“Where do you go to Shul (synagogue)?” This is a common question that U.S. missionary Cosmo Panzetta is asked as he wears his kippah in public places. He responds, “Well, I actually lead a Messianic congregation. We’re Jews who believe that Jesus - Yeshua - is the Jewish Messiah.” Conversations such as this make an initial connection between Cosmo and local Jewish individuals. As Cosmo shares the Gospel, he ensures these connections are rooted in honesty, authenticity, and transparency. However, he proceeds with caution and sensitivity because identity in the Jewish community is crucial. This is because there is a fear that Jews who believe in Jesus lose sense of their identity. Cosmo responds, “There is nothing more Jewish than believing in the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua.” In their Messianic congregation, Temple Beit Chadash (House of New Beginnings), the desire is to have an authentically recognizable Jewish worship experience anointed by the Holy Spirit, where people can experience true newness, healing, and freedom in Yeshua.
Jewish families still experience an immense amount of pain through the atrocities of the Holocaust. When Jewish people enter the Messianic congregation, they are often overcome with guilt that they are betraying their family and all those who have gone before them. This is because while these heinous acts were committed, it often was justified with the teachings of Christianity. Cosmo acknowledges the pain that the Jewish community feels, and explains, “What happened then was not Jesus. They were not reflecting the heart of Jesus they were distorting it. Let us tell you about the real Jesus. His name was Yeshua which means ‘salvation’ in Hebrew.” “Blessed are You Lord, our God. King of the universe who sanctifies us by Messiah Yeshua and calls us to hear the sound of your voice.” These are the words that Cosmo begins each service with in his Messianic congregation. Traditions such as the sounding of the Shofar, Torah processional, and blessings beneath a Chuppah are known to strike an emotional chord with Jewish people in the service.
Along with these additions, everyone has an opportunity for prayer for healing, salvation, and intervention of the Lord. Often times, people will grow up in the Temple, stop attending after their Bar/Bat Mitzvah, and never pursue a deep relationship with the Lord. However, if they attend a Messianic Temple, they will experience a great sense of familiarity in the service because of the incorporated Jewish elements. Coming from a Jewish background himself, Cosmo expresses empathy, “Our aim is reaching those who are culturally Jewish and our calling is to let people know of Jesus.” He also calls others in the community to empower and encourage people into the arms of Yeshua. Panzetta recommends asking Jewish individuals about their cultural upbringing. “Remember to share why you love the Lord and continue praying that the Holy Spirit would give you opportunities to share the Gospel with Jewish people.” “We are here to meet with God. When we do, we want to be transformed in Him and be made like Him. We are to be a light in the darkness, provide love where there is hate, and provide healing where there is brokenness.”
Interested in learning more? Contact Cosmo today: