|John 15: 5 ... Romans 11: 17|
There is a perception of favoritism when considering the Hebrew / Jewish heritage and the rest of mankind.
It is a high claim to state that God, the very Creator of mankind and all things, chose and invited a particular man into a personal relationship with Him.
An invitation into a relationship that would last with that man for as long as he walked the earth and also with his descendants forever.
An eternal relationship (if a human mind can comprehend eternity).
The bible's Old Testament mentions that all of mankind derived from a single man (Adam in Genesis).
The entire world is currently populated from the progeny of Adam and Eve, through the family line of Noah, his wife, and his three sons and daughter-in-laws.
Science has finally caught up to this Noah family reality in their study of DNA and the definition of mitochondrial Eve.
However, jealousy is a very real feeling when any people sense they are outside the circles of revelation, or favor.
This is the great controversy that Islam claims against Judaism.
Traditional Islam claims it was Ishmael who was chosen, not Isaac... that it was Ishmael who was to be sacrificed to God, not Isaac.
Yet, it was through Isaac's progeny whom God developed and furthered His relationship with Abraham.
Where are the ancient testimonies, the written scrolls and the prophecies and fulfillments that came through Ishmael?
There is no such thing offered or evidenced.
It was from Isaac (and his son Jacob) that God produced the nation of Israel, and all subsequent inspired writings, temple worship, and the eventual Messiah (God with us).
It was through the remnant of Israel that God weaved the secular world into His spiritual kingdom...and the world has come closer.
It was through the first Jewish believers in Christ Yeshua as Lord and God of all that sparked a movement that would eventually overcome the kingdoms of men; the church of Christ.
This is a matter of fact, of historical lineage and reality.
With this honor came also the greatest responsibility, the highest calling and the strictest set of laws for proper living in the prior age and covenant.
The Jews received the greatest honor any particular tribe or family group could receive.
Certain people still identifying as Jews, while some not believing that Yeshua is the / their Messiah, are still tasked with a very great responsibility in managing world and secular affairs.
The Jews have been lifted above the nations of the earth, as God has predestined for them.
And some people hate this reality, and confusingly cannot see what God has established in granting the world's inheritance to such as these (as was promised).
So how does one find themselves also part of the chosen people of God, considering the salvation also promised to the Jews (and the world) comes from the Jews?
“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
“Woman,” Yeshua replied, “believe Me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for Salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
- John 4: 19-24Some would say since they were not born Jewish, they don't have hope to be included into the promises God gave to Abraham's progeny.
Does one then have to become a Jew?
Yes and no.
Yes, but not as you would suppose.
No, also not as you would suppose.
An encouraging mystery is revealed here when considering the entirety of mankind who has existed outside of the knowledge of the revealed Christ:
God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.
All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) This will take place on the Day when God judges people’s secrets through Yeshua Christ, as my gospel declares.
- Romans 2: 6-16Notice that all of mankind will be judged through Christ (the secrets of their hearts revealed in Christ).
Notice also that even those who were never born “Jewish” will be judged according to the rules and cultural expectations that existed wherever they existed (apart from the 'law' and according to their own law).
As to the Jewish identity, we can read an even greater mystery regarding how those who believe in Christ.
The Messiah to Israel is the same Messiah to the rest of Noah's descendants and are also called and conformed into the family that God started with Adam, Noah and Abraham:
Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)—remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Yeshua you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in His flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access to the Father by One Spirit.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of His household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Yeshua Himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.
- Ephesians 2: 11-22So although I may not have a direct lineage to Hebrew / Jewish parents, aside from maybe Ishmael's lineage back to Abraham, I do have the same lineage that you have: from Noah and Adam.
My lack of being born under the law of Moses, or into a recent lineage of Jewish ancestry as my dear wife is, does not disqualify me from the promises God made to Abraham my distant forefather.
This is the hope for all of mankind; that all of mankind does indeed come from the family that God has established...and that all of humanity is called into God's family.
Unfortunately not all will find themselves as part of the holy family of God.
Why and why not?
The true Light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him. Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
- John 1: 9-13So I (and you if / when you believe) have been made a member of Israel, not as one could have done so by their own will, but according to God's will and choice over our life.
I (and you if / when you believe) have been grafted into His holy kingdom of Israel.
I (and you if / when you believe) have been made a “Jew” not by a physical circumcision done by a man's hand, but by the spiritual circumcision of the heart performed by God's right hand.
All who, along with me (and you if / when you believe), and so many others the world over, throughout all generations, have been brought under the familial tent of Israel; the chosen family God had since eternity desired to manifest on earth, as He had created them in heaven.