The Hebrew Bible and the New Testament are about God’s love for all people. His love for the Jewish people is evident by his calling of man name Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3); and his promises to Abraham of eternal nationhood (Genesis 15 &17). God demonstrated His love for His people by bringing them through the sword of persecution many times (Abarbanel, Jewish Bible commentator, 1437-1508). “Over 300 years ago King Louis XIV of France asked Blaise Pascal, the great French philosopher, to give him proof of the supernatural. Pascal answered: ‘Why, the Jews, your majesty – the Jews’.” (Rabbi Ken Spiro) The existence of the Jewish people is indeed a powerful testimony to God’s faithfulness (Jeremiah 31:36). Without God’s grace the Jewish people could never have made it through.
God’s eternal love for the Jewish people is proclaimed in Scripture and evident to all (Jeremiah 31:1-3). However, the rise of antisemitism all over the world is of grave concern. We have been deeply concerned by a lack of understanding of the Jewish people within the Church, and we believe there is a need for solid teaching of the Hebrew Bible. But we have been encouraged by the great depth of love that many within His church have towards the Jewish people. We are also aware that, in some cases, the Jewish mistrust of Christians runs very deep and is an obstacle to meaningful discussion of shared values.
God gave us a heart for the Jewish people when we visited Ohave Sholom (Loving Peace) Cemetery in St. Louis, MO. Outside the walls of this Jewish cemetery someone had written these hate-filled words: “Jews are pigs.” The audacity of such an act struck us with sadness. When we entered the cemetery we saw several stones that had been placed on the grave markers in honor of departed loved ones. As we considered the reality of eternity our hearts were burdened for the living. These stones reminded us of God’s eternal love for the Jewish people; they also imprinted on our hearts a clear focus for our lives.
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