Neither Jew nor Gentile, Just Stones
What part of “neither Jew nor Gentile [Greek]” Gal 3:28 do we not understand?
Everybody likes to think that we are special. We like to think we are important. After all we are vain creatures. God’s “chosen people” are special and important.
First let’s dispel that notion. God called the nation of Israel to be His people. There was a qualification though even for them! The people HE would call His people were those [Israel and those who sojourned with them] who obeyed His commandments.
But this command I gave them, ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people; and walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’ Jer. 7:23
Israel and those who sojourned with them were to be a light to all the other peoples of the world. Why? So that they, Israel, would draw all mankind back to God!
They didn’t do that! They got caught up in their “specialness” and set themselves apart. Time and time again God has tried to get their attention and get them on track by judging and dispersing them among the nations. Instead of coming back repentant and a bright and shining light, they came back segregating themselves and putting up even more barriers between themselves and the rest of mankind.
FYI: The term Jew did not even come into being until the Babylonian exile as a truncation of Judah.
Some odd heresies
There are also people who will teach that the church replaces the descendants of Abraham, and therefore the church gets all the promises God made to Abraham’s children in the Old Testament. There are even a few nutters that would teach all believers must have a drop of Abraham’s blood and as such are children of Abraham. Somehow even though this bloodline information is lost in the mist of time this is the only way believers can replace the people who are called Jews, thereby making the church the real Jews and the Jews fake Jews. Some will teach that Jews who become Christian give up being Jews.
But the children of Israel were never a pure blood people.
A mixed multitude also went up with them, and very many cattle, both flocks and herds. Ex. 12:38
It doesn’t matter who your father was. It doesn’t matter whether you are of European, Arab, Jewish, African or American decent, etc…. What does matters is …..are you a son or daughter of Abraham?
“They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do what Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God; this is not what Abraham did.” John 8:39 -40
“But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit that befits repentance, and do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.” Matt. 3:7-9 c.f. Luke 3:7-9; Rom 3:29; 4:9-16; 9:7-24; Gal 3:6-8; Eph 3:6
Scripture clearly is stating that it does not matter what our background is. We, who accept Messiah as our Savior and obey His word, are the Stones that rise up and are the descendants of Abraham.
“Come to him, to that living stone, rejected by men but in God’s sight chosen and precious; and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and he who believes in him will not be put to shame.” To you therefore who believe, he is precious, but for those who do not believe, “The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner,” and “A stone that will make men stumble, a rock that will make them fall”; for they stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were no people but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy.” 1 Pet. 2:4 -10
When Nimrod was building his great tower. He built it out of bricks. Every brick just like the other, interchangeable. This is paganism. It wants uniformity and conformity. Everybody doing the same thing at the same time. When God told the children of Israel to build Him an altar, He said to use unhewn stones.
And if you make me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of hewn stones; for if you wield your tool upon it you profane it. Ex. 20:25
God wants individuals. He revels in our lumpy bumpy differences. After all He created them.
The literal Jerusalem and the literal temple that housed the Spirit of God were both built with literal stones presenting a physical representation of God with us.
Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. Gal. 4:25
But it was only a representation of the real thing. Now the stones are living – spiritual; they are His people who fill in the foundation of His kingdom here on earth and will become His City, the New Jerusalem.
But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. Gal. 4:26
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, Heb. 12:22
The New Jerusalem will not be as the hyper literal dispensationalist would have it, some kind of weird space ship, cube, sphere, pyramid, planet, or asteroid! It is us! We are His bride and we are the stones of His new city.
Just as the High Priest carried 12 stones on his breast plate and shoulders to represent the people; we the people now represent God’s temple and God’s City; all people, from all walks of life, and from every corner of the world.
This city is made up of twelve layers of foundation stones, 12 pillars, and 12 gates, etc. Everything about the city is in twelve’s or multiples thereof. The stones of the city represent us. There is no physical temple. There is no need of a temple because we, the living stones, are the temple.[Rev 21]
Twelve is the number meaning service. The Old Testament is full of 12 people or things being set aside for service of one kind or another. [Num. 7:84 ,8; Josh 3:12; 4:20; I Kings 4:7]
Just as the 12 tribes function together to serve God’s purpose God’s people are to function as one. Even though the 12 stones on the breast plate of the High Priest are valued differently by human eyes, the High Priest bears them equally on his shoulders; and so WE, living stones, will equally bear the weight of the city. The Revelation chapter 21.