I had a conversation the other day with a friend. He recently started delving into Messianic Judaism, but seems to have a problem with the Jewish people. I think a lot of us who are not Jewish, fall into that trap. Why? Because we want to be the apple of God’s eye, the only one that matters to God. We have a hard time accepting that God chose the Jewish people above everyone else.
Now before you click off, head over to my post from last week, ‘Does God Care About You?’ There you will see that God truly does care about you. Afterward, come back here to read on.
As followers of Messiah, we need to look at what he had to say about those of us ‘from the nations’, those of us who are not of Jewish descent. When we read the gospels, we don’t see a lot of interaction between Yeshua and non-Jews.
One such interaction is not very flattering. We read in Matthew 15:
After going out from there, Jesus went to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
A Canaanite woman from that area came and cried out, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is horribly demon-possessed!”
But he did not answer her a word.
Then his disciples came and begged him, “Send her away, because she keeps on crying out after us.”
So he answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But she came and bowed down before him and said, “Lord, help me!”
“It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs,” he said.
“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, your faith is great! Let what you want be done for you.”
And her daughter was healed from that hour.
Did you catch what happened? Yeshua wouldn’t even answer her. When he finally did, he told her he was not there to help her, and then call her a dog! What changed his attitude? Her faith.
But faith in what? Faith in Yeshua as the one sent by the Creator. Faith that acknowledged the Israelites are the children, and Gentiles are not.
However, through adoption – another choice of God – we come into a family already in existence. Instead of hanging around like dogs, we are invited to eat at the table as children. But let’s not fall to the guilt of Korah, speaking ill of God’s first choice.
Look at the way the events unfold in Numbers 16 and 17. We see a Levite, Korah, not happy with Moses. He said Moses thought he was better than everyone else was. (The same accusation my friend made against the Jewish people.)
God was going to destroy the entire assembly because of Korah. Moses pleaded for mercy and God relented. Instead of destroying everyone, God punished those who participated in the rebellion – some were swallowed by the earth, some burned by fire.
God is all holy. God is all wise. God created everything and everyone. He chose Moses. He met with Moses face-to-face. He chose the Israelites, calling them his special people, the apple of his eye. When we come against them for any reason, we are coming against God and his sovereign choice.
We, who are brought near (by Messiah), should heed the warning of Moses to the Levites, and be grateful for being brought close, rather than complaining about God’s chosen people.