How will the Jewish people know that the Messiah has come? One unmistakable sign is the Messiah will keep Torah and cause others to do so. In other words, an observant Messiah will increase observance in this world, and especially among the Jewish people. With Yeshua’s coming, what has occurred?
Over the past two millennia Gentiles in increasing numbers have believed and obeyed the God of Israel through Christian teaching. This testifies to Paul’s stated purpose that his apostleship was given “to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles.” Though antinomian tendencies have characterized much of church theological, greater obedience among Gentiles has occurred.
The very opposite has happened to Jews who turn from Judaism to Christianity. Both in perception and reality, Jews who have aligned themselves with Christianity have decreased their level of observance of Torah.
What a dilemma! Gentiles who embrace Messiah move closer to Torah, while Jews who accept Yeshua as Messiah have historically moved away from Torah. If Paul were alive he would decry, “may it never be.” Yet, it has happened.
Jews who have fled Torah after accepting Messiah, and Christians who have encouraged them to do so, should both turn from this path that unwittingly testifies against Yeshua’s Messianic identity. Follow the logic—from a Jewish perspective if Yeshua is the Messiah then his Jewish followers would be zealous for the law and reach higher levels of observance. Without this Messianic sign of Torah observance seen in the lives of Messianic Jews, the Jewish community will not take Yeshua or his followers seriously.
Messianic Judaism, which honors Torah observance for Jews, is part of the answer. Still, Christians also should encourage the Jews in their midst to keep Torah.
Torah is not passé and deficient, yet relevant and sufficient for Jewish life today.
In Kesher 16, “Defining Messianic Judaism: Addendum 1: What Do We Mean By “Jewish”?” by Rabbi Russ Resnik, highlights the role of Messianic Judaism in distinction from the Church and delineates the role of Torah in Messianic Jewish life. See http://www.kesherjournal.com/Issue-16/Defining-Messianic-Judaism