- Underlying this question is the myth of an irreversible hardening of the Jewish heart, a myth that has lead to the belief that Jews are unredeemable. This is nothing but an anti-semitic lie to prevent Jews from being reached with the love of God. How Jews need to be approached has been described by David Stern in his 'Restoring the Jewishness of the Gospel.' He postulates a forth type of evangelism and says: "What Type IV Evangelism requires is not a Gentilized Gospel contextualized for the Jews, but a restoration of the Jewishness which is in fact present in the Gospel but which has become obscured." (p. 13)
- The hardening is not necessarily the pharaonic hardening. When God says he is going to harden Pharaoh's heart, He is summarizing what is about to happen. We need to understand "the process of hardening." The fact is Pharaoh hardened his own heart and only after the fifth plague did God take over the hardening. For details see Kaiser etc. 'Hard Sayings of the Bible." (p. 142)
- Replacement theology underlines the reason of Jewish resistance as being the lack of Bible knowledge because the Jews prefer to read and study the Talmud [the Jewish rabbis' Commentary] as their substitute Bible. However, whoever accuses the Jews of straying from God or failing their mission to be a light to the nations needs to be reminded of the Seven Letters to the Seven Churches in the Apostle John's Revelation. (Rev. 2 and 3). Originally those Churches were Jewish, but later the Jews who had accepted Yeshua as Messiah were driven out.
If the Jews failed, so did the Church. If the Jews are blind, so is the Church. The Church has no reason to boast or to be arrogant. We all have our blind spots and stand in each other's blind spots so that we cannot even see the parallelism between the history of the Jews and the history of the Church.
- We see legalism and idolatory on the Jewish side, so we must see it on the Christian side. Furthermore: the antagonism against the Jews among the Gentiles is very much alive and on the increase. Isolation of and hatred against America parallels what has long been experienced by Jews. The Christian Heritage Dictionary sets the trend: One of the meanings of 'Israel' is stated to be "The Christian Church regarded as the heir to the ancient covenant" (note that it does not say 'of the ancient covenant blessings and curses.')
- The disastrous effects of two millennia of rejection due to Replacement Theology and Christian antisemitism (with all the false accusations) have thickened the veil over Jewish eyes, rather than unveiled the Messianic Gospel to the Jewish heart. The Church denied the Jews their Jewish identity by forcing them to convert to Christianity if they wanted to find forgiveness. "The Christians place themselves between the Messiah and the Jews hiding to them the true face of the Redeemer.." (Nicolas Berdiaev, in Claude Duvernoy, The Zionism of God, e-edition of 2003, p. 127)
- Though the Jews in the past somewhat but not altogether failed in their calling to make the Gentiles jealous, Christians have largely failed in their calling to make the Jews jealous (Rom. 11:11). To make jealous here means "to shine God's light and make it so available that one must enter into it." Ungodly jealousy is divisive and contrary to missionary zeal, but godly jealousy is unifying and obedient to the Commission, to make disciples of ALL NATIONS, BEGINNING IN JERUSALEM. Some have misinterpreted Jesus and Paul's insistence "to the Jew first" as procedural only in order to emphasize the Jews' rejection of the gospel and the end of the Jewish dispensation. But one must ask if Jesus and Paul's insistence was not rather prophetic of the Gentile arrogance which was to overwhelm His church and alienate His people further from His Gospel to them. (Romans 11:17-21)
For more information on this topic, click on the links below:
See Key-Issue: How can Zionism be Christian?
Feinberg, Charles Lee. Israel at the center of history & revelation. Portland, Or. : Multnomah Press, c1980. 3rd. ed. ch 13. The mystery of Israel's blindness and ch.16: Why the Jews do not believe.
Elmer Josephson: Israel, God's Key to World Redemption. Chapter 18, Why Jews Reject Jesus. p. 209ff
Concordance VII - on the Calling of the Jews
Concordance XVI.B.1 - Substitutionary Repentance
Concordance XVI - Why Pray for Israel