Friday, July 15, 2016
JULY 15 "ARE YOU A JEW"
I remember sometime before either my sister or myself, came to know Christ, my sister had changed her Dog Tags (we were both in the Marine Corps) to read “Jewish” as her religion. I was dumbfounded by this. My Dog Tags had “Roman Catholic” in scripted on them. My sister was always eccentric, but this was odder than ever to me and to a family that grew up in the
French Province of Quebec, we were Caucasian French Catholics, where did Jew fit in with that? And who would want to be a Jew anyway? In my eyes, Jews were strange people. I grew up around many Jews in Montreal. We had a whole Community in Outremont, of Orthodox Jews, with their side locks or side curls, black hats and long black trench coats. They seemed to be the most religious people in the City. Who would want to be religious, who would want to be a Jew? What was wrong with my sister? In our text today Paul makes this profound statement, “For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of circumcision. No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God.”
The Religious Jews that I grew up with, who had all the Laws and outward appearances, but just as their predecessors; had not the Heart of the Law. God was not drawing my sister to be a “religious Jew”, like the Jews I grew up, God was drawing my sister to be “a true Jew” (if I can borrow that phrase from Paul) one that has a right heart with God. It would not be much longer before my sister gave her life to Jesus. Neither my sister, nor I knew anything about being Born Again, about Salvation or “being saved”. All we knew was religion and sin. The Word of God teaches that “no man” comes to Jesus unless he/she is drawn by the Father. God surely was drawing my sister during this time. She may not have understood why she changed her Dog Tags to read “Jewish”, I certainly did not understand, but God did and Paul the Apostle would have fully understood what my sister was going through and doing. I asked my sister, why would you do that? Her answer to me, “because the Jews are God’s people, I’m not doing it for the religion, but because the Jews are God’s people”. This still went over my head. My thought was, “who cares who God’s people are and where did you get that anyway, the Bible? Who reads the Bible?” I thought. Here I am years later, writing a blog, based on one, who “reads the Bible Daily”. Here I am years later, a true Jew, according to Paul. Are you one of God’s people? If your answer is “Yes” and I will show you by law I follow, by my sacraments and religious duties. I am by my birthright, I am born a Jew, born a Catholic, I have done all the sacraments, Paul would say, “so what!”. True circumcision comes not merely by obeying the letter of the law (which none of us can fully obey) but by a change of heart produced by the Spirit