Question of the day: the Jews.

Growing up I always considered this to be a no-brainer… but the old the get, the more I wonder about it.

The Jews were God’s chosen people throughout Biblical history. We know that because of what the Bible says. However, we also know that the Jews rejected Jesus Christ and demanded His crucifixion.

Many people believe that the Jews lost their special standing with Almighty God when they rejected His Son. That crowd also believes that all born-again Christians (Jews and Gentiles) have replaced the Jews as a whole as the Chosen people of God. Still, others believe the Jewish people are still God’s chosen ones, and the Gentile Christians are merely grafted into the spiritual lineage through grace.

Back to my “no-brainer” comment… I have always believed that truth can be backed up by the Word of God. Therefore, I’ve always believed things that we can find in Scripture are clear-cut, no-brainers. However, I have had people on both sides of the fence use Scripture to “prove” (and I use that word lightly) their side of the discussion.

So here’s my question…

Are the Jews still God’s Chosen people, or did they lose that position when they rejected Jesus Christ?

AND… If the Jews are no longer God’s Chosen people, then who is? How do you know?

So, what are your thoughts on the matter? Do you have any Scripture with which you can back your opinions?

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Posted on December 20, 2010, in Question of the Day and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. My honest opinion? I don’t think it matters. What does matter is that we love them – not just as we love ourselves, but as Christ loves us (John 15:12). And that we treat them the way we would treat Jesus. God will take care of the rest.

  2. Linked here from Happily Ever After Again (I think. Started out there, anyway :).

    You ask a good question, and a tough one. Another question: where are the Jews who believed Jesus in the first century, were baptized in his name, and followed him?

    Acts 2:41 – 3,000 Jews were baptized. Acts 4:4 – the number of believing males grew to 5,000 (Jews counted the men in the synagogue to establish a quorum). So how many women were there? What was the total number? Perhaps several more thousand.

    When we speak of Jews today being the Chosen People, why do we tend to limit the discussion to the Jews who rejected Jesus? I’ve never heard a discussion include he Jews WHO BELIEVED, OBEYED AND FOLLOWED Jesus, yet the book of Acts makes much of them. Why have they become nonentities today?

    Those Jews who followed were integrated into the church at large with Gentiles who came in later. Acts seems to present them as Israel.

    But what of the Jews who rejected him? Acts 3:23 rarely enters the discussion, either. Nor does John 8:21-24.

    If the Jews who reject Jesus are still Chosen, then why did those early Jews have to accept Jesus and suffer persecution in His name from the Romans and their own fellow Jews?

    Good question. Looking forward to the discussion. wb

  3. In response to Warren’s comment, I think it should be pointed out that people (both Jews and Gentiles) had to receive salvation the same way both in the Old Testament and the New Testament – by placing their faith in the Messiah.

    There were covenant promises made to Israel in the Old Testament, but these were essentially promises to Israel as a nation and did not necessarily rest upon the spiritual relationship the individuals of that nation had with God.

    In like manner, we have promises made to the church in this New Testament. These appear to be different promises made to different sets of people, especially as the previous covenant promises to Israel are nowhere revoked or transferred.

    That said, it is important to remember a few things when handling these promises and these entities. First, these promises are made to groups of people (Israel, the church) as a whole – land promises for Israel or Jesus always being with us for the church, for example. Second, individuals themselves have entirely different sets of promises – eternal life for the believer or the promise of rewards, for example. Third, and maybe the most overlooked when discussing Israel and the church, is that there is ample room in Scripture (as I believe Warren did a good job of pointing out) for subsets of both entities to overlap entirely – plenty of Jews are also Christians.

  4. You’re right, Chris. Some time ago I got to attend some prayer meetings/Bible studies held by a group of Messianic (ie Christian) Jews in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Those were the most joyful meetings I have ever attended, anywhere, in any church. They put the Pentecostals to shame! They were simply overjoyed that they had found their Messiah, and let EVERYONE know it.

  5. That is a good question. Can’t say that I’ve devoted a lot of though to it before. But I am keenly interested in studying the ancient Hebrew culture, and the Hebrew language, to a greater depth as I think it would help illuminate the context in which the Bible was written. Enjoyed reading the comments here. Insightful indeed.

  6. I’d like to answer with another question:

    If God chooses you, can you then become unchosen?

    My gut reaction would be to say that just as when David Beckham hits a ball, it stays hit, so when God chooses you, you stay chosen…

    From a biblical perspective I believe the “grafting on” fits best, where the gentiles have been grafted on to the original chosen olive branch that is Israel, and therefore the Jews stayed chosen, and the Gentiles are also now chosen.

    Everyone can be in the people of God if they accept what Jesus did for them.

  7. Several things in play here.

    The Jews were meant to be the Priestly nation: they sacrificed on behalf of the world, and when the time came, they were to lead the nations into the fold of Christ. We know of many non-Israelite believers in the Scriptures, but they didn’t have the status that the nation of Israel had.
    Notice I say “nation of Israel.” The nation as a whole rejected their God and were unfaithful. Thus the Babylonian Captivity. Sure, of course there were believing Israelites who didn’t fall into idolatry. But as a whole, the nation did.

    When Christ came, bearing the message that all nations would have equal status, some of the hardcore Jews didn’t like that so much. See, they’d let their title as the “Chosen” go a little to their heads. They thought the Messiah would sweep all Gentiles away in a bloody battle, not bring them into the fold.

    But in the Kingdom of Heaven there is “neither Jew nor Greek.”

    Are they the “Chosen People?” Well, what did that mean? It meant the nation who would sacrifice to God on behalf of the world. That role is no longer necessary as the Ultimate Sacrifice has been made. Now, salvation rests on Him alone. The rank of Chosen no longer exists because it’s been made irrelevant.

    The point that Popthycollar made is a good one, about grafting. However, branches from the original tree can be cut off as well. It’s not an Israelite tree anymore: it’s the Tree of the People of God, and that transcends the nation of Israel.

    So I suppose the best answer to this question is that Jews who accept Christ are just as “Chosen” as non-Jews who accept Christ, and vice versa. Christ is the sole basis for our salvation, not belonging to the Israelite nation. God’s People is now bigger than any one nation, and associates with no specific nationality.

    As for Scripture proof, the book of Hebrews is written concerning this very topic (among other questions that early Jewish Christians might have had).

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