Daily Topic for April 24, 2012
To the Jews, circumcision is an essential part of what it means to be Jewish. Traditionally, many Jews believed that to be Jewish was to be “saved” so anyone who wanted to be saved first needed to become Jewish. Don’t we make the same mistake today when we require other cultures to adopt our forms of symbolism, our worship songs, etc? Like the Jewish believers in Acts 15, we may unwittingly be falling into the trap of expecting others to adapt our culture before they can embrace Jesus.
Pray for us to discern when we are presenting our culture rather than the undiluted gospel of Christ.
Who is a Jew? According to some Jewish customs, a Jew is anyone born to a Jewish mother or anyone who converts to Judaism. In other words, Judaism is a religion. Not so, said the British Supreme Court in 2009, which ruled in an unusual case (New York Times, Dec. 16, 2009) that the Jewish people are an ethnic race. Who is a Jew also governs the right of Jewish people to return to the Land (Israel) where the issue also periodically comes before the courts. In response to a 2006 BBC news on-line article about London Jews emigrating to Israel, one London reader wrote, “I thought Judaism was a religion, but now it seems it is a nationality.”
Confused she should be. The fact is that many London Jews are secular. For them Judaism is an ethnic identity, having nothing to do with a belief in Jehovah. Only on the highest of holy days might they attend a synagogue. Meanwhile, anti-semitism continues to grow in the U.K. making Jewish evangelism more difficult because the Jews believe those who hate them are Christians.
Pray that British Jews will not be confused by who is perpetrating anti-semitism in England (not true Christians). Pray also that they will not be fearful that they will lose their Jewish identity and hasten community extinction by receiving Christ. Pray that the Holy Spirit will prepare Jewish hearts to be more open to the message of their Messiah, Y’eshua. Pray for God to give them spiritual hunger for truth and righteousness that can only lead them to Y’eshua. Pray that British Jews will seek security in Y’eshua, not the law of the land.