Thursday, September 12, 2013

Enemies for our sake

Looking at a Jewish blog or two, I always come away with the feeling that these people are just so Jewish, it’s as if they don’t know that the rest of the world exists—and for them, maybe it just doesn’t! There’s just so much going on inside of Judaism today.

If I could only let Jesus go, even a schmuck like me could join them. But that’s the rub—as all of us bible-loving, torah-hugging, evangelion-kissing followers of Y’shua ha-Mashiach know—we’ll never really be their kind of Jews until we get rid of ‘that Jew’.
And I just can’t do that.

It also really amazes me how Jewish blogs, indeed, Jewish culture, ignores Jesus. It’s as though He never existed, and I suppose, it’s because they wish He hadn’t.

What an embarrassment! One of your own people turns up and starts challenging everything you took for granted, lures away some of the brethren into following Him, and even when somehow the Guy gets killed (did we have anything to do with it?), that doesn’t seem to stop Him. He’s brainwashed those followers of His into coming up with some tom-fool story of Him rising from the dead! And to top it off, they start finding verses in the Tanakh to support their stupid claims!

Well, how else do you expect the Jews to behave? When they’re alone with themselves, as on their blogs, at forums, or in their private lives together, what else should matter? They’re God’s chosen people.

I can’t help loving them. I wish I had been born a Jew because I feel like one through and through. It comforts me to be among them, to stand and sway in one of their synagogue services. I wish my hair was dark and my beard and sideburns luxuriant. My family name is a Jewish one in our ancestral country, but that doesn’t mean a thing. I am a Polack and no matter how far back I trace my family, we were Christians, Catholics until I came along. I was a blondy as a little boy, and now I’m a whity.

Why do I love the Jews? Well, I can’t escape the reality that Jesus Christ, the God-man, is a Jew. What? He was a Jew, that’s true, but He isn’t one now! Is that so? I have a funny dream, that when He returns He’s going to look around and ask, ‘Where’s my brothers?’ and I don’t mean Pope Benny and Patriarch Bart. Yes, I really do believe that Jesus Christ is a Jew, and I believe that His virgin mother, His brethren, most of the holy apostles, and lots of other people He loves are Jews, including Israel His people.

These people, the Jews, they never cease to amaze me. What incredible chutzpah they have! It’s got to come from somewhere. As an old college prof commented to a colleague in the film Chariots of Fire, when Harold Abrahams, a Jewish student, wins a race, ‘Maybe they’re God’s chosen people after all.’ I have to agree with him. They’re God’s chosen people, and Jesus of Nazareth is one of them, and in Him all the promises made to the patriarchs are fulfilled. But where does that leave them?

The Jews of today, and all those who’ve lived since the time of Christ, during what’s cleverly been called C.E. (Common Era) times, what of them? They haven’t accepted Jesus bar Joseph of Nazareth as the Messiah. How could they? He doesn’t fit the description they’ve come up with by studying their scriptures. Ah yes, but Christ Himself says to them, ‘You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life’ (John 5:39-40). If I was standing there when He first said this, wouldn’t I be just as confused as they were? Jesus is altogether new, and all I’ve ever known is old.

Brothers, forgive this pointless ramble, but consider the mystery of Israel, God’s ‘hereditary people’ as they are called in the Psalms. Yes, I know they wrote the psalms, so what do you expect? But we also share the Holy Scriptures with them, the bulk of them we share. Our thin volume of gospels and epistles could be tucked inside the Tanakh without it even showing. Their people taught us, and we are learning from them still. They are the unthanked nursemaids of our spiritual infancy.

Remember the words of holy apostle Paul, ‘servant of the mystery’:

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
Romans 11:25-32

1 comment:

Sasha said...

Loved this "ramble", brother. :)
I was born to a Jewish mother, and though she was never a Jew by faith - I always felt "related" to and attracted by the Jews. May the Lord have mercy on all of them and us!