Are the Jews Still God’s Chosen People Today?

The United States, both its people and its government, have generally been supportive of Israel over the years. While I personally believe this is good, it is not for the reason that is often given by those who are or want to sound religious. Many today will say that we need to support Israel because the Jews are God’s chosen people. The necessary conclusion then is that if we want to remain in God’s good favor, we must continue to support the nation of Israel. This reasoning is faulty and without Biblical support.

This is not to say that the Jews were never God’s chosen people. The Scriptures plainly tell us that they were. Notice what Moses told the children of Israel after their deliverance from Egypt:

For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the Lord brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 7:6-8).

God’s choosing of the Jewish people was not due to their size, but simply because He loved them and because of the oath He made with Abraham. But it is important to notice that this promise and covenant was conditioned upon their obedience to God.

Then it shall come about, because you listen to these judgments and keep and do them, that the Lord your God will keep with you His covenant and His lovingkindness which He swore to your forefathers” (Deuteronomy 7:12).

God’s blessings would come as a result of their listening to God and keeping His commandments. But what if they refused to do this?

It shall come about if you ever forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you today that you will surely perish. Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so you shall perish; because you would not listen to the voice of the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 8:19-20).

Sadly, the Old Testament record shows us that time and time again, the children of Israel chose to rebel against God. However, the Lord was patient. Even when Jesus came, He was sent “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). But the time of the Jews being God’s chosen people was soon coming to an end as they would defiantly reject Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as their Messiah.

Pilate said to them, ‘Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?’ They all said, ‘Crucify Him!’ And he said, ‘Why, what evil has He done?’ But they kept shouting all the more, saying, ‘Crucify Him!’

When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, ‘I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.’ And all the people said, ‘His blood shall be on us and on our children!’

Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified” (Matthew 27:22-26).

Pilate recognized that Jesus had done nothing to deserve death. In a futile attempt to absolve himself from guilt, he washed his hands and told the crowd to do what they wanted to do with Jesus. The Jews here were more than willing to accept blame for Jesus’ death, even going so far as to bind upon their children the blame and consequences for this act.

So they cried out, ‘Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar’” (John 19:15).

When the Jews called for Jesus’ crucifixion, they pledged their allegiance to Caesar, the Roman ruler who was exalted as though he was a god. They rejected Jesus, the one who was divinely chosen to be their King.

There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, ‘Jesus the Nazarene, The King of the Jews.’

Therefore many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin and in Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews were saying to Pilate, ‘Do not write, “The King of the Jews”; but that He said, “I am King of the Jews.”’ Pilate answered, ‘What I have written I have written’” (John 19:18-22).

Whatever Pilate’s motive, he deliberately made it plain to all observers of the crucifixion that the King of the Jews was hanging on that cross. The Jews, of course, rejected that idea and protested Pilate’s decision. Yet it was fitting that Pilate put this sign on the cross. It was here at the cross that the Jewish nation, as a collective group, ceased to be God’s chosen people. Because they refused to believe in Christ, they were cut off (Romans 11:20).

But if this is the case, who are God’s chosen people today? Peter, in writing to Christians, tells them that they were now God’s chosen people.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

We noticed earlier in Deuteronomy that one of the reasons why God initially chose Israel was because of the promise made to their forefathers, in particular, Abraham. While the Jews prided themselves in being Abraham’s descendants, John reminded them that “from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham” (Matthew 3:9).

So the Jews, by their disobedience and failure to keep their covenant with God, forfeited their status as God’s chosen people. Who are the ones God has raised in their place to be Abraham’s children?

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise” (Galatians 3:26-29).

Those who belong to Christ are now Abraham’s descendants. Who are those who belong to Christ? Paul explains that they are those who have faith and have put on Christ in baptism. Following this, as “people for His own possession,” He expects us to be “zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:14). If we fail to do this, we stand to be cut off as well. Paul wrote, “for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either” (Romans 11:21). Therefore, we become part of God’s chosen people through faithful obedience, and remain part of His chosen people through faithful obedience as well.

But the assertion that the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people does not imply that they have no hope of salvation. Paul wrote, “And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again” (Romans 11:23). In order for the Jews to be restored into God’s favor (grafted in again), they need to accept Christ as the Messiah, and in faith be baptized into Him.

Previously, one became part of God’s people by means of physical birth. Now, it occurs by spiritual birth when we are born again through the waters of baptism (John 3:3,5; 1 Peter 1:22-23). This salvation is not limited to one race. Rather, Jesus told His apostles, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who disbelieved shall be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). Everyone who does this, Jew or Gentile, will become one of Abraham’s descendants, part of God’s chosen people, and heirs of the promise of eternal life.

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Comments

  1. Anwar Hasaan says:

    Jesus was crusified because the jews could not get him to teach or say that they were gods chosen peoople. Jesus knew such a statement or teaching would make god a racist which god is not, god is impartial.
    Farthermore Jesus(Yashau) grew up at the temple of Onias in egypt Africa whithin site of the pyramids. Pilate knew the real reason why jesus was being put up for crusifixion. Your article is fine but, no need for your reason to why we are all god chosen people. God have no such people nor never had.

  2. Anwar, you are correct that God is not “racist.” He is impartial and wants all to be saved (Acts 10:34-35; 2 Peter 3:9). But this does not mean the Jews were not God’s chosen people. They were (Deuteronomy 7:6-8). But the promise to Abraham, the father of the Jewish people, included a blessing to all people – “…in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). Even in choosing Abraham and his descendants, God was still concerned about all men.

    As far as the claim that Jesus grew up at the temple of Onias in Egypt, do you have any credible sources that can verify that? The Bible says that Jesus grew up in Nazareth (Matthew 2:23; Luke 4:16; John 1:45). I believe that to be the truth. I’ve never heard of this “temple of Onias” claim before.

  3. http://www.archive.org/details/ancientegyptits00kiddgoog
    Go to website and open pdf copy to page 90 of “Egypt It’s Monuments And History”
    Pdf pages may be offset, use page number showing in book.
    You see the word tradition, you have the right page.

  4. Mr. Andy Sochor thanks for your time, before my father died he said that a man who you can talk to, who takes time to listen and respond with time from his life is a good man.

  5. http://openlibrary.org/books/OL20448272M/Ancient_Egypt_Its_Monuments_and_History_

    Click open libary and pdf. Easier to read.
    Anwar

  6. Anwar, thanks for sharing those links. It’s certainly true that Jesus, for a time, lived in Egypt as a child (Matthew 2:13-15). However, the author of the book you referenced admits, “the resting places where they stayed, are not recorded” (p. 89-90). Jesus and His earthly parents stayed somewhere while in Egypt, but it was only a “temporary sojourn” (p. 90). After Herod died, the family left Egypt and moved to Nazareth (Matthew 2:19-23).

  7. Wayne D. Teel says:

    I enjoyed your article on the subject of the Jews still being God’s chosen people. As you rightly pointed out so clearly, they are not.

    The article that Anwar referred to in the book on Egypt says, “This is said to have been…” in reference to where Jesus stayed in Egypt. Who said? That is not mentioned.

    Truly, the word of God says,”and came and resided in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazarene.” Matt. 2:23

    Well done, lad!

  8. Thank you, sir.

  9. Marcus Krueger says:

    Great article man!

    I have been constantly ridiculed and berated by many in the church because I took the view you just espoused. Many have told me that I will burn in hell for not believing that the American people should respect the sovereignty of Israel and not “help them.” By help them I mean give them a bunch of money then expect them to do what we want.

  10. Thanks, Marcus. You’re right that a lot of the United States’ foreign policy is rooted in a misunderstanding of what the Bible says about the Jews today. Of course, they counter that by sending money and fighter jets to Egypt, so maybe it’s even. If we support Israel, fine, but it needs to be for the right reason. We should not think that supporting Israel is done so we can be on God’s side. We follow Christ to be on God’s side.

  11. Jesus came to die FOR ALL OF US. So we’re not deprived of salvation due to the fact that the jews were the chosen ones YES…They were God’s chosen people. Christianity is based on the jews faith because we have the same GOD the only true God.
    The jews have the old pact, we have the new pact.

    JOHN 1:11 ”HE CAME UNTO HIS OWN, AND HIS OWN RECEIVED HIM NOT”.

    This is a very important verse that proves that YES Jewish people are the chosen land. They refused to see Jesus as the messiah, as their savior
    BUT WE CANT FORGET that even there. GOD MADE A PROMISE TO ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB.

    That promise has been the promise that has given the jews all the opportunities. The reason why God hasnt given up on them even after their tons of revelations while they were in the desert with Moses.. God NEVER break his promises and Abraham,isaac and jacob those were men of God.

    In revelations it says that Jesus will come for his people, his church first and the jews that believe in him and are christians. Then the Jews will stay HOWEVER the second time he comes it will be to give Israel YET ANOTHER CHANCE of repentance.

    And we would ask why? after all they’ve done and after being responsible in a way of Jesus’ death.. Well they still hold the promise.. Just so you know how God is.. A GOD OF MERCY

  12. Indhira, where does the Bible teach that the Lord will return once to save His church, then a second time to give Israel another chance of repentance?

    Certainly God is a God of mercy. That is why we have time now to repent and turn to Him. But after this life, it will be too late (cf. Hebrews 9:27; 2 Peter 3:9-10; Romans 2:4-6).

  13. Vaughan Simms says:

    The Jews WERE the chosen people up until the time of Jesus. After all the atrocities they committed, they lost the status. That is why, the final Prophet, Mohammed (pbuh) came from Abraham’s line but Arab stock, not Jewish.
    The Traditions tell us that the Jews have everything in this life only. There is nothing for them in the hereafter except Hell.

  14. Vaughan, the Jews lost their status as God’s chosen people when they rejected Christ (Romans 11:20). However, as I pointed out in the article, there is still hope for salvation for the Jews. “And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again” (Romans 11:23). Salvation is in Christ (Acts 4:12), and all people — Jews and Gentiles — can be saved by obeying the gospel (Romans 1:16; Mark 16:15-16).

    As for Mohammed, he was a prophet, but a false prophet — just like the ones the apostles warned about (Galatians 1:6-9; 1 John 4:1,6).

  15. I appreciate so much your clear writing and your Bible references which address this issue. I have an ongoing debate with my pastor concerning this very thing. He has been indoctrinated in the ongoing myth that the Jewish nation remains God’s chosen, that a third temple will be built in Jerusalem, and that there will be a renewal of animal sacrifices, a fantasy which I find nauseating at best, blasphemy at worst. The entire concept undermines Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice. I have asked my pastor about Galatians 3 and he has given me an answer which seems to satisfy him but which to me is not that clear. I agree that the Jews lost their “chosen” status when they declared, “We have no king but Caesar.” Thank you for your article. You have equipped me with more ammunition for my mission.

  16. thank you, I understand now…

  17. Hi, Andy,

    I, too, have come around to your point of view…if belatedly. I have had many rounds of debate and even had a few folks look at me askance due to my belief that we (those who accept Christ and His redemptive work) as the ONLY chosen (current) people of God. To deny Jews as the current Chosen is tantamount to heresy to some whom I’ve broached the subject.

    I find the belief that the physical nation of Israel is so entwined into end-time theology that many are unwilling to consider any other viewpoint. I also find if I don’t toe the line I at minimum make some uncomfortable…others want to leave the fellowship.

    Your article is a great article for those who have ears to hear…but many will reject it. Unfortunately, this will cause many to miss the signs of the endtimes…and may even lead some astray.

    Thanks for the concise, thoughtful presentation. I may preach from it sometime, if that’s ok.

  18. Josie-Clare says:

    I watched a movie yesterday in which Jews are preparing themselves for the 3rd temple, they have crafted holy instruments, gold vessels, clothes for the priests and so on. They say they will offer sacrifices 3 times a day like in the ancient time, I was astounded, knowing that WE are the Temple because the Holy Spirit lives in us. There are a lot of Christians who support this “materialistic” theory of the temple, unbelievable.(Please forgive my English, I am French)

  19. Jackie Cooper says:

    I did a search and came across your article titled, “Are Jews Still God’s Chosen.” I still thought that the Jews were “the chosen ones” and that the Muslims hate them for it! Ishmael was the first-born of Abraham, but he sent him and his mother, Hagar, off into the desert. I have read the Muslims claim that Abraham and Hagar were legally married, but I know that is not what the Bible says. I think they believe they should be “the chosen ones.” I don’t know. I can’t figure out why the Muslims hate the Jews so much. Displacing the Palestinians from the land seems to be the only real possible crime the Jews committed. The Palestinians started sending suicide bombers into restaurants, markets and buses.

    I read on Yahoo! Anwers “What does it mean that Christians are grafted into the Olive tree of Israel?” User ID, Teller of Truths, writes: Paul mentions the root before speaking of the tree itself, and he says “the root is holy.” (Romans 11:16) Jehovah God is the “Most Holy One.” (Hosea 11:12) He is frequently called “the Holy One of Israel,” particularly in the book of Isaiah. (Isaiah 10:20; 29:19; 60:9) The apostle Peter counsels anointed Christians, saying: “In accord with the Holy One who called you, do you also become holy yourselves in all your conduct.” (1 Peter 1:15, 16) Jehovah God, the Greater Abraham, is the root of the symbolic olive tree.
    The person initially asking the question refers to Romans 11:16-36.
    23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. 24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
    Romans 11, verse 25-32
    25 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. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27 for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. 28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. 29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. 30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

    So it appears God will have mercy on all the Jews and they are still greatly loved.

    Bless you,
    Jackie Cooper

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