Friday, September 14, 2012
Israel and the Bible....The choosen people? I don't think so
For those who feel we should support Israel solely based on the Bible - here are some passages that they may want to revisit - 'The Jews generally rejected Jesus, the true Messiah, therefore Jesus cursed the fig tree, which represents Israel, saying, "May you never bear fruit again!" (Mat. 21:18). When the Jewish chief priests and elders questioned Jesus' authority He said to them, "I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people [Gentiles] who will produce its fruit" (Mat. 21:43). When Jesus told a parable to the Jewish chief priests, scribes, and elders (Lk. 20:19), they knew He was talking about them when He said that the vine-growers, to whom the owner had sent his son, killed his son. Then in the parable Jesus asked what will the owner of the vineyard do to those who killed his son, to which He said, "He will come and destroy these vine-growers [Jews] and will give the vineyard to others [Gentiles]." After hearing this and knowing that Jesus was talking about them, those Jews "tried to lay hands on Him that very hour...and they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, in order that they might catch Him in some statement, so as to deliver Him up to the rule and the authority of the governor" (Lk. 20:9-20). A loving, long suffering and merciful God sent Jesus to "His own [the Jews], and His own received Him not" (John 1:11). The reason that the Jewish prophet John (the Baptizer) came baptizing with water was to reveal Jesus to Israel (John 1:31). And Jesus said that He was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel (Mat. 15:24). Near the end of Jesus' earthly ministry Jesus said, 'O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. (Mat. 23:37-38). Paul quoted Isaiah in his epistle to the Christians in Rome, "Concerning Israel he [Isaiah] says, 'All day long I [God] have held out My hands to a disobedient and obstinate people [the Jews]'" (Rom. 10:21). After the apostle Paul had preached the Gospel to Jews in cities throughout Asia and was, for the most part, rejected by them, he turned to the Gentiles and ministered to them. Near the end of Paul's ministry, when he was in Rome under house arrest, he spoke to a large gathering of Jews. Paul explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. The great apostle concluded his sermon by saying, "The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your [Jewish] forefathers when He said through Isaiah the prophet: 'Go to this people and say, 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn and I would heal [save] them.' Therefore I want you to know that God's salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen" (Acts 28:17-28). When the Jews cried out over and over to crucify Jesus, and Pilate wanted to release Him, all the Jews said, "Let His blood be on us and on our children!" (Mat. 27:25). Jesus prophesied God's destruction of Jerusalem that would take place in 70 A.D. at the hands of the Roman general Titus (Mat. 24:1-2; Lk. 19:41-44). According to Josephus, the first-century Jewish historian, more than 1,000,000 Jews died when Jerusalem was laid siege to and destroyed as Jesus had prophesied 40 years earlier.