Finding Yeshua

searching-300x225It’s been forty years since I became a follower of Yeshua.  I did not become His follower because of someone’s brilliant argument, or because of the literature people gave me to read, or because of the many prophecies people showed me in the Bible.  When people showed me their literature, or gave me their arguments, I simply shrugged it off and said, “so what?”

What made the difference for me was seeing Yeshua in the lives of my friends.  I encountered Him as he lived His life in the lives of His people. When I saw him through their actions, and their kindness, it made me want to know Him.  Introducing people to Yeshua is not about making the best intellectual argument, or presenting irrefutable proof, because arguments and proofs are only as good as they are until the next argument comes along.  People who accept Yeshua based on argument tend to treat Him as a philosophical concept, rather than as a living person.

An argument can be compelling, but not nearly as compelling as Yeshua Himself.  When I encountered Him, I wanted to know Him.  I wanted Him in my life.  I wanted people to see Yeshua when they see me.

I have met many people who are theological hacks.  They want to be the mouth of God, preaching to people, telling them what they should and shouldn’t do.  I think we have too many of those people around.  We need more people who show the love of God through their actions more than just their words.  They need to become the hands of God, showing kindness to a hurting world, not by flapping their jaws in an already too noisy world.

When I meet people, I observe their behavior; not just how they carry themselves ritually or religiously, but their interactions with others.  I long to see Yeshua in other people.  I find it difficult to see Yeshua in people who talk about God, but treat people like crap for the sake of “truth,” or right theology.  There is no excuse for bad behavior.

It’s true that everyone can have a bad day, or even a bad season, but even so, at some point, I should be able to see kindness in people.  When people are harsh, and judgmental for the sake of heaven, they are not representing Heaven.  Yeshua was kind and caring, not just to the people who agreed with him, but to people who were hurting and in need.  I find myself searching desperately in people who present themselves as Yeshua’s people for His presence, but sometimes all I see is their anger and opinions, and not His love.

When I consider hate groups, like the “Westboro Baptist Church,” that literally hate people in “Jesus’ Name,” I can’t help but think what a profanity they are.  There is nothing of Yeshua in them.  They spread hate while claiming to represent the truth.  This gross misrepresentation of God, or at least, God’s interests, is nothing new.  Throughout history, people have hidden behind religion as an excuse to make war and murder others in the Name of Yeshua.  The long dark history of so-called, “Christian” anti-Semitism is evidence of this.  It did not reflect the love of God, or the will of God.  You can’t kill people or hate people for the Love of God.  Its like having intercourse to protect virginity.

I want people to see Yeshua in me, just as I first encountered Him in others, and still do.   That will only happen as I treat people as He would treat them; with kindness, grace, and mercy.  When he looked at people, he had compassion on them.  The only ones he got angry with, were the people with religious axes to grind.  It is my hope to be a bearer of His kindness and mercy, that people may encounter Yeshua in me, that they might be blessed.

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18 thoughts on “Finding Yeshua

  1. Yes, we have an issue of Greek vs. Hebrew thinking. Christian apologists employ the tactics of pagan Greek philosophers – which are useful when it comes to the scientific method, but useless when it comes to describing what is beyond the reaches of this world and our understanding.

    I would add that Westboro Baptist Church is not really a church. Google, “Addicted to Hate.” It was just one man’s way of controlling his family by creating a cult, instilling fear in his cult members and disgust by the outside world to validate his teachings.

  2. I found you a couple of weeks ago, and am very attracted to your attitude about the world. I am looking forward to reading more, and it would be awesome if G-d would find someone like you for me. Amen.

  3. Chaya, it is presumptuous of you to assume your path has not been as “smooth” as mine. You really have no idea how difficult and painful my path has been. I just don’t make a habit of whining about it. Everyone has their own path, and their own pain. I also don’t appreciate your implication that I have been less than honest. I don’t make assumptions about you, and would appreciate the same consideration.

    • Dr. Schiffman, please forgive me, as I didn’t mean to imply that my path has been more difficult in actuality than yours or that your were dishonest. I only know what I read, and what you have expressed. It is my choice to be open about things, and if someone else chooses to be more reserved and circumspect, that is their business.

      But if you want to sell a product or gain marketshare, you don’t reveal the flaws in your product or the industry itself. And many claim that all the trouble is with the other camp, while their camp is demonstrably better. The MessyWorld battles are no different from MLM scams, where they admit the problems but claim only the other lines are responsible. I can’t say I wouldn’t do the same thing if faced with the cognitive dissonance of financial and social pressure. Maybe if you whined a bit, at least new customers would have the option of the same sort of informed consent one is required by law to receive for medical treatment.

      But you have validated for me how toxic the world of religion is; well, at least for myself. Perhaps that is why the competition is so fierce; you aren’t attracting any new customers.

      • Claire, the world of human beings is toxic. There are good people and not so good people. Religion is not the issue; human decency is. I present myself as I see myself. I’m not trying to “attract new customers.” I just try to express myself as best I can. What others read into that is up to them. As I have stated in my blog, I have met the worst of people, as well as the best. I try to emulate the good, as I understand good to be. The issue is not what happens to you as much as how you respond to it. I seek the good. Otherwise life is too depressing, and thats not the way I want to live.

  4. Great blog rabbi. And thanks to James Pyles who put a link to it on his Morning Meditations. You are exactly right. I came to know Yeshua by observing people who said they followed Him. A few in particular showed me His mercy and kindness when i didn’t deserve it at all without talking about Him a lot. That’s what got my attention. I reminds me of the saying (I don’t emember who said it), “preach the gospel and if necessary, use words”.

  5. Chaya, the fact that you don’t “get it” is not at all unusual. Rabbi Schiffman doesn’t need you or me, or anyone, for that matter, to judge or evaluate him. Your snide insinuation that he is in any way not honest is repugnant to me. I have known Rabbi Schiffman for some 20 years, more or less, and I can assure you he is not selling anything, or trying to “attract new customers.” He attracts new customers left and right, but the reason you don’t know that is that since that isn’t his primary goal, he doesn’t advertise his results. He is a very well educated and extraordinarily wise man, who has as close a relationship with our God and is as Yeshua-like as any man I have met. He has suffered in his life things you would not even imagine, and it is that relationship that has enabled him to survive.

    Don’t try to teach or instruct this man; try to watch and learn from him.

    • David ben Avraham: I don’t know you or anything about you, so why should I listen to your pronouncements? Why do you believe you have the right to instruct me or anyone else? I cannot watch or learn from Dr. Schiffman, since all I know of him is a blog that he occasionally posts to. Since you don’t know anything about me, why do you suddenly know what is best?

      I assume when a person allows comments on their blog, it is because they desire them.

      You must not possess very good reading comprehension, because I believe Dr. Schiffman understood that I was not in any way accusing him of selling a product or seeking to attract new customers, but that this is what the Evangelical world, including MessyWorld does, and MessyWorld is 90%+ non-Jewish. But you have helped validate my decision to keep MessyWorld and its corruption, deceit and manipulation at a distance.

      • I am not going to participate in an insulting contest. I do, however, resent your associating me with “MessyWorld,” whatever that is. I am Jewish, just like RABBI Schiffman is, and I guess I just don’t understand your thought processes. Maybe you need to be talking to a therapist, rather than interfering here.

        Good bye, you may have the last insult.

      • Both my parents are Jewish, my husband is Jewish and my children are Jewish – so I am a real Jew. I haven’t insulted anyone, but you seem to be doing a lot of insulting yourself.

        Interesting how you highly recommend Dr. Shiffman as a role model, and I don’t know the man personally, so I won’t offer any comment on that account. But if you present yourself as an example of his mentorship, it is not a very good advertisement. I understand that Dr. Shiffman was born to Jewish parents, however, most people who use fake Hebraic sounding names are fake Jews. I am using my real Hebrew name that I was given when named at the synagogue. David, you may be genetically Jewish; I don’t know. But you sound more like a Derek Leman style fake Jew, who is so thrilled to be allowed honorary Jewish status in return for puppy dog servitude. So please continue to defend your idol across social media.

        I coined the term, “MessyWorld,” because I liked it better than, “Messyantics,” It refers to the Messianic World that is now 95% gentile, and there is no longer any such thing as Messianic Judaism. My understanding is that if a person makes a blog post, and has a comment feature, they desire comments. If they are so touchy that they or their fans can’t take the heat, then the comment feature can be disabled, as I understand is occurring in the heat of your silly battles.

        I noticed RABBI was capitalized, and assume this has some meaning? Am I expected to kowtow before the superior knowledge of one who has obtained smicha via an online, unaccredited source, who likely doesn’t have 10% of the education a typical Orthodox, Conservative or Reform rabbi would hold?

        But I am impressed, as you must have a lot of experience with therapists to diagnose my need for therapy based upon a blog comment.

  6. Claire, my Smicha is not as you so nastily mischaracterized, but I won’t defend myself to you. I have put up with your snide and unkind references out of patience. If you can’t be civil or show common courtesy, please go bother someone else. I don’t care to engaged with people who choose to be unkind.

    • i am so blessed by your Blogs thank you. I am a born again, blood wash believer , I follow all the Jewish laws and ways, as a Christian I don’t fit into the Christian ways of doing or serving G-d . I do not celebrate Christmas, Easter or any other pagan celebrations and I do not go for Worship on a Sunday as that is not the true Sabbath day I am looking for a place of worship and where I can grow.i would like to know if i would be excepted as a Messianic Jew as i do Love Yeshua with all of me. I do not the least want to impose on your faith. If it is prohibited for a Christian to become a Messianic Jew I do understand and respect that.Rabbi may you be blessed and may the favor of El rest on your life.

    • Amen Dr.once again great blog and insight.You are not just speaking about MJ,this speaks on just plain human dignity.I am truly convinced that people see how you are before they hear what you are about to say.Blessings always.

  7. I especially liked this part:

    “When I meet people, I observe their behavior; not just how they carry themselves ritually or religiously, but their interactions with others. I long to see Yeshua in other people. I find it difficult to see Yeshua in people who talk about God, but treat people like crap for the sake of “truth,” or right theology. There is no excuse for bad behavior.”

    Well done Dr Schiffman, well done!

  8. Amen Dr.once again great blog and insight.You are not just speaking about MJ,this speaks on just plain human dignity.I am truly convinced that people see how you are before they hear what you are about to say.Blessings always.

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