United Church of God, ia
Portland and Hood River Oregon

Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

Was Jesus A Jew?

As a human being, Jesus Christ was born in a particular place and at a specific time in history. Although His Father was God (through the agency of the Holy Spirit), His mother was a Jewish woman named Mary. Her husband, Joseph, was Jesus' legal father or guardian. According to the genealogy from Mary, on His human side Christ is descended from Judah and King David (Luke 3:31, 33; compare Acts 2:30; 2 Timothy 2:8).

The biblical testimony is plain. The book of Hebrews tells us that "it is evident that our Lord arose from [the tribe of] Judah..." (7:14). The apostle John wrote that "He came to His own [the Jews], and his own did not receive Him" (John 1:11). Both a Samaritan woman and the Roman governor Pontius Pilate clearly recognized that Jesus was Jewish (John 4:9; 18:35).

We are further told that "the scepter shall not depart from Judah" (Genesis 49:10). The scepter symbolizes the promise of kingship and salvation. Jesus, the King of the Jews, is the Messiah. Christ (the Greek term for Messiah) is the ultimate fulfillment of the ruler mentioned prophetically in 1 Chronicles 5:2: "Yet Judah prevailed over his brothers, and from him came a ruler."

The Bible's final book refers to Jesus as "the Lion of the tribe of Judah" (Revelation 5:5). On Jesus' human side, David is called His father, meaning ancestor, in Luke 1:32. Thus He was certainly a Jew.

What ultimately counts, however, is that He is the Savior of all mankind because He died for all men, women, boys and girls regardless of their race or other ethnicity (John 3:15-17).

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