The Jewish people and the Judaic faith have been around for approximately 4000 years, beginning with the biblical patriarch Abraham, and God’s promise to make his descendants a great nation. Christianity emerged about 1500 years later, following the ministry, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as the apostles began their ministries resulting in the rise of the early church. Both faiths are centered around the same God, so why is it so hard for these two sibling faiths to get along? AC Producer and author Sheryl Young offers some insight into that question in her book What Every Christian Should Know About the Jewish People: Improving the Church’s Relationship with God’s Original Chosen Nation.
Sheryl has been a Jewish believer in Jesus for over twenty years. In a world of renewed anti-Semitism, and a growing tide of anti-Christian sentiment, she suggests that this is no time for Christians and their Jewish counterparts to be at odds with one another. This should be a time for building bridges between these two historic faiths, creating solidarity between Jewish people and Christians. We all need to come together and work in concert during a time when persecution may lie ahead for both the Christian and the Jew. We must stand together.
What Every Christian Should Know About the Jewish People aims to help the Christian gain a better understanding of the their Jewish counterparts. Sheryl takes the reader inside the Jewish faith, customs and traditions. The reader also learns how the Jewish holidays originated, and how they are observed today (Sheryl even shares some of her family’s favorite holiday recipes). Young also tackles several important questions such as: What makes a person “Jewish” (or “Christian,” for that matter)? Why does Israel deserve to exist? Or, do Jewish people really need to be “converted”? (Sheryl offers a very interesting take on that one)
Young devotes a section of her book to understanding several reasons why Jewish people find it difficult to accept Jesus as the Messiah, ranging from past persecution of the Jews to their being wrongly blamed for the crucifixion of Christ. Another section examines the scriptures as truth, how the Old Testament points to the New Testament (more specifically, to Jesus), and how the OT and NT truly mesh together. In addition, Young examines many of the OT prophecies regarding the Messiah, and how Jesus fulfilled those prophecies. She also shares with the reader her own testimony of how she came to accept Jesus as the Messiah, and as her Savior.
What Every Christian Should Know About the Jewish People is a fascinating read, which I recommend for any Christian, or for any non-believer who is curious about Judaism and/or Christianity. Sheryl has done an excellent job of helping those of us Christians who did not from come a Jewish background to better understand God’s original Chosen People, who today are still His Chosen. This is no time for sibling rivalry between Christians and Jews. With a time of persecution against members of both faiths awaiting around the corner, this is a time when we should be seeking some common ground and standing to weather the coming trials together. Sheryl’s book offers some great steps in moving towards that goal.