My father became a believer in Yeshua as the Messiah while attending Brigham Young University in Hawaii. Thats right, a Jew, attending a Mormon University. He loved to surf and sail and the North Shore of Oahu ain’t bad!
A Christian pastor who wasn’t Jewish began to share with him a few versus here and there about the Jewish Messiah from the Old Testament or as we would call it the Tenach “TNK”. From here my father began to ask questions and before long was convinced that the Bible was the truth, and that Jesus/Yeshua was the promised Messiah that the Jewish people have so awaited.
This pastor was doing something which is central to sharing the Gospel. He was provoking a Jew to jealousy. My father became jealous of this man’s love, his heart, his truth. So what about the title of this article? What is this so called missing link?
The fact is that the First Apologists were all Jews. Shaul was schooled in Philosophy, Pharisaic Law, and undoubtedly had the Torah memorized with most likely other books in the hebrew scriptures as well. The topic of discussion was not if God existed, but what the qualifications for the Messiah were, when he had to come, and if Yeshua was in fact the right guy.
Additionally Paul lays out an example of order to which the gospel is to be taken to the world. He first verbally writes this order down, and then provides a physical example by living out exactly what he teaches. Lets take a walk in his footsteps for a moment.
In Romans the 1st chapter verse 16 Paul writes. “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes; to the Jew first and also the Greek.” This is a powerful statement which many argue was only meant for the first century. After all, one couldn’t be expected to take the Gospel to the Jewish people first and foremost in this day and age, that would be discriminatory!
Let us take a closer look at this verse. The two clauses in this passage are linked in the prophetic perfect tense. Which means the following. If the Gospel is REMAINS the power of God unto Salvation, than the Gospel REMAINS to the Jew first. Think about that for a moment. If your salvation is still bound in the power of the Gospel, than you should also be taking the Gospel to the Jewish people in what ever manner you are able.
Let us further examine the word for “first” in the Greek. It is the word Proton, which means first in order and first in importance. But why would this be? We must look at the origins of the promised New Covenant and the Messiah himself. You see in Jeremiah 31:31 a new everlasting covenant was promised. Promised to the nation of Israel, the Jewish people. The Messiah who is the physical embodiment of the Shekinah Glory of God, was promised to the Nation of Israel, a Son of David to reign on David’s throne forever and be the righteous remnant of ONE who would put an end to transgression. This is why the Gospel, the good news that the Jewish Messiah has come must go to the Jewish people first. Because HE is the Jewish messiah promised to the Jewish Nation of Israel.
When one reads through the book of Acts. At every single stop Paul makes, he first goes to the Jewish population. Even when he returns to a city such as Ephesus, he again goes first to reason with the Jews in the Synagogue, even though it was a place he had already been. All of this while Paul is an “Apostle to the Gentiles” (Romans 11).
Here are the references of Paul going first to the Jew.
Acts 13:4-5; 13:14; 14:1; 16:11; 17:1-4, 10-14, 16-17, 18:4, 18:19, 19:8
So the missing link in Apologetics is the ability to present the Jewish Messiah to the Jewish people. We have an overwhelming amount of material which argues for the existence of God from the cosmos, apparent design, complexity and fine tuning of the universe. We have amazing work done on scriptural reliability. We have scholars dedicated to the evidence of the resurrection of Yeshua. All great areas of study and reasons to believe, yet they over look one simple but crucial fact. It is estimated that less than .01 percent of all missions go to the Jewish people. Because of this very few Churches give to Jewish missions and certainly last on the list is training people to answer the objections of the Jewish people to the claims that Jesus is the Messiah. We have amazing work done by Jewish believers such as Dr. Michael Brown on the Jewish Objection to Jesus, yet few know of or care of such resources. To be frank, who needs such a resource when there is no desire to use it.
There is a great chasm between the world of Apologetics and the Mandate of taking the good news that the the Jewish Messiah has come to the nation of Israel, both as a people and a modern state. One does not have to feel called to give to Jewish Missions. One does not need to feel called go to the Jewish people. We have a mandate to go to the Jewish people with their Messiah, and where there is a mandate, no call is necessary.
Friends, the missing link exists, because the Gap is not recognized. Scripture is clear that some day the fullness of the Gentiles will come in and all Israel will be saved. You happy Goy, you gentiles who God graciously grafted into the saving work of the Jewish messiah have an incredible role to play. You are to provoke the Jewish people to jealously. A jealously of your love for them, for the Jewish Messiah, and the truth that He has come and will come again. Pray for the salvation of the Jewish people. Act on the mandate to take the good news to the Jewish people. Return the favor to a people who gave the scriptures and Messiah to the world.