While millions of God's chosen people deny Jesus as Messiah, God remains faithful in His pursuit of His "treasured possession."
• Pray for healing from past wounds inflicted by Christians.
• Pray for courage to embrace the Gospel message despite the social consequences.
• Pray for Jews to understand that they can accept Jesus without denying their Jewish identity.
Number of adherents: 14 million
Date Founded: 2000-1500 BC
Holy Book/Text: Torah, Tanakh, Talmud, Midrash
Holy Sites: Jerusalem
Major Subgroups: Ashkenazi 77%, Oriental 16%,
Growth Rate: 0.9%
% of Growth, Conversion: 0.0%
% of Growth, Birth: 100.0%
Who They Worship: God of Abraham, Isaac, and
Place of Worship: synagogue
The Jews are “a people holy to the LORD your God… a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples… of the earth” (Deut 7:6). God’s love for the Jewish people is continually affirmed in both the Old and New Testaments.
Judaism traces its heritage to God’s promises to Abraham (ca. 2000-1500 BC) and his descendants that “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you,” (Gen. 12:2) and “I... will be your God, and you shall be my people” (Lev. 26:12). The Old Testament outlines the struggles of the Jewish people to obediently follow God and to obtain and keep the Promised Land. It also describes a history of persecution that has persisted through time.
Judaism is the original of the Abrahamic religions, providing the basis for Christianity and, to a certain extent, Islam. Judaism is usually ranked the sixth-largest world religion with approximately 14 million followers, less than 0.2% of the world population. Most are concentrated in Israel and the United States.
Emerging from a world entrenched in polytheism and human-behaving gods, Judaism was the first religion to officially recognize this timeless truth: there is only one God, and He is eternally good, just, and fair. The God of the Jews is creator, holy, righteous, all-present, all-powerful, all-knowing, merciful, loving, unique, and the only one worthy of man’s worship. Jews believe humans were made in God’s likeness with a dual nature, one that is heavenly and one that is earthly. Though humans can choose which nature to follow, God will hold them accountable for their actions.
As part of the covenantal relationship with God that sets Jews apart as God’s chosen people, Jews are to obey God’s laws and to be pillars of holiness and morality because of everything God has done for them and continues to do. Jews look forward to the Messianic age, when Messiah will reign as King over all the earth and they will dwell peacefully and securely in the Promised Land. This will be a time of peace and prosperity across all creation accompanied by the resurrection of the dead who had lived righteously.
Jews are the beloved brethren of Christians, loving and worshiping the same one true God, and Judaism and Christianity are both firmly based in the same Old Testament scriptures. The divergence comes over the one called Messiah. Judaism rejects Jesus as the Messiah, asserting that Jesus did not fulfill the Old Testament prophecies as the Jews expected. Jesus declared “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets... but to fulfill them” (Matt 5:17). When interrogating Jesus, the high priest demanded “‘Tell us if You are the Christ [Messiah], the Son of God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘It is as you said’” (Matt 26:63-64).
More Jews believe in Jesus today than in the past 2000 years combined, and while Judaism continues to grow at 0.91%, thousands of Jews are finding true peace in Jesus Christ. Despite a turbulent history with the Christian Church that has left many Jews resistant to Christian evangelism, God is healing wounds of the past and creating a new relationship of respect and communication between Christians and Jews. Thus avenues are opening that better reflect Jesus’ love for the Jews and that share the Gospel more lovingly and effectively.
God is also moving within the Jewish community. Followers of Judaism around the world are proclaiming Jesus as Messiah and Lord. Such Jews, many of whom regard themselves as Messianic Jews, follow Jesus Christ within their Jewish identity and culture but do not consider themselves to be converted to Christianity.
An estimated 20,000 Messianic Jews live in Israel, a dramatic increase from under 10,000 in the 1990s. Globally, there are roughly 1.7 million Messianic Jews another huge change from only 40,000 in the 1990s. God is faithfully guiding His beloved chosen people to the Truth of Jesus, the Messiah that He promised to them long ago.
"Remember these things, O Jacob,
and Israel, for you are my servant;
I formed you; you are my servant;
O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.
I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud
and your sins like mist;
return to me, for I have redeemed you."
I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,
But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.
And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
"Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors."
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. - John 14:14