Israel’s Spiritual Rebirth: The Church’s Role

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Grant Berry on the Jewish Voice with Jonathan Bernis

Simply put, according to Scripture, the church is the chosen vessel of God to breathe spiritual life back into Israel. The apostle Paul makes this clear to us not only with an example of his own life and deeds, but also in Romans chapter 11 he reminds us about the mercy that we have received from God through our own salvation, that now we would release that mercy back to Israel.

“Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you” (Rom. 11:30-31).

And then again in Romans, Paul encourages us speaking specifically about reaching the Jewish people, “How then can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (Rom.10:14).

Weren’t most of us blind before we could see? So, shouldn’t we be operating out of love and grace for those who are still blind? This would also include the Jewish people, who have been supernaturally blinded by God Himself until the appointed time of their redemption (Isaiah 6:9-10). Should the flavor and the saltiness of our salvation and on going relationship with Yeshua/Jesus be like a fountain flowing from our hearts into the lives of those all around us who have yet to taste and see that the Lord is good?

Yet Israel’s spiritual blindness has truly baffled us, with many saying in the church that God is finished with Israel, or even replaced her. Yet the same text tells us that their hardening is only temporary and as we come into the fullness of the Gentiles, so it says that all Israel will be saved. (Romans 11:25-26) Jesus Himself has told us that the first would be last. In other words, His firstborn children must be spiritually awakened and re-grafted back into the Olive Tree at the end (the last), before Jesus can return in fulfillment of the covenants towards them and the numerous Scriptures to restore them back into the family of God.

If you are still unclear about this and God’s unfailing love for Israel, which by the way does not condone everything they do, because they are still in need of redemption. Listen to the prophet Jeremiah who had the daunting task of facing Israel’s rebellion. “Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done,” declares the Lord (Jer. 31:37).

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