SHOULD WE EVANGELIZE JEWISH PEOPLE?
The men who have come to Galatia believe they have the answer to a dilemma that has come upon the early church: what to do with the non-Jews who were entering the church. See, at the very beginning of the creation of the church in Acts chapter 2, all those who were gathered together on that great day of Pentecost were Jewish. And the 3000 that were added that Pentecost day were also Jewish. In fact, at the very beginning of the church, everyone was, Jewish. Everyone. It makes sense. After all, Jesus was Jewish, and the vast majority of His ministry was spent interacting with Jewish people. Remember, the only Bible they had at this point was the Old Testament, which of course is Jewish.
It had been for a time that those who became Christians were only Jewish, and they used the Jewish Scriptures, and they worshiped the God who Jews had always worshiped. Christianity was seen and in fact is the Completion of Judaism. Those in the early church did not see Christianity as another religion, but as a fulfillment of what they had been waiting for generations – the arrival of the promised Messiah. At first, the Romans saw Christianity as a sect of Judaism. They saw it as no different than Judaism. You see, from the point of view of those in the very early church, they were still Jewish; they just took the additional step of believing that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah.
So the men who arrive in Galatia believe this: We and all of those before us, including Paul, were Jewish before we became Christians. We were Jewish in our diet, we were Jewish in our dress; we were Jewish in our language; we were Jewish through and through. So, they would say, since Christianity is the fulfillment of Judaism, it makes sense that a Christian should follow Jewish customs and, in essence, be Jewish.
Funny thing is we have the opposite thing going on today. In Galatians, we see a group of men who say to be a Christian you must be essentially be Jewish – in other words, you couldn't be a Christian without being Jewish. But today we have people giving us the line that it is offensive to evangelize Jewish people; it is offensive to tell Jewish people about Jesus because Jewish people don't need to become Christians, and Christianity is the last thing a Jew needs.
Amazing, isn't it? What ridiculous stuff ignorance makes people believe.
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