Israel‘s Priestly Calling
From its foundation, MJMI’s express purpose has been to tell every Jewish person everywhere about the Messiah Yeshua. But sharing the Messiah with Jewish people means more than simply the salvation of individual Jewish souls, or even the restoration of an entire Jewish nation. Indeed, proclaiming Yeshua to the Jewish people is necessary for the salvation of the world!
A Nation Set Apart
Within the nation of Israel (Yis’rael), God established an order of separateness. This order establishes an increasing closeness and responsibility of service to God Himself.
First, the nation of Israel is, herself, a people set apart by God from among all the other nations.
Then, inside Israel, God set apart the tribe of Levi (Leviy), who would not receive a land inheritance along with the other tribes, but whose inheritance would be God Himself. The Levites (L’viyim) would be responsible for the maintenance of the tabernacle (HaMish’kan) and all the holy things related to God’s service.
Finally, from out of the tribe of Levi, God set apart the line of Aaron (A’haron, the brother of Moses) to serve God as priests (kohaniym). The priests would be the intercessors and interpreters of God’s word and will for all the rest of the people of Israel. They bridged the gap between Israel and God.
And yet, this arrangement would not merely serve as the means by which the people of Israel would gain access to God. It would also serve as the pattern by which the God of Israel becomes accessible to the people of the nations.
Set Apart for a Purpose
In Exodus 19:5-6, God says to Israel,
“Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession (s’gulah) among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests (mam’lechet ko’haniym) and a holy nation (goy qadosh).” These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel. (NAS)
This passage establishes three important things. First, the people of Israel—the Jewish people—belong to God in a way that is unique and different from all the other people-groups of the world. Second, as His hL’gUs., s’gulah—His own possession—God set Israel apart so that she could be holy—vAdq’, qadosh—to her God. But holiness is not Israel’s final goal.
The most crucial point here is that there is an ultimate purpose for Israel’s holiness, and God tells her so. It is so that Israel “shall be to Me a kingdom of priests (mam’lechet ko’haniym).” Israel’s holy purpose to the nations mirrors the priest’s holy purpose to Israel. Just as the priests of Israel perform the holy service of mediation and reconciliation to God on behalf of all the people of Israel, in the same way, the Jewish nation is meant to collectively perform that same service on behalf of every other nation of the earth!
This is exactly what Paul asserts in Acts 13:47, when he cites Isaiah 49:6 as a command given to the Jewish people:
I have placed you as a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation (y’shuah) to the end of the earth. (NAS)
From the beginning (see Genesis 12:1-3), it has been God’s intent and design for Israel to be His uniquely called intermediaries. Is has been, and continues to be, Israel’s job to be the voice that brings global reconciliation between God and all mankind. Yeshua’s ultimate and perfect service as High Priest did not make Israel’s national priestly service useless and obsolete. On the contrary, Yeshua’s work provides the Jewish people with the spiritual means and ability to finally accomplish their collective mission and purpose.
Life From the Dead!
The salvation of Jewish people is not simply about reconciling the children of Israel with their God—it is about restoring the Remnant of Israel to her birthright and priestly mandate. Israel’s national salvation is the difference between the occasional salvation of individuals from time to time, and the massive once-and-for-all resurrection-power revival for the entire human race!
When you lift your voice to proclaim the Good News of Yeshua to Jewish people, the reason is not just to see individual Jewish persons saved. It is also so that the Jewish people as a restored, holy nation and priestly kingdom in Yeshua may find their voice, and in turn be “a light for the Gentiles” and “life from the dead” for the world.
I say then, they [Israel, the Jewish people] did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! …For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? (Romans 11:11-12, 11:15)
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