Romans 11:12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!
My impression is that the average Christian thinks very little about the Jews, particularly here in Japan, where most people have never met a Jew. However, if you read the Bible honestly, the issue is inescapable. After all, the Old Testament records the history of the Jewish people up until a few hundred years before Jesus’ birth, and Jesus Himself and all the earliest disciples were Jewish. Whether salvation was even possible for a Gentile was one of the biggest issues in the early Church! That said, the Church worldwide today is very predominantly Gentile, and Paul did not want those Gentiles, to whom he himself was an apostle, to forget their Jewish roots. This verse points out that every believer has the riches of God’s grace because of Abraham and his descendants. Our response should be to hold the Jews very dear, and seek to share in turn with them the riches of glory in their own Messiah, our Savior Christ Jesus. The good news is that there are more Messianic Jews today than at any time since the 1st Century. Websites like OneforIsrael.com are a joy indeed to read, with their abundance of testimonies of Jews who have discovered Jesus as their Messiah. There are many organizations, both in Israel and around the world, that are dedicated to communicating the Gospel with Jews, one of the oldest being Jews for Jesus. Both Jews and Gentiles need to realize that believing in Jesus doesn’t make anyone less Jewish; rather it completes them by a relationship with the Messiah for whom they have been seeking their whole life.
I have written before about my somewhat surprising connections with Jews and Israel. Though I have never visited the geographic location of Israel, as far back as I can remember I have been proud of having been born in the same year, 1948. The 6-Day War happened while I was in college. I think an Arab Israeli student who was a couple of years behind me was the proudest person on campus at what Israel accomplished at that time, but I was probably a close second! There are many, many other connections I could mention, but I continue to be very aware that my Savior, the Savior of the world, was and is Jewish. I don’t know what this will mean for me in the rest of my time on this earth, but I want to be available for whatever my Lord desires.
Father, thank You for how Jewish I feel at times, even though that is probably an insult to those who were born and raised Jewish. I pray that I would be available to bring more and more Jews into the family of Christ, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!
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