Below is a very true statement from Pope Francis. For the last 50 plus years there has seemed to be an awakening of Christianity to it’s Jewish heritage. Jesus was a Great First Century Jewish Man, with a First Century Jewish Worldview, and Perspective. The Bible is a collection of Books all written by Jewish writers, from Jewish perspectives, though varying because of the 3000 year span of history represented with the most recent of the documents almost 2000 years old.. Nevertheless the Bible is Jewish! The way to properly understand the Bible, is to study the appropriate history, and worldview for the timeframe of authorship for each book.
Sometimes even the history of the timeframe represented in the story being told is very important. The New Testament reaches back with over a thousand illusions, echoes, partial quotations, and direct quotes, to the Old Testament. By understanding the common Jewish perception/perspective involved at the time of the writings, and the stories being told, it becomes much easier to understand and comprehend the scripture. Also by becoming familiar with Biblical/Jewish history one can somewhat at least, formulate the “sitz im leben,” or settings in life, providing the backdrop for the Scriptural account. This brings the context into a much sharper focus.
This seems to me to be nothing less than the Hand of God, working simultaneously in two directions at the same time within His People. One being, bringing a fresh awareness amongst Christians of their Jewish Roots, and the second being, that of revealing to many Jews, that the Christian Redeemer Jesus/Yeshua, was and is the Jewish Messiah. What a Glorious God we are privileged to serve! A thought to think and reflect about: We were grafted into the Jewish Family Tree, and not the other way around.
Pope Francis: Oust Anti-Semitism, Embrace Roots
“We must make it absolutely clear that anti-Semitism is a sin,” the Pope said. “One of the reasons I’m here is to remind the Christian world that our roots are in Judaism. In every Christian, there is a Jew; and you can’t be a true Christian if you don’t recognize your Jewish roots. I don’t mean Judaism in the ethnic, origin sense, but from the religious aspect. And I think interfaith dialogue must place an emphasis on the inseparable connection between the religions, on the fact that Christianity grew from within Judaism. That is our challenge.”
“For me, the real revolution is to go back to the roots, to recognize them and to understand their significance in relation to the present and the future,” the Pope told Cymerman. “The vessel for affecting real changes is identity; and in order to discover my identity, I need to know where I come from, and what my cultural and religious surname is.”
Pope Francis conveyed his message of co-existence through a story about a group of anti-Semitic priests sitting together and speaking badly about the Jewish People. In the room in which they are sitting is a picture of Yeshua (Jesus) and Miriam (Mary) hanging on the wall above their heads. “And then, suddenly,” Pope Francis says, “Jesus steps out of the picture and says, ‘Mom, let’s go, they don’t like us here either.”
Now after reading this little article, consider the words of the Apostle Paul:
Romans 11 King James Version (KJV)
11 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying,
3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.
8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:
10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.
11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?
13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.
20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.
24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes.
29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
King James Version (KJV)
by Public Domain