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HomeIn the NewsJesus, the Jewish People, and the Question of Chosen-ness

Jesus, the Jewish People, and the Question of Chosen-ness

The evil insanity of worldwide Jew hatred is once again on full technicolor display.  

What else is new, right?  Same song, 2000th verse (and counting)!

This evil mutation that we politely label as “anti-Semitism” never seems to go away, does it?

“Of course not!  It’s human nature!”  

OK, sure.  But–as Dennis Prager once asked: “Why the Jews?”  Why does this people group pop up in every generation as public enemy #1?

Could it be that the unseen forces controlling our world know something most Christians don’t know?

Could it be that they—those evil forces of darkness—realize that their demise will be brought about by a conquering Jewish leader?

I’m not talking about Benjamin Netanyahu or any future “evil global Zionist” leader.

I’m talking about Yeshua Ben David…a/k/a Jesus the Christ.

Whose Messiah is this?

Our Lord and Savior not only lived and died as a Jew.  He’s coming back as a Jew.  And the Jewish people will recognize—and welcome—Him as one of their own.  

Don’t believe me?  Check out His own words in Matthew 23:39:

“You will not see Me again until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the LORD!’”

Everyone within earshot of Him that day knew exactly what He was saying: “I’m the Son of David you’ve been waiting for.  But since you didn’t recognize Me as such, you’ll be in dire straits until you do!”

He was merely confirming what one of their prophets predicted centuries earlier: Jerusalem (and by extension the Jewish people) would be the target of international hatred and war until her long-lost Son, the Messiah, is recognized by them—and reunited with them (Zechariah 12:2-13:1).

Whose covenant is this?

Well, that one’s easy: it’s everyone’s!  

Indeed, it is.  “Whoever calls on the name of the LORD will be saved” (Romans 10:13, emphasis mine).  

But who was the covenant given to?  

That one’s also easy: It was given to Israel.

That’s right: the New Covenant is a Jewish covenant given to the Jewish people.  Read Jeremiah 31:31-34 if you don’t believe me.

But don’t stop there.  This glorious New Covenant—celebrated by a 99%-Gentile Christian worldwide church—was given to the Gentiles by a group of Jewish missionaries!  We know them as Paul, Peter, and the other 10 apostles.  But to emphasize: they were all Jewish.  Every last one of them.

Even the “birthday of the church” we know of as Acts 2 took place in an all-Jewish setting.

Put this all together and you realize that this thing we call “the church” has Jewish parentage. 

Who are these rebellious kids?

Let’s get something straight: Jesus is the only Name under which we can be saved.  That means Jews—and anyone else—who willfully reject the gift of the Messiah are not part of His eternal family.

So, does that mean the national calling of Israel is somehow over…expired…done away with?

Decades ago, I as a 19-year-old gave my life to Jesus.  My parents didn’t follow in my footsteps.  Would that have given me a right to tell them they’re not my mom and dad anymore?

Our Jewish brother Paul put it like this: 

“But if some of the branches were broken off, and you (Gentiles) being like a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among them to share with them the rich root of the olive tree, do not boast over the (broken) branches…(but) remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root that supports you.”  (Romans 11:17-18)

Try as we might, we cannot divorce ourselves spiritually from our Jewish parentage.  To the extent that we do, God’s not too happy with us.  Indeed, we have history as our witness.

Paul’s above exhortation to the Roman church was penned in response to the idea that Israel’s rejection of the Messiah was an excuse for Gentiles to reject Israel as being still chosen.  In the centuries following, that attitude metastasized into the rejection of all things Jewish.  Even Jewish believers in Yeshua found themselves no longer welcome in the congregation of the saints—unless they disavowed their Jewishness.

Schisms and dysfunction followed—so much so that by the time Rome became officially “Christian,” the church looked nothing at all like her original self.  As she grew in power, she fell from grace and turned toward persecuting the Jews.  

She divorced herself from her Jewish lineage.  As a result, she became divorced from herself.

“Honor your father and mother, that it may go well with you” is still in the Bible.  And there are grave consequences for disobedience.

Whose kingdom is it?

In Acts 1, the resurrected Jesus is fellowshipping with His disciples when He gets asked (in verse 6) if now was the time for Him to restore the Kingdom to Israel.

Classic Christian teaching depicts Jesus responding by rolling His eyeballs, rebuking them, and telling them to—as my native New Yorker would say—“fuhgeddaboudit!”  (Maybe he even threw in a good Jewish “Oy vey!” for emphasis.)

But that is NOT how He responded.  What he DID say was simply that this wasn’t the time to discuss such matters (verse 7).  

He never denied that the Kingdom of God would one day be fully manifested in Jerusalem and Israel.  And neither should we.  To do so would mean concocting some wild theology relegating to about half of  Scripture to allegory.  We’d have to “spiritualize away” huge prophetic swaths of the Old Testament—and along with them Jesus’ own words out of Matthew 23 and much of the book of Revelation.

Oh wait, I forgot: we’ve already done that!  It’s called “Replacement Theology.”

Only now we’ve rebranded it with a more “trendy” moniker: “Fulfillment Theology.”  

Same song, umpteenth verse.

To deny this Kingdom reality is to believe that Jesus will reappear as an androgynous being with no Jewish (or other ethnic) DNA.  I guess that also means He won’t touch down on the Mount of Olives—because that’s in Jewish territory.  We can’t have that!?!?!  No, His feet will have to touch down on the soil of every nation all at once!  After all, that would only be fair—wouldn’t it?  (Not to mention that it would be quite a feat…pun fully intended!)

One final word about chosen-ness

Before we brag about replacing Israel on the chosen-ness ladder, have we considered the price?

Amos 3:2 says of Israel: “You only have I chosen of all the families of the earth; therefore, I will punish you for all of your sins.”

Romans 1:16 says the gospel went to the Jew first.  But what else did he say came first to the Jew?  Trouble and distress (Romans 2:9).

Maybe this “chosen” thing isn’t as peachy-keen as it’s cracked up to be.  Maybe it comes with…responsibility…accountability…even consequences.

Come to think of it, we as the Body of Christ do have such a calling.  Maybe that’s why Peter calls us “a chosen people” (1 Peter 2:9).

So, what do we do?

Indeed, we are chosen.  We are grafted in to a Kingdom that is rooted in Jewish soil.  We are called to honor all peoples—but especially those in the body of Christ who are Jewish (Romans 15:27).  

As for the Jewish people who have not embraced their Messiah, our job is not to antagonize them.  Nor is it to put them on any kind of pedestal.  Rather, our job is to woo them back to their own Covenant (Romans 11:11).

80 years ago, Christians were silent in the face of the Third Reich.  But today, we are not silent.  We are praying day and night.  We are standing with Israel.  We welcome Messianic Jews (of whom I am one).  And we are contending for day when all Israel will welcome her King.

Indeed, God is finishing the work He started in us (Philippians 1:6).


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AuthorGary David Flamberg | BCWorldview.org

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