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Poll: Jewish Millennials express an unusual interest in Christ


Jews for Jesus office in Kentish Town, London, England Credit: Jim Linwood/Wikipedia

Jews for Jesus office in Kentish Town, London, England Credit: Jim Linwood/Wikipedia

A survey of American Jewish Millennials, those born between 1984 and 1999, revealed a surprising acceptance of Jesus.

The poll of 599 Jews aged 18 to 33, found that 48% of them celebrated Christmas, 33% said that God desires a personal relationship with people and 28% looked upon Jesus as a spiritual leader.

However, what was perhaps most shocking is that 21% of them said Jesus was God incarnate. Essentially, over one in five believed Jesus is the Jewish Messiah.

The poll conducted by Barna Group on behalf of Jews for Jesus further discovered that Jewish Millennials have a higher interest in spiritual matters than previous generations of Jews.

Jews for Jesus is a Christian organization made up of Jews who have accepted Christ as the Messiah.

Many Jewish scholars were completely caught off guard by this poll that Barna titled: Jewish Millennials: The Beliefs and Behaviors Shaping Young Jews in America.

Stanford University Jewish Professor Ari Kelman said as part of the report:

“These don’t look like the Jews I recognize. I was not willing to just write them off entirely. Maybe these are Jews we’ve never seen before. We know religion is changing, we know parameters of identity are changing, so why would we expect different generations to look exactly the same?”

Despite his misgivings about Jews for Jesus , Kelman who teaches Jewish studies, admitted that Barna is a reputable survey group and the stats would be accurate.

So what is happening to Jewish Millennials in America?

Are we witnessing the first stage in a profound shift of Jewish perspectives on Jesus as the Jewish Messiah?

The Apostle Paul, citing Isaiah 59:20-21, referred to a future day when the Jews would turn to Christ in massive numbers:

25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written,

The Deliverer will come from Zion,
He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”
27 This is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.” (Romans 11: 25-27 NASV)

According to Paul, the Jews acceptance of Christ would take place after the fullness of the gentiles had come into the Kingdom of God.

Several other Old Testament passages also spoke of Israel accepting the new covenant that God was going to make with them (Jeremiah 31:33-34). It certainly hasn’t happened yet, but the prophet Jeremiah referred to a day when the Jews would “‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.”

But there are other passages that seem to connect this acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah with Christ’s second coming.

In his sermon to the Jewish crowds on the Day of Pentecost, Peter seemed to imply that Christ would not return until the Jews accepted Christ as the Messiah:

19 Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, (Acts 3:19-20 NASV)

Jesus seemed to suggest the same thing, when He said they would not see Him again until they recognized Christ as the Messiah:

39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ (Matthew 23:39 NIV)

This may suggest that one of the signs pointing to Christ’s second return is Jews accepting Christ as their Messiah in significant numbers.

Is Jewish Millennial’s heightened interest in spiritual matters and Jesus Christ preparing the way for the Lord’s second coming?

Sources:

 

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