Continuing our discussion on the conflict over Israel within the Christian community (please see the first part here), I want to dive into Christianity’s difficulty with Jewish identity. First, I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but God Himself mandates Jewish identity. Without Jewish identity, there would never be a Christian identity. God declares in Genesis 12:3 that in you, all the families of the earth shall be blessed. The “you” here refers to the descendants of Abraham – the Jewish people.
Several times since we began working alongside the Jewish people here on the mountains of Israel, I’ve had Christians ask me about the burden of legalism the Jews seem to carry. Christians have said, “I thank God that Jesus died so I could eat a ham sandwich.” Or fill in the blank with any prohibition in God’s law. Years ago, I would have likely made the same statement. Today, I respond, “I understand where you are coming from, but let’s walk this out to the end. What if you were to get every Jew to eat a ham sandwich? How would that look? Since eating a biblical kosher diet is part of Jewish identity, you are asking the Jew to give up his God-given identity and become like you.
If every Jew gave up their distinct and peculiar biblical identity, there would be no more Jews in the world. No Jews mean no Israel. No Jews would say to the world that God’s irrevocable (Rm 11:29) Covenant is revocable – over, done, finished. If God can go back on His Promise or Covenant, we would have to believe he could also turn His back on us.
Jews keeping their identity gives credibility to our own faith! Hallelujah!! I love this quote from Mark Twain in 1899:
“The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”
The secret of the Jew’s immortality should be evident to every believer. God’s promises can never be made void, no matter how hard the world tries.
We find this faith and hope in the Covenant with Abraham at the foundation of our Christian Bible. We’ll begin with the birth of Jesus in Luke 1:32,33 as the angel Gabriel comes to Mary and says, “…The Lord God will give you the throne of your father David and He will reign over the house of Jacob (Israel) forever, and of His Kingdom, there will be no end.” In Mary’s exuberance, she sings, “God has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever.” (Luke 1:54, 55)
The conflict for most Christians is the difficulty in recognizing, like Mary, the Covenant with Abraham in the birth of Jesus. Look at Zacharias when he prophesied at the birth of John, “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel… He has visited and redeemed His people. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us (Jews) in the house of His servant David (Temple in Jerusalem), as He spoke by the mouth of His Holy Prophets…We would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us (Jews). He will perform the mercy promised to our fathers. To remember His Holy Covenant, the Oath which He swore to our father Abraham that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear in Holiness and Righteousness all the days of our life.” (Luke 1:68-75)
Have you ever heard a Christian speak excitedly about the Abrahamic Covenant regarding the birth of Jesus and John? Unfortunately, Christianity, historically, has placed itself as the enemy of the Jewish people, those who hate Jews. In fact, most Jews, for almost 2,000 years, believed that the true Messiah would come and save them from Christians – the apparent enemies of the Jews.
I am personally sickened by the arrogance of Christianity toward God’s Elect. Like Christians, Jews are not perfect; they have a God-given calling, and a God-given identity that should never be altered.
Simeon, looking for the Consolation of Israel, prayed in the Holy Temple, as he held Jesus up before the Lord, that Jesus would be a Light that would bring revelation to the Nations… and the Glory of Your people Israel. (Luke 2:25,27,28,32)
Please, God, as you restore the Kingdom of Israel, would you please bring the light of revelation prophesied over the nations for the Glory of your people Israel?
Tommy Waller is the Founder of HaYovel (www.ServeIsrael.com). He is happy to receive inputs or questions about this articles.