Sunday Devotional: The chosen people

Romans 15:7-9

Brothers and sisters:
Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you,
for the glory of God.
For I say that Christ became a minister of the circumcised
to show God’s truthfulness,
to confirm the promises to the patriarchs,
but so that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.
As it is written:
Therefore, I will praise you among the Gentiles
and sing praises to your name.”

Matthew 3:1-2, 7-12

John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea
and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees
coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers!
Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance.
And do not presume to say to yourselves,
‘We have Abraham as our father.’
For I tell you,
God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees.
Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit
will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
I am baptizing you with water, for repentance,
but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I.
I am not worthy to carry his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fan is in his hand.
He will clear his threshing floor
and gather his wheat into his barn,
but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

I am the way
Today is the second Sunday of Advent, a joyous season of preparation for celebrating the birth of Christ at Christmas.
The readings from Matthew 3 and  St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans 15 are a reminder that when the Second Person of the Triune Godhead became incarnate as a vulnerable little baby, born to “nobody” parents in a humble stable instead of a palace, He came for all — Jew and Gentile.
Henceforth, all who pick up their crosses to follow Him, are the self-chosen people — the children of the Light. We who choose to follow Jesus are nothing special. Like Him, we are nobodies with nobody parents, born in humble circumstances instead of palaces. But we choose to follow Him, even though He promises only hardship and persecution:

Matthew 16:24

Then Jesus said to his disciples,
“Whoever wants to be my disciple
must deny themselves
and take up their cross
and follow me.”

In contrast, Jews’ understanding of the term “chosen people” is a narcissistic one — that Jews were and remain “chosen” because they are a superior people, better than the Angels and almost an equal of God. For that matter, in parts of the Talmud — the real Scripture of Jews, which supercedes the Torah (or Old Testament) the words of rabbis actually supercede God’s. (See Michael Hoffman, Judaism’s Strange Gods.)
It took a Christian-convert Jew to properly present the real meaning of “chosen people”. From Roy H. Schoeman, Salvation is from the Jews: The Role of Judaism in Salvation History from Abraham to the Second Coming (pp. 20-21):

“The Jews were…to host the Incarnation itself, to be the people among whom God would become man. If God were to be on a uniquely intimate basis with the Jews and eventually to become incarnate among them, they would have to be free from involvement with other deities, free from all spiritual pollution. Hence the severity of restrictions in the Old Testament against any form of idolatry or sorcery . . . . This purity, and the development of virtue and piety among at least some of the Jews, would have to reach its ultimate fruition later in producing an individual of such devotion and virtue that she could give her flesh to be the flesh of the God-man, that she could be His human mother. This individual was, of course, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
If redemption through the Messiah, when He came, would require a high level of moral behavior, then mankind would have to be prepared for this higher moral standard, too. Judaism performed this function when it introduced God’s morality to man through the revelation of the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai.
If mankind were to be able to recognize the Messiah for He was when He came, it would have to be prepared by being taught before hand to expect His coming. Judaism performed this role, too….
God wished there would be a people on earth who would worship and adore the Messiah even before He came and who would fervently pray for His coming. This role, too, was fulfilled by the Jews….
Finally, God would need a people to provide a temporal home for the Messiah when He came and to announce His arrival to the world. This, too, was entrusted to the Jews.”

In other words, God didn’t choose the Jews because they were special. Jews became a “chosen people” not because they were specially wonderful and superior to all others, but because God chose them for the Incarnation of His only Son — a role and mission that should be the cause of humility instead of grandiose narcissism.
In Luke 4:24, 28-30 is a description of Jesus’ first public ministry, after spending 40 days and nights in the desert in preparation:

And he said, “Amen, I say to you,
no prophet is accepted in his own native place….”
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built,
to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

What murderous narcissistic rage! — an illustration of what we moderns now call the Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Greatest Commandment
Just remember the “neighbor” in “You shall love neighbor as yourself” includes Jews and Gentiles.
May the joy and peace and love of Jesus Christ, our Lord, be with you!
~Eowyn

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stan-in-usa
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stan-in-usa

I completely love the Scriptures quoted, along with the commentary. And everything mentioned is fact. Even the rock star, Gene Simmons (born Chaim With/Gene Klein), who’s mother survived the Nazi Concentration Camps once stated that ‘the Jewish people have to stop this ‘Chosen People’ mindset. The ‘Chosen People’ mentality got the Jewish people into more trouble than anything else. That if there is a God that exists, He would treat everyone equal’. Those were his words and thoughts, not mine. And that’s coming from a man who’s mother experienced the people around her being exterminated simply for being Jewish, &… Read more »

ray032
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Watching what’s happening in the US from CanaDa, “Just remember the “neighbor” in “You shall love neighbor as yourself” includes Jews and Gentiles” should be expanded to include Democrats, Republicans, Black and White.

Auntie Lulu
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Auntie Lulu

Excellent teaching for this season of the year.

ufferndan
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TY

josephbc69
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Friends, never let yourselves be deceived by the political Zionists claim of Israel as a destined physical place for ‘the Chosen People’. No: it is a SPIRITUAL state open to all who embrace the Light of Understanding we have in Jeshua ben David, aka Jesus, who clearly said this, as did Paul and some of the others, though not everyone, as recorded. As a child of 10, the two Jews who were my father’s business partners warned me the creation of Israel as a political entity was the worst thing that could happen to Jews. Visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neturei_Karta and https://www.nkusa.org/ to… Read more »

MomOfIV
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MomOfIV

awesome devotional Dr. Eowyn…..truth is the beacon of light to this lost world and I pray everyone who seeks Truth sees the light of our Lord and rejects the darkness of lies.
those who choose to follow the Lord are the ‘chosen ones’.

ray032
Guest

I believe God LIVES TODAY, and is choosing People from all over this earth to be the Chosen People of God while it’s called TODAY. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:13 I believe this; For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not… Read more »

TPR
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TPR

Excellent devotional subject/coverage! Agree with everything (most importantly that the REASON for the ancient Israel/nation was to provide the means through which the Messiah/Christ/Savior would come forth! And ditto the separation & purity required of them, etc.! EXACTLY!!) Everybody knows the history but as a quick rehash… To bring forth the Savior (first prophesied in Gen. 3:15), God needed a “family tree” through which to bring Him forth, as you described. And that “family tree” did not begin with the “nation of Israel” aka the “chosen ones,” but began by God choosing ONE MAN, & a Gentile man at that… Read more »

TPR
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TPR

Two other tid-bits that I am not sure whether they are 100% true or not: I’ve read that “Judaism” the religion is not the same as the Biblical books of Moses aka the Torah; but that Judaism is a later creation by rabbis who made up a bunch of rules & regs themselves. Some folks claim that “modern Jewry” is really made up of the descendants of Edom (Esau) vs Jacob/Israel. There’s a quote out there on the internet supposedly from an older version of one of the Jewish Encyclopedias/books that says, “Edom is in modern Jewry” or words to… Read more »

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joandarc
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joandarc

Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this magnificent post. Jesus came for all of humankind, with no exclusions as to whether a person is Jewish or not. Your explanation set forth above is a clear representation from Jesus Himself in the Holy Scriptures, that He came for gentiles and Jews, He came for everyone, especially sinners. Our dear St. Paul, the greatest missionary of all times, explained this to the gentile peoples everywhere he went. How wonderful! How joyous! How holy!

ray032
Guest

God is still “CHOOSING” other People to be examples of God’s Love on earth TODAY. The people God chose thousands of years ago are Dead and Gone Today. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them he gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. TODAY is the day that the Lord made; we shall exult and rejoice in… Read more »