Dan Juster

Tikkun International & Restoration From Zion
"Yeshua wept over Jerusalem before giving this prophecy."

Even a brief overview of the history of the Jewish people reveals a disproportionate amount of suffering and misfortune. As God's covenantal people, Abraham's descendants experienced times of prosperity and blessing yet there were also long periods when they were expelled from the land, persecuted and seemingly abandoned by God. The question is why?

Redemption Through Faithfulness

One possible answer is that Jewish suffering is a product of faithfulness to the covenants of God with Israel. "... the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me" (Psalms 69:9). Practically speaking, their distinct way of life differentiated Jews from their surrounding communities and made them easy targets for attack. We can see the response of those communities in the appalling history of institutional, Christian anti-Semitism for the better part of 2000 years - including atrocities committed in the Inquisitions and the crusades and incitement by Catholic and Protestant leaders. (For more details, see Mike Brown's book, Our Hands are Stained with Blood and other similar documentation.) This certainly makes coming to faith in Yeshua very challenging for Jews.

Loss of Divine Protection

Another premise is that Jewish suffering also stems from having lost God's full protection because of rejecting Yeshua, even before there was Church anti-semitism.

This is a hard article to write. There is a great tendency in Jewish circles and in pro-Jewish Christian circles, to argue that Jewish suffering has no relationship to the Jewish rejection of Yeshua in the first century. This is the official view of the Roman Catholic Church today. A significant number of Messianic Jewish leaders also argue that Jewish suffering after the first century has no relationship to the rejection of Yeshua.

However, the New Covenant Scriptures are very clear that the testimony of Yeshua's life, death and resurrection together with the apostolic witness was so widespread that the first century generation of Jewish leaders in Israel were without excuse. A corporate decision not to follow Yeshua was made by the rulers of Israel. Although multitudes of our people at that time did warmly embrace Him (Acts 21:20), yet still the community decision was determinative and opened the door to the zealot rebellion against Rome and the terrible destruction of Jerusalem.

"If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace, but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation" (Luke 19:42-43). Yeshua wept over Jerusalem before giving this prophecy.

"Look your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord'" (Matthew 23:38-39). This text is looking to a corporate response of the leaders, for Jerusalem represents the leadership and it is addressed to them. I think it implies that we will need to have a representative leadership expressing faith in Yeshua in Jerusalem before He returns.

The Early Rabbinic Trajectory

The judgement of the Sanhedrin against Yeshua was confirmed by the newly formed Rabbinic community in Israel subsequent to the fall of Jerusalem. Their teaching set a trajectory away from belief in Yeshua. So though not always consciously, generations of Jewish people have walked in the pattern set by that leadership. Certainly the situation has been greatly compounded by Anti-Semitism that mitigates the initial Jewish responsibility over the centuries. Yet, that responsibility nevertheless remains because the trajectory began before Christian Anti-Semitism, so that only a generation of Jewish leadership that repudiates that stance can be completely delivered from its ongoing consequences.

In Conclusion

So in my view, Jewish suffering is due to their covenant faithfulness and their position as bearing God's redemptive purposes in the earth. However, Jewish suffering is also due to being such a covenant people while having lost the full protections promised in the Torah so that a door is now left open for terrible demonic attacks (though suffering persecution for the truth is the lot of all God's people). The Institutional Church is also complicit since they should have loved, prayed for and protected the Jewish people. This is the difficult and paradoxical situation of our people and our deliverance will come when we turn to Yeshua. This is why we call on both the Church and the Jewish people to repent.

By Daniel Juster
Dan Juster is on the board of Tikkun International and oversees the Tikkun America network of congregations. Donate to Restoration from Zion.
Let us know what you think - why not comment to this article. The authors of these articles are often involved in intense ministry and are thus unable to respond to most comments. As is normal with print and online magazines, Tikkun reserves the right to publish only those comments we feel are edifying in tone and content.
Name Display my name ?
Yes No
Email Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comments.
05:43 03Dec17 Natalie Brown -
Your thoughts seem pointedy and decidedy correct. I believe what remains is for ALL believers to pray ... not only that the spiritual eyes and ears of Jews who do not yet believe be opened, but that those who already believe, whether Messianic or Christian, would have their "pharaseeic" eyes and ears opened, would humble themselves and pray, asking for forgiveness, for not seeing and knowing, what they wouldn't see, know and understand; to come alongside our brothers and sisters who struggle with their 'head truths' vs 'heart/spiritual' truths, kneel together, allow Yah to cause us to sense HIS heart and love for us, so we can love each other back into His presence, His love and His peace. Then, and ONLY then, I believe, will we ALL be where we need to be, spiritually speaking, regardless to what initially caused us to veer.

09:09 03Dec17 Anon -
This such a powerful message that I have never heard.

12:41 03Dec17 Clarence Carey -
Israel/Jewish suffering is for one reason and and one reason only! Validation of Torah. Duet 28:15-68 Leviticus 26. Period! How many times did HaShem say He would bring the Gentile nations against ISRAEL for her spiritual adultery? The final result of that rebellion was A.D.70. Abraham's spiritual seed of faith, Jew and Gentile, are the people of G-D. There are no more physical biological children of God. Abraham had FAITH! That's how he obtained his righteousness. FAITH! How do we obtain righteousness? FAITH in TORAH? No, faith in YESHUA.

21:24 05Dec15 Wayne D. Fleming -
This is a powerful and sound article. A combination of being attacked for being God's covenant people in conjunction with a history of disobedience in serving idols and mingling with pagan nations had contributed to the dispersion of God's chosen people.Thanks and praise God for the Aliyah and his promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to bring restoration back to this nation.

05:38 20Jan18 Angie Stockamp -
I appreciate your thoughtful, careful, and balanced article.

Also in this issue of the newsletter:
Asher Intrater: Praying for Government Leaders
Eitan Shishkoff: Returning and Rebuilding
Guy Cohen: I.D.Entity
Michael Klimov: Oasis Media
Asher Intrater: Healing Father Wounds
Joni Koski: Welcoming the King of Glory
Sarah Singerman: Approaching the New Middle East