I am not a Jew, not by modern definitions. I was not born into a Jewish home. I am not trying to be Jewish and I will never replace the Jews in God’s heart. I don’t find myself overly drawn to Jewish traditions. It is wonderful to be a Jew - but I was not made to be one, not by modern standards.
I was born of the Nations. I was called out from the Nations by a God who designed me to be from the Nations, speaking one of the languages of the Nations, so that I could be one of His multitude of witnesses in full view of the Nations. I make no apologies for having come from the Nations, nor should I! I also refuse to be defined by my having originated from the Nations.
What I am is grafted into the olive tree of Israel; I am not of the Jews, and no longer of the Gentiles. I am called to obey the Laws of the people of Israel, the Torah; they are the Laws of my King and as a Citizen of His Kingdom they are my inheritance. I am not called to walk in the ways of the Gentiles (paganism and humanism), or the laws of the Church (denominational doctrines and traditions), or according to the traditions of the elders.
The original Christians were Jews, according to the pre-Roman definition of what it meant to be a Jew – one who worships the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and follows His commandments. That they, as have I, accepted Yeshua as Messiah did not exclude them from the Jewish community at large for the majority of the first 400 years after the life of Yeshua.
I am not trying to be a Jew as defined by the Romans. I am not trying to be a Christian, as defined by the Romans. I am trying to be an Israelite. Because I came from the Nations, I will never look authentically Jewish to most Jews, although to the Gentile eye, it might appear so because I will do some of the things that the Jews do, the way that they do it, but other things I will do in a way that looks utterly foreign to one of my Jewish brothers or sisters. That's okay – it was that way during those times that predated the legislated Roman Orthodoxy as well.
I look this way because I am a person who was called out of the Nations, by the Master Yeshua the Messiah of Israel, to be a part of His people, obeying His Laws, and waiting for His return. I am doing my best, and it's going to look weird to people, but that's where patience and compassion and a desire for unity come into the picture. I have to obey the Torah of YHVH, but the way I obey it doesn't always have to look exactly the same as the way that you obey it.
Torah is a pursuit and a journey of a child with its Father. As each child is individually unique, so will our walk with the Father be unique. Same rules for all the children, born Jewish or born of the Nations, but at different points along the walk, we will be better and worse than others at figuring out how to live in obedience. It's absolutely okay for those of us from the Nations to look strange; we weren't raised like this. It's a struggle and a learning process. We are wild olive branches receiving nourishment from the root of Israel and learning to thrive. We will fail all the time; start expecting failure and realize that after 3500 years, we are all doing it wrong, but love spurs us on to try anyway. Faith tells us that YHVH greatly rejoices in our pursuit of obedience.
- “The Bridge: Crossing Over Into the Fullness of Covenant Life.” by Tyler Dawn Rosenquist