Christian reading

Issue N48

answers for a jew, valeriy sterkh

Answers for a Jew

Concluding remarks. On conversion from Judaism to Christianity

The Law of Moses was not sufficient in itself. It was obvious for the Jews even in the lifetime of Christ. Otherwise they would not have come in multitudes to John the Baptist to be baptized for the remission of their sins (see Mt 3; Mk 1; Lk 3; Jn 1). The desire to grow close to God led the Jews to become followers of Jesus Christ. So, the first Christian community was predominantly Jewish. As time went by, Gentiles started converting to Christianity, and the Jewish people hardened their hearts against Christians.

This is how Paul explains this: «For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all» (Rom 11:25-32).

This is the basis for the Christian hope that the Jews will in the end come to repentance and convert to Christianity as predicted by the prophets:

«And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart. In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness» (Zech 12:10-13:1).

«Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen» (Rev 1:7; compare Rev 3:9).

But this can only happen after they become aware that our salvation is attained only through the Sacraments of Baptism, repentance and Communion. In other words: «He that believeth [in Jesus Christ] and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned» (Mk 16:16).

(to be continued)