Believers in Yeshua the Messiah need Scripture passages that express their faith. For many, the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:49) serves this function. It does so because it links them to the Jewish people and the faith of Israel.
But Messianics need texts that refer to the Messiah explicitly. The Shema does not — not without debatable interpretation. It, alone, is not a distinct banner to fly over a camp of Yeshua.
Let me propose esleven texts for use as Messianic Shemas in congregational settings or personal worship. Some of them come from the earliest preaching of Peter at the Temple in Jerusalem — a locale of biblical authenticity and the manger of the messianic light.
Other Shemas come from Paul, the Pharisaic rabbi who studied in Jerusalem under Gamaliel I. Paul spent his latter life arguing for the Faith with fellow Jews and Gentile Greeks. He and the other Jewish apostles had to affirm their beliefs with clear and bold statements so everyone would understand their doctrine.
Yeshua's Jewish apostles never once cite the Shema of Deuteronomy 6 as the sum of Messianic revelation. We must note that.
The "Shema" is Not All (For Followers of Yeshua)
But we are not left bereft.
Rather, the most explicit "Shema" of Messianic faith comes from Yeshua himself: uttered during his prayer to God, the Father, as recorded in John 17. It is an excellent beginning to any declarations of bibical faith.
- "This is life eternal, that they may know you, the only true God, and the one whom you have sent, Yeshua Messiah." (John 17:3)
- "For us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for him; and one Lord, Yeshua Messiah, through whom are all things, and we exist through him." (1 Corinthians 8:6)
- "Let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Messiah — this Yeshua." (Acts 2:36)
- "God highly exalted him and bestowed on him the Name which is above every name, that at the Name of Yeshua ["YHVH delivers"] every knee should bow ... and every tongue should confess that Yeshua Messiah is Lord, to the glory of God, the Father." (Philippians 2:9-11)
- "Whatever you do in word and deed, do all in the name of the Lord Yeshua, giving thanks through him to God the Father." (Colossians 3:17)
- "For [Messiah] was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last imes for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God." (1 Peter 1:20-21)
- "Our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Yeshua Messiah." (1 John 1:3)
- "To the only God our Savior, through Yeshua Messiah our Lord, be glory, majesty, diminion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen." (Judah/Jude 25)
- "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua Messiah, the Father of mercies and God of all encouragement." (2 Corinthians 1:3)
- "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua Messiah, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Messiah." (Ephesians 1:3)
- "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua Messiah, who according to his great mercy has caused us to be begotten again to a living hope through the resurrection of Yeshua Messiah from the dead." (1 Peter 1:3)