To the Jew First
When Yeshua (Jesus) said that He was going somewhere that He could not be followed, the response of the Jewish religious leaders was: "He’s not going to teach the gentiles, is He?" (John 7:33-35) What seemed incredible in the first century now seems commonplace; so much so that the question of what to do with Jewish followers of Jesus is on the lips of church leaders, theologians, and rabbis everywhere. This is often coupled with the question that now rocks the religious of Israel: "Who is a Jew?"
It has long been the practice of Christian missionaries to reach peoples of distinct cultures in an indigenous way. Korean Presbyterians are still Koreans, Irish Catholics are still Irish and Hispanic Baptists worship in Spanish. Why then should Jewish believers be assimilated into gentile cultural Christianity? This, too, should not be.
Being Jewish is not about what one believes, it is a way of life. Many Jewish people are agnostic, many practice yoga and Eastern religions, some are involved in witchcraft; they are still Jews. Jewish believers in Yeshua may maintain their Jewish identity: worship on Shabbat, keep the Levitical Feasts of the Lord, abstain from unclean foods, support the nation of Israel, and participate in all of the life-cycle experiences that identify Jewish people.
It is this trust in the One true G-d of the universe that unites us, and it is by faith in the Messiah that Jews and Gentiles can be reconciled to become one new man. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given... And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty G-d, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)