Years ago I was part of a religion class in which students were asked to share their religious autobiographies. I was preceded by a Jewish man who talked about his faith in God in such a way that I thought he was talking about the God I knew through Jesus Christ. How could this be? Up to that point I was steeped in Christian supersessionism—the belief that because the Jews had rejected Jesus, the Christian church has taken over the covenant relationship with God that was once held by Israel.
This experience was unsettling. If my classmate seemed to know the God of Jesus Christ without accepting Jesus as the Christ, then what was I to do with Jesus? I wondered outloud. How is Jesus important if you can know God without him?
Another Jewish student piped up: “Keep Jesus. You need him. We Jews don’t need him.”