A casual read through the Bible will show that Jesus was sent by God for all of humanity, but especially for Jewish people. We learn the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:1–17) and see that he was not only Jewish but a descendent of both David and Abraham. In Matthew 10:6–7, we read that Jesus came for the Jewish people and instructed his disciples to “go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel…saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” Even if you don’t know much about his time on earth or what he said and taught, just reading of how he treated people with love and kindness and stood up for justice and what is right shows that Jesus was an advocate and a friend for Jewish people.
What Makes Jesus Different?
During His ministry, Jesus healed the sick, treated women with dignity and respect, spoke up for those who had no voice, and called out the hypocrisy and unfairness in both the religious and political leadership of his day. If you were alive in his day, he would have treated you with a unique love and care. However, history shows that there have been many people who have done similar things as Jesus did. There have been other champions of the people whose words and actions impacted society for the good. Some of them are considered to be revolutionary and developed a tremendous and well-deserved following and a prominent place in human history.
If so, what is so unique about Jesus? With all the other great people to follow, how can you know that Jesus is the One for you? The best way to answer this question is looking in the Hebrew Scriptures and in particular what the prophets said about Jesus. In Isaiah 7:14, the Prophet Isaiah said, “The Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel” (which means God with us). And in Isaiah 9:6, he said, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us.”
These two verses are messianic prophecies and show that God himself was going to do something for the Jewish people and all of humanity: He was going to give his son to us. This son was going to be born on earth and be the fulfillment of the messianic hope that the Jewish people had for centuries.
The One Promised by God
These verses in Isaiah were confirmed in the New Testament in the book of Luke. In the first chapter, we read the dialogue between the angel Gabriel and Miriam, a young Jewish girl who was also a virgin. Gabriel says, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus” (Luke 1:31). In Hebrew, the name Jesus is Yeshua and means “salvation.” He was named Yeshua because he was to save the people from their sins. Soon after this encounter, we read about an elderly Jewish man named Simeon who was promised by God that he would see the Messiah before he died (Luke 2:25–35). When Mary presented Jesus to him, he celebrated that the child would be “a light of revelation to the gentiles and the glory of Your people Israel” (Luke 2:32). At long last Simeon saw with his own eyes the One that God promised who was to come not just for the Jewish people, but for all of humanity.
Taking some time to explore the Bible will show you that there are many more messianic prophecies fulfilled by the life of Jesus. In fact, the Hebrew Scriptures contain stories of the Jewish people who looked to answer this very question. Throughout the history of the Jewish people there has been a hope, longing, and an expectation that someday God would provide the One for them. And as the New Testament shows, God did this and provided his Son, Jesus, for the Jewish people.
What’s Missing in My Life?
Another good question to ask yourself is, “Am I complete without Jesus?” Is there perhaps something missing from your life that only Jesus can provide? Perhaps it is a lack of peace (or true shalom). Perhaps it is a lack of certainty of what is going on in this world. Maybe it is healing (physical, emotional, relational) that you need. Or perhaps you are weighed down by wrong choices and a sense of guilt for things you have done and don’t see a way things can get better.
If this is you, then know you are not alone. And know that the Bible is full of stories of people who have been in the same situation and looked for a person to help them. And when they looked and saw who Jesus was and what he did, they came to believe that Jesus was for them and were made complete once they did. And after you open the Bible and examine these stories, perhaps you will come to the same conclusion they did. That not only is Jesus for you, but he is the One for you.