Six months after the deadly shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a similar attempt was made on the Chabad Synagogue in San Diego this weekend (4/27/19). Although Jewish people are not the only ones targeted in attacks toward religious and non-religious targets, hatred and violent acts against Jews are some of the most severe and ancient known to the world. Antisemitism has often been so strong and passionate, it is incredible. Stereotypes against them are sweeping and staunch. Among those professing to be Christians, there is a wide range of views and false extremes at both ends. Let us consider some truths and then a few applications.
- Jesus was a Jew (Mat. 1:1-17).
- All the apostles were Jews (Matt. 10:2ff; Acts 1:21-26; Phil. 3:5-6).
- Some of the greatest Bible heroes, including Moses, David, Elijah and the prophets, Esther, and more, were Jews.
- Jews prompted the Romans to cause Jesus’ death (Mark 15).
- Salvation came first to the Jews (Rom. 1:16).
- The first Christians were Jews (Acts 2-9).
- The Jews were God’s chosen people to bring the Messiah for the benefit of the whole world (Gal. 3:23-29).
- Jesus fulfilled the Old Law (Mat. 5:17), and by His death He ended the religious separation between Jew and Gentile (Eph. 2:11-21).
- Jews and Gentiles are all saved by the same “Way” (John 14:6; Rom. 11).
- Though some believe the Jews are suffering from the curse they placed on themselves when Jesus was crucified (Mat. 27:25), that is no justification for any mistreatment of the Jews today.
- True, New Testament Christianity seeks to harm no one (Mat. 10:16) and wants to embrace any who come to Christ (Rev. 22:17; Rom. 15:7). So, anyone doing violence in the name of Jesus is misusing and abusing His name!
- Premillennialists, who in their misunderstanding seek to elevate the city of Jerusalem or modern-day Israel, misunderstand the nature of Christ’s Kingdom and the end of time (Mat. 24:36ff; 2 Pet. 3:10; etc.).
- No race is inherently superior or inferior (Acts 17:26; Gal. 3:28-29). God is not one to show partiality (Acts 10:34), so neither should we.
- God wants every Jew to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4).
These are just some of the Bible facts to keep in mind when considering our own feelings or testing the feelings of others against Abraham’s descendants. In a world of hate and fear, Christians are to rise above such (Col. 3:1-2). While most Jews (and Gentiles) will refuse the gospel (cf. Mat. 7:13-14), our heart and efforts should be dedicated to trying to share it with anyone and everyone who is willing. Hateful words and harmful conduct are the characteristics of those against Christ and certainly do not represent Him!