The Jews have a unique status according to the Bible. They were chosen as the people who would hear and record the words of God, through His prophets, who were also Jewish. And the Jews have influenced the world with the scriptures. There are now about 2 billion Christians in the world. In one form or another, these scriptures have influenced more than half of the people in the world 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 the Jews would be scattered throughout the world (Deuteronomy 28:64) and that they would be a blessing to the world (Genesis 12:2-3). Indeed, the Jews have been scattered to every country in the world, during the past 2500 years. And this scattering has enabled them to help reveal to the world the truth revealed in the scriptures, that there is one true God, and only one true God.
About 2000 years ago, Christianity was introduced to the world by a group of Jews who were followers of Jesus. One of every three people in the world today are identified as being Christian, according to various almanacs and encyclopedias. The Scriptures, largely through the spread of Christianity, have influenced governments and criminal justice systems throughout the world. The concepts that people are equal in the eyes of God, that individuals have rights that should be protected, trace all or some of their roots to the Bible. And these concepts can probably trace most and perhaps all of their modern-day popularity to the influence and popularity of the Bible. These are gifts of the Bible - gifts of the Jews - to the world.
The Jews are living proof that we all can rely on the promises made by God in the Bible. After all, the Bible told us, for example, that:
Israel would be a nation (1400 BC, 1948).
All of these things have happened. No matter how tightly you close your eyes, all of these things have happened. No matter how strenuously you attack the Bible, all of these things have happened. And the Bible said that all of these things would happen. And the Jews are living proof that the Bible keeps its 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? Who? - you, me, and the Bible. The new Israel was born in a single day. 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 the Bible keeps its promises (see Isaiah 66:7-8 and Leviticus 26:3-8). And the Jews are living proof of this. Israel is living proof of this.
And let us not forget that Jesus is a Jew. Jesus is a Jew. His first group of followers were Jewish. How can we hate Jews and call ourselves followers of Jesus? It is impossible. Jesus talked about love, not hatred. Should we hate Jews because they are not followers of Jesus? Of course not. Would we want Hindus to hate us because we are not Hindus? Would we want Moslems to hate us because we are not Moslems? Do we want Jews to hate us because we are not Jews? Of course not. If we are followers of Jesus, we should not hate anyone. Instead, we should treat others as we would have them treat us. That's what Jesus told us to do. How can we be followers of Jesus if we don't follow Jesus?
How can we allow ourselves, or our friends, or anyone else, to hate Jews? They are the people who gave us the word of God. That was their job. God had chosen them, out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, to be His chosen people, to record His words, and to share His words with the world. And yet, too many times in the past 1900 years, we Christians have persecuted the Jews. We banned them from living in Spain, England, France, Belgium and Italy. We burned their villages and we burned them alive - their husbands, their wives, their parents and their children. We stood by quietly while some of our church leaders expressed their un-Christian hatred for Jews. And we didn't always stand up when some of our church leaders were defending the Jews. We must never allow ourselves to do this again. We must never allow ourselves to betray the teachings of the Bible. Instead we must embrace the teachings of the Bible, we must embrace the Biblical ideal of treating other people as we would have them treat us. And if we embrace the Bible, then we have no choice but to embrace our Jewish brothers and sisters. And we have no choice but to embrace our African brothers and sisters, our Asian brothers and sisters, our Australian, American, Oceanic and European brothers and sisters.
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