On 24th of July, two servants of God came to share about the significant relationship between Christians and the Jews today in the Full Gospel Business Men Fellowship (FGBMF) led by Yesudas Snalthan in Menara TA, Kuala Lumpur.
Christians (or Gentiles who accepted and believe in Jesus Christ) and Messianic Jews (or Jews who accepted and believe Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour) are in fact, brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. The Bible says God will make both groups into one new man, reconciling them both in one body to God through the cross. (Eph 2:14-16) That is how God define church – Jews and Gentiles – worshiping together as one new man!
For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups (Jews and Gentiles) into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.
We all know Jesus’ final commandment to the disciples before His ascension, which is, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15 NASB) And all creation means all people including the Jews.
In fact, God has never forgotten about His promises to Israel, which is essentially a Jewish nation. Some Christians believe in the replacement theology. This theology says that because the Jews have failed God. Hence, the “church” (which is made out of believing Gentiles) now replaces Israel altogether in receiving the promises of God.
But we know that this replacement theology is untrue. In 1948, God has fulfilled His Word in Isaiah 66:8 in making Israel a nation. This shows God’s ongoing fulfilment of every promise in the Bible for Israel. Israel is still God’s chosen nation because “the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Rom 11:29 NASB) The question therefore is, “How are Christians a part of God’s plan in restoring Israel?”
Besides Jesus’ final commandment to preach the gospel, there is another purpose that Jesus came for, which many churches had missed. Prophet Isaiah revealed to us this other purpose in Isaiah 49:6.
He (God) says, “It is too small a thing that You (Jesus Christ) should be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also make You a light of the nations
So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
(Isa 49:6 NASB)
We often stressed Jesus’ final commandment, but Jesus also came to restore the nation of Israel (Isa 49:6). That is to make a one new Church of the Jews and Gentiles. But how is God planning to accomplish that? Let us look at the Bible.
In Isaiah 49:11-23, God will lead the scattered nation of Israel back to their homeland, from faraway lands, from the north, from the west, and from the land of Sinim (meaning China or the East). (Isa 49:11-12) Great numbers would return to Israel until the place will be too cramped to stay. (Isa 49:20) And these are exciting times for us because we are seeing this prophecy happening now.
So again, how are Christians a part of this plan of Israel restoration? We can find this answer in Isaiah 49:22 NASB; God says, “Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations and set up My standard to the peoples; and they will bring your sons in their bosom, and your daughters will be carried on their shoulders.” (Isa 49:22 NASB) Who are these nations?
In Hebrew, these nations are called gō-w-yim, which means Gentiles. In other words, God has purposed the Gentiles to carry the Jews in our arms and on our shoulders. While we as Malaysians may not physically contribute to help Jews make Aliyah or return to their homeland, we are called to pray and intercede for the Jews to make Aliyah. We need to recognize that God has purposed Christians to be part of His Plan in revealing Jesus Christ to the Jews. In fact, Paul has mentioned about this beautiful Plan in Romans 11.
Paul said in Romans 11:25, “For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery – so that you will not be wise in your own estimation – that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” The Greek word for fullness is plērōma, which is the same word used for “fullness of Deity” in Christ (Col 2:9) and the “fullness of God.” (Eph 3:19)
Some Bibles translate this fullness as the “number” of Gentiles. But according to the Greek word, it would be more accurate to understand fullness as the fullness of Christ in our life, which is the maturity in Christ. And when we as individuals or collectively as “Gentile” believers come into that fullness in Jesus Christ, we become part of God’s plan in revealing Jesus Christ as the Savior to the Jews. In other words, the coming of the Church of Malaysia into her fullness, is actually part of God’s Plan in revealing Jesus Christ to the Jews!
Not only that, Paul in Romans 11:1b also says, “But by their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous.” In other words, God has purposed our salvation in Christ to provoke the Jews into jealousy and into the Kingdom of God.
To grasp the full picture of how God has interwoven Christians into Israel’s restoration, let us look at Romans 11 again. We owe our salvation to the Jews, because it is by their transgression, that salvation has come to us. (Romans 11:1) Yet, it is through our salvation and fullness in Jesus Christ, that the Jews enter the Kingdom of God. (Romans 11:25)
Why did God make this plan? God has purposed this, so that none of us can boast. The Jews cannot boast of their natural Abrahamic lineage in earning their salvation. And the Gentiles cannot boast of their free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. “For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.” (Romans 11:32 NASB)
This is done so that all will know that it is by God’s mercy and grace, we can be reconciled to God. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB)
Not only that, through this Plan, God is working to unite the Messianic Jews and the believing Gentiles together into one new man and one Church, and this has been mentioned many times in the Bible. (Eph 2:14-16, Gal 3:28-29, Rom 10:12, Col 3:9-11)
God’s redemptive Plan of the Jews and Gentiles is so beautiful that even Paul exclaimed at the end, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given Him that it might be paid back to Him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:33-36 NASB)
Only in Jesus Christ, we see the beautiful Church of Jews and Gentiles connected together on the same foundation built by the prophets and apostles of the Old and the New Testament. Indeed, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:28) We are all but one in Christ. Amen.
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Note: To arrange for speakers for sharing about the relationship of Christians with the Messianic Jews in churches, please contact Chuck Chung at firstname.lastname@example.org