SOMETHING TO CONSIDER FROM LUKE 13
“Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’ ” (Luke 13:35)
Have you ever talked to a Jew about the Lord Jesus Christ? I have found them to be, by far, the easiest group of people to talk to about the Savior. Of course, most of them do not believe that Jesus is their Messiah. In fact, many of them are not religious at all. Nevertheless, if you would like to have an interesting conversation, ask one of these blood-relatives of Abraham what it’s like to be one of “God’s chosen people.” And then get ready to hear a surprising reply:
“You are Jewish? That’s fantastic! Your people have such a rich heritage! And even better, you have a glorious future ahead of you! What is it like to be one of God’s chosen people?” (I have heard the following answer at least twice.)
“We wish He had chosen someone else.”
If you know anything about Jewish history, that answer will not surprise you. The Satanic spirit behind anti-Semitism did not begin with Hitler’s death camps nor did it stop with his suicide. It has been around since the days of Israel’s patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob … and it will continue throughout the future Jewish holocaust initiated by the coming antichrist. Nevertheless, this answer throws the door wide open for the Gospel.
“Your history is filled mostly with suffering, isn’t it?” Do you know why?” (Most Jews do not know how to answer this question.)
Luke chapter 13 tells us why:
- Despite Jesus’ warning to Israel, “Unless you repent, you will all perish” (vss. 1-5) …
- Despite God’s longsuffering patience, waiting for the nation to bear the expected fruit of righteousness (vss. 6-9) …
- Despite Jesus’ use of miracles to validate His claim to be Israel’s Messiah (miracles that were discredited by their religious leaders) (vss. 10-17) …
- Despite His exposure (through parables) of their religious leaders’ evil influence over the nation: birds nesting in the trees / leaven spreading in the pecks of flour) (vss. 18-21) …
- Despite Jesus’ warning that “many” in Israel would reject Him as the only way (“the narrow door”) to enter the kingdom of God, an alarming statement since they assumed that, as Abraham’s descendants, they would automatically be admitted (vss. 22-28) …
- Despite His cutting prediction that many despised Gentiles (“from east and west and from north and south”) would – by faith – enter the Kingdom instead of Israel’s “many” (vss. 29-30) …
- Despite His stated resolve to die for the nation of Israel and for the nations of the world because of His love for them (vss. 31-33) …
Despite all of this, Israel later demand that Jesus – their long-awaited Messiah – be executed, then placed the responsibility of that rejection squarely upon themselves and all their descendants.
And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” (Matt. 27:25)
As a result Jesus informed His beloved people that they would remain under God’s severe discipline until the day of His Return (the Second Coming of Christ).
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it! Behold, your house is left to you desolate. And I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’ ” (Luke 13:34-35)
This is why the last 2,000 years of Jewish history has been saturated with suffering. It is not because they are God’s chosen people. (They were not “made victims” of persecution because they are in a covenant-relationship with Yahweh.)
It is because of their unbelief, an unbelief that is without excuse.
May Gentile believers be warned! Lest we allow conceit to fill our hearts and an anti-Semitic spirit to invade our church foyers, we ourselves should keep this sobering passage in mind:
But if some of the branches (unbelieving racial Israel) were broken off, and you (believing Gentiles), being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.
You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. (Romans 11:17-21)
God is not yet finished with racial Israel (through whose veins flow the blood of their patriarchs). They still have a glorious future in the plan of God (Romans 11:25-31). We should, therefore, beware. It is one thing to disagree with certain political decisions made by the Israeli Knesset (Parliament). It is quite another thing to yield one’s will to the spirit of anti-Semitism. To do so is to give one’s mind and heart over to the lordship of Satan. God forbid that we Gentiles should join this evil angel in his attempts to thwart God’s plan for Israel, still His chosen people.