It has been a few weeks since I wrote my last post on the question of “Am I Jewish,” so I could not wait to touch on the next principle of Judaism. In this series, I am touching the actual beliefs of Judaism rather than the practices or the blood lines of Judaism.
Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (better known as Maimonides) wrote the Thirteen Principles of Judaism. We are currently on number three. That is that God is Incorporeal and Incomparable. Here is the quote:
“I believe with complete faith that the Creator… has no body and is unaffected by physical phenomena, and there is no comparison to Him with anything.“
So, my Christian brother, where do you stand on this one? Do you believe He is incorporeal and incomparable?
Incorporeal: not composed of matter; having no material existence. – https://www.google.com/search?q=definition+incorporeal&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS743US743&oq=definition+incorporeal&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.9124j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
I have to point out that some of the native tribes in North America referred to “the Great Spirit.” Maybe they were off in doctrine, but perhaps not as much as was popularly believed. This, at least, points to a similarity to Hebraic belief. But what about the scripture?
“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” – John 4:24
“Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” – II Cor. 3:17
“…even as from the LORD, who is spirit.” – II Cor. 3:18
Side note: I believe this is why some have trouble with the concept of a “trinity” as put forth in some Christian creeds. Some see that He IS the Spirit, rather than there being an additional being who is “the Holy Spirit.”
I would think that we, as Christians can agree that, as scripture states, that He is Spirit. I realize that we will likely start the disagreement as we go further into the nuances of this idea of no body. I would venture to say that, in the case of the Messiah, we see that Elohim put on a tent of flesh.
A non-messianic Jew might use this principle to harden his heart against Messiah coming to earth in human form. He might look at Him and say, “He cannot be the Messiah, because he is flesh, like you and I.” That is a tragic consequence.
It still does not say that the Jew and the Christian are at odds with this statement. In the above example Jesus/Yeshua can be a stumbling block as foretold in scripture.
“The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner.” – Psalm 118:22
In regards to an image, or visualization of God, many Christians have missed the mark. There are paintings and statues which represent him with a body. In this case, that would be similar to the worshipers of Zeus or Odin. Like the pictures in the classic maps. They had a deity holding a lightning bolt elaborately drawn in the corners. According to scripture, that’s off base.
Why am I even doing this? Why do we need to even look at the beliefs of Jews? There are many reasons, but if we can see the similarities, perhaps we can stop looking at Jews as a curse, or leprosy. Perhaps we can smile more nicely and stand next to a Jew and defend freedom and integrity. Perhaps we can look a Jew in the eye and say, “I am sorry. You were treated with evil by people who claimed to be Christian.” Who knows, maybe you will find that as an adopted child of God, you are given the full blessings of being a child of Israel. If this is the case, how could we ever realize our full inheritance if we hate Jews, or, at least, hate Judaism?
As a Christian, you may find it hard to utter the words, “I am Jewish.” Place yourself in the other shoes for a moment (keeping in mind almost 2,000 years of murder, torture, and humiliation by people who call themselves Christian). Would it be hard for a Jew to say, “I am Christian.”
He is Spirit. There is none like Him!
Am I Jewish? According to the beliefs presented so far, I can still say, Yes. What about you?
Reference Resource: http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Scripture/Shloshah-Asar_Ikkarim/Incorporeal/incorporeal.html