Jewish?

If you are Jewish, you may wonder why a Gentile follower of the Jew Yeshua (anglicized to Jesus) presents His Gospel (Good News) to unbelieving Jews. My answer to this question follows.

I am deeply grateful to the Jewish people. Without them, I would not know God.

At its beginning, Christianity was Jewish, not Gentile. All the books of the Tanakh were written and preserved by Jews. The Messianic seed was carried by the Jewish people, and Yeshua was born a Jew. All of His apostles and most of His disciples were Jews. I believe that all the books of the New Covenant Scriptures were written by Jews. Nearly all the elders, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and ordinary congregants of the early church were Jews – particularly in Jerusalem.

Moreover, Yeshua and His earliest followers made Christianity’s Jewishness explicit. Yeshua said, “…salvation is of the Jews” (KJ21 John 4:22), and He ministered almost exclusively to the Jewish people. In addition, Yeshua instructed His apostles to do likewise, saying, “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (KJ21 Matthew 10:5-6). The apostles did so.

So did Paul. Upon arriving in a city, he took the Gospel first to the local synagogue and then elsewhere. In addition, he wrote, “…I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one who believeth, to the Jew first and also to the [Gentile]” (KJ21 Romans 1:16). Furthermore, using the metaphors of a cultivated olive tree for the Jews and a wild olive tree for the Gentiles, he went on to say that Jewish unbelievers are pruned from the cultivated tree, and that Gentile believers are removed from the wild tree and grafted into the cultivated tree (Romans 11:17). Clearly, believing Jews, the remaining natural branches in the cultivated tree, constitute the faithful remnant of Israel, and believing Gentiles, the transplanted branches, join the faithful remnant in the cultivated tree, thereby becoming Jews by adoption.

Yet God has not forgotten unbelieving Jews (Romans 11:1). Paul wrote: “…they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? For I, brethren, would not have you be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved…” (KJ21 Romans 11:23‑26).

Thus I pray daily: “Lord Yeshua, have mercy upon unbelieving Jews. You blinded them (Romans 11:7) for the sake of the Gentiles – for my sake. Now bless them. Open their eyes and unstop their ears that they may see and hear that you are the Holy One of Israel, the Promised Messiah, their Redeemer and LORD. Amen.”

John signature short

P.S. You are probably familiar with the Tenakh (Old Testament) , which contains 44 or more prophesies concerning the Messiah. You may not be familiar, however, with the more than 44 records of their fulfillment in the New Covenant Scriptures (New Testament). To see them, look at Messiah’s Prefigurement in Scripture.

© 2016 John Holbrook Jr.

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