Since the Jews are God's Chosen, does this mean they are "better" than everyone else?
Some are under the impression that since "the Jews" are God's Chosen, they are "better" or more special than other believers. After all, some are teaching that "salvation is of the Jews" because Zecheriah 8:23 tells us "...ten men will take a hold of the cloak of a Jew and say, 'We want to go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.'"
First, let's clarify that "Salvation" and "Life" come through YHWH who sent us His Messiah, Y'shua; not "the Jews." Before we go on, please read Numbers 15:13-16 to understand that YHWH's Torah was meant for ALL who believe in Him:
Numbers 15: 13 "'Everyone who is native-born must do these things in this way when he brings an offering made by fire as an aroma pleasing to the LORD. 14 For the generations to come, whenever an alien or anyone else living among you presents an offering made by fire as an aroma pleasing to the LORD, he must do exactly as you do. 15 The community is to have the same rules for you and for the alien living among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the alien shall be the same before the LORD: 16 The same laws and regulations will apply both to you and to the alien living among you.'"
"Alien" means "anyone" wishes to accept YHWH who wasn't part of the 12 Tribes of Israel! Those who believe God's "forever" commands were only for the Jews, need to be reminded that Cain and Abel offered sin sacrifices and Noah knew the difference between "clean and unclean" - and none of them were Jews! There were no Jews until Jacob had one of his 12 sons whom he named Yehudah [Judah] who became the Tribe of Judah, where the word "Jew" comes from. But yet, EVERYONE up until that time (except, of course, the pagans and heathens who were believers in other gods) was Torah observant!) Yes, YHWH ordered the Tribe of Yehudah to guard it (Genesis 49:10, Micah 4:2) but that didn't mean it was only for "the Jews":
Genesis 49: 10 The scepter will not pass from Y'hudah, nor the ruler's staff from between his legs, until he comes to whom [obedience] belongs; and it is he whom the peoples will obey.
Micah 4: 2 Many Gentiles will go and say, "Come, let's go up to the mountain of ADONAI, to the house of the God of Ya'akov! He will teach us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths." For out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.
Does the above in any way allude to the idea that Gentiles could ignore YHWH's Torah? Please read and re-read it until you can see exactly what Micah said. And let's not forget that YHWH caused our Messiah to be born into the Tribe of Judah. Yes, this makes them "special" - in the same that it made Miryam (Mary) special because she was chosen to carry and give birth to YHWH's Son.
"Jews" has become a blanket term - mainly because "the Jews" are basically the only ones who typically observe YHWH's mo'edim (Seventh Day Sabbath and His feasts/appointed times). But in actuality, only someone born into the Tribe of Judah can claim they are Jews. Remember, there were 12 Tribes, Judah being but one of them - albeit, the "favored" one because Judah was ultimately charged with bringing Torah to the world.
Unless someone converts to Judaism, one does not automatically become a Jew just because they become Torah observant believers in Messiah Y'shua. As mentioned above, only someone born into the Tribe of Judah can realistically be called "a Jew."
However, believing Gentiles who are grafted into the Olive Tree (Israel) automatically become Hebrews (which means "to cross over" spiritually) and are consequently part of "Israel" as a whole. Does that mean they automatically have Israeli citizenship? No! It simply means, they are "ONE" in Messiah, part of Israel spiritually. Halleluyah!
Some "white supremacists" and other anti-Semites have riled up their followers against "the Jews" because they believe "the Jews killed Jesus." But let's examine this in context:
- Yeshua was a Torah observant, tallit-wearing, Seventh Day Sabbath and Biblical Feast-keeping, kosher Jew!
- He HAD to die in order to become our Final SIN Sacrifice: 2 Corinthians 5: 21 "For, on your account (speaking to the Corinthian brethren in Yeshua), He (Elohim) made Him (Yeshua) who knew no sin to be a sin (offering) that we might, by Him, become the righteousness of Elohim (God)." [AENT]
- Although it was "the Jews" who got the ball rolling concerning His murder (many Christians are angry with "the Jews" because "the Jews" killed Jesus), it was the Gentile Romans who arrested Him, stripped Him, spat upon Him, flogged Him, ripped out His beard, put a crown of thorns upon His head and mocked Him, and nailed Him to the cross! Not to mention, there was a "mixed crowd" (not just Jews) cheering on His execution (see Matthew 27).
- If Yeshua had not chosen to do YHWH's will and die that day, the world would have had NO Sin Sacrifice!
- It was because of "the Jews" that knowledge of YHWH came into the world when "the Jews" were scattered into the nations, including those who believed in Yeshua. Had it not been for "the Jews" knowledge of YHWH would have remained imprisoned in tiny, little Israel and the world would still be writhing in paganism today. Instead of wasting energy hating "the Jews" the world should be thanking them for introducing them to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!
James 2: 21. Awraham our father, was not he justified by works in offering his son Yitz'chak upon the altar? 22. Do you realize that his faith aided his works, and that by the works his faith was rendered complete? 23. And the Scripture was fulfilled which says: Awraham believed in Elohim, and it was credited to him for righteousness and he was called the Friend of Elohim. 24. You see that by works a man is justified and not by faith alone.
Romans 11: "11. But I say: Have they so stumbled as to fall entirely? May it never be! Rather, by their stumbling, life has come to the Gentiles for (awakening) their jealousy. 12. And if their stumbling was riches to the world, and their condemnation riches to the Gentiles; how much more is their perfection?
The world has hated "the Jews" because of their "chosen" status concerning Torah. "The Jews" are the only people in the world who are continuously forced to justify to others their existence as a nation and spiritual entity and to prove their land rights on Israel (what has also become known as Palestine). Any other nation, regardless of their short non-existent history and even genocidal past, do not have such obligations! Why aren't Israel-haters questioning the right of the USA, Germany, China, Japan, or any other country to exist?
Let's take an even deeper look at "the Jews"....
Jews have a unique status according to Scripture. They were chosen as the people who would hear and record the words of YHWH, through His prophets. In one form or another, these scriptures have influenced more than half of the world's population to abandon pagan worship. The Jews, in this regard, and in many others, have influenced the world more than any other group of people.
The Bible declared that YHWH's people would be scattered throughout the world (Deuteronomy 28:64), and that they would be a blessing to the world (Genesis 12:2-3). This scattering has enabled them to help reveal to the world the truth revealed in the scriptures, that there is one true Elohim, and only one!
YHWH warned that anyone who persecute the Jews will be punished. And indeed they have been. Among those who have persecuted "the Jews" and been punished for it were the great Assyrian Empire, the neo-Babylonian Empire, the Phoenician Empire, the Roman Empire, the powerful Nazi empire and the powerful Soviet Union. All of these empires have been destroyed. And yet, the Jews are still a nation. Why? Because YHWH made this promise to the Jews in Genesis 12:2-3 - "I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." YHWH keeps His promises. And, the Jews are living proof of that.
"The Jews" are living proof that we can rely on the promises made by the God of the Bible. For instance, we were told the following:
- Israel would be a nation (1400 BC, 1948).
- Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed (70-135 AD).
- The Jews would be exiled (70-135 AD).
- Israel would become a wasteland (135-1900s).
- The Jews would be scattered worldwide (135-1900s).
- The Jews would be persecuted worldwide (135-1900s).
- The Jews would have a worldwide impact (135-1900s).
- Their identity as a group would be preserved (135-1900s).
- The Jews would return to their homeland (1900s, etc).
- The Jews would have Israel again as their own country (since 1948).
All of the above has happened. No one can dispute that. And "the Jews" are living proof that YHWH kept His promises.
When the Jews declared independence for Israel in May 1948, it was the first time in about 2900 years that Israel was both united and independent. Who has ever heard of such a thing - that a country could be reborn after its people had been scattered worldwide for a few thousand years? And who has ever heard of such a thing - that a country could be reborn in a single day? The new Israel was born in a single day, thus fulfilling prophecy.
After a worldwide movement called Zionism began in the 1800s, hundreds of thousands of Jews worldwide began to return to their ancient homeland. Then, in May 1948, the Jews declared independence. On that same day, the United States and other countries acknowledged the sovereignty of Israel. And, Israel's sovereignty was acknowledged in a very different way by the countries surrounding Israel.
Within hours of the declaration of independence, Israel was attacked by the surrounding countries which had hoped to put an end to the newly reborn country. Those countries, combined, were at least 20 times larger than tiny Israel. And yet, tiny Israel prevailed in that war. Why? Because YHWH keeps His promises (see, for instance, Isaiah 66:7-8 and Leviticus 26:3-8). And the Jews are living proof of this. Israel is living proof of this!
And again - let's not forget that Yeshua - whom Christians call "Jesus" - was a Jew. So, how can anyone possibly hate "the Jews" and still call themselves followers of Yeshua? Let's just be honest here: If you "hate the Jews" you're "dead meat," according to Scripture....
"The Jews" brought news of YHWH, His Messiah and His Torah into the world. And for that, they have been persecuted, banned from living in places like Spain, England, France, Belgium and Italy. "Christians" have burned their villages, and burned the Jews alive for their refusal to accept "Jesus" - a Torah-less entity who supposedly came to abolish YHWH's Torah. Hitler killed 6 million Jews. Why? Because they were "God's Chosen"....
Yes, "The Jews" are YHWH's chosen. But they weren't chosen to keep YHWH all to themselves; otherwise, they would never have been scattered into the nations! Those who have been "grafted in" to Israel (which includes "the Jews" AND the 11 other tribes) through the blood of Messiah have a responsibility to KNOW their Elohim, to learn His ways, love their Jewish brethren, and to be set apart (holy) so that the world will know they belong to YHWH.