This post began more as a thought experiment at first but some recent commentary on the subject and further thinking will make it more than that.
What had originally got me thinking about Jesus and the Jews was the obsession Evangelical Christians seem to have with Jews and the state of Israel. I actually experienced it this morning when it was brought up at a breakfast meeting due to a recent speech by Benjamin Netanyahu to the UN. Now I share their support for the nation but not for any reason related to religion. I simply and unapologetically support as a matter of principle, the right of every people to have a nation – even an explicitly ethnic nationalist state such as Israel more or less is. I’d probably be considered a Zionist extremist even in Israel due to my views on nationalism.
What I find odd though is the reverence with which many Evangelical Christians seem to hold the Jews. Why? I support Israel’s right to exist as I do any nation but for Evangelicals it is more related to the Jews being the people of God. This isn’t just the rapture cultists either but a large sway of Evangelical Christians.
This has led me to ponder this question; are the Jews still the people of God?
I certainly believe they were as all Christians do but as a Christian who believes that Jesus is the son of God and the promised Messiah, I cannot see how people who explicitly reject Jesus can be considered the people of God anymore.The temple was destroyed, the old covenant was broken and a new covenant was made and the new temple is the church. If this is true and Jesus was the promised Messiah then God is no longer with the Jews who reject his son. They are not the people of God and Christians are.
Do Christians really believe that it’s okay to reject Christ and still be following revealed truth? I don’t think so. This may not be a nice thing to tell an observant Jew but that’s not really what I’m suggesting. I merely think that Christians should stop treating Jews like special humans and remember what it is they’re supposed to believe.
Part of this obsession certainly comes from the aftermath of the holocaust and (as I’ve recently learned), propaganda bringing words like Judeo-Christian into common use. I understand that this can make anything that sounds negative towards Jewish people that which should be avoided but it doesn’t mean there has to be this obsession. It also doesn’t really explain why it’s so prevalent. Perhaps obsession is the wrong word too but it often seems like one.
So I have nothing against Jews but that doesn’t mean I’d flatter them with notions that I don’t believe are true. Jews (in the religious sense) are not the people of God. It isn’t nice or delicate but if you’re a Christian – it’s true and we shouldn’t pretend otherwise.