Because of my frequent writings about Christian liberty, proper use of the Law, and condemnation of Pharisaical attitudes; some may make the mistake of thinking I am against the Law of Moses, the nation of Israel, and the Jews. Nothing could be further from the truth. After all, in the New Testament, Jesus is called “The Lion of the tribe of Judah”. Judah is where the word “Jew” comes from. Although Jesus is the Savior of all mankind, and the Lamb of God that took away the sins of the world – We must also remember that He was born a Jew. He came from the nation of Israel. He was circumcised the eighth day. He was dedicated at the temple in Jerusalem. He kept the feasts, the Sabbaths, and the law of Moses perfectly. His mother was a Jew. His earthly father was a Jew. How could we hold animosity toward the Jews?
Some may say, “The Jews killed Jesus”. True, some Jews played part in having Him crucified. However, it was the Gentile governor Pilate who allowed it. It was Gentile Roman soldiers that carried it out. You see, ALL mankind is guilty – Jew and Gentile alike. There is none righteous, no, not one. All have sinned and come short of God's glory. The Jews are no more guilty than any of us. And in all reality, Jesus laid down His life for us. No one could take it from Him (Jn 10:15-18).
Jesus did not oppose the Prophets or the Law - He fulfilled them! No man could keep it perfectly, so Emmanuel, God with us (Jesus), did it for us. Praise God for His mercy and grace. We must know that God's salvation came through the Jews. Jesus told the Samaritan woman, “Salvation is of the Jews” (Jn 4:22). No Jews, no Jesus. No Jesus, no salvation. Another blessing of the Jews is the Word of God (Rom 3:1-2). Christian, you have your Bible because Jews wrote God's Words down! Jewish scribes were very meticulous, and carefully copied and recopied God's Word for generations. Even our New Testament was written by Jews. Paul, Peter, John, James, Matthew, Mark, and Jude were all Jews. The only one who may have been a Gentile was Luke – and that is not without question.
As Christians, we must also remember that the covenants, the promises, the glory, etc. pertained to the Israelis (Rom 9:4-5). Before Jesus, we were without covenant and without hope in this world (Eph 2:11-13). To boast against the natural branches (the Jews) is unchristian (Rom 11:18). It is through Israel's rejection (as a whole) of Jesus as Messiah, that all other men may be saved and provoke the Jews to jealousy (Rom 11:11). Are you living a life that would provoke jealousy in the Jews? May I say, many Christians do not. In fact, Christian history has a terrible track record of cruelty towards the Jews – to our shame. The killing, raping, and destroying in the Name of Jesus during the Crusades; the torture of the inquisition; the expulsion of Jews from nation after nation; the deafening silence of many Christians during the Holocaust, as well as the many so called “Christians” who condoned what was happening; and the modern day “divestment” from Israel by professing Christians, does not do much to provoke a Jew to jealousy. God forgive us.
Besides all of this, we must understand that God is not finished with Israel. Before Jesus ascended to The Father, the disciples asked Him if He was going to restore again the Kingdom to Israel (Act 1:6-7). Jesus did not say, “You are mistaken. The Church has replaced Israel.” No, He said, “It is not for you to know the times and seasons.” It is a miracle that a people scattered for nearly 2000 years would come together again as a nation on the very land they originally existed in. Since 1948, they have overcome numerous attempts by enemies to wipe them off the map. They have faced wars of impossible odds, being out manned and out gunned – and yet the tiny nation the size of New Jersey lives on. I believe only the willfully ignorant could not see God's hand in Israel's very survival.
I am not a Jew, but by God's infinite mercy and grace, I have been made a partaker of eternal salvation through faith in the True Vine, the Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ. We should not be arrogant about this, but rather fear. Let us not be wise in our own opinions. We must remain in His goodness, lest we be cut off as well (Rom 11:18-33). As Christians, we should not hold hatred in our hearts – especially towards the Jews. After all, Christianity was born out of Judaism. Our hearts should desire that those natural branches be grafted back into the True Vine, Jesus Christ. That their eyes would be open to see that Jesus is the only person to fulfill messianic prophecy on every level. That the blessing, love, goodness, and peace that we demonstrate would provoke them to jealousy.
The patriarch Abraham, great grandfather of the Jews, was told by God, “I will bless them which bless thee, and curse them which curse thee. (Gen 12:3)” In Psalm 122:6, King David wrote, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they will prosper that love thee.” The Apostle Paul said, “My heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel, is that they might be saved.(Rom 10:1)” Let us bless Israel. Let us pray for the Jews. Let our heart's desire be to see them come to faith in their Messiah, as well as all men. Until next time, rejoice in The Lord!