Part 13 of 17.
I had begun to feel that the Torah was where the answers were at. A few well-timed Jewish documentaries on the History Channel added to my growing doubt about Jesus being the real Messiah. Along came a young man on Facebook who seemed to smell my moment of weakness and pounce on it with a website written solely to bring Christians to the correct understanding about Jesus – which was, of course, completely different to the one they all currently had.
He showed me verses in the Prophets that the Christians had deliberately mis-translated to make Jesus appear more like the Messiah. For example Isaiah 7:14
“A virgin will conceive and bring forth a son”
“A young woman will conceive and bring forth a son”.
That made me stumble a little. It was kind of a big thing, the whole Mary being a Virgin and Jesus being conceived of the Holy Spirit. If that was not true, then how much else of the story had also been falsified to push whatever agenda this new sect called “Christians” had?
But then Yosef made the mistake of delving into the Gospels, and trying to trip me up with the so-called discrepancies between them. He had not counted on three years of Pentecostal Bible College, and when he tried to tell me that the Nativity story, regarding the census, was completely wrong because Joseph had a house in Bethlehem, as was “clearly” stated in Matthew 2:11
“..when they had come into the house”
.. really? I had spent an entire term on matching and patching the three historical Gospels and was confident that his argument was flawed, based on semantics and fuelled by an anger that would poke holes in the strongest testimony, whether weakness existed or not.
That incident made me reconsider my horror over the Isaiah 7:14 debacle, and begin to doubt this young man’s stance in its entirety. And then I realised what it actually was that I was dabbling in: If I was seriously considering Judaism as being the “True” religion of God, then that meant that I was about to deny Jesus Christ as Son of God and Saviour. That was a very dangerous thing. If I was wrong, then I would be throwing away my salvation.
But if I was right, I would be gaining the Truth. I stepped back and looked at the Big Picture. Judaism was telling me that everything I had studied in the Old Testament was the entirety of the Bible. The Meshiah was still yet to come. Those who believed that Jesus of Nazareth was the Meshiah were deceived. That meant that 33% of the entire world population were deceived.
I had to go to a website called adherents.com to look up that statistic. And while I was there, I noted that Judaism accounted for less than 1% of the world population; 0.22% to be exact. I felt similar to the way I felt when trying to research the Union of Chanochian Netzarim Yisraelites – even though this was the oldest and most established religion in the world, the number of adherents today, in other words the percentage that “held to the truth” during the rise of Christianity, was miniscule. This was a very small group of people that was claiming to know the Truth about God that He had let the vast, vast majority of the population of the world, including many millions of people who loved Him and sought Him fervently, blindly miss.
Something major happened in history 2000 years ago. Something so major that it literally stopped time – the entire world today based their calendar on how many years it had been since Jesus’ birth. Could something so major, with such far-reaching ramifications, really be just the work of one crazy man who preached a few sermons and brainwashed a few people into thinking that he was the Messiah? That “few people” grew very quickly, and very miraculously, to engulf the whole world. It would take some stretching of my faith to believe that all of this was just a ploy to test the faith of the Israelites.
I recognised that I was at a point where I had to make a decision: to reject the entire concept of Jesus being the Christ; or to reject the claims of a minority group whose arguments, as much as I had seen of them, were easily debunked by one as uneducated as myself. I could not bring myself to reject Jesus Christ. I had seen and studied too much of Him to believe that He was just another false Messiah.
Judaism was dismissed with relative ease.
Part 14 will be published tomorrow.