True Christians love the Jewish people. There has been, however, a great deal of confusion about this subject owing to the fact that such a large number of people have persecuted the Jews. For centuries many of these tormentors have invoked God’s name to condone their acts of persecution. These outlines will endeavor to state a Christian position on the issues as taught in the Bible.
On the other hand, many believers have a sincere desire to share their faith in Christ with the Jewish people, and have often asked how this might be done. The following outlines will offer some help, using biblical guidelines.
33-1 The Permanence of God’s Love to Israel
In light of today’s situation, it is vital that all believers understand God’s everlasting love for Israel, especially when sharing one’s faith with Jewish people. God’s love for Israel is revealed in many ways.
1) An everlasting love. God Himself declared that His love for the nation Israel is everlasting (v. 3), despite the fact that He has judged that nation (v. 2).
2) Her weeping shall cease. God comforted weeping Rachel—herself a symbol of Israel—assuring her that in the end-time her children would return to her (vv. 15-17).
3) They shall return. Jews shall return both to Ephraim, Israel’s northern kingdom scattered in 721 B.C. by Assyria, and to Judah, Israel’s southern kingdom (vv. 20, 23), which was scattered by the Babylonians in 606, 597, and 586 B.C. In A.D. 70 the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and dispersed the Jewish people. They began to return before World War I, and after World War 11 (1948) became a modem nation (Jeremiah 30:1-11).
4) A new covenant. God promised that He would make a new covenant with the house of Israel. At its consummation, the members of this nation will experience a loving, personal relationship with God. They will be forgiven of all past national sins (vv. 31-34; Zechariah 12:10; 1 Corinthians 11:25).
5) Never abandoned. God, in forceful language within Jeremiah’s prophecy of judgment on the nation, pledged that Israel would never be totally destroyed, nor would He ever abandon them (vv. 35-37). Thus, despite New Testament events, God never has and never will “cast off’ Israel (vv. 36, 37). The New Testament directly confirms this, when the apostle Paul answered his own rhetorical question, “Has God cast away His people? Certainly not…God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew” (Romans 11:1, 2).
6) God’s ancient people. The term “the seed of Israel” promises the nation of Israel (today’s Jewish people) an eventual, peaceful restoration to their land (vv. 36, 37). Other blessings are promised to the church in manifold quantities, but in these verses the offspring of ancient Israel is the topic.
7) Full restoration. God’s will, in the future, is to reestablish the nation of Israel. Jerusalem will be rebuilt; it will be holy and dedicated to the Lord (vv. 38-40; cf. Zechariah 14:16-21). God says it shall yet come to pass; that makes it certain.
33-2 The Prophecies of Israel’s Messiah
The Messiah in Hebrew means “anointed,” that is, “set apart by oil,” and refers to a king, high priest, or prophet who has had the oil poured on his head (1 Samuel 16:13; Exodus 40:13). The oil is a type of the Spirit of God (Zechariah 4:3, 6). Thus the Messiah was to be that messenger of the Lord of whom it was prophesied, “The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him” (Isaiah 11:2). The Greek word for such an anointed is Christos, origin of “Christ.”
Through the centuries the Old Testament prophets prophesied that a Messiah would come. Gradually, they put together the picture of what He would be like, what His mission would be, and how He could be recognized. Through the years many had analyzed and debated these prophecies, as they awaited the Messiah. Christians believe, and the New Testament demonstrates, that Jesus alone—among all religious or secular leaders that are or ever have been—matches perfectly these predictive descriptions. He was:
33-3 The Plan of Salvation: “For the Jew First”
A significant number of Jewish people in recent years have become believers in Christ. The Christian invitation of salvation to the Jews (God’s ancient people—Israel) is in harmony with the promises of both the Old and New Testaments.
1) In the Old Testament Israel was invited to salvation:
a) God declared that the Hebrews too were sinners (despite having been chosen in Abraham), as is all mankind (Isaiah 1:3-14).
b) As a result of their sins, God said He would not hear their prayers (v. 15; Isaiah 59:1-3).
c) God exhorted them to repent of their sins and be cleansed (v. 16).
d) God exhorted them to live so as to outwardly reflect their inward cleansing (v. 17).
e) God promised them total cleansing and forgiveness (v. 18).
f) God pledged that if they repented, their blessings at His hand would continue (v. 19).
2) In the Old Testament, Israel was promised a Messiah-Savior who would suffer as God’s lamb for the sins of those who would turn to Him (Isaiah 53:4-7).
3) In the New Testament, Israel is still invited to salvation, which is “for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
a) The gospel, the Good News, is God’s power to save people. The Holy Spirit uses this message to touch the hearts of unbelievers, that the might believe and be saved (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
b) The gospel is able to save everyone who believes—Jew or Gentile.
c) Salvation in the New Testament was specifically offered to “the Jew first” (Romans 1:16), out of historical necessity or courtesy, just and the Messiah-Savior was promised to the Jewish people by the Old Testament prophets.
d) Salvation was offered to “the Jew first” (Romans 1:16; John 1:11), according to the Apostle Paul’s inspired words. It thus requires that we who know Christ should continue to share the gospel with the Jewish people (Romans 11:1-5, 11, 12).
4) The apostle Paul:
a) Showed an earnest desire for Israelites to be saved (Romans 9:1-4). He prayed for Israel’s salvation (Romans 10:1).
b) Declared that any Jew or Gentile will be saved if he or she calls upon God through Christ (Romans 10:11, 12).
c) Stated that God had not “cast away” Israel (Romans 11:1).
d) Affirmed that Israel, as a nation, would at some future time turn in faith to Christ (Romans 11:26-28; Zechariah 12:10).
33-4 The Parties to the Crucifixion of Christ
Over the centuries, efforts to evangelize the Jews have been obstructed by various persons who have unjustly blamed Christ’s death on the Jewish people as a whole. Thus it is difficult to invite the Jewish person to accept the Christian faith if that person envisions himself joining a group which —, actively persecutes the Jewish people. The question then, of who really crucified Christ, is one of vital importance to a true understanding of Scripture and to Jewish evangelism.
Those who crucified Christ were:
1) God the Father. “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him” (v. 10). This passage, amidst the great prophecy of the suffering of the Christ for humanity’s sins, clearly states that Christ’s crucifixion was a part of God’s plan of salvation. He was “slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). At the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ, facing the cross amid the agony of knowing He was soon to bear the sins of the world, said, “Not as I will, but as You will,” and “Your will be done” (Matthew 26:39, 42). Christ did not attempt to avoid the cross because He saw it as the will of the Father to be crucified, to pay for sin, and to give salvation to the believers of the ages (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
2) God the Son. Christ told Peter to put away his sword when He was arrested in the garden, since Christ could (if He wished) call for “more than twelve legions of angels” (Matthew 26:52-54). It was His will to fulfill the Scriptures and to die as a substitute for sinners. Christ said that He came as the Good Shepherd to give His life for His sheep; “No one takes it [His life] from Me” (John 10:17, 18).
3) Satan. That fallen unseen spirit, from the beginning, sought to:
a) Slay Christ at His birth (Revelation 12:4);
b) Tempt Him to sin or to be killed by leaping off the temple (Matthew 4:5, 6);
c) Have Christ slain (John 13:26, 27). When Satan entered Judas, Judas betrayed Christ and was consequently responsible for His crucifixion.
4) The Jewish leaders and the people. The high priests and Sanhedrin court were angered by Christ’s repeated healings on the Sabbath, violating the law (according to their traditional interpretation of the law). So they condemned Christ and handed Him over to the Romans for death (Matthew 27:15-25).
5) Herod Antipas. The Herodian families were Edomites from the deserts south of Jerusalem. Since Christ was a Galilean by residence, Pontius Pilate sent Christ to Herod—who had previously killed John the Baptist, mocked Christ and sent Him back to Pilate to His death (Luke 23:6-12).
6) The Romans. Pilate sentenced Christ to death by crucifixion (Luke 23:24). Pilate was guilty for having killed Christ even after admitting that He was an innocent man (Luke 23:22). The Roman soldiers, representing several Gentile nations, carried out the actual crucifixion of Christ (Mark 15:16-25).
7) The original sinners Adam and Eve. By eating from the forbidden tree, they had plunged the race of mankind into sin. Their aprons of fig leaves (a non-blood offering) could not cover their sin; therefore, God killed animals to cover them. This foreshadowed Christ’s need to shed His blood on the cross, and to provide the human race with an eternal, covering robe of righteousness. Thus, by their original sin, Adam and Eve were parties to the crucifixion of Christ (Genesis 3:6, 7, 21; cf. Revelation 19:8).
8) All mankind. All mankind, having fallen and in need of a Savior to bear their sins that they might live, required Christ to die for them (John 3:16).
9) You. Christ “bore our sins in His own body on the tree”—Your sins and my sins nailed Him to the cross (1 Peter 2:24). He died for you. Your sins, seen from the beginning by a loving and compassionate heavenly Father, put Christ on the cross in your place to save you. Thus God the Father, God the Son, Satan, the Jewish leaders and the people, the Edomites, the Gentile nations, Adam and Eve, as well as all of mankind, including you and me, each crucified God the Son. So no individual or nation should blame another individual or nation for the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.
33-5 The Barrier to Evangelism: Persecution of the Jewish People
From the times of Moses until the present, Jewish people have been persecuted century after century and in country after country, even by professing Christians. (Remember that not all who profess actually possess—Matthew 7:21-23).
Such persecution has become an enormous barrier to Jewish evangelism. Let us review the pertinent Scriptures:
1) Who are the Jewish people? They are the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Today the terms Jewish person, Jew, or Israelite are usually used synonymously. Originally, a “Jew” was from Israel’s royal tribe (David’s tribe), Judah; but in later years a Jew might be any Israelite.
In 721 B.C. the Assyrians scattered the northern kingdom, called “Israel,” and many mixed with the southern kingdom, “Judah.” In 586 B.C. the Babylonians scattered Judah and Jerusalem. Since A.D. 70, when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem, the tribes have intermarried freely and Israelites and Jews have become one people.
Note that the apostle Paul, explaining his prayer for Israel (Romans 10:1), spoke of them collectively as the “Jew” (Romans 10:12). Likewise he referred to himself as “an Israelite” (Romans 11:1), a “Hebrew” (2 Corinthians 11:22), and a “Jew” (Acts 21:39; 22:3).
2) The Bible prophesied that they would suffer persecution (Deuteronomy 28:64-68). This is by no means an excuse for anyone who causes the Jewish people to suffer! Evil may befall them, but woe to those who cause it (Deuteronomy 30:6, 7)!
3) The Bible promises blessing to those who bless them and cursing to those who curse them (Genesis 12:3). Witness the nations of history who persecuted the Jew: Spain and Portugal, once great empires, promoted the Inquisition and are not third-rate powers, and Germany, which planned the Holocaust, is now divided into two nations.
4) Christ prayed from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (V. 34). “They” included the Jewish people. It is His everlasting wish that they be forgiven—not persecuted. Christ here met all of the conditions for answered prayer. His prayer will be answered, for those who repent will be pardoned.
5) Paul desired the Jewish people to be saved, not persecuted (Romans 9:3, 4).
6) Christ was a Jew, from the tribe of Judah (Romans 9:5; cf. Matthew 1:1, 2).
7) Peter called himself a Jew (Acts 10:28).
8) Paul called himself a Jew (Acts 21:39; 22:3).
9) Cornelius, the first Gentile convert to Christ and especially blessed of God, had a reputation for treating Jewish people well; God loved and honored him (Acts 10:22).
10) Wicked Haman is typical of people throughout the ages who have promoted anti-Semitism (Esther 3:10). He was hanged, and the Bible praises this as justice to the wicked (Esther 7:8-10).
11) True Christians are the ambassadors of God’s love to those of every nation and tribe. No race or national group today must ever be shunned or persecuted. Those filled with hate and persecution are not obedient to God’s Word, and cannot please Him (Acts 10:28).
33-6 The Peace That Someday Will Be Israel’s
Today, most Jewish people are scattered over the world, some have returned to Israel, and some are still looking for the Messiah. The nation of Israel itself lives in an atmosphere of tension concerning the future. Someday, according to the Bible, after the struggle and tribulation of this age, the Jewish people will at last find their long-awaited rest. All peoples, including Jews and Arabs, will at last live side by side in the unity of peace (Zechariah 14:16-21). God desires, invites, and demands fellowship with Egyptians and all Arab peoples, in Jerusalem, in the millennial age of peace.
1) The nation of Israel was founded during a search for a refuge.
a) The British Balfour Declaration (1917) committed England to work toward the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. This was the beginning of the return of a remnant.
b) In World War I, General Allenby conquered the Turks (allies of the Axis powers) who were then occupying the west side of the Jordan. At the same time, independent Arab armies (spurred by Lawrence of Arabia) conquered the lands east of the Jordan from the Turks.
c) The Jews in Russia were especially persecuted. In 1917 when the Czar of Russia was removed by the communist revolution, some Jews thought that communism (where all workers are equal) would bring in a new state of equality where all men would be brothers. This ideal was soon betrayed and ultimately Jews were again persecuted by the atheistic communist state, even as they had been under the Czar.
d) Hitler’s Nazi machine, as a tool of Satan, in 1939-1945 placed the Jews of Poland, Germany, Austria, France, and Holland into concentration camps; six million Jews were exterminated in this holocaust.
e) The British governed Palestine from 1917-1948 under a mandate from the League of Nations.
f) When the British left Palestine in 1948, war broke out; on May 14, 1948, Israel declared itself an independent nation. A welcome was announced for all Jewish people who wished to return to their historic homeland—a land which had been theirs in the days of Joshua, the judges, and the kings, and from where the Romans had driven them in A.D. 70.
g) In 1956 Israel fought Egypt, which was armed by Russia, in the Sinai campaign.
h) In 1967 the Six-Day War was fought. Israel regained the entire land west of the Jordan, including Jerusalem and the central west bank of the Jordan River, which the nation Jordan had held.
i) In 1973, Israel was suddenly attacked in the Yom Kippur War by Egypt and Syria.
2) Christ, at His second coming, will rescue Israel from its tribulation and will “destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:9; cf. 14:3, 4).
3) The Jewish people will then find spiritual peace as “they will look on Me whom they pierced” (Zechariah 12:10; cf. 13:1, 2).
4) Christ will bring His peace to the entire millennial world and will regather the Jewish people (vv. 4-12). “New Jerusalem” (Revelation 21:2) will be the capital city of the eternal state which will someday come, and which will remain at peace forever and ever. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).
Master Outline 33 – For the Jews First
 True Christians love the ___________________________ people.
 Is God’s love everlasting for Israel? TRUE or FALSE. Explain.
 What seven (7) ways do we see God’s love revealed to Israel?
 The word “MESSIAH” means that in the Hebrew language?
 What three (3) people does the word “MESSIAH” refer to?
 Through the centuries did the Old Testament prophets prophecy about Messiah? YES or NO. Explain.
 When was the Messiah to be born? Where does it state in the Old Testament and established it in the New Testament?
 What tribe was the Messiah to come from?
 Where in the Old Testament does it say the Messiah was to be born of a virgin?
 Where in the Scripture does it say the Messiah was to be a prophet like Moses?
 Where so we find in the Old Testament that it states the Messiah’s garments would be divided by his executioners?
 Where in the scriptures do we find the prophecy that the Messiah would be resurrected?
 Was Israel ever invited to salvation in the Old Testament? YES or NO. Explain.
 Is Israel still invited to salvation in the New Testament? YES or NO. Explain.
 Was salvation offered to the Jews first? YES or NO. Explain.
 Who were the nine (9) people or groups of people who crucified Christ?
 How did God the Father slay His own son?
 Was God the Father’s decision to crucify His son a spur of the moment decision?
 Was it Christ’s will to be crucified? If so, how do we know that?
 The Herodian family was ____________________. What do we know about the origin of this tribe?
 Were our sins seen from the beginning by our Father?
 Can any one individual be blamed for the death of the Lord Jesus Christ?
 Will professing and possessing believers persecute the Jews?
 Who are the Jewish People?
 Does the Bible predict their persecution? YES or NO. Explain.
 Explain the statement, “True Christians are the ambassadors of God’s love to those of every nation and tribe.”
 Will the Jewish people ever find rest? YES or NO. Explain.
 What are we as born again believers to do for the Jewish nation