So who is the Jew and who is not? Maybe you are a
Jew and just don’t know it?
Well, we have to go back to the days of Abraham,
when he was called by God to cross the river and move to the land known today
That is the first time that a new name was ascribed
to Abraham, namely Hebrew, which means ‘he who has crossed over.’
Abraham crossed the river literally, but he also
crossed over from the beliefs in idols and false gods of that day, to faith in
God.The term Jew did not exist at that
The Bible further identified those who believed in
God through the lines of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This line separated them out again from those
who claimed, and who would claim, to be the one true race. Islam today claims Ishmael, Abraham’s illegitimate
son by the slave girl, to be the one true line of descendants.
So you might say that they claim to be the
descendants of bastards, or illegitimacy, or lies.
Once the line had run its course to Jacob, then his
twelve sons formed the foundation for the nation of Israel.
Jacobs name, you recall was changed to Israel, so
the sons of Jacob, became the sons of Israel, became the nation of Israel. But remember that this line and nation is
based on faith, not solely on genetics, because there were descendants of Jacob, who would not
believe and they are not considered to be a part of the nation of Israel.
The nation of Israel is intended to be, and
symbolize, the chosen nation of God, which is made up exclusively of believers. That distinguishes it from all other nations,
not chosen of God, and called gentiles.
So the concept is there are believers and there are
unbelievers, separated by faith (or lack of it) in God (Jesus Christ).
By faith Abraham was removed from sin into
promise. The new land is heaven, the old land will be destroyed some day. The new birth from faith will make us all the
legitimate children of God, verses illegitimate children of sin (slaves).
All of these illustrations are in parable format so
that spiritual lessons can be taught through real world examples. Remember that people cannot understand the
things of the spirit, until and unless they are saved, and then maintain a
fellowship status, therefore parables or real world illustrations are used in
the Bible to teach spiritual concepts.
History moves on and we come to Solomon. In his day, there was one nation, Israel. But
after Solomon died, then the nation fell apart and was split into two
nations. The northern part was called
Israel and the southern part was called Judah.
The northern nation rejected the single nation
concept and stole the name which they did not deserve. They were destroyed by Assyria and never ever
recovered. That northern region later
became known as Samaria.
The southern nation, Judah, survived for a little
while later, but also succumbed to disobedience to God, and was destroyed by
Babylon. However, the region was still called
Judah, and to some extent was repopulated by Israelites over time, but they
became known as Jews, or people of Judah.
And that name has stuck with them (the entire race of Jews) for the rest
of history up and until our present day.
And Christ clarifies here, that race, or genetics,
or ancestry are not the true test of family or race when it comes the chosen
family of God. For that we borrow a
couple of passages from Romans.
28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly;
neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh.
29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and
circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter;
and his praise is not from men, but from God. NASB
6 But it is not as though the word of God has
failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel;
7 neither are they all children because they are
Abraham’s descendants, but: “through Isaac your descendants will be
So, there were those who claimed to be Jews, and
probably were in their flesh, but were not in faith. They were unbelieving Jews. Today we would note them as followers of
Judaism, rather than Christian Jews who have believed in Christ.
Now, all of that said, there will come a time
(future), when all unbelieving Jews (and gentiles), will come to realize that
they were wrong, dead wrong, with regard to Christ and Christianity. And, they will fall to their knees in tremendous
humility before all Christians. Knowing
that God loved those who loved Him, who loved truth, and
it was Christians, and not them.
But note, unbelievers do not fall to their knees
before Christ, but are made to fall before those who have believed in Christ,
further justifying and recognizing the one true faith in history. But also,
indicating that the unbelievers still do not get it. The one you worship is Christ, not angels,
not people, not objects.