David Pawson: Jews & Gentiles
Thoughtful Thoughts 26.5.17
Jews & Gentiles
Gentiles are to be a light to the Jews just as Jews were a light to the Gentiles.
David Pawson’s message this week is on the contribution which the Jews have made as servants of God, in faithfully passing the gospel on to us.
In Romans 11.13-14, we read that Paul wants Jews to become jealous of the Gentiles that have found God, in order that some Jews might in turn also find God. In the book of Acts we read that Jews, who were not persuaded by Paul, did indeed become jealous, (Acts 17.5).
Paul says that Gentile Christians owe a great debt to the Jews because in the past the Jews had been a light for us. The Scriptures and the Saviour are Jewish. Jesus called Himself “the light of the world”, but He also called His Jewish disciples the “light of the world”, (Matthew 5.14).
The first disciples were Jewish who led and developed the early church, just as most of the initial believers were. That changed quickly to include the Gentiles because of the diligence of the Jewish Apostles. We learn from Acts 15 that it was the Jewish leadership which stood up for the Gentiles in the Council of Jerusalem. It is through Israel that God gave us the covenants and the patriarchs; (Rom.9) and Hebrews 11 lists many more. Although the Jewish Paul taught the Gentiles about the light, until he himself was also martyred, this famous Jewish believer was actually just one of many. Thomas, who founded the church in south India, was Jewish, and that church still exists as “The Mar Thoma church. (Christians now form 13% of the local population.) All the Apostles except John, and many other disciples, were martyred to pass on the truth of Jesus Christ. (The word “true/truth” and the word “real” are the same word in Hebrew).
In the west today we don’t sacrifice a fraction of what these early Jewish believers sacrificed, and yet we have been quick to forget their contribution. We have been blind to the debt we owe to those believing Jews, who faithfully passed on their knowledge of God at the cost of their lives.
Jews have passed on the truth for us and we need to reevaluate how we interpret their contribution. David Pawson’s 2 DVD mini set helps us to do that.
One thought worth finishing on, is the change made to a cynic’s ditty that started like this;
“How odd of God to choose the Jews.”
But to which a Christian added;
“But odder still, of those who choose the Jewish God, but spurn the Jews”.
I’m John Dunning and that’s “Thoughtful Thoughts” for another week.