Acts of Emissaries
Practical Sermons on the Spirit-filled Birth and Explosive Growth of Messianic Judaism
Messianic Jewish Pub & Res Llc
First Century C.E./A.D. Messianic Jewish Believers in the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) turned the world upside down. This is so potently portrayed in author Luke’s 18,374 words that the book has come to be known as The Acts of the Apostles (Emissaries). Luke was a physician, a careful historian, and showed a deep knowledge about Jewish laws and customs in the land of Israel and the Temple. His recording of the Spirit-filled birth and explosive growth of Messianic Judaism is divided in half: chapters 1-12 focus on Kefa (Peter) in Jewish regions, while chapters 13-28 concern themselves with Sha’ul (Paul) in largely Gentile regions. The known world of the First Century was not turned upside down because Yeshua-followers all believed the same thing. The inclusion of Gentiles in the plan of God and how both Jewish and Gentile Believers were to work out questions of their identity and relationship to one another in a pagan world — with opposing claims from both Jewish and Roman leadership — sparked much debate, conflict, and controversy about faith and practice. Even amidst imprisonments, rioting and personality conflicts, Dr. Luke details the influence of Ruach Hakodesh (the Holy Spirit) in all of this. In short, the faith of these early Yeshua-followers was demonstrated daily in tangible, practical ways. They fed the hungry, healed the sick, clothed the naked, invited strangers into their homes, visited prisoners, etc… Truly, when the world around them looked closely at those who said they believed the claims to deity and of messiahship from an obscure Jewish teacher from a backwater of the empire, their lives were different. The declaration of their faith wasn’t solely with words but with actions. The “Good News” was something which could be seen, felt and experienced … and the world had never seen anything like it.
Joel Liberman is the Messianic Rabbi of Tree of Life, a Messianic Jewish congregation in San Diego, CA. He has earned degrees from San Diego State University (B.S., Accounting), and Luther Rice University (M.Div.). Joel holds both a California CPA(inactive) and real estate broker's license, having worked in both fields for over twenty years. Rabbi Liberman is ordained through the synagogual arm of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA), the International Alliance of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues (IAMCS), and has served on the Executive Committees of the MJAA and IAMCS continually since 2001. He and his wife Darcie reside in San Diego with their two teenage children.