For the longest time after I became a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, I couldn’t understand why the Jewish people didn’t get it. Some time ago, I attended a memorial service for a colleague who was Jewish. It was in a Reformed Jewish Temple. The Reformed Jews are the most liberal of the Jewish denominations. The lady rabbi read from the psalms that I knew, but other than that, they expected that the deceased was in heaven with God. I’m sorry to say, I don’t think so — not unless he had a last minute death-bed acknowledgement of Jesus and repented of his sins. Nothing is impossible with God. He doesn’t want anyone to perish, but to come to repentance.
I felt like a saltwater fish in a freshwater pond. I left as soon as it was over, not staying for the reception. But, that got me thinking — why don’t the Jews get that Jesus is their Messiah, too? Then I read 2 Corinthians 3 and the Holy Spirit revealed the answer to me. It’s funny how He does that. I’ve read this chapter several times, but it was this time, after visiting that Jewish Temple, that the Spirit allowed me to get it.
Jesus told us that there would be people who heard the word, but not accept it. (Parable of the Sower) He said…
“You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. 12 To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.Matthew 13:11-12 NLT
Paul phrases it differently…
2 Corinthians 3
Are we beginning to praise ourselves again? Are we like others, who need to bring you letters of recommendation, or who ask you to write such letters on their behalf? Surely not! 2 The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. 3 Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.
4 We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. 5 It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. 6 He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.
The Glory of the New Covenant
7 The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. 8 Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? 9 If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! 10 In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. 11 So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever!
12 Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away. 14 But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. 15 Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.
16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.2 Corinthians 3 NLT
I love that line, For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Freedom is precious. We cannot be free if we are slaves to religion! Any “religion” that teaches that you have to earn your salvation is wrong. Jesus didn’t suffer and die on the cross so that we could have religion. He sacrificed His life as a redemption for our sins. Without Him, we go to hell. Plain and simple.
It amazes me how religions complicate salvation when it’s really so simple!
Why don’t the Jewish people get it? Why don’t Catholics get it? Why don’t atheists and agnostics get it? They still have a veil that’s preventing them for understanding that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. When I read that and the Holy Spirit finally open my eyes, I thought, “That explains everything!”
Like what Jesus said, they hear but they don’t understand. Jesus also repeats this line 14 times in the New Testament…
“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.”Revelation 3:22 NLT
14 times! When something is repeated in scripture, God wants us to PAY ATTENTION!
Do YOU get it?
Jesus paid it ALL for you! You don’t have to do anything for salvation other than ACCEPT that fact. We are all sinners. We all need to get right with God. By ourselves, we are not and never will be good enough to get into heaven.
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…
Turn to the Lord now! What are you waiting for? You’ve got nothing to lose and eternity to gain!