Opinion

Jews should not be targeted by broadcast missionizing

In Matthew 21:43, we read: “The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.”

Christian missionaries march on Jaffa Road with a sign saying “Repent Israel, Jesus Is Coming” in central Jerusalem on Oct. 5, 2016. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90.
Christian missionaries march on Jaffa Road with a sign saying “Repent Israel, Jesus Is Coming” in central Jerusalem on Oct. 5, 2016. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90.
Yisrael Medad
Yisrael Medad is a researcher, analyst and opinion commentator on political, cultural and media issues.

Will the Shelanu broadcasts via God TV go ahead?

The broadcasts that seek that:

We want Jewish viewers to grasp the fact that Jesus is theirs. That He is not a foreigner, intruder or imposter. He is their Jewish Messiah.

For the puzzled, here is the JNS story.

It seems this is a long-running matter, as I found a 2006 item in Hebrew on Daystar. Another report is from The Los Angeles Times, dated 2010:

The dueling studios are part of an aggressive push by U.S. evangelical broadcasters seeking to gain a stronger foothold in the holy city. Their presence not only offers boasting rights with American viewers and contributors, but also—and more controversially—a platform for spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to Jews in Israel.

The Minister of Communications was alerted, and so the only thing I wish to add is a bit of theological argumentation on the need for Christians to missionize among the Jews, what is termed the Great Commission (itself a 17th-century Lutheran term).

I think reading Matthew 12:41 that a case could be for Jews to begin preaching to non-Jews as Jonah did. Could it be that the instruction to missionize did not or did not have to be  applied to Jews, even though that usually is taken to simply mean non-believers?

The central source, of course, is from Matthew 28:19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, but I read only the “nations” and not Jews. Biblically, the “nations” were understood to be the alien, non-Jewish nations (and, yes, I am aware that in Mark 16, we read: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”).

The status of Jews is that we originated the Abrahamic Covenant, and we are not the nations. The Covenant had never been abrogated, despite of tribulations as is obvious from Israel’s flowering today, our increased religiosity and the work in Judea and Samaria.

My approach that Jews are not to be subjected to proselytizing activity can be understood, perhaps, also from Luke 24:47: “… be preached in his name to all nations.” And although added there is “beginning at Jerusalem,” Jerusalem could mean various peoples in the city not necessarily Jews.

We Jews could have been excluded as “targets.”

Yet in Matthew 21:43, we read: “The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.”

That could be, however, an explicit reference to Jews. But just as obviously, to be generous to Christian belief, it has not happened in reality, and in fact, is wrong, I would suggest  missionizing to Jews should not apply and be halted. Especially in a reality of a major rebuilt Jerusalem—admittedly, not yet with a Temple—and a re-established state of the Jews, and control over Judea and Samaria, this broadcast channel is not needed, and the decision to grant it a license should be reversed.

And to my Christian friends, if this reads as a bit uncomfortable to you, theologically, remember that I am not asking you to convert to Judaism. Now, imagine how Jews feel when Christians actually do try to subvert Jews from their Judaism.

Yisrael Medad is an America-born Israeli journalist and political commentator.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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