Connecting Gentile and Jew
Rabbi Jason Sobel shows us how to take our full inheritance in Jesus
The following is an adaptation of the article that first appeared in Champions Vol. III.
You have a unique journey with Christ, partly due to your background. Can you tell us how you came to know Jesus?
Although I’d always known who Jesus was, growing up in a Jewish family, I never gave much thought to Him — until after I started working in the music industry in New York. I saw the prestige of successful, wealthy musicians. But deep in my soul, I knew there had to be more to life. So I began seeking the “more” by going to synagogue, and meeting with my Rabbi.
One evening, when I was meditating in my room, Yeshua (Jesus) gave me exactly what I was looking for. Suddenly, I began to shake under the power of heaven and was taken up to heaven. Jesus appeared to me and told me, “Many are called but few are chosen.” In that moment He told me that I was chosen and I knew that I was called to serve Him.
But I had no idea how to apply this to my life. I grew up in a Jewish home, and we’d lost most of our family in the Holocaust. Judaism was so central to my identity. But Jews didn’t believe in Jesus, so what could this encounter mean?
“It’s my goal… to equip people to see the Bible in high definition and experience deep transformation along the way.”
A few weeks later, God spoke to me again. My best friend called me one day and asked, “Jason, can you tell the difference between the Old and New Testament?” Of course I could! I grew up going to Hebrew school and synagogue!
Boy, was I wrong. My friend proceeded to read Isaiah 53, which prophecies the coming of Yeshua. I told him this passage must be from the New Testament — since it was about Jesus!
When I realized I was wrong, I became jealous for a deeper knowledge of the Word. I started to see how rich and deep the Old Testament was, and how much the New Testament reflected its Jewish roots. I never wanted to settle again for a spiritual life that lacked power, and I was determined to help others take hold of their full inheritance in Jesus.
How did your Jewish roots impact your spiritual journey?
Growing up in a Jewish family played such a powerful role in forming my identity and informing my ministry. I loved celebrating Sabbath and all the Jewish holidays, learning to say the Jewish prayers, and praying in Hebrew.
Judaism’s connection to the past was deeply meaningful to me, but I also had no idea that it was connected to something else. When I came to know Messiah, I realized that everything I had done as a child had such profound spiritual significance.
“To me, looking at the New Testament in its historical and spiritual context of Judaism is one of the most powerful tools for enriching our spiritual lives.”
My faith in Yeshua actually gave me a greater appreciation for my culture and heritage, and ultimately made me a better Jew — and, my Jewish faith informed my understanding of Messiah Jesus.
It’s my goal to empower others, no matter what their spiritual background, in the same way — to equip people to see the Bible in high definition and experience deep transformation along the way.
To me, looking at the New Testament in its historical and spiritual context of Judaism is one of the most powerful tools for enriching our spiritual lives. It’s the difference between settling for half an inheritance and walking in your full inheritance.
When we begin to grasp the deeper spiritual meaning behind verses we’ve read dozens of times, they come alive in new ways and provoke us to serve and love Jesus in new ways too. When I teach people that every major event in Jesus’ life took place on a Jewish holiday, they become more interested in understanding Jewish spiritual practices, studying the Scriptures from a Hebraic perspective, and celebrating the Sabbath or praying like Jesus did. I love these little “ah-ha” moments because they are the gateway to transformation.
Learning about and incorporating Jewish spiritual practices (like the Biblical holidays) also adds so much life and dimension to our faith, not to mention bringing greater unity among God’s people, which is a crucial component of the Great Commission!
This edition of Champions is themed around the concept of convergence. What does Kingdom convergence mean to you?
In the context of Fusion, the organization I founded and lead, Kingdom convergence means unity among Jews and Gentiles. Historically, there’s been a conflict between Jews and Christians — the enemy’s attempt to keep the Kingdom from advancing. From the beginning of time, God always intended for Jews and Gentiles to be one. When we live united under Him, we are an unstoppable force.
Practically, this convergence is two-fold. We want to connect Christians to their Jewish roots and Jews deeper to the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and the Messiah.
I believe we are in a John 21 moment: the greatest catch in the history of the world is coming. The disciples were fishing all night and caught nothing. They cast their net one more time, on the right side of the boat, and got a great catch.
“When we live united under Him, we are an unstoppable force.”
God is moving to converge and connect Jews and Gentiles. May you experience this powerful convergence. Your full inheritance is waiting.
Rabbi Jason Sobel, who founded Fusion, works to reconnect Jewish and Christian followers through relevant and inspired teaching. He unlocks life-changing scriptural truths that restore the lost connection between ancient Jewish wisdom and the New Testament.
This article has been adapted from Champions Vol. III.