Jesus Practiced & Taught Judaism
This week we asked the question: Can I follow Jesus and accept other religious ideologies outside of Christianity?
If you missed the sermon, you can watch it back here.
As a Jesus Follower, I choose to follow who Jesus was and the way Jesus lived. As a Jesus Follower, I also recognize that Jesus was Jewish. He practiced all of the teachings and practices of Judaism, while challenging the heart behind some of the religious rituals and ideologies. Although he devotedly practiced Judaism and was a faithful Jewish teacher of religious law, Jesus taught in a very different way. He taught more of the way we should live rather than the theological nuances of the law. Jesus taught beyond the people's knowledge of Scripture and observance of religious law; he was concerned about who his followers were becoming. He taught that if we love God and love people, we can accomplish all of God's law and purpose for humanity. That's a great way to measure if you should let go of an outside belief or practice: Does it cause me to love God and love people more? If not, let go of it. This concept of loving God and loving people doesn't just show up in Christianity, but also in Judaism and Islam. Does that mean we follow all three religions? That would be impossible by design, but it does reveal that there are some absolute truths that are so obvious, they are the building blocks for any faith. I would argue that any teaching of Jesus that appears in other religions affirms and strengthens my confidence in following Jesus rather than shading my faith. As a follower of Jesus, I choose to follow beliefs and practices that cause me to live like Jesus: loving God and loving people, regardless of where else they show up in other religions of the world. After all, there's no such thing as real truth that doesn't point back to God, who is the very sustainer of truth itself.
Realizing that You are the source of all truth, give me discernment to let go of things that don't cause me to love You and love people more, and take hold of the things that do.
Posted on Tue, September 10, 2019
by Aaron Brewer