Summary: You better witness to the Jews for a Jew died for them! While you are at it, witness to the Catholics as well!
In light of the recent decision of the Catholic Institution to not evangelize Jews, I am compelled to speak of educated know-nothings.
Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, (KJV)
While this speaks to humanists\evolutionists it can be applied here as well. These lads have advanced degrees, but like many others do not read nor affirm the Bible they claim to believe and teach.
1 Tim 6:3-5
3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. (KJV)
Again, while we usually apply this passage to the general panoply of theological interpretation, it clearly applies to this issue because either the Great Commission includes all men including Jews or it does not and Baptists need to rethink their evangelization protocol or stand by it. Indeed, it is either sound doctrine to evangelize Jews or it is not. And if it is sound doctrine then we have a decree by educated know nothings as Paul states. In fact, let’s start with Paul.
Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (KJV)
Paul spoke of the Gospel going to the Jew first. Why, if the Jews "have an authentic relationship with God" that was not changed with the Cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ? All the Apostles should have bypassed the synagogues and temples and went straight to the various Mars Hills of the Gentiles. Paul and the others would not have suffered so at the hands of the Jewish leaders if they had said as one German rabbi that Christ was the Gentile Messiah and the Jews wait for theirs. Why did Christ bother to teach in the synagogue if He was only for the Gentiles and Judaism was to remain as it has always been?
Forty-one references speak of Jesus and the Apostles being in synagogues. There are over one hundred references to the temple. Why all this Jewish language if the Jews were not the ones that the Gospel was directed to primarily? Yet, the know-nothings tell us the Jews need not be evangelized. I am afraid the bishops need regeneration and less education that they might see the simplicity of the Gospel and its truth.
Mark 7:27 But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. (KJV)
Matt 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (KJV)
Christ said that he was sent only for the lost sheep of Israel. We Gentiles got in by their refusal of the Gospel and rejection of their Messiah. He was first to be their Savior and then ours. Nothing has changed except the Gentiles more readily accept the Gospel than Jews because it is our age, but they are still to repent and receive their Messiah.
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. (KJV)
This is the prophecy of the Jewish Messiah not a Gentile one and Jesus is saying, "Here I am!" How do the Catholic theologians miss this?
Rom 9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: (KJV)
Why does he need to be accursed for his brethren, the Jews? Because they will not accept the Gospel and be saved, which is their birthright. If they were still in the right relationship with God or on a parallel course with Christianity all would be well and he could rejoice for his brethren and not mourn for them.