Yeshua was a Jew. The Apostles were Jews. Just about everyone who laid the groundwork for the Church were Jews. These facts above all else are why a good portion of Evangelical Christians love the Jews. The sentiment is often not mutual.
To understand why this is so and more importantly why it’s a perfectly acceptable form of unrequited love, one must look at the world from the perspective of the Jews. Here are a few things to remember:
- Over the centuries, Jews have faced the greatest level of persecution of any religious group. Many times, these persecutions were done in the name of the church and at the hands of purported Christians.
- If the Evangelical Christian view is correct, then that would mean the Jewish people have been wrong in their beliefs for 2,000 years. It would also mean that they were deeply involved in the crucifixion of their own Messiah. That’s a very hard pill for anyone to swallow.
- America is often the national representation of Evangelical Christians. Since the dawn of the Obama era, the United States has caused the deterioration of a once-strong alliance with Israel to the point that the President won’t even use the phrase “Islamist extremism” and he has recommended a return to the pre-1967 borders.
- Conversions are happening every day. Jews in and out of Israel are believing in Yeshua as their Lord and Savior. This means that many friends and family members of orthodox Jews are switching to a religion that they believe is false. Who wouldn’t take offense to a religion that, in their opinion, is damning friends and family for eternity?
There are other reasons that many Jews hold onto that justify, in their opinion, negative sentiment towards Evangelical Christians. It’s something that will likely not change until the truth is revealed to them and they say the words the Yeshua prophesied:
34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!
35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Nobody knows for sure why things have happened the way they have over the years. There are many doctrines that attempt to explain it all such as dispensationalism and replacement theology, but the truth is that we are incapable to know the true reasoning. Some have speculated that there needed to be this tension between Jews and Christians until the end when we all come together as believers in Heaven. It’s much like the understanding that Joseph went through when his brothers betrayed him. He had no way to know until God’s plan for him was fulfilled that the evil they did to him was done for the purpose of watering the seeds of the nation of Israel. While it was happening, while he was sold into slavery and betrayed by his own family, he must have had moments when he questioned God’s plan for him, but it became clear to him once all was said and done.
We are not to speculate about God’s motives. We are to spread His Word, pray always, worship and bless our Father, and love Yeshua as Lord and Savior with all our hearts. We are to boldly proclaim our love to all peoples and face the persecution that comes from it. That includes atheists, Muslims, Hindus, and people of all beliefs including Jews. They are our brothers and we must love them even if they do not return the same feelings.
As Ari Morgenstern points out in an article on the Jerusalem Post, bigotry towards Christians is the last acceptable form of religious prejudice in Israel. It’s a sign of the times, one that could mean more about things that will shortly come to pass than we could possibly know.
Had Joseph followed his flawed human heart, he would have hated his brothers for what they did to him. Instead, he loved them and knew that their actions were part of God’s plan. We must embrace the same mentality when we look to our Jewish brothers whether they want it or not.