Someone suggested to me that Jesus was a Christian and not a Jew. This confused me to some degree. I realize He was born a Jew but His teachings were not consistent with the teachings of the Jewish leaders. Was Jesus a Jew?
Yes, Jesus was most certainly a Jew – in fact a Jew of the highest order if there was such as thing. He is not a “Christian” (oops, that ought to spur some emails). First, the “Jewish” question:
He was the King of Israel (Matt 27:42); the Judge of Israel (Micah 5:1); the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Rev 5:5); the High Priest (Heb 3:1); the offspring of David (Rev 22:16); and the seed of Abraham (Gal 3:16).
That’s just a taste of verses that declare His “Jewishness”, but it will suffice.
The reason that Jesus teaching seemed to conflict with the Jews at that time was two fold.
First, the Jews had become “religious”, turning true faith in God into an endless list of external rules and regulations that served more to elevate the “elite” and confound the average person.
Second, Jesus came to fulfill the Jewish law and religion, not to sustain it or join in with the ruling elite.
Jesus represented the end of what the Jewish religion had become, so naturally He was not exactly welcomed. Everything Jesus taught pointed out the hypocrisy and spiritual bankruptcy of the Jewish leadership.
Finally, Jesus is not a “Christian”. He is the CHRIST. “Christian” means “little Christs” or “to be like Christ”… in other words, Christians are those who imitate and follow Jesus Christ.
Obviously, Jesus doesn’t imitate and follow Himself. He’s not a Christian – He is Christ. He is Jewish, always will be.