The term messianic is used as an adjective to define everything that is related to messianism or the Messiah. That’s why for Christians this word is extremely linked to the figure of Jesus Christ.
However, although the figure of the Messiah is more associated with Christianity, it is in Judaism that we find a branch called Messianic. But specifically, the Messianic Jew is the person who presumably follows the Jewish religion and believes that Jesus is the Messiah.
In this way, he maintains his identity as a Jew, celebrating the traditional festivals of this religion and reading the Torah , but Jesus is the central figure of his beliefs. Its main idea defends the fact that Jesus was educated in the Jewish tradition and the same happened with his apostles, thus Messianic Jews also follow their beliefs without losing their identity.
Certainly, the root of Christianity is found in the Jewish religion, for it is undeniable that the first Christians were the Jews who saw Jesus as their Messiah. Only later were non-Jewish believers incorporated into Christian congregations until they finally outnumbered Christians of Jewish origin. Messianic
Therefore, it is not surprising that Judaism and Christianity were very close during the first years of the existence of this religion. In fact, it wasn’t until the Council of Nicaea in the year 325 AD that Church leaders decided to cut themselves off from any relationship with Judaism.
The direct repercussion of this measure was: Jews who decided to follow the teachings of Jesus should abandon the lifestyle they had adopted up to that time.
What is certain is that in the following centuries a real persecution of these people arose.
This situation can be said to have continued until the emergence of Joseph Rabinowitz, a 19th century Russian lawyer, considered to be the father of modern Messianic Judaism. In his works, Rabinowtiz always tried to unite his Jewish beliefs with his love for Jesus, managing to pass these ideas on to many people who decided to believe in Jesus without abandoning their Jewish faith.
From this we can recognize the main features of Messianic Judaism as we know it today, with Jesus at the center of its beliefs, but at times emphasizing the Jewish nature.