The following is an invited guest blog post from Root Source member Paul Smith. Root Source saw one of his blog post comments and invited him to write a longer piece explaining his views.
Salvation is from the Jews
Why I do not expect or want a Jew to be something other than a Jew
By Paul Smith
“Salvation is from the Jews… To them belong the adoption and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Torah and the Temple service and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs—and from them, according to the flesh, the Messiah, who is over all, God, blessed forever. Amen.” (TLV*)
Salvation is from the Jews. Chosen by the Creator for many things–to be an example to the nations of what a godly nation is, or to be an example of what happens when a nation turns from God to idolatry, or from love of one’s fellow to baseless hatred–but through all things to be the source of salvation for all nations. Most people living in the world today can probably recognize that we are in need of redemption. Some look to political leaders, from the United States, or Europe, or perhaps India or China, but He Who made all things says, no, look to Israel, and look deeper, much deeper than to the Knesset or IDF or any humanly devised organization.
Meanwhile there is a very large, multi-faceted organization–you might say a supra-national nation of sorts–called the Church, which for historical reasons seems to have forgotten that salvation is from the Jews, in spite of its own beginnings amongst a group of Jews in the Jewish capital of Jerusalem two millennia ago. Or maybe the church suppressed that knowledge in an attempt to separate itself from its source, as it proceeded down the road to becoming a world power, headquartered no longer in Jerusalem, but in Rome.
Whatever the cause, this organization, or super-nation, over the centuries did much harm to the people we know as the Jews. It also harmed a lot of other people, but it seemed to have a special hatred for–or perhaps fear of–the remnant of the special nation to which it owed its very life, in a centuries-enduring attempt to deny its own origins.
I suppose there’s room there for some probing psychological analysis, but for now I’ll just say… “It’s not logical, Captain”. But it’s the way we humans are, too much of the time. On the other hand, we seem to be in a time now when some individuals have begun to see the discrepancy and wish to rectify it. Or maybe it’s a divine gift, but there is a growing number of Christians who, while not desiring to be anything other than followers of Jesus of Nazareth, have begun to lay aside the historical animosity and look differently at this people who were called and separated from other nations so long ago. To look at them as the ones to whom were entrusted “the oracles of God.” To recognize the sacrifice of those rabbis who laid their bodies over the Torah scrolls during the pogroms, so that, if God permit, their life might protect those written oracles, or if not that, then the destruction of the scroll would not occur before their own death. How many Christians do you know with that sort of commitment? To see in them the lineage of families like the Ben Ashers, who for generations made it their life’s work to faithfully preserve and transmit those Scriptures. What would Christianity have of the written truth today were it not for such as these?
And then, coming down to earth a little, to be fortunate enough to have among our friends men or women who are flesh-and-blood descendants of Jacob, who can remind us by their own lives and personalities that it’s not all high and wonderful religious sentiment, but it’s real personal relationship and interaction. Not having to agree or disagree, either one, on theological points, but maybe from time to time gaining insights from each other’s perspectives that we would never have thought of otherwise. In any event, because we are human beings, made in the likeness of the Living One Who Sees Us, we might live as He intended in His sight. And might not this be a significant part of what we mean, if we think about it, by the term “salvation?”
Paul Smith is a guest blogger for Root Source. You can reach him at Copernygk @ gmail.com. He lives in Columbia, California, USA.
* Tree of Life Version, John 4 & Romans 9