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Is Jesus Jewish? Discover the Historical and Religious Answer (2024) 📚

is jesus jewish

When we think of Jesus, we often focus on his teachings, his miracles, and the impact of his life. But have you ever stopped to consider his Jewish heritage? Understanding Jesus’ Jewish identity is vital to comprehending the origins of Christianity and the deep connection between the two faiths.

Jesus was born of a Jewish mother in Galilee, a region steeped in Jewish traditions. He grew up immersed in Jewish culture, following the customs and observing the feasts and festivals of Judaism. His teachings were deeply rooted in Jewish scripture, and he regularly worshiped in synagogues.

Jesus’ disciples also followed the customs and traditions of Judaism, even after his resurrection. They saw their faith in Jesus as an extension of Judaism, rather than a separate entity.

In recognizing Jesus’ Jewish heritage, we can foster a greater understanding and appreciation for the shared roots of Christianity and Judaism. By embracing this connection and promoting interfaith dialogue, we can build bridges, combat anti-Semitism, and work towards greater harmony between the two communities.

Key Takeaways:

  • Jesus was born into a Jewish family and grew up in a Jewish region.
  • His teachings and practices were heavily influenced by Jewish traditions and scripture.
  • His disciples continued to follow Jewish customs and traditions.
  • Recognizing Jesus’ Jewish heritage is crucial for fostering understanding and combating anti-Semitism.
  • Embracing the Jewish-Christian connection can lead to greater harmony and appreciation of our shared heritage.

Who was Jesus in the Bible 📚

Is Jesus Jewish

Definition of a Biblical Jew in the 1st Century:

“A Jew is any person of the Jewish faith, culture, or race, whether born into the religion or not. A person born to a Jewish mother is automatically a Jew, regardless of whether or not they practice the religion.

In the 1st century, being a Jew meant following the Jewish Law as outlined in the Torah. This included things like circumcision, keeping kosher, and celebrating the Sabbath. Jews also believed in the coming of a Messiah, which is where Jesus comes in.(is jesus jewish)

Most people think of Jesus as a Christian, but his roots are actually in Judaism. Jesus was born a Jew in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth, both of which are in present-day Israel. His mother, Mary, was Jewish, as was his father , Joseph. This means that Jesus had a Jewish background and Jewish lineage.

While Jesus was Jewish, he did not necessarily follow all of the Jewish Law. For example, he was known to eat with Gentiles (non-Jews), which was against the Jewish Law. He also performed miracles on the Sabbath, which was also against the Jewish Law.( jesus jewish faith )

So why is Jesus considered Jewish? Because he was born a Jew and had Jewish ancestry. Even though he didn’t always follow the Jewish Law, he was still a Jew.”

Jesus’ Jewish Background and Traditions

Jesus’ Jewish background played a vital role in shaping his identity and ministry. Growing up in a Jewish household, he was immersed in Jewish culture and traditions from a young age. He observed Jewish customs such as Sabbath observance and actively participated in Jewish feasts and pilgrimage festivals. Jesus’ teachings often drew on Jewish scripture, and he engaged in debates and discussions with fellow Jews on how to best follow God. (jesus jewish heritage)

One of the most significant aspects of Jesus’ Jewish background was his deep connection to the Jewish religion. He regularly worshipped in synagogues and studied the Jewish scriptures, which he quoted extensively in his teachings. His understanding of the Jewish faith influenced the way he interacted with others and shaped his message of love, compassion, and justice.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” – Jesus

Jesus’ Jewish background and traditions provide a rich context for understanding the significance of his life and teachings. It highlights the continuity between Judaism and Christianity, emphasizing the shared heritage that underlies both faiths. By recognizing Jesus’ Jewish identity, we can foster greater unity, respect, and appreciation between Jews and Christians, promoting a more harmonious relationship rooted in mutual understanding.

The Influence of Jewish Traditions

Jesus’ deep knowledge of Jewish traditions allowed him to connect with his audience in a profound way. He used parables, stories, and metaphors rooted in Jewish culture and scripture to convey his teachings. By incorporating familiar symbols and concepts, Jesus made his message accessible to his predominantly Jewish audience while challenging them to rethink their understanding of God’s kingdom.(jesus and jewish roots)

Furthermore, Jesus’ commitment to Jewish customs and traditions demonstrated his respect for his heritage and helped establish his credibility as a religious teacher. His adherence to Jewish practices, such as attending synagogue and observing the Sabbath, set an example for his followers and reinforced the continuity between Judaism and the emerging Christian movement.

In conclusion, Jesus’ Jewish background and traditions were integral to his identity and ministry. They provided the foundation for his teachings, shaped his understanding of God’s kingdom, and fostered a connection with his predominantly Jewish audience. By recognizing and appreciating Jesus’ Jewish heritage, we can deepen our understanding of his message and promote greater unity and respect within the broader Jewish-Christian community.

Jewish BackgroundKey Aspects
Sabbath ObservanceJesus regularly observed the Jewish Sabbath, setting an example for his followers.
Jewish FeastsJesus actively participated in Jewish feasts and pilgrimage festivals, including Passover and Sukkot.
Synagogue WorshipJesus worshipped in synagogues and engaged in discussions and debates with fellow Jews.
Jewish ScriptureJesus extensively quoted and interpreted the Jewish scriptures, grounding his teachings in Jewish tradition.

Jesus as a Pharisee

Jesus’ Jewish identity is further highlighted by his close alignment with the Pharisees, a significant Jewish sect of his time. The Pharisees were known for their deep commitment to the study and interpretation of Jewish law, and Jesus shared many similarities with their teachings and practices.(jesus’s Jewish background)

Like the Pharisees, Jesus sought to renew and extend the observance of Jewish practices in society. He engaged in lively debates and discussions with the Pharisees, exchanging ideas and perspectives on interpretations, beliefs, and practices of the Torah, the sacred Jewish scripture.

Although Jesus did not formally identify himself as a Pharisee or any specific Jewish group, his teachings were closely aligned with those of the Pharisees. Both Jesus and the Pharisees emphasized the importance of the Jewish law and sought to bring about spiritual renewal and obedience to God’s commandments.

Key Teachings of the Pharisees

“The Pharisees valued the study and interpretation of Jewish law, focusing on the importance of righteous living and personal piety. They believed in the resurrection of the dead, the existence of angels and spirits, and the divine authority of the Torah.”

Jesus’ alignment with the Pharisees demonstrates the significant influence that Jewish traditions and teachings had on his ministry. Understanding Jesus as a Pharisee helps to shed light on the depth of his Jewish identity and the context in which his teachings were formulated.

 JesusPharisees
Emphasis on Jewish law
Renewal of Jewish practices
Engagement in debates with Jewish scholars
Alignment with interpretations of the Torah

By recognizing Jesus as a Pharisee, we gain a deeper understanding of his Jewish lineage and the profound impact that Jewish traditions had on his life and teachings. This recognition helps to bridge the gap between Christianity and Judaism, fostering a sense of unity and respect for our shared heritage.( jesus’s Jewish background)

The Jewish Identity of Jesus’ Disciples

Just as Jesus himself was deeply rooted in Jewish traditions and customs, so too were his disciples. After Jesus’ resurrection, his followers continued to maintain their Jewish identity while also recognizing Jesus as the Messiah and Lord. (jesus and Judaism)

These early disciples of Jesus embraced their Jewish heritage and saw their faith in Jesus as an extension of Judaism. They continued to observe Jewish customs, such as Sabbath observance, and participated in Jewish festivals and rituals. Their belief in Jesus did not lead them to abandon their Jewish identity; rather, they saw Jesus as the fulfillment of Jewish scripture and the embodiment of Jewish hopes and expectations.(jesus and the Jewish religion)

The disciples’ commitment to maintaining their Jewish identity while following Jesus set the foundation for the early Christian community. They saw themselves as part of a Jewish movement within Judaism, rather than a separate religion. The Scriptures and teachings of their Jewish heritage continued to inform their understanding of Jesus and his message.

DiscipleJewish Identity
PeterJewish fisherman from Galilee
JohnJewish fisherman from Galilee
JamesJewish fisherman from Galilee
MatthewJewish tax collector
SimonJewish zealot

These disciples, like Jesus, were products of their Jewish upbringing and culture. They were steeped in Jewish traditions, scripture, and teachings. Their Jewish identity and heritage played a significant role in shaping their understanding of Jesus and their mission to spread his message.

By recognizing the Jewish identity of Jesus’ disciples, we gain a deeper understanding of the early Christian community and the rich interplay between Judaism and Christianity. It reminds us of the shared heritage and interconnectedness of these two faith traditions and encourages us to foster a respectful and appreciative relationship between Jews and Christians today.

Image source: Link to image

Christianity as a Jewish Movement

Christianity, in its early days, emerged as a predominantly Jewish movement deeply rooted within the Jewish faith. The early Christian community was primarily composed of Jewish believers who saw their faith in Jesus as an extension of their Judaism. They continued to embrace Jewish customs, traditions, and teachings while also honoring Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah.

This unique blend of Jewish and Christian practices and beliefs can be seen in the scriptures and practices of the early Jewish Christian community. They found harmony in living out their Jewish heritage while recognizing Jesus as the fulfillment of their faith.

By maintaining their Jewish identity, these early Jewish Christians were able to bridge the gap between their religious heritage and their newfound belief in Jesus. It allowed for a seamless transition and a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness between Judaism and Christianity. (jesus and Jewish traditions)

The early Jewish Christian community serves as a testament to the rich and intertwined history of Judaism and Christianity. It is a reminder of the shared roots and heritage that bind the two faiths together, fostering a sense of unity and mutual respect.

early jewish christian community

Table: Comparing Jewish and Christian Practices

Jewish PracticesChristian Practices
Observance of SabbathObservance of Lord’s Day (Sunday)
CircumcisionBaptism
Temple SacrificesSymbolic Remembrance of Jesus’ Sacrifice
Passover CelebrationCommunion or Eucharist
Study of TorahStudy of Scripture (Old and New Testament)

The Importance of Recognizing Jesus’ Jewish Identity

Recognizing Jesus’ Jewish identity is not only historically accurate but also crucial for understanding the origins of Christianity and maintaining a respectful relationship with Judaism. Jesus was born and raised in a Jewish household, growing up immersed in Jewish culture, traditions, and teachings. He regularly visited synagogues, studied Jewish scripture, and celebrated Jewish festivals. Jesus’s Jewish heritage deeply influenced his ministry and teachings, shaping his understanding of the Jewish faith.

When we acknowledge Jesus as a Jew, it helps us bridge the gap between Christianity and Judaism, promoting a sense of unity and respect. It reminds us that Jesus and his disciples were Jews who followed Jewish customs and traditions. It counters the false narrative that pits Christianity against Judaism and can lead to discrimination or anti-Semitism.( jesus’s jewish identity)

Benefits of Recognizing Jesus’ Jewish IdentityWhy it Matters
1. Fostering Understanding: Recognizing Jesus’ Jewish identity fosters a deeper understanding of his teachings and invites Christians to engage with the richness of Jewish tradition.1. Historical Accuracy: Recognizing Jesus’ Jewish identity is essential for an accurate understanding of his life and ministry.
2. Promoting Respect: By recognizing Jesus’ Jewish identity, we can promote respect for Judaism and the diverse ways people practice their faith.2. Combating Anti-Semitism: Recognizing Jesus as a Jew helps combat anti-Semitism by rejecting the idea that Jews are the enemy of Christianity.
3. Strengthening Interfaith Relations: Acknowledging Jesus’ Jewish identity promotes dialogue and understanding between Christians and Jews, strengthening interfaith relations.3. Building Bridges: Recognizing Jesus’ Jewish heritage builds bridges between Christianity and Judaism, fostering mutual appreciation and cooperation.

“As followers of Jesus, it is important for us to recognize his Jewish heritage and the profound influence it had on his teachings and ministry. Embracing Jesus’ Jewish identity allows us to celebrate the richness of our shared history and opens doors to meaningful dialogue and understanding between Christians and Jews.”

Preserving the Jewish Roots of Christianity

Preserving the Jewish roots of Christianity is essential for maintaining a deep connection to the faith’s rich heritage. The early Christians saw themselves as an extension of Judaism, embracing their Jewish identity while recognizing Jesus as the Messiah. By honoring and respecting this shared heritage, Christians can gain a deeper understanding of the Scriptures and practices that form the foundation of their faith. (jesus’s jewish lineage)

One way to preserve the Jewish roots of Christianity is by studying and engaging with Jewish traditions and customs. By delving into the history, scripture, and rituals of Judaism, Christians can gain a greater appreciation for the context in which Jesus and his early followers lived and practiced their faith. This knowledge can illuminate the deeper meanings behind biblical texts and provide valuable insights into the teachings of Jesus.

Another crucial aspect of preserving the Jewish roots of Christianity is fostering a sense of unity and respect between the Jewish and Christian communities. By engaging in interfaith dialogue and building relationships based on mutual understanding and appreciation, Christians can work towards greater harmony and cooperation. Recognizing the Jewish identity of Jesus and his early followers helps to combat stereotypes, prejudices, and anti-Semitism, promoting a more inclusive and respectful atmosphere in the broader religious landscape.

Preserving the Jewish Roots of Christianity Table

Benefits of Preserving Jewish RootsHow to Preserve Jewish Roots
  • Studying Jewish traditions and customs
  • Engaging in interfaith dialogue and relationships
  • Recognizing and respecting Jewish identity

Preserving the Jewish roots of Christianity is not only an act of respect but also a way to foster unity and mutual understanding between the two faith communities. By embracing the Jewish-Christian connection and actively engaging with Jewish traditions, Christians can deepen their own faith and contribute to a more inclusive and harmonious religious landscape.

Building Bridges between Christians and Jews

Building bridges between Christians and Jews begins with a recognition and respect for Jesus’ Jewish identity. By acknowledging and honoring Jesus’ Jewish heritage, Christians can foster a deep appreciation for Jewish traditions and customs, laying the foundation for mutual understanding and cooperation.

Respecting the Jewish identity of Jesus means understanding that he was born into a Jewish family, raised in Jewish culture, and followed Jewish customs. Jesus celebrated Jewish festivals, worshipped in synagogues, and drew inspiration from the Jewish scriptures. Recognizing these aspects of Jesus’ life helps Christians develop a greater appreciation for the shared heritage between Christianity and Judaism.

To honor the Jewish heritage, church leaders play a vital role in promoting understanding and respect between Christians and Jews. They can educate the congregation about the Jewish roots of Christianity, emphasize the importance of dialogue and collaboration, and discourage any form of discrimination or prejudice towards the Jewish community.

By embracing the Jewish-Christian connection, Christians can work towards building bridges of understanding and harmony with the Jewish community. This involves engaging in interfaith dialogue, attending joint worship services or events, and actively seeking opportunities to learn from one another. Through these efforts, Christians can foster a climate of respect, love, and appreciation for the Jewish heritage of Jesus and his followers.

honoring jewish heritage

Combating Anti-Semitism

Recognizing Jesus’ Jewish identity can help combat anti-Semitism, a rising issue worldwide. It is important to reject any notion that Jews are the enemy of Christianity or that they must be converted. Violent acts against Jews in the name of Jesus are a perversion of Christianity. Church leaders have a responsibility to promote tolerance, respect, and love for our neighbors, including Jews. Combating anti-Semitism requires education, dialogue, and a commitment to fostering understanding and reconciliation.

Anti-Semitism, the prejudice and discrimination against Jews, has plagued society for centuries. It is imperative that Christians take a stand against this hatred and actively work towards eradicating it. Recognizing Jesus’ Jewish heritage reminds us that Christianity itself has Jewish roots and that Jesus himself was Jewish. This recognition serves as a powerful reminder of our shared humanity and the need to combat anti-Semitism.

Education and Dialogue

Education is crucial in combating anti-Semitism. By learning about Jewish history, culture, and traditions, we can dispel harmful stereotypes and foster a greater understanding and appreciation for the Jewish community. Church leaders should encourage their congregations to engage in interfaith dialogue, providing opportunities for Jews and Christians to come together, share their beliefs, and learn from one another. These conversations can break down barriers, challenge misconceptions, and promote greater tolerance and respect.

Promoting Tolerance and Respect

Church leaders have a responsibility to promote a message of tolerance and respect for all, including Jews. This means actively teaching against anti-Semitic beliefs and actions, as well as addressing any instances of anti-Semitism within their own congregations. By creating a safe and inclusive space for all, church leaders can help foster a culture of love and acceptance, where anti-Semitism has no place.

Love for Our Neighbors

As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves. This includes our Jewish neighbors. By actively seeking to build relationships with members of the Jewish community, we can promote understanding and friendship. By standing up against anti-Semitism and promoting a message of love and acceptance, we can contribute to a world that is free from hatred and discrimination.

Combating anti-Semitism requires a collective effort. It requires us to recognize and honor the Jewish heritage of Jesus and his followers, to educate ourselves about Jewish history and traditions, and to actively promote tolerance and respect. By doing so, we can work towards a future where anti-Semitism is eradicated and where Jews and Christians can coexist in harmony.

Embracing the Jewish-Christian Connection

Recognizing and embracing the shared heritage between Judaism and Christianity is a vital step towards fostering unity and understanding. Jesus himself was a Jew, deeply rooted in Jewish culture and traditions. As followers of Christ, we have the unique opportunity to strengthen our faith by exploring and appreciating the Jewish roots of Christianity.

By studying Jewish history, scripture, and traditions, we gain a richer understanding of Jesus’ teachings and the context in which he ministered. We can deepen our appreciation for the profound impact that Jewish culture had on shaping our faith. Embracing the Jewish-Christian connection allows us to see Jesus more fully and comprehend the depth of his love and sacrifice.

Furthermore, by honoring and respecting the Jewish heritage of our faith, we build bridges of understanding and promote harmony between Christians and Jews. It is important to engage in interfaith dialogue, learning from one another and fostering mutual respect. Through this dialogue, we can dismantle misconceptions and combat prejudice, creating a more inclusive and compassionate community.

In our pursuit of embracing the Jewish-Christian connection, let us remember that our shared heritage is not just a historical curiosity, but a living testament to God’s faithfulness throughout the ages. As we delve into the richness of Jewish traditions, let us approach it with an open heart, ready to learn and grow in our faith. By embracing this connection, we can transform our perspectives and deepen our relationship with God.

Table: Comparing Jewish and Christian Traditions

Jewish TraditionsChristian Traditions
Observance of the Sabbath on the seventh day of the weekObservance of the Lord’s Day on Sunday, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus
Celebration of Passover, commemorating the Israelites’ liberation from slavery in EgyptCelebration of Easter, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus
Reading and study of the Torah, the sacred text of JudaismReading and study of the Bible, comprising the Old and New Testaments
Emphasis on prayer, both personal and communalEmphasis on prayer, including the Lord’s Prayer and other forms of Christian prayer
Commitment to acts of loving-kindness and justice (tzedakah)Commitment to acts of love and mercy, as exemplified by Jesus’ teachings

Promoting Interfaith Dialogue and Understanding

Promoting interfaith dialogue and understanding between Jews and Christians is essential for fostering mutual respect and cooperation. In a world where religious differences can often lead to division and conflict, it is crucial to create spaces for meaningful conversations that bridge the gap between different faith traditions. Interfaith initiatives provide valuable opportunities for learning, shared experiences, and building relationships between members of both communities.

“Interfaith dialogue is not about seeking to convert or convince others of our own beliefs, but rather about learning from one another and building connections based on respect and understanding.”

— Religious Leader

By engaging in interfaith dialogue, Jews and Christians can gain a deeper appreciation for each other’s religious traditions, values, and perspectives. This dialogue can help challenge stereotypes, dispel misconceptions, and build bridges of compassion and empathy. It encourages individuals to see beyond the differences and focus on shared values and common goals, promoting a sense of unity and cooperation.

Benefits of Interfaith DialogueExamples
  • Promotes understanding and respect
  • Builds bridges between different faith communities
  • Fosters empathy and compassion
  • Challenges stereotypes and misconceptions
  • Encourages collaboration on common social issues
  • Interfaith panel discussions
  • Interfaith prayer services
  • Interfaith community service projects
  • Interfaith cultural exchanges
  • Interfaith educational programs

Through interfaith dialogue, Jews and Christians can contribute to a more inclusive, compassionate, and peaceful society. By coming together, listening to one another, and finding common ground, we can foster understanding and build a future where religious differences are celebrated and valued.

interfaith dialogue

Conclusion

Recognizing the Jewish identity of Jesus and his followers is essential for understanding the origins of Christianity and fostering a respectful relationship with Judaism. Jesus was born into a Jewish family, raised in Jewish traditions, and practiced Jewish customs throughout his life. His teachings and practices were deeply influenced by Jewish traditions, and his disciples continued to follow the customs and traditions of Judaism even after his resurrection.

By honoring and respecting the Jewish roots of Christianity, we can deepen our understanding of Jesus’ teachings and promote a greater sense of unity with our Jewish neighbors. It is crucial to combat anti-Semitism and reject any notion that Jews are the enemy of Christianity. Instead, we must strive to build bridges between Christians and Jews, fostering dialogue, understanding, and mutual respect.

Through interfaith initiatives and education, we can promote tolerance, respect, and love for our Jewish neighbors. By embracing the Jewish-Christian connection and recognizing our shared heritage, we can work towards greater harmony, cooperation, and appreciation for each other’s religious traditions. Let us strive to continue learning, engaging in dialogue, and fostering understanding as we navigate the rich and complex relationship between Judaism and Christianity.

FAQ

Was Jesus Jewish?

Yes, Jesus was Jewish. He was born of a Jewish mother in Galilee and all his friends, associates, colleagues, and disciples were Jews.

Did Jesus follow Jewish customs and traditions?

Yes, Jesus observed Jewish customs such as Sabbath observance and participated in Jewish feasts and pilgrimage festivals. He regularly worshipped in synagogues and preached from the Jewish scriptures.

Were Jesus’ disciples also Jews?

Yes, Jesus’ disciples were Jews who followed the customs and traditions of Judaism. They continued to practice Jewish customs, such as Sabbath observance, even after the resurrection of Jesus.

Did Christianity begin as a Jewish movement?

Yes, Christianity began as a predominantly Jewish movement within Judaism. The early Christian community was primarily composed of Jewish believers who saw their faith as an extension of Judaism.

Why is it important to recognize Jesus’ Jewish identity?

Recognizing Jesus’ Jewish identity is crucial for understanding the origins of Christianity and maintaining a respectful relationship with Judaism. It helps combat anti-Semitism and promotes understanding between Christians and Jews.

How can Christians honor and respect Jesus’ Jewish heritage?

Christians can deepen their understanding of Jesus’ Jewish identity by studying Jewish history, scripture, and traditions. They can also promote interfaith dialogue and seek to build bridges between the two communities.

What can be done to combat anti-Semitism?

Combating anti-Semitism requires education, dialogue, and a commitment to fostering understanding and reconciliation. Church leaders have a responsibility to promote tolerance, respect, and love for our neighbors, including Jews.

How can Christians embrace the Jewish-Christian connection?

Christians can embrace the Jewish-Christian connection by recognizing and honoring the shared heritage between the two faiths. This involves studying Jewish traditions and customs and fostering a greater sense of unity and appreciation.

Why is interfaith dialogue important?

Interfaith dialogue is essential for fostering mutual respect and cooperation between Jews and Christians. It provides opportunities for learning, shared experiences, and building relationships based on a foundation of respect and appreciation for each other’s religious traditions.

Source Links

Best Bible Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Below is a table featuring some highly regarded Bible Encyclopedias and Dictionaries along with their publishers and websites where they can be found or purchased.

TitlePublisherWebsite
The International Standard Bible EncyclopediaEerdmansEerdmans
Zondervan’s Pictorial Bible DictionaryZondervanZondervan
Easton’s Bible DictionaryThomas NelsonThomas Nelson
Holman Illustrated Bible DictionaryB&H Publishing GroupB&H Publishing Group
The New Unger’s Bible DictionaryMoody PublishersMoody Publishers
HarperCollins Bible DictionaryHarperOneHarperOne
Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament WordsThomas NelsonThomas Nelson

You can generally find these resources on the publishers’ websites, as well as other online book retailers such as Amazon or Christianbook. It’s always good practice to confirm availability and review additional details on the specific websites or other reliable online bookstores.

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Author

  • Greg Gaines

    Father / Grandfather / Minister / Missionary / Deacon / Elder / Author / Digital Missionary / Foster Parents / Welcome to our Family https://jesusleadershiptraining.com/about-us/

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