基督徒应该如何的看待以色列人?

以色列国和以色列人

以色列是神拣选的国家和人民,为了要藉着他们启示神的救赎计划(罗马书9:4)。神应许地上万国都必因亚伯拉罕的后裔(创世纪22:18)得福,并将那应许之地赐给亚伯拉罕、以撒和雅各的的后裔(创世纪35:12)。他们的后裔就是以后成立的以色列国。

神与以色列人立约。当他们敬拜并顺从神时,神会在应许之地大大的祝福他们。当他们拜偶像时,神会将他们赶出这片土地(申命记28:64)。在所罗门王统治期间,以色列开始崇拜偶像,神忍耐怜悯他们两百多年。最后,在公元前722年,北国被亚述人打败,北国的十个支派被掳,离开应许地。然后在公元前586年,南国的三个支派被巴比伦人掳去,离开应许之地。

70年后,正如先知耶利米预言的那样(耶25:11-12),三个支派中的一些人归回应许之地。这三个支派是犹大,便雅悯和利未人(以斯拉记2章)。由于犹大是多数,他们以后就开始被统称为犹太人。在耶稣时代是如此,一直到21世纪。

弥赛亚耶稣

亚伯拉罕的后裔是指以色列国和以色列人。在属灵的意义上,是豫表基督(加3:16)。当基督来到这个世界时,除了少数忠心的门徒,犹太人普遍都拒绝耶稣为基督,并且持续了两千年(罗马书9:30-33)。结果,圣殿就如主耶稣所预言的被毁了(马太福音24:2),犹太人就被分散在世界各地。

所有的律法都指向耶稣基督(罗马书10:4)。凡是呼叫耶稣的人,包括犹太人能够得救(罗马书10:13)。保罗告诉我们,虽然以色列人的数目如同海中的沙子,但只有剩下的人才能得救。 (罗马书9:27)。

然而,神并没有忘记祂对列祖的应许。在过去的一百年里,神不断的将以色列人招聚到应许之地,正如祂向以色列人所应许的那样(申命记30:3-4)。

当耶稣基督再来时,当时活着的大多数以色列人都会因信耶稣是基督而得救(罗马书11:26)。

以色列人和基督徒

神的旨意是要从埃及被拯救的以色列人进入应许之地。以色列人在前往应许之地的路上必须信靠神才能战胜他们的敌人。如果他们信靠神,他们就会得胜并在神里得安息(希伯来书3:19)。希伯来文的作者鼓励基督徒要竭力进入那个安息(希4:11)。以色列人的历史是一个影子,它是为新约信徒写下来的,为了警告我们不要跟随他们的失败(哥林多前书10:11),并鼓励我们遵从他们对神的信心(希伯来书12)。

应许之地

安息在应许之地,是豫表在基督里得安息,因为主耶稣说:

我心里柔和谦卑,你们当负我的轭,学我的样式;这样,你们心里就必得享安息。因为我的轭是容易的,我的担子是轻省的。」“(太11:29-30)

应许之地真是一块丰富的土地,因为主说:

因为耶和华你神领你进入美地,那地有河,有泉,有源,从山谷中流出水来。那地有小麦、大麦、葡萄树、无花果树、石榴树、橄榄树,和蜜。你在那地不缺食物,一无所缺。那地的石头是铁,山内可以挖铜。你吃得饱足,就要称颂耶和华你的神,因他将那美地赐给你了。」“(申8:7-10 )

在应许之地,神的子民将一无所缺。应许之地是基督的豫表。学习这片土地,将使我们更全面地认识基督那测不透的丰富(以弗所书3:8)。神对祂买赎回来之人永远的旨意,乃是我们宝贝,享受,经历和彰显基督的丰满:

使基督因你们的信,住在你们心里,叫你们的爱心有根有基,能以和众圣徒一同明白基督的爱是何等长阔高深,并知道这爱是过於人所能测度的,便叫神一切所充满的,充满了你们。“(弗3:17-19)

基督徒应如何对待犹太人?

在2018年,有850万人居住在以色列。有650万是犹太人,其中只有大约20,000人是耶稣基督的门徒,还不到犹太人口的0.3%。

然而,基督徒不应向犹太人夸口,因为神拣选了亚伯拉罕,以撒和雅各作为根,外邦人是被接在其中,一同得着橄榄根的肥汁,是根托着我们,不是我们托着根(罗11:17-18)。

几个世纪以来,犹太人遭受了各种各样的迫害,包括基督徒的迫害。他们被迫害有部分的原因是由于教会里作教导的人一些著作。改革家马丁·路德(Martin Luther)曾经在他的题为“关于犹太人和他们的可憎谎言”的论文中使用非常严厉的语言,来对抗犹太人。因此,犹太人和基督徒的关系,在过去的几个世纪,一直非常紧张。

基督徒应该为犹太人认识主耶稣是弥赛亚而代祷。我们需要了解他们在神永远的救赎计划的角色,和他们过去两千年里的历史。我们应该体谅他们的感受,并且向他们展示基督的爱,因为爱人的就完全了律法(罗马书13:8)。他们不信耶稣反倒成为外邦人的祝福,更何况他们的丰满呢? (罗马书11:11-12)

愿主耶稣的恩典与你的灵同在,阿门。

 

How Should Christians Relate to Israel?

Israel The Nation and The People

Israel is the nation and people chosen by God to reveal His redemption plan (Romans 9:4). God promised the nations would be blessed through the offspring of Abraham (Genesis 22:18) and would give the promised land to the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 35:12). Their offspring eventually became the nation of Israel.

God had made a covenant with the people of Israel. When they worship and obey God, God will bless them abundantly in the promised land. When they worship idols, God will cast them out of the land (Deuteronomy 28:64). During the reign of King Solomon, Israel started to worship idols, God was patient and had mercy on them for over two hundred years. Finally, in 722BC, the northern Kingdom was defeated by the Assyrians and the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom were exiled from the promised land. And then in 586BC, the three tribes of the southern Kingdom were exiled by Babylonian from the promised land.

70 years later, as prophesized by prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:11-12), the some of the three tribes returned back to the promised land. These three tribes are Judah, Benjamin, and the Levites (Ezra 2). Because of the Judah majority, they are collectively known as Jews throughout the centuries. That is true in Jesus time, all the way to the 21 century.

Jesus the Messiah

The offspring of Abraham is a reference to the nation and people of Israel. In a spiritual sense, a reference to Christ (Galatian 3:16). When Christ came to this earth, except a small number of faithful disciples, the Jews, in general, has rejected Jesus as the Messiah, and continued for two thousand years (Romans 9:30-33). As a result, the temple was destroyed as prophesied by the Lord Jesus (Matthew 24:2), and the Jews were scattered around the world.

All the laws point to Jesus the Messiah (Romans 10:4). Everyone, including Jews who call on the name of Jesus, will be saved (Romans 10:13). Paul tells us although the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved. (Romans 9:27).

However, God has not forgotten His promises to their forefathers. In the last one hundred years, God has been gathering the Israelites back to the promised land, just as He has promised to the Israelites (Deuteronomy 30:3-4).

When Jesus the Messiah returns to the earth in the future, the majority of the Israelites who are alive at that time will believe Jesus is the Messiah and will be saved (Romans 11:26).

Israelites and Christians

It is God’s will for the Israelites who were redeemed from Egypt to enter the promised land. The Israelites must trust God in order to have victory over their enemies on the way to the promised land. They would have victory and rest in God if they trusted the Lord to enter the land (Hebrew 3:19). The author of Hebrew urged Christian to strive to enter that rest (Hebrew 4:11). The history of the Israelites was a shadow, it was written down for new testament believers, to warn us not to follow their failure (1 Corinthians 10:11), and to encourage us to follow their faithfulness in God (Hebrew 12).

The Promised Land

The rest in the promised land is a type that refers to the rest in Christ, for the Lord Jesus said:

“take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30).  

The promised land is truly an abundant land, for the Lord said:

“For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills,a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper.” (Deuteronomy 8:7-10)

In the promised land, God’s people will lack nothing. The promised land is a type of Christ. Studying the land will equip us to have a fuller understanding of the unsearchable riches of Christ (Ephesians 3:8). To treasure, enjoy, experience and reveal the fullness of Christ, is God’s Eternal Purpose for His redeemed people:

“so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19).

How Should Christians Treat Jews?

In 2018, there are 8.5 million people who live in Israel. 6.5 million of them are Jews, only approximately 20,000 of them are followers of Jesus the Messiah, that is less than 0.3% of the Jews population.

However, Christians should not be arrogant towards Jews, because God has chosen Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as the root, and the Gentiles were grafted in and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, it is the root that supports us, not us who support the root (Romans 11:17-18).

Over the centuries, Jews experienced much persecution from various people, including persecution from Christians. The persecution was partly due to some writings of the church’s teachers. Reformer Martin Luther was infamous for using very harshed and strong languages against the Jews in his treatise titled “On the Jews and Their Detestable Lies.”.  As a result, Jews and Christians relationships have been very tense for centuries.

Christians should pray that the Jews will get to know the Lord Jesus as Messiah. We need to understand their role in God’s eternal plan of salvation and their history for the last two thousand years. We ought to be sensitive to their feelings and be compassionate to show the love of Christ towards them, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law (Romans 13:8).  If their failure to believe in Jesus means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean! (Romans 11:11-12)

May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with your spirit, Amen.

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