If you are a non-Jew and are reading this ,you are going to say, “Of course not!” But hold on a minute, I didn’t say “Have you HAD a bar or bat mitzvah?”
To many people a bar or bat mitzvah is simply a coming of age event for young Jewish boys or girls, and for many it is simply that—a coming of age event and a chance to have a great party. But is that really what it means to BECOME bar or bat mitzvah?
Bar or bat mitzvah literally translates as “son or daughter of the commandment.” What it really means is “old enough to be responsible for mizvot.” Mitzvot is simply a Hebrew way of saying commandment.
So really what I was asking is, “Are you a son or daughter of the commandments?” Do you follow the teaching of the Bible in your daily life? Have you given you heart, mind and soul to God? Do you stand up and say, “I believe in God,” and then do all that He has asked you to do in your daily life. This is what it truly means to “BECOME” bar or bat mitzvah.
So is the Bible truly silent on the bar or bat mitzvah? At first glance you might say, “Nowhere in the Bible does it talk about a bar or bat mitzvah.” But lets look again.
Ishmael, Abraham’s oldest son, was circumcised at the age of thirteen (Gen. 17:25). Sarah, Abraham’s wife, became upset over having Hagar and her son, Ishmael, in the household and persuaded Abraham to expel them into the wilderness, where a spring of water miraculously welled up in the desert and revived the almost-dying Ishmael (Gen. 21:10 – 19).
Some Biblical scholars say that Ismael’s nearly fatal ordeal in the wilderness might have been an ancient Middle Eastern rite of initiation: A boy is tested in the wilderness, dies as a youth, and is reborn as an adult. The bar and bat mitzvah certainly qualifies as a trial, although one far less dangerous than those faced by Ishmael: A young person, preparing for the solo ceremony with the help of a tutor, struggles with learning Torah and presenting it to the community.
In the book of Luke chapter 2, we read about the story of Yeshua being circumcised as commanded on the eighth day after birth (Luke 2:21–40). But it makes an even stronger case for Yeshua going through His bar mitzvah in verse 42 where it states “and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom…and after three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.”
This is exactly what is done during a bar mitzvah. You study Torah.
In Matthew 3:12–17 it talks about Yeshua being baptized, and as young Ishmael in the desert, with baptism of water Yeshua died and was born again. Yeshua did not have to be baptized, but in order to fulfill all that was written about Him (Ps. 40:7,8), He did so that you and I could make that same choice and die to sin and BECOME a bar or bat mitzvah.
My question today is do you want to “become” a bar or bat mitzvah?