Ask Your Preacher
Are Jews Jesus' chosen people? And why?
Yay For Yarmulke
Dear Yay For Yarmulke,
The Jews are not Jesus’ chosen people; the church is. Jesus says that christians are His royal priesthood and chosen race (1 Pet 2:9). Under the Old Testament, the Jewish people were God’s nation (Deu 7:6). The Jewish nation was warned that if they rejected God’s Son, they would be rejecting God, and God would make a new nation out of those who believed in Christ (Jesus explained this to the Jews in the parable of the vineyard – Lk 20:9-19). The vast majority of Jews didn’t believe in Jesus, and therefore, they never became a part of Jesus’ kingdom. Jesus’ chosen people are those that love Him and keep His commandments (Jhn 14:15). The Jewish people rejected God because they would rather have their traditions than God’s Son (Mk 7:9).
I don't get it... if Jesus was a Jew, why isn't Judaism the correct religion? Did I miss something?
Dear Confused Christian,
Jesus was born a Jew (Matt 1:17), lived under the Jewish law (Lk 2:41-42), and even taught His fellow Jews to obey the Old Testament law (Matt 23:1-3). Judaism was the right religion, until Jesus died on the cross and replaced Judaism with Christianity. The Old Testament, the law the Jews followed, was a tutor to lead people to Christ, but after Jesus came, mankind was supposed to follow Him instead (Gal 3:24-25). The Jewish law said that someday there would come a Messiah who would save them from their sins – Jesus was that Messiah (Jhn 1:45). The Jewish law taught mankind that they needed a Savior, and that they should prepare for His coming. Jesus came providing the grace and truth that wasn’t possible under Jewish law (Jhn 1:17). Jesus’ death made a permanent sacrifice for sins that none of the Old Testament animal sacrifices ever could (Heb 10:1-4).
(This post is a follow-up to “Blood In Both Directions”)
Does this mean, according to Paul, the justification and reconciliation could be attained despite the fact that the matter of faith in the Christ remained a secret until the first century when it became revealed to Paul and his associates? Was the conscious faith not necessary until then for some reason?
Just Wondering Jew
Dear Just Wondering Jew,
People who lived before Christ were still saved by faith in God. The whole point of faith is that it is a matter of trusting whatever God has told you (Rom 10:17). Faith assumes that there are pieces of the puzzle that aren’t revealed to you yet... but that the person (or in this case Deity) that you are putting your faith in is trustworthy (Heb 11:1). The Old Testament saints had faith in Christ because they trusted in the Messiah that was to come. The New Testament saints have faith in Christ as they trust the words of the Messiah who walked this earth many years ago… both groups have faith in Christ. Each group had different instructions and different information that God had given them to follow, but they both had faith in the same God (1 Cor 10:1-4). Each group had a conscious faith in God – just different rules to follow.
Hello. I am a religious Jew but am interested in understanding other religions. My question is: how did Paul explain how Jews (or Gentiles) were able to be justified (righteous) with or without the Law if the salvation of the Christ was a secret until it was revealed to him and his colleagues in the first century? How did David and Abraham acquire righteousness if they (or anyone else) did not know about the role of the Christ? Thanks.
Just Wondering Jew
Dear Just Wondering Jew,
The New Testament teaches that the sacrifices that cleansed the Jewish people from sin never truly removed the sin (Heb 10:1-4). The Jewish nation (along with all faithful people) needed God’s blood to permanently remove sin and make them righteous. When Jesus died on the cross, His blood paid the price for those who had gone before and those who were to come after… one sacrifice for all sins (Heb 10:12).
All mankind is saved by faith in God, including those found in the Old Testament. Abraham lived by faith and is considered the father of the faithful (Rom 4:11-12). Abraham didn’t understand the mystery of what God would do in Christ, but he did live knowing that God would send salvation (Jhn 8:56). Moses placed his faith in God (which includes Jesus because Jesus is Deity – Jhn 1:1-3) and was rewarded for it (Heb 11:24-26). All the faithful who lived before Christ did so in expectation of better things through God (Heb 11:13). Though they didn’t understand the details, all the faithful of the Old Testament anxiously anticipated the coming of the Messiah (1 Pet 1:10-12). Jesus’ blood covered the sins of those who looked forward to the coming of the Messiah… as well as the sins of those who rejoice that He already came.
(This post is a follow-up to “The Messiah”)
From what I have read, he did not meet the criteria in the Old Testament (as you guys call it). I have talked to deeply religious christians about this, and they can quote me Scripture all day long; however, since the Bible and Jesus are the most important things in their lives, you would think they would have done research on the historical origins of the Bible and the historic evidence of Jesus during the years of 1-60 AD, but I found in every single case without exception the same attitude of "I know nothing, and I do not want to know". One nurse I work with told me, "I do not need evidence; I just believe." Why do you think they call it blind faith?!
If you really think the New Testament is truly the word of God and not manmade, that means it all would make perfect sense, and there would not be any inconsistencies, and the more you learn, the more you will find out nothing is more obvious.
Plus, if we are right, then you guys are worshiping falsely and, therefore, are doomed under your own belief system. The whole thing, in my opinion, comes down to our God-given gift of reason and common sense.
How would you respond if Muslims and Mormons told you they are the only way to God, and if you do not buy into it, you are doomed?
Can we not just respect each other? If you know something I don’t and have historic proof and real evidence and not just blind faith, I would love to see it!
Of A Friendly Faith
Dear Of A Friendly Faith,
It is an absolute travesty that no one has ever given you a better reason for believing in Jesus than blind faith. We here at AYP believe that Jesus is the Christ because of the evidence – not in spite of it! To save space, we are going to point you toward a couple of previous posts to read. For information on the authenticity of the Bible and its divine origins, we recommend reading our posts “Who Wrote The Bible?” and perusing our evidences section of the AskYourPreacher archives. God meant it when He told us to “come and reason together” with Him (Isa 1:18). The more you dig into it, the more staggering the evidence is that the Bible was written by God.
The same goes for Jesus. When the apostles first began preaching Jesus as the Christ, they did it to Jews who knew their Bibles. The biggest stumbling block for every Jew was that Jesus died on a cross – something none of them believed would ever happen to the Messiah (Gal 5:11). However, the apostles proved that the Bible did teach that the Messiah would have to suffer (Acts 26:22-23). The apostles quoted verses like Ps 16:10 (used by Peter in Acts 2:25-31) and Isa 53:5-11 (used by Philip in Acts 8:32-35). The Old Testament taught that the Messiah would suffer and die on a cross, and Jesus did that very thing. We highly recommend reading The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel for further details on the evidence that Jesus fulfills the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah. Hopefully this gives you some evidence to whet your appetite; please feel free to continue to correspond with us as further questions arise.