Is He Good For The Jews?
By Rachmiel Frydland*
Jewish people, in their varied and long history of persecution and suffering, have been compelled to evaluate people and events as to whether, or not, they were good for the Jewish people. Thus arose the following story:
“The teacher of an international school assigned his students to write on the subject of the elephant. The British student developed his theme on the title, ‘the Elephant in the British Empire.’ The French student wrote under the title, ‘the Love Life of the Elephant.’ The German student wrote, ‘Introduction to the Bibliography of the Elephant.’ The Jewish student chose his subject, ‘The Elephant and the Jews.’”
Kings and rulers, like Rameses of Egypt, Sargon of Assyria, Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Herod of Palestine and more recently, Hitler and Stalin, may have been considered and titled ‘great’ by their contemporaries – and even by future generations. But to us Jewish people, they will forever remain puny, rejected and insignificant, for they purposed evil to the Jews.
Jewish Attitudes to the Man of Nazareth
Two thousand years ago, there was born a Man in the little Jewish town of Bethlehem. His parents were compelled to go there because the Jewish people, at that time, were under Roman suzerainty, which decreed that each family must return to its native city, in order to register for tax purposes. Thus, the Man, who claimed to be Israel’s Redeemer, was born in David’s royal city. He grew up in Nazareth, in Galilee, and later gathered around Himself twelve followers, who were called disciples, according to the number of the twelve tribes of Israel. He manifested Himself to them as the long-awaited Messiah and Saviour of Israel.
Already, in this Man’s own time, there was division among His contemporaries as to whether He was what He claimed to be: either the Redeemer sent from God, or a sinner who was not concerned for the sanctity of the Sabbath. We read, in the record, that after He performed a miracle, by healing a young man’s eyes on the Sabbath, there arose a controversy among His contemporaries:
“Therefore said some of the Pharisees, ‘this man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day.’ Others said, ‘How can a man, that is a sinner, do such miracles?’ And there was a division among them. They say unto the blind man again, ‘What says thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes?’ He said, ‘He is a prophet (John 9:16-17).’”
When He, who opened the eyes of the blind man, met him who was healed, we read:
“He said unto him, ‘Dos thou believe on the Son of God?’. He answered and said, ‘Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?’ And Jesus said unto him, ‘Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee.’ And he said, ‘Lord, I believe.’ And he worshipped Him. (John 9:35-38)
Benefits resulting from the Appearance of Messiah Jesus
But, unfortunately, we still meet some Jewish people who, because of extreme religious views – or because of personal prejudices – say, ‘It were better if He had not come. We have all kinds of troubles, because of Him.’ If you are one of those people, then we want to challenge you to consider this question: What would really have happened if He had not come, and if the Gentile world had not accepted Him as their Saviour and Lord? Let us point out a few benefits, as a result of Him:
- The Gentiles Repudiated Pagan gods.
If Jesus had not come, and if the Gentiles had not accepted Him as Messiah, the Son of the living God, then the Greeks would still be worshipping their immoral gods on Mt. Olympus. Slavery and immorality, practiced by the gods, would be practiced by the people, as a matter of course, and without shame. Among the gods, there would be Minerva, Apollo, Hephaestus, Dionysius; and among the Roman gods there would still be Bacchus and Venus, legitimate gods of drunkenness, theft and venereal diseases. These gods would sponsor the immoralities which many practice today, but of which we are, at least, ashamed. Would it really be good for the Jews if Jesus had not come? In the time of the Maccabees, the Jewish people almost lost their existence, when the might of Greece was used to force them to accept this immoral religion and practice.
- The Bible is Known Throughout the World.
The Bible has been translated into more than a thousand languages, all because Christians went out to the ends of the world to make Yeshua (Jesus), the Lord, known. They also translated our Hebrew Scriptures. Thus, our patriarchs and our prophets are known in the darkest places of the earth. When Israel was being established, in the 20th century, we had less than one million Jews there; but we had friends among the most primitive nations of the earth because they knew about Israel from the Bible brought to them, and translated for them, by the missionaries who taught them to believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The missionaries also taught them to love the people of the Bible, for it was to them that God promised the land of Canaan. God kept His promise, and in 1948, Israel was re-established as an independent nation.
- There Are Not Many Jews in Pagan Countries
It is an interesting fact that, in spite of the complaints of some of our people against Jesus and Christianity, the Jews never prospered in pagan countries. China and Japan are not Christian countries. Japan has her Shinto-Buddhist religion, and China, her Buddhist, Confucian and Lao Tse religions. In neither of these countries, and in none of the other pagan countries, have our people prospered. Not even when China turned Communist did the situation change. Our people did not prosper in the Muslim countries. Only in the countries where people at least nominally accepted Jesus as Lord did our Jewish people have a chance. In these countries, the preachers kept telling rulers and people alike that God has chosen the people of Israel and that He is interested in their preservation and welfare.
- Christian Countries Support Israel.
Had Jesus the Messiah not come, there would not be a nominal Christian America, a nominal Christian England, or other countries that support Israel – at least to some degree. The Muslim countries are against Israel. The Communist countries are against Israel. Israel would be a people of three-and-a-half million Jews, opposed by five-and-a-half billion Gentiles, Pagans, Muslims and Communists.
- Only Christians Believe in a Future for Jews and for Israel
Only Christians adhere to our Hebrew Scriptures, which teach that Israel is the apple of God’s eye (Zechariah 2:8)’ that Christians are commanded to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6); that the Jews and Israel bestowed upon Christianity the great gifts of the Patriarchs, the Scriptures, monotheism and the Messiah, Himself. Rabbi Paul made this clear in his teachings:
“I say the truth in Messiah, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Messiah for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory and the covenants, and the giving of the Law, and the service of God, and the promises: Whose are the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Messiah came, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.” (Romans 9:1-5)
Is Jesus Good For Us Jews?
Here is the reason why, in spite of human selfishness and wickedness, we have been able to maintain our identity – and sometimes, even to prosper in Christian countries – but were never able to do so in non-Christian countries. Did Nietzsche and Hitler help us – they, who wanted to abandon Christianity and revert to primitive paganism? Only where the light of the Gospel shone through human darkness did we find shelter and defense.
A British prime minister, who was also a Jewish believer in Messiah Jesus, wrote:
“Perhaps, too, in the enlightened age, as his mind expands and he takes a comprehensive view of the period of progress, the pupil of Moses may ask himself whether all the princes of the house of David have done so much for the Jews as that Prince who was crucified on Calvary? Had it not been for Him, the Jews would have been comparatively unknown, or known only as a high oriental cast, which had lost its country. Has not He made their history the most famous in the world? Has not He hung up their laws in every temple? Has not He vindicated all their wrongs? Has not He avenged the victory of Titus and conquered the Caesars? What successes did they anticipate from their Messiah? The wildest dreams of the rabbis have been far exceeded. Has not Jesus conquered Europe? All countries that refuse Jesus wither,, while the whole of the new world is devoted to the Semitic principle and its most glorious offspring of the Jewish faith, and the time will come when the vast communities and countless myriads of America and Australia, looking upon Europe, as Europe now looks upon Greece, and wondering how so small a space could have achieved such great deeds, will still find music in the songs of Zion and still seek solace in the parables of Galilee. These may be dreams, but there is one fact which none can contest…[Gentiles] may continue to persecute Jews and Jews may persist in disbelieving Christians, but who can deny that Jesus of Nazareth, the incarnate Son of the Most High God, is the eternal glory of the Jewish race.” Benjamin Disraeli
Truly Jesus is good for the Jews, in general and for each Jewish and Gentile person in particular. We who have come to know Him, and to believe in Him, must say with one of His first Jewish followers – Simon Bar Jonah – as we read in the Brit Hadasha (the New Testament):
“Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe, and are sure, that thou art that Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” (John 6:68-69)
*Rachmiel Frydland (1919-1985), was a Talmudic scholar who was versed in no fewer than ten languages and who studied in Yeshivot in Poland. He was a Holocaust survivor who recognised Jesus as the Messiah. Reprinted with permission of Messianic Literature Outreach