Sunday, April 24, 2011

Will Jews get another chance to know Jesus?

Anonymous asked:  Does Ezekiel 37:1-14 mean all Jews will all get another chance to know Jesus as Messiah even if they rejected Him?  Or is it talking about before David reunited Judah and Israel?

Hello, Anonymous.  Your timeline is a bit off. David reigned several generations before Ezekiel wrote his prophecy. But, as for the Dry Bones prophecy, first let me give you some background: 

David's grandson (Rehoboam) rejected the counsel of his elders and opted to do as his friends suggested regarding treatment of the people (see here for the Scripture text). As a result, civil war ensued and Israel was divided into two kingdoms -- North (called Israel) and South (called Judah). 

Ezekiel's prophecy had a partial fulfillment after the Assyrian and then Babylonian captivities when (under the Persian king Cyrus) many of the captive Jews returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple (you can read about it in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah). The nation was pretty much united under Ezra and Nehemiah -- albeit, with persistent pockets of rebellion into the period of the Maccabees, during which some Jews within the 'united' nation of Israel capitulated to the Greeks and fell again into idolatry.  You can read about that in 1&2 Maccabees (Maccabees is found in the Catholic Bible). But the complete fulfillment of Ezekiel's prophecy will occur in the 'End Days' -- the time in which Jesus returns to earth (a time, by the way, which I believe is rapidly approaching). You can read an example of Scripture that speaks of the Second Advent here.

So, to answer your question about the "Dry Bones", the prophecy refers primarily to the time when the "Time of the Gentiles" is over (for example, see Romans 11:25-29), and God begins to deal more specifically with the Jewish nation (e.g. modern Israel). For a more full description of how God will again deal with the Jewish nation, see Romans 9-11, especially chapter 11.

I think what happened (admittedly, I could be wrong) when Israel rejected their Messiah in the first century, God sent His message of redemption to the Gentiles, primarily to move Israel to jealousy (and then to salvation). For example, see Romans 10:19 (quoting Deuteronomy 32:21); and Romans 11:11-21. But the time will come (in the "Last Days") when God no longer works primarily with the Gentiles, and will shift His attention to Israel (Romans 11:25-32, for example). 

Some believe the "Time of the Gentiles" will end with the Rapture of the Church -- a time in which all Christians will be removed from the planet (not all Christians agree with this theology. See this Wikipedia article). At that time, God will shift His attention to the Jewish nation once again.

Whether the Rapture is a viable theology or not, St. Paul makes it clear (see the Romans passages above), as do many of the OT prophets and John's Revelation, God is not yet done with the Jews. He will again deal with them as a nation.

I hope that helps answer your question.

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