I call him
Yeshua, Sometimes Jesus; when I'm in awe, Master or Lord.
do you call him Yeshua?" I'm often asked. "Why don't you
just call him Jesus?" My initial reply is usually
short."Yeshua's his name."
America where people speak English they call him Jesus. In Mexico he's
Senor Heysus. But his friends called him Yeshua. And I'm his friend.
it doesn't really matter what you call him as long as you know who you
are talking to. He wouldn't be offended if you called him Fred. How do
I know he wouldn't be offended? As I've told you he's my friend. I
know him very well and he's not easy to offend.
is another reason I call him Yeshua. The word Jesus has been used and
abused over the centuries. It has gotten to a point in some Jewish
circles [read most] that the word Jesus can't even be heard without a
knee-jerk negative reaction. Time and time again marauding bands of
gentiles who have called themselves "Christians" were lead
by their religious leaders in acts of terror against local Jewish
communities; all in the name of Jesus. It didn't happen once or twice
to a few groups of isolated Jews. It has happened thousands of times
to hundreds of thousands and even millions of Jews. Myriad's of Jews
have been plundered, expelled, raped, robbed and murdered by people in
the name of Jesus.
heard the phrase "guilt by association"? Obviously, evil
people saying they represent Jesus doesn't make Jesus a bad guy. But
to the ill-informed it makes him look bad. And even if it doesn't make
him look bad the name that the abusers used just doesn't sound good to
the abused ear. It results in an immediate negative reaction.
walking down the street and seeing a man in a red jacket. The man
walks over and punches you full in the mouth. After you get up and
spit out a few teeth you see he has gone. The next day it happens
again. Another man in a red jacket. Day after day, year after year, it
continues. Then one day as mysteriously as it started it stops. No
more red jackets and no more assaults. Ten years pass; you are walking
down the street and you see another red jacket. Do you think you might
flinch? Do you think you might be afraid to turn your back on the
person? You wouldn't trust the person. After all, he's got a red
There is of
course nothing wrong with red jackets. But if my friend told me this
story I'd never wear a red jacket in his presence again. I'd wear
black, orange or purple but not red. I wouldn't argue; "Man, that
was ten years ago, get over it." If I did, I'd be an idiot. My
poor friend has been abused and the red jacket represents that abuse.
I know exactly why he doesn't like red jackets. If I were him I'd feel
there is absolutely nothing wrong with "Jesus", the
Anglicized version of the Messiah's name. Jesus is just as good a name
as any other. If I have a friend, however, that has been abused, or
whose race has been abused, and the name Jesus represents that abuse,
then I would no longer use the name Jesus in that friend's presence
(Romans 14:11-13). Yeshua would do nicely.
even reverently use "Fred," that is, as long as we both knew
who we were really talking about.
by Steve Shermett 1997, from www.ShalomTucson.org the
Congregation Beth Sar Shalom
5002 E. 4th Street - Tucson, Arizona 85711