Summary: The Savior of all men was a Jew, and this alone exalts the name of Jew to the highest degree. No other race can boast of a greater honor. In the flesh Jesus was a Jew, but in contrast Paul says that in the Spirit Jesus was God, who is over all blessed forever.
David Lefkowitz in explaining why he is a Jew tells the story of Nathan the Wise. A Sulton
had just heard a Christian and a Mohammedan give their testimony as to the excellencies of their
respected beliefs. It was Nathan's turn to tell why he was a Jew. Instead, he asked the Sulton's
permission to tell a story of three rings. It went like this: In a certain family there had been
handed down from time immemorial a ring which tradition said possessed the power of bringing
happiness and righteousness, honor, reverence and truth to the one who wore it. Each father in
his dying hour handed it to the son he loved the best.
There came a time when a father had three sons which he loved equally. To whom should he
give the ring? He called a goldsmith and had him make two others exactly like the true ring. In
his dying hour he called each of his sons to his bedside separately and gave them each a ring.
After the days of mourning had passed the sons noted they each had a ring, and they began to
quarrel, each insisting that his was the genuine ring. They finally took the matter to a wise judge.
He heard their story and asked, "Is it not true that your father told you that the genuine ring had
the magic virtue of beautifying and ennobling the life of the one who possessed it?" They all
agreed it was so. The judge said, "Then only time can tell who has the genuine ring."
This story is saying what Jesus said when He stated, "By their fruits you shall know them."
The Jews believe that time is on their side, and that Judaism will eventually be recognized as the
best and most fruitful religion. They say that all the values in Christianity and Islam are
borrowed from Judaism. They believe these two religions are being used of their God among the
Gentiles, but the Judaism is never the less the root and the final religion. The Jew is the son with
the original and genuine ring.
As Christians we tend to think of Judaism as an incomplete Christianity. They, however,
think of Christianity as a degraded Judaism. They feel that their purpose in God's plan is to
maintain a pure monotheism. Christianity has departed from this they say, and it has gone back
to the pagan concept of incarnation, which reduces God to man's level. It also introduces the
concept of the trinity, which is contrary to their understanding to monotheism. The Jews say they
can match any claim of the Christian to superiority. They have survived through great
persecutions. They have a written revelation and a covenant with God. All of the humanistic
values of Christianity are a part of Judaism. No one has a greater past or hope for a greater
destiny. Lefkowitz ends his testimony:
"I am a Jew because God choose Israel to reveal Himself
and His truth of righteousness. I am a Jew because I
glory in the thought that it was the Jew who gave mankind
the Bible, the seers and psalmists and sages, the eternal
providence of a people martyred yet steadfast in the faith,
patiently suffering and patiently blessing those who tortured
them. I am a Jew because I am proud of Israel's past and
sure of its destiny as the witness of God in the earth, in the
ages yet to be."
What is a Christian to say to all this? Can we say that Judaism is a false religion? Not
hardly-since it is based on that which we too call the Word of God. We have to admit that
Judaism is not only a good religion, but is God ordained, and was at one time the best that could
be. However, all the positive things we can say for it does not change the fact that since the
coming of Christ it is an incomplete, inadequate and inferior religion in comparison with
Christianity. The whole purpose of Christian work among the Jews is to lift them to a higher
level through conversion by their acceptance of Jesus as their Messiah. The Jews find this very
offensive. They are aggravated by the Christian claim to superiority. From their perspective
evangelistic efforts are anti-Semitic.
Dr. Claude G. Montefiore declared, "Over and above all anti-Semitism there is nothing
which militates against good and friendly relations between Jews and Christians as the efforts of
conversionists... If these stopped everywhere tomorrow, these relations would very soon be
improved. The missionaries and their efforts are a perpetual irritant, a constantly running sore."
Here we see a great paradox. The New Testament says we are to love Jews and be anti
anti-Semitic by seeking to bring the Gospel to them. The Jew, however, looks at these efforts of