Are You Messianic?

from Jul 08, 2010 Category: Articles

That depends. Do I have Messianic delusions? I certainly pray not, and if I do, then surely I must repent for them. Is my faith built around the biblical promise of the coming of Messiah, steeped in the wisdom of the Old Covenant? Of course. Am I part of that subsection of the Christian faith that holds it important to keep kosher, to keep Jewish feast days, who rest and worship Friday through Saturday evening? Nope, that’s not me.

Not long ago I was standing behind a table stacked to my eyeballs with copies of my books and teaching tapes, having spoken at a state homeschool convention. I was approached with just this question — is this material Messianic? Taken somewhat aback by such a question, I determined to do my part to take back that rather precious word. “Yes,” I said, “every word in here is Messianic. We aspire always to teach in submission to the Messiah. We seek always to proclaim the life, death, resurrection, ascension and return of the Messiah.” My inquisitor went away unhappy with me. And I with him.

I think it a good thing when we remember the grace of God in the lives of our forefathers. My ancestors are Scottish, and of late, that is, the past five hundred years, Presbyterian. God did a marvelous thing in bringing Reformation to Scotland. It still bears fruit to this day. I honor this history in the naming of my children, and from time to time, by wearing my kilt. I am not, however, a “Scottish Christian.” I am a Christian, as are all those who put their trust in the finished work of the Messiah. My identity is in the Messiah, not in the Hebrides. In like manner, the book of Hebrews is very clear that all our identity is bound up in Christ, not in being Hebrew. I am, as Peter reminds us, a part of a royal priesthood, a holy nation, along with everyone else who rests in Him.

There are, I trust, in the “Messianic” movement, those who treat their Jewish heritage, whether genetic or adopted, as I treat my Scottish heritage. They do not deny the catholicity of the faith simply by remembering what God has done for their fathers in the flesh. There may be some I fear, however that need to heed the warning of Hebrews, who are tempted to overshadow the glory of the Messiah by going back to the shadows. That such a temptation was all too real in the first century church ought to warn us that we are quite capable of falling into the same pit today.

My advice for those facing this temptation is the same counsel given by the author of Hebrews — look to the Messiah. He will show you precisely what Paul, saw, that all such things should be considered loss for Messiah (Philippians 3:7). Our citizenship, after all, is in heaven (Philippians 3:20). We are all Messianic, for we have all been purchased by Messiah.