Salvation is from the Jews
In John 4:22, Jesus says, “salvation is from the Jews.” How exactly are we to understand this? Is Jesus telling us we need to become Jewish to be saved?
If we are to take the literal meaning in Greek, Jesus says: Salvation can only be found by becoming a Jew.
“So he says we must convert to Judaism to be saved?!?”
You have to understand this; John 4:22 was not written to people living in 2022 (soon to be 2023); it was written to people living in the first century when there were no Christians, and Judaism was a very different religion from what it is today. If we want to understand what Jesus is telling us here in John 4:22, we must have the mindset of a first-century Jew living in Israel.
As a first-century Jew, we would know that Isiah 53:8 says Messiah can only atone for the sins of God’s people. We would also learn from Ex 19:5 God’s people are everyone everywhere who lives by the law of Moses. Reading Matthew 1:21 in Hebrew, we would not read: “you shall call him Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.” Instead, we would read it like this; “you shall call him Jesus because he will save my people from their sins” Whose people? Gods people. Just as Isaiah 53:8 and Ex 19:5 has taught us, God’s people live by the law of Moses, and Messiah can only atone for the sins of God’s people.
We would then read John 4:22 in its original Hebrew form, where it says, “salvation can only be found by becoming a Yehudim.” Who or what is a Yehudim? In the book of Esther, Mordechai is described as a Yehudim but from the tribe of Benjamin because he was a worshiper of Yehovah. Everyone who worships Yehovah is a Yehudim, but not everyone who is a Yehudim is from the tribe of Yehuda. Not all from the tribe of Yehuda is a worshipers of Yehovah, even though they are all Yehudim. So the word Yehudim has two meanings, all dependent upon the context.
So what Jesus tells us here in John 4:22 is this: Salvation is found in becoming a Yehudim, a worshiper of Yehovah.
This is why Paul says, in the book of Romans, the true Yehudim (worshiper of Yehovah) is not the one circumcised in the flesh but the one who has an obedient heart and lives by the Torah.
So Jesus is not telling us to convert; he is telling us to become a worshiper of Yehovah to be saved. How, then, do we worship Yehovah? According to Exodus 19:5, by obeying the law of Moses. How do we atone for our sins? According to Isaiah 53:8, the Messiah Yeshua can only atone for the sins of those who live by the law of Moses.
The next and final question is this; which law of Moses? The oral Torah or the written Torah, or both?
The Bible says we can not obey the oral Torah; nobody has been able to do so, and we can only live by the written Torah.