Friends, this is Day 3 and the last of our 3-part series focusing on rightly relating to our Jewish roots. We are ending with a bang today, so pull up your chair and, with coffee in hand, join us at the virtual study table!
I love studying and coming to deeper understanding of God’s plan and our position in it, don’t you! I am fascinated as I study what God’s Word has to say about the Jewish roots of Christianity, and the roles God gave to both Jews and Gentiles. If you missed the previous two days (Worshiping the Substance, not the Shadow and Recognizing God’s Vehicle of World Redemption), take time to catch up.
Today we’re getting practical. For centuries, there was bad blood between Jews and Christians…and for good reason. It was in the name of Christianity that Jews suffered (among other things):
- The Spanish Inquisition
- The Crusades
- The Holocaust
But thankfully, great efforts have been made to reconcile relationships between Jews and Christians! Particularly as Christians faced extreme persecution throughout the Middle East, greater understanding and empathy seemed to grow.
Today, Israel is by far the safest place in the Middle East for Christians! In fact, Christians freely worship, engage in social and civic affairs and enjoy all the rights and freedoms any other Israeli citizen enjoys. Miraculously, the Jewish people have warmed to Christians.
On the other side of the equation, Christians have also made efforts to reach out to the Jewish people, and in doing so, are fulfilling prophecy!
For example, read Jeremiah 31 carefully. In it, Jeremiah the prophet foretells a day when God pours out His lovingkindness on Israel and turns her mourning to joy. The Lord is doing that work (even secularly, Israel was recently recognized as the 11th happiest country in the world), and He is using Christians to help fulfill that prophecy! Verse 5 describes vineyards being replanted on the hills of Samaria, and that is exactly what we see!
However, take a look at Isaiah 61:5b:
…And foreigners will be your farmers and your vinedressers.
Guess who is showing up in Israel, specifically in the hills of Samaria, to plant, prune and harvest the vineyards: Christians! (Here’s eye-witness proof: Prophecy Being Fulfilled in and Samaria!)
I believe God is honoring His Word as Christians pour out love and support to Israel. Recent reports from Christian leaders in the land say there is an increasing awareness of the distinction between today’s Christians, and Christians who brought persecution upon the Jewish people for centuries. More importantly, there is growing openness toward the idea that Jesus is the Messiah! I believe they are seeing the love of Jesus being lived out through Christians!
Paul’s expressed desire in Romans 11 was that his countrymen, the Jews, would be moved to jealousy by those who have been grafted into the olive tree. (The olive tree is a symbol of spiritual Israel!) Further on in Romans 15:27, he taught that, since the Gentiles shared in spiritual things, they were indebted to share material things in return. As recipients of the spiritual blessings God promised through the Jews in Genesis 12:3, Christians are now sharing material things with the Jews in Israel today!
My friends, this is a primary reason I planned the EXPERIENCE ISRAEL TOUR this coming November. I want to go there, and I want to take you with me, to both see and understand the prophecies being fulfilled, and to gain opportunities for us to also show the love of Christ to our Jewish friends! Come go with us…and be able to say, “I played a part in the fulfillment of prophecy!”