Maybe the time predicted by the Apostle Paul is nearer than we think. Quoting from Isaiah 59:20, Paul stated one day that all Israel would be saved:
“and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written,
‘The Deliverer will come from Zion,
He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.'” (Romans 11:26 NASV)
In the Old Testament verse that Paul cited, the Deliverer is none other than Jesus and His removal of the ungodliness from Jacob speaks of the nation accepting Jesus as the Jewish Messiah, a belief they have rejected for two centuries.
But in what may be another step towards this acceptance, Israel Today is reporting that just before Christmas 25 prominent Jewish rabbis issued a statement calling for a remarkable change of attitude towards Jesus.
Though they have not reached the point of accepting Christ as the Messiah, it is nevertheless significant.
The group is made up of prominent rabbis of congregations, seminaries and Jewish institutions in Israel and around the world including the UK, Canada and the US. Since its initial release, another 25 rabbis have signed on and the list continues to grow.
They have essentially accepted Jesus as a rabbi or teacher of the law. In their statement, the group said:
“Jesus brought a double goodness to the world. On the one hand he strengthened the Torah of Moses majestically… and not one of our Sages spoke out more emphatically concerning the immutability of the Torah.”
Calling Jesus a sage and stating that none have defended the Law more than Christ is an incredible declaration.
Referring to Acts 6:14, Israel Today points out in Jesus’ day, the rabbis and pharisees resisted Christ because they believed He was teaching contrary to the law and even encouraging Jews “to not obey Moses.”
This group of Rabbis has certainly deviated from long-held Jewish opinions of Christ.
Though they speak of a “significant theological differences” — Jesus as the Jewish Messiah being at the top of that list, they believed their Father in Heaven was calling them to reconcile with Christians:
The group stated:
“As did Maimonides and Yehudah Halevi, we acknowledge that Christianity is neither an accident nor an error, but the willed divine outcome and gift to the nations. In separating Judaism and Christianity, G-d willed a separation between partners with significant theological differences, not a separation between enemies.”
Referring to Christianity as being within the divine will of God and a “gift to the nations” is remarkable from an Orthodox Jewish perspective.
But is this declaration part of God’s bigger plan trending to a national acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah among the Jews? It is hard to know.
I recently reported on the Holy Spirit moving in a meeting in Tel Aviv this past fall involving a crowd of 1,000 Jews. According to Sid Roth, an American Jewish evangelist, this may have been the most notable move of God in Israel since the Book of Acts.
And in 2006, after the death of famed Israeli Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri evidence surfaced suggesting he believed Jesus was the Jewish Messiah. Rabbi Kaduri was arguably Israel’s most famous Rabbi before he died.
- Orthodox Rabbis bring Jesus home for Christmas: Israel Today