our old man on the cross. Nothing else is required except the appropriation by faith of what He already did. Nothing is added to our santification or His pleasure by reenacting all these celebrations and rituals.
    Galatians 6:15. Romans 2:28,29

    I think many times rituals and ceremonies give us, as human beings, a sense of self-importance and exclusiveness.
    Besides, in many instances the reinstitution of these celebrations have become a means for raising money.

  2. yes, Patricia, and isn't it also a 'religious spirit', making people feel good, or, as Paul said, they "have a righteousness of their own!"