Messianic Jews call him Y’shua (his Hebrew name). Others call him Jesus (his Latin name). Whatever name he is called by, the Messiah’s birth two millennia ago benefited everyone, including agnostics and atheists.
To understand how, we need to consider the following words of Saul of Tarsus:
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
Those things aren’t just sentiments. The fruit of the Spirit are put into action to the benefit of society in general. Here is what that looks like as the Messiah himself describes:
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”
Faith in the Messiah is a faith that calls its members to take care of the poorest, weakest and most vulnerable members of society regardless who they are or what they believe.
The first messianic Jews didn’t hesitate to put this principle into action:
“There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.”
Faith in the Messiah has prompted people to start medical clinics and hospitals, open public food pantries and homeless shelters, build houses and schools and do so with their own money, not with tax dollars. Those things benefit all members of society.
As James the half-brother of Jesus states, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
From the Wikipedia entry History of Hospitals:
“The declaration of Christianity as an accepted religion in the Roman Empire drove an expansion of the provision of care. Following First Council of Nicaea in 325 CE construction of a hospital in every cathedral town was begun. Among the earliest were those built by the physician Saint Sampson in Constantinople and by Basil of Caesarea in modern-day Turkey towards the end of the 4th century. By the beginning of the 5th century, the hospital had already become ubiquitous throughout the Christian east in the Byzantine world, this being a dramatic shift from the pre-Christian era of the Roman Empire where no civilian hospitals existed. . . Thus in-patient medical care in the sense of what we today consider a hospital, was an invention driven by Christian mercy and Byzantine innovation.”
Yes, numerous people have said and done horrid things in the Messiah’s name, things that contradict everything that he stands for.* Yet, those things don’t invalidate the Messiah.
Even if one rejects Messiah Jesus, one can still benefit from the good works that are motivated by faith in him.
After all, does anyone object to “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” being put into action?
*Those who serve the Messiah lament the evils committed in his name.