The Big PictureWhy are the “chosen people” chosen, and how do they fit into the drama as history plays out from Genesis to Revelation?
Scripture helps make rational the seeming randomness of life. It organizes experience into something coherent and purposeful.
How were these Jewish hard heads to be reached?
The drama outlined from Genesis through Revelation is the history and future of mankind. We are told of God's creation, with human beings as the capstone. We see the subversion of God's most noble species by the serpent— really Lucifer, a fallen angel. At the end of the book is the fullness of redemption.
We may have been made a little lower than the angels. However, these ethereal beings can see things we cannot. We have to run the gauntlet of faith. When we do so, we show ourselves to be of higher spiritual stature than angels, including Lucifer and his followers.
It seems nothing happens quickly and this story takes thousands of years to play out. Who will do the telling of it? A certain microcosmic people in a small corner of the Middle East were selected. Abraham was to be the progenitor of this people, and was more importantly to be a father of the "Faith Race."
The term "chosen people" has sometimes been problematic because it is mischaracterized as meaning someone special. That's not correct. Rather, Jewish people were chosen to be the "oracles of God," to tell the story. There's an old quip that "Jews are like everybody else, only more so." It sometimes seems every human frailty comes out in the biblical drama.
Finally, the promised Messiah comes to raise us above our previously fallen state. Some Jewish people grabbed onto this gracious opportunity, while others remained skeptical. God's plan was comprehensive, so as to include the entire world. For those who followed the cynical Rabbis, overall historical results have not been good.
How were these Jewish hard heads to be reached? Why, by the Gentiles, of course. It took a long time for Christianity to be secure enough to not feel competitive with the Jewish People, as to whom Daddy loves best.
After a long while, Christians awoke to the idea that Yeshua (Jesus) would not come back until the people of Jerusalem welcomed Him. Increasingly, believers have mobilized towards this goal. The Jewish people have got to get it. Jointly, a partnership has been welded together with Messianic Jews to remove obstacles, fostering a spiritual environment consistent with Jewish culture.
Although ancient councils precluded it, it is now acceptable for Jews to remain Jews, as long as they accept the Messiah. This is like the grace allowed the Gentiles in Acts 15, only in reverse. Messianic synagogues, Passover seders etc., are embraced by many in the Body. We are all members of the "Faith Race."
When it is all accomplished and there will be a new heaven and new earth—what then? We do not know, but whatever it is, there the battle against evil continues.
That's the reason we came into this world. We are combatants in a spiritually hostile world and we're here to fight for the good. Our roles may not be large, but we can strive to act them out well.
Grace McMannus is the editor of Messianic Times.
Originally published in Messianic Times, March/April 2008.
Used with permission. Copyright © 2008 Christianity.ca.