Unity in Christ

Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, ‘You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.’ He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one.  –John 11: 49-52

I wonder if this passage of Scripture amazes you as it does me?  If you read the Gospels, Caiaphas was no friend to Jesus or what would become the Christian movement. He, in particular, hatched the plan that put Jesus to death, thinking he was saving the region of Judah from Roman reprisal if Jesus and his followers created a ruckus (thereby eliminating a personal thorn in his side while he was at it). How utterly brilliant of God to use this man as a prophet to proclaim His own purposes!

And for what purpose did Jesus come? I personally think the Evangelical Church takes a short-sighted view of who Jesus came to save. It was not the whole world first, creating a melting pot of believers that includes Jews. He came to bless and to save the Jewish nation – which had lost sight of the Messiah’s mission – and then, through them, the “scattered children of God,” including Gentiles. Remember God’s promise to Abraham (paraphrased), “through your seed the nations of the world will be blessed.” First and foremost, the Messiah was thoroughly Hebrew, while his target audience was predominantly Jews. It was not until the book of Acts that we see God’s full plan unfold, embracing Gentiles, too.  Addressing this topic in his July newsletter, David Brickner, Executive Director of Jews For Jesus, writes:

“I am so thankful that Jesus brought salvation to the Jewish people, but I am equally grateful that His purposes extended so much further. How strange it is that some Christians either forget or dismiss the first part of [John 11: 49-52] — that Jesus gave His life for the people of Israel. For whatever reason, to some Christians salvation for the Jewish nation seems irrelevant, passé or somehow unnecessary.”

We dare not trod underfoot the special place the Jewish people still hold in God’s heart. I truly believe the uniqueness of the blessing we Gentiles receive through the legacy of our Jewish brethren (in the gender-neutral sense) will become apparent in the hereafter. This does not mean God loves Jews more than He loves Gentiles; only that they share an ancient bond that time and distance cannot break, which has yet to be fully realized.

In Christ, we do not lose our identity, which makes Gentiles’ unity in Christ with Jews all the more special. Let’s join together in prayer for Jews the world over, that their eyes would be opened to the singularly Jewish gift of salvation given to them in Christ. And let’s be aware of our own salvation, extended to us despite Caiaphas’s tragically misplaced attempt to “save” the nation of Israel.

6 comments on “Unity in Christ

  1. I am so honored to be a Jew that became a Christian. I feel like I have come home. I wish my Jewish brothers and sisters were not so mislead to hold Jesus accountable for the ignorant biased comments used by Gentile believers. In the past when I invited my family members to church, I would hope and pray that no inappropriate comments, stereotypes, or jokes were made. So far so good. If they were said it was only myself that had to deal with them. James in the bible really knew what he was saying when he spoke of the tongue being unbrideled. I am so thankful to the Lord that He can heal and restore from our mistakes. Since I have been saved, my mother has read the bible several times and says that she loved Jesus. My sister is curious and my brother listens. Peaise be to His name!

    • Carrie, I cannot think of anything more special than being a “completed” Jew (I hope that is still the correct term), and can only imagine the feeling you have of coming home! I pray, right now, for your family’s salvation. I know God will give you the perfect words to share with your mother and siblings.

  2. I thank the Lord for our Jewish bretheren. The Jews being the foundation, example of amazing worship and reverence to our Great God on this planet. Knowing the depth of the Lords love, first to the Jews then to the Gentiles is so awesome, as we are one under the blood of Jesus. The Lord not wanting one person to be spared. I too feel complete and blessed to be a part this journey with my Jewish brother and sisters. May His omniscent Love; through His people, heal the nations by the covenant embraced between His People.

  3. You are so right, thank you for this wonderful insight, Lorilie. On a few occasions I have worshiped at a Messianic Jewish temple, and found my spirit soaring to be with Jews who recognized Jesus as their Messiah, as I realized I have been grafted into their legacy and we are now one in the promised covenant. Glorious!

  4. It’s important to remember that when a Gentile becomes a Christian, he or she is spiritually grafted into the family of Abraham, partaking of the covenant that God made with Israel. We become spiritual Jews when we accept Christ and traditional Jews become “complete” when they realize that Jesus is the promised Messiah. Either way, we are all saved through the covenant God made with Abraham.

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