ルカ 2:21 八日が満ちて幼子に割礼を施す日となり、幼子はイエスという名で呼ばれることになった。胎内に宿 る前に御使いがつけた名である。

When I saw a series of video testimonies of Messianic Jews the other day, a common thread for many of them was their utter amazement at the Jewishness of the New Testament. Frankly, this is something most Gentile readers don't even notice! Even though Luke was perhaps the only Gentile writer included in the NT canon, he too is completely matter-of-fact in talking about such an inherently Jewish thing as circumcision on the 8th day. Christians lose a great deal when they forget their Jewish roots, and I'm not just talking about the OT. That of course is included, but there is much more to it. Whereas it is true that to this point the majority of the physical descendants of Abraham have not recognized Jesus as the promised Messiah, Paul is very clear that the Church is not complete without them, writing about it extensively in Romans 11 and also bring the matter up in Ephesians 2. It is a mystery to me how so many otherwise great men of God could have missed that fact throughout the history of the Church. Perhaps the most logical explanation is that in the first few centuries the Jews persecuted the Church. That was doubly painful to the Christians because they shared the same OT and thus the same God. However, reacting to that by persecuting Jews, once the Christians got the upper hand, was entirely unconscionable.


I don't remember receiving teaching about this one way or the other as I was growing up, except that we read the whole Bible and not just parts, but it was actually a bit of a shock when a Messianic Jew for whom I was interpreting here in Japan explained “replacement theology” to me. “Replacement theology” says that the Church has supplanted the Jews in God's plan, so the Jews are now excluded. I had trouble believing my ears that some seminaries, even, actually taught that, but now I know it to be sadly true. It was a blessing and a privilege to be included, rather amazingly, in the Messianic fellowship when I was in seminary myself. I have no idea how many of my Gentile classmates subscribed to replacement theology, but at that point I didn't even know it existed! As a pastor, I need to teach the believers what a rich heritage they have in the Jewish roots of the Church, and that as Paul said in Romans 11:17-24, we are grafted onto Jewish stock, and we need to be grateful and pray for the salvation of the descendants of Jacob.


Father, thank You for Your amazing plan of salvation. Even people who are saved misunderstand it so often! Help us walk in full humility and gratefulness, never sinking to exclude someone on the basis of ethnicity but recognizing that if You love us, You must love everyone! Help me communicate Your love and grace in all its fullness more and more effectively, so that more and more people of all sorts may receive and be saved, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


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