Having said that…
Once we have the revelation of equality in Messiah, then we can speak of distinctions without it leading to pride or elitism. Paul himself speaks of male headship in the home. Without equality we can see in the Muslim world (and in other cultures) how this leads to abuse. However, with equality the husband leads his home as a servant, not as a tyrant.
When it comes to Israel and Jewish believers, there is a unique call on what Dan Juster coined as “the saved remnant of Israel.” The Jewish people were set apart with a specific role:
- To be a priestly nation to the rest of the world. (Exodus 19:6)
- To bring forth the revelation of the one true God through the scripture.
- To show the world that there is only one God. (Deuteronomy 6:4)
- To be a light to the nations. (Isaiah 42:6, 49:6)
I was recently told by a Bible school professor that the unique calling on Israel is only on unbelieving Israel. Once a Jewish person comes to faith, he no longer has that call as he is now part of the body of Messiah. So, when Paul says to the Romans that the call of God on Israel is irrevocable (Romans 11:29), he is only referring to lost Israel.
The First Christian Anti-Semitism
However, Romans was written to Gentiles about their poor treatment of believing Jews. I wrote about this here. When Jewish believers like Pricilla and Aquila came back from exile, it appears the Gentiles did not receive them. This is why Paul writes in Romans about the significance of Israel. First, she is not rejected (Romans 11:1,11) and, second, she is still called (Romans 11:29). Of course, he was not merely referring to unbelieving Jews, as I stated above, but he was writing to the Romans, rebuking them for their rejection of the Jewish believers.
As a Messianic Jew, I base my right to citizenship in the land of Israel on the fact that I am Jewish. If we lose that at salvation, then believing Jews would have no right to live in the state of Israel. Of course, that is absurd.
It was the Jewish apostles who had the calling (Acts 1:8) to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. This is a clear extension of Psalm 67:
May God be gracious to us (Israel) and bless us (Israel)
and make his face shine on us (Israel)—
(Why?) so that your ways may be known on earth,
your salvation among all nations. (Psalm 67:1-2)
Of course, that calling is not exclusively to Israel, as we are all called to be light and salt. Yet, there is a unique anointing on Jewish believers for this. Paul quotes Isaiah 42 and 49 about being a light to the nation in Acts 13:47:
Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. For this is what the Lord has commanded us:
“‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” (Acts 13:46-47)
Paul clearly saw the unique calling on Israel as continuing, if not intensifying, in the New Covenant.
Who are the ones called to take the gospel message to the whole earth before judgment? 144,000 Jews from each tribe. Now, the dispensationalist will say that all the believers have disappeared in the rapture. However, I have only met one person who claims to have come to a pre-tribulation rapture view without being taught—and I am skeptical of him. For my views on this, CLICK HERE. There is only one second coming and we are raptured and meet Him in the air as He returns. We are changed in a twinkling of eye and return to earth with Him.