Q: After Christ’s resurrection, are Jewish people still God’s chosen people?  —Richard

A: Deuteronomy 14:2 says: “For you are a holy people to YHWH your God, and God has chosen you to be his treasured people from all the nations that are on the face of the earth.” The Abrahamic Covenant expresses the purpose for which Israel was chosen—to bring blessing to all peoples on earth (Genesis 12:1-3).

Although some of God’s promises to national Israel in the Old Testament seemed unconditional, others made it clear that God’s continued blessing depended on her faithfulness (Deuteronomy 28:1-68). Israel was continually unfaithful, divided as a kingdom after the reign of Solomon, and eventually conquered by Assyria and Babylonia. Meanwhile Israel’s prophets were promising a new covenant that would bring God’s original covenant with Abraham to fruition (Jeremiah 31:31-34: Hosea 2:18-23; Isaiah 42:1-9, 49:1-26, 52:13–53:12; Malachi 4:4-6; Daniel 9:24-27).

Jesus was the Messiah of this new covenant, the “seed of Abraham” (Galatians 3:16), the fulfillment of Israel’s story (Isaiah 9:6-7; John 3:16-17; Colossians 1:15-20; Ephesians 2:11-22). He came to offer salvation and blessing both to Israel and all the people of the earth. Jewish religious and cultural leaders had Jesus killed, attempted to obliterate his teaching, and persecuted the church. Consequently, many Jews continued to reject Jesus Christ and the gospel, clinging to the now obsolete symbols of a tribal and nationalistic religion.

Israel was subjected to a state of judicial blindness (Romans 11:7-10). But in spite of its blindness there is a remnant of Israel today that continues to be called forth to carry out God’s purposes, witnessing to the truth like the prophets of old. The Apostle Paul—himself once blinded—assures us that a day will come when “all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:22-29).  —Dan Vander Lugt

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