All Eyes on Israel
Chapter 2 - Is Modern Israel the Israel of Promise?
Page 12 - "Salvation is of the Jews"?
(Go Back to Page 11 -
Christian Era Historical Evidence)
Salvation is of the Jews, the Bible tells us, but what does that mean? In this study, we are seeing less and less of a connection between the Jews - as a race, a people or a nation - and salvation. But what about the following verse where it sounds like Jesus is saying that salvation comes of or from the Jews?
"Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews." (John 4:22)
First, we can be clear that salvation is not specifically "for" the Jews, but for all mankind:
"For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe." (1 Tim 4:10)
Second, salvation is not "from" the Jews in the sense that they are somehow the source of it. The source of salvation is clear in scripture:
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
"For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ," (1 Thess 5:9)
"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men," (Titus 2:11)
Actually, the Greek word translated "of" in John 4:22 is "ek" (Strong's #1537), in this case, would be better translated "out of" - "salvation is out of the Jews" or "salvation is out of Judea."
It is used that way in a number of verses:
"And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of (Greek: ek, Strong's no. 1537) thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel." (Matt 2:6)
Jesus also came "out of" (from the same Greek word, "ek") Egypt:
"And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son." (Matt 2:15)
And finally, for those who believe the modern nation of Israel constitutes the covenant people of God, consider the origins of that nation. It was established in 1948 by a decree of the United Nations - hardly a godly organization.
So, as we now end chapter 2, we have a variety of evidence that it is not being a physical descendent of Jacob or a modern Jew that qualifies a person to be included in spiritual Israel.
We learned from chapter one that Israel was originally used to describe one man who had certain character traits. In this chapter, we learned that Abraham was not Jewish, we looked at the origin of the Jews and their failure to keep the covenant. During the Babylonian captivity the conditions and time frame of a last chance for the nation of Israel were spelled out in detail to the prophet Daniel. However, Israel as a nation rejected even God's last attempt to reach them by sending His own Son so He finally had to abandon His plans for them. We saw that even today what we call modern Israel is composed of probably very few people who are direct descendents of Abraham or even Jacob. It seems that there is very little reason to think that they have any claim to special status with God. Salvation is definitely not of the Jews living in Israel today.
End of Chapter 2
In the next chapter, we will look at how anyone, of any ethnic background including the Jews can lay claim to a special status with God by being grafted into spiritual Israel. Chapter 3 - And if Ye be Christ's - will lay out the Biblical evidence for who is included in spiritual Israel and how anyone can become a part of it.
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