Judges 13-15, Psalm 74
Recently Pope Francis stated that Jewish people don’t need Jesus Christ to be saved. He goes further and says that Christians should not evangelize the Jewish people. The Pope’s statements completely contradict Jesus’ own words in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” That is a definitive statement by Jesus with no exceptions. The reality is we need to evangelize the world, including the Jewish people.
In Judges 13:19-22, we read, “So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it upon the rock to the Lord. And He did a wondrous thing while Manoah and his wife looked on-it happened as the flame went up toward heaven from the altar-the Angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar! When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell on their faces to the ground. When the Angel of the Lord appeared no more to Manoah and his wife, then Manoah knew that He was the Angel of the Lord. And Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, because we have seen God!” This is one of many Christophanies (Old Testament pre-incarnate appearances of Jesus). that we have in the Old Testament, but one of the clearest examples of when the individual actually acknowledged the Angel of the Lord as God. A verse like Judges 13:22 is a good area to show Jesus in the Old Testament. A common argument you might hear is that they (the Jewish people) believe in one God, while we Christians believe in three (trinity). Good verses to know in defense of this is Jeremiah 23:5-6,” “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A king shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”” This name for God is Yahweh Tsidkenu. This verse has always been considered Messianic to the Jewish scholars. In Isaiah 9:6, another obvious reference to the future Messiah, we read, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto is a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Even in the creation account in Genesis 1:26, the word for God is plural, Elohim, not El which is singular, when God says, “Let Us make man in Our image…”.
Do we shy away from evangelizing in general. Do we only evangelize certain groups according to age, race, gender or religious belief. Jesus came to save the world. In Matthew 28:18-20 we are commanded to bring His message of salvation to the world. We read, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” We are commanded by Jesus, Himself, to not only share or evangelize but also to disciple others. We need to move under the power of the Holy Spirit and not fear having all of the right words, for He promises if we step out in faith, He will provide what we need and give us the words.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: