We see as our vision in the command of Yeshua recorded in Matthew 28:18 ‘… go into all the world and make disciples, immersing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.’
Our first call in Israel was ‘first for the Jew, then to the gentile’ [Romans 1:17; 2:9: 2:10]. We also recognise that Paul noted that ‘the gentiles … have been grafted in among the others (the Jews) and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root’ [Romans 11:17] Our desire is still for the Jews to recognise the Messiah, but we see it is equally important for non Jews to share in the nourishing sap from the (Jewish) olive root and for disciples to obey everything that Yeshua has commanded. While Messianic Judaism presents the truth to our people that it is, indeed, Jewish to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, it does not answer the centuries-old Jewish riddle which goes like this: “how is it that Christians, who worship the God of Israel, follow someone they believe to be the Jewish Messiah and Saviour and study the Jewish Bible, deny that their faith is Jewish?
We have a heart for existing Jewish believers in established churches. The scriptures teach that they are in a position to bless the body because of their unique heritage. But for many years when a Jew has come to faith in his messiah Yeshua (Jesus) he or she has served in a gentile church that had little or no understanding of the Jewishness of the faith and the unique place of the Jewish believer. The salvation of a Jewish believer is assured but we seek for them to be released to fulfil their ancient calling and enabled to bless the fellowship of which they are a part.
Over the past few years there has been a growing awareness in many churches of the Jewish roots of their faith. Because of the service of David and Jennie as Messianic leaders in a Hebrew speaking Israeli congregation, Beit Ezra is equipped to serve those churches who are seeking the balance between the historical rejection of anything Jewish being seen as ‘Judaising’ and a blind acceptance of some of the extreme elements within what is labelled as Messianic Judaism.
Our strategy is for congregations, starting with Beit Ezra in Plymouth, to grow and become a place that will be welcoming for Jewish enquirers and believers as a non threatening congregation that recognises and encourages a full expression of their Jewish heritage.
We partner as equals with gentile believers, called as gentiles to demonstrate the purpose of God as ‘Jew and gentile together’ (Romans 1:16) and so provoke the Jew to jealousy, (Romans 11:11) as God, in his mercy, has shared the blessings of Israel with the gentiles.
We see the Jewish call of ‘tikkun olam’, or’ repairing the world’ rooted throughout the scriptures.
Beit Ezra seeks to work this out by an involvement in many areas of community service. As this call is equally being exercised by the church, even when the call has not been identified as Jewish, we work as part of the wider church in the community.
First the vision, then the strategy, then the plan. Watch this space!
We function in Plymouth UK as ‘Beit Ezra Messianic congregation’. We see ourselves as part of the wider church in Plymouth, and we are listed on the Churches Together in Plymouth website. We are ordained by, and accountable to Tikkun International in Israel and are members of the International Fellowship of Messianic congregations and synagogues (IAMCS).
As followers of the messiah we can only put into practice the question ‘What would Jesus do?’ (WWJD) if we explore ‘What did Yeshua do?’ (WDYD) You are welcomed to visit and discover together the Jewish roots of our faith in a relaxed setting.
We take into account that the messianic writings (NT) were written by Jews out of a Jewish culture through a Jewish perspective and primarily addressed to a Jewish audience – there were no “Christians” around at that time and the gentile converts were friends of the Jewish synagogue.
We do not require or encourage separation from existing congregations or commitments. There is only one ekklesia (church) in Plymouth.